San Mateo County Committee minutes from April 2, 2015 meeting

SVBC – Peninsula Group Meeting; April 2, 2015: Minutes Attendance: Billy James, Vickie ?, Emma Shlaes, Ellen Barton, Al Meckler, Tim O’Brien, and John Langbein (scribe) Called to Order @ 6:45 Staff report; New outreach coordinator has been hired. Lindsay and Emma went to DC for Bike Summit where they helped to lobby/advocate for Vision Zero and bike funding to be included in upcoming transportation bill before Congress. Bike to work day is May 14 – SMC bike to work day coordinated by Commute.org rather than SVBC. Emma announced that there will be changes in the existing Bike Share program (its announce has been in the news). Locally, he main impact will be that RWC (and PA) could be loosing their bike share programs but bike share will be greatly expanded in the larger cities (SF, San Jose, Oakland, etc). For RWC to have continuing bike-share, the City would need to find an other source of funding. Vickie discussed bike to shop day in Redwood City. She is the City’s environmental coordinator. She will be recruiting merchants to participate in this event set for early May. ECR in Menlo Park. Three public workshops have been completed where the consultants presented their analysis of 3 (actually 4) alternatives; do nothing, remove parking and make it a third motor vehicle lane, remove parking and either make it a buffered bike lane or a cycle track. All alternatives provide the same car capacity. The proposals are now before the planning commission and then on to the Council. CCAG/BPAC and TDA proposals. Amongst winners and losers that affect the south county are: 1)...
Press release: Proposal for 7,000 more Bay Area Bike Share bikes

Press release: Proposal for 7,000 more Bay Area Bike Share bikes

An agenda posted today by the Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission for an upcoming meeting included an item that bicycle advocates around the region are celebrating: a proposal to dramatically expand the Bay Area Bike Share program by adding as many as 7,000 bikes by the end of 2017. The Bay Area Bike Share program, which launched in August 2013, provides a fleet of bicycles for affordable, easy short-term rentals from secure docking stations 24 hours a day. Bike share bicycles can be rented from and then returned to any station, creating a convenient transportation option between different locations. Bicycles are available at 70 stations in San Francisco, Redwood City, Mountain View, Palo Alto, and San José. But currently there are only 700 bicycles, and residents and visitors to the Bay Area have been clamoring for more. “This 7,000-bicycle expansion of bike share will be a game changer for our transportation system,” said Noah Budnick, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. “When we saturate our biggest cities with bike share stations and bikes, riding a bike will become as convenient as walking around the block.” Since launching less than two years ago, nearly half a million rides have been logged on Bay Area Bike Share bicycles, according to data from Motivate, which operates the system. “Even with the limited number of bike share stations and bicycles we have currently, bike share has proven immensely popular,” said Renee Rivera, executive director of Bike East Bay. “This expansion means many more residents will be able to bridge key gaps in getting around without a car; for example taking a...
Bikepool test ride sets a fun precedent

Bikepool test ride sets a fun precedent

Thanks to Beth Martin with the City of San José Department of Transportation for this guest piece! Bikepooling to work Picture your morning commute. Do you spend too much time behind your steering wheel stuck in traffic or lacking companionship while driving alone in your car? What if, instead, there was an option that let you get some fresh air, be in good company, and still get to and from work? In other words, what if commuting to your job could be more than just a means to an end? The City of San José and Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition are piloting the first formal San José Bikepool. Bikepooling, akin to carpooling but on bikes, is a group commute solution designed to get people out of their cars and onto bikes. With designated routes and pick up locations, you can easily join a route and bike with others to and from work. Beta Testing Bikepool Wednesday, March 18 marked the first beta Bikepool of City Hall employees who live in South San José. On the way home, a group of City Hall employees met up with SVBC in front of City Hall after work and rode down the Guadalupe River Trail to Almaden Valley, peeling off in different locations to bike the final leg of the trip to their homes. Alisar Aoun, a Department of Transportation employee and one of the beta-testers, stressed the value of having a defined route and route leader. She had tried to bike home from City Hall before but was originally thwarted by the confusing connections between different portions of the trail. Alisar reported...
Vision Zero proposed for San Jose

Vision Zero proposed for San Jose

I had the pleasure of attending San Jose’s Rules and Open Government Committee meeting yesterday, during which members of the City Council moved forward a proposal from Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio to formally implement a Vision Zero initiative. SVBC has been advocating for Vision Zero policies throughout our two counties for over three years, so we’re thrilled to see support in the Bay Area’s biggest city! San Jose would join other large cities like New York and San Francisco in declaring that no loss of life on our roadways is acceptable. In 2015 traffic deaths have exceeded homicides in San Jose. Currently San Mateo is the only city in our two counties that has already adopted a Vision Zero policy. San Jose’s consideration follows their acceptance of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Mayors’ Challenge for Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety. Next stop: the City’s Transportation and Environment Committee, where more details about a potential Vision Zero program will be rolled into the Department of Transportation’s annual Transportation Safety Report. From there, we hope the proposed initiative will go to the full City Council for a vote and inclusion in the next city budget. Read Councilmember Oliverio’s memo here. Do you want your city to adopt a Vision Zero policy? Start by telling your city council to sign up for the Mayor’s...
I scream, you scream, we all scream for bike lanes!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for bike lanes!

Despite popular lore, SVBC employees do not spend all of our time on bicycles, tooling about town with the sun on our faces, fighting injustice in the name of pedal-powered propulsion. Most days, we are stuck at our desks or in meetings, warmed only by the blue glow of florescent tubes. Still, we’ve lately made a point of getting out of the office for a monthly staff bike ride, both to better the cohesion of the team and to see what bike-friendly amenities (or car-centric catastrophes) adorn downtown San Jose and its environs. This week’s roundabout took us to the Willow Glen neighborhood to admire and assess the recently commenced road diet trial. The seven staff members present were all familiar with the previous pedal-if-you-dare layout of Lincoln Avenue, and were delighted to be able to cruise the quaint corridor without injecting ourselves into car traffic. New bike lanes mean more customers for the businesses utilizing this curb cafe. Getting there by bike means you’ve earned your ice cream. The trip back to the office featured more great bike lanes on San Fernando Street. In addition to a new pair of spacious bike lanes, the road diet also adds pedestrian visibility to the streetscape. Downtown Willow Glen is a compact shopping district, so pedestrian mobility has wisely been promoted with a series of mid-block crosswalks to encourage wandering and exploration. But with two vehicle lanes in each direction, pedestrians attempting to cross the road were often challenged by the threat of stopped cars in one lane blocking them from the view of drivers in the next. With only one...