Fatality at Page Mill Interchange

Fatality at Page Mill Interchange

Yesterday, we learned that a bicyclist was struck by a driver and killed on Page Mill Road, in Palo Alto near the Highway 280 overpass. Our hearts go out to the friends and family of the victim of this tragic collision. Unfortunately, this is an intersection that Silicon Valley bicyclists know all too well. For over a decade, advocates, including SVBC and the Roadway Safety Solutions Team, have been working to get the area improved for the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. As it crosses under Highway 280, Page Mill becomes a confusing and intimidating space where the bike lanes mingle with and get tucked between multiple lanes of fast-moving traffic in the westbound direction, and actually cross over two lanes of uncontrolled, freeway-speed traffic in the eastbound direction. Though technically a 35 mile per hour zone, this stretch of road frequently sees speeds closer to 50 MPH. The County has prepared several improved designs over the years, and presented its most recent study and plans for a two-stage safety improvement project to the Los Altos Hills Town Council and Palo Alto City Council this past summer. The first stage or “interim” plan requires approval by Caltrans and includes more visible delineation and green paint, similar to nearby Alpine Road. The County has a meeting scheduled with Caltrans to discuss next steps for this phase. The second phase of the project will be far more extensive, including a dedicated path to provide an option to bicyclists who may wish an alternative to using the shoulder. Unfortunately, that phase will cost $20 million and must be implemented during or after...
A Potential New Bike to Work Day Role for SVBC

A Potential New Bike to Work Day Role for SVBC

This update on SVBC’s role in Bike Month was authored by our executive director Shiloh Ballard. Having come from the world of policy advocacy, many of my friends ask how the new job is going and whether I miss advocacy. Yes and no. It’s easy for me to gravitate towards the work of our policy team – working with Caltrain to increase bike capacity, figuring out the next phase of bike share on the Peninsula, or coordinating with Santa Clara County leaders on a potential new transportation sales tax. But instead I’m focused on what many might characterize as the more mundane but necessarily elements of the Bike Coalition: reviewing contracts, raising money, and playing a support role to a great team. One project that is on my plate is something that you don’t often hear of in the nonprofit world but is rampant in the for-profit sector – a merger and acquisition. In this case, the intent isn’t to gobble up competition, but rather to leverage SVBC’s strengths to improve how a regional program is run. Bike coalitions are often best known for their Bike to Work programs. This is certainly true in the Bay Area, where Bike to Work Day and Bike Month (in May) gets tens of thousands of people on their bikes. Financial backing for Bike Month comes from two main sources, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and corporate sponsorships. Currently, MTC contracts directly with the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition (BABC) to run the program for the nine-county Bay Area. BABC was formed years ago for several reasons, one of which was to oversee Bike...
Your Help Needed to Continue Willow Glen road Re-sizing

Your Help Needed to Continue Willow Glen road Re-sizing

As most of you know, we have been promoting the Willow Glen/Lincoln Avenue Road Diet since early spring. The street redesign got rid of a travel lane in each direction, adding a center turn lane and bike lanes. Not only is the Avenue much nicer to ride a bike down, it is also safer for pedestrians and motorists as it has reduced speeds and improved sight lines. The pilot has wrapped up and the Department of Transportation now needs direction from our elected leaders. There are essentially three options: keep the road diet permanently, ditch it and revert to the old design, or extend the trial. I and several others feel the pilot was too short and we could gather more data about the safety and economic impacts with more time. An extension will also give City staff more time to make adjustments in order to improve traffic flow without sacrificing safety. Councilmember Oliverio has written a memo to the Rules Committee to that effect. The Committee will take up his request to extend the pilot this Wednesday, 9/23. The Committee will decide whether or not to bring the issue to the full city council for a vote. I am requesting your help! If you are free at 2:00 on Wednesday, 9/23, please join me at the meeting in City Hall Wing Rooms 118-120 and tell the Rules Committee you support an extension of the trial. Be ready to stay for one to two hours – we hear there will be a large constituency of opponents there and the comment period could take a while. Be ready to talk...
The Big Picture of Envision Silicon Valley

The Big Picture of Envision Silicon Valley

As many of you have heard, VTA and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group have spent much of the past year and a half researching projects and public opinion for a potential 2016 transportation sales tax ballot measure, a process and product called Envision Silicon Valley. Though the primary motivation for placing such a measure on the ballot is Phase II of the BART extension, additional revenue from the tax could provide a significant source of funding for bike, pedestrian, transit, and general roadway projects. In Alameda County, a similar tax known as Measure BB passed last year, resulting in $1 billion for bike and pedestrian projects. Think of what we could do for biking and walking with that kind of money in Santa Clara County! SVBC has been working closely with VTA and other involved organizations to better understand the parameters of any potential ballot measure, as well as to determine how much money might become available for active transportation projects, weigh in on the goals and metrics associated with the measure, and solicit input from our members about what kinds of projects they would like to see funded. I sit on the VTA B/PAC, where VTA staff gives monthly updates on the Envision Silicon Valley process; I have also participated on the VTA advocates stakeholder group. At SVBC, each of our three Santa Clara County Local Teams have discussed the tax measure, and we dedicated our most recent Policy Advisory Committee meeting to presentations by VTA and the Leadership Group on the topic, followed by a discussion of SVBC’s priorities. Yesterday was the due date for public agencies...

Board of Directors nominations 2015

The SVBC Board of Directors is actively seeking new board members who share and support the vital interests of the SVBC. New board members will begin a two-year term beginning January 2016. We are especially seeking candidates with human resources and prior non-profit board experience, and we are focused on attracting candidates who represent the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. The Board of Directors of SVBC is elected to serve the membership in guiding policy, conducting governance, and keeping the organization effective in pursuing our key mission to promote the bicycle for everyday use. Board members are expected to prepare for and attend all board meetings (currently four each year, plus an introductory dinner), and to actively participate on at least one of the standing board committees (currently governance, finance, and development). Board members are expected to make a personally significant financial contribution to SVBC, either directly or though their work on the board. Typical duties of the board include: Governing the organization by establishing broad policies and yearly goals Ensuring the availability of adequate financial resources through fundraising Reviewing and approving annual budgets Being accountable for organization performance to our membership and stakeholders Actively participating in one or more of the standing and ad hoc committees The board governs with an emphasis on outward vision and strategic leadership, and is committed to ethical, professional, and lawful conduct. We encourage prospective candidates to review the SVBC bylaws and descriptions of Board Committees. These documents specify the workings and size of the board, the number and roles of the officers, and the board selection...