Clarification of SVBC’s current position on Alpine/280 restriping

As announced last month, San Mateo County Public Works has finally found funding for the dangerous underpass at Alpine Road and Highway 280. Unfortunately, the design the County will move forward with was not SVBC's preferred option. This has created some worry in the cycling community that the redesign will not hold up to safety concerns. Our voiced preference for redesigning the underpass had been drawing D-2 for the last 2 years (see drawings here http://bikesiliconvalley.org/content/1825). Our members voiced support for both D-2 and D-3, although the majority preferred D-2. For the last two years, we have worked diligently with the County of San Mateo and the Transportation Authority, with help and leadership from local members, to locate funding for the project. After several different rounds of being turned down for funding, recently the County was able to determine funding sources that could be used for the project. The big catch: the project has to be implemented before March. Highway crossings are in Caltrans' right of way. This means that in order to restripe the underpass, the County needs an encroachment permit from Caltrans. Their efforts to get this permit for drawing D-2 led Caltrans to state that they would not give a permit for D-2 without an operational study on how it affected motor vehicle flow through the intersection. Caltrans doesn't move fast–meaning that if the operational study was performed, the March implementation deadline would be missed, and we would again be left with a project concept and no funding for actual design, much less implementation. D-2 was not the design that we had asked for. However, after...

Vision Zero Update

As many of you know, SVBC convened a unique closed session at our April Silicon Valley Bike Summit to pull together law enforcement, elected officials, and city leaders to discuss the road safety issues facing our area. That group had a subsequent meeting and is now calling itself the Roadway Safety Solutions Team and is emerging as a powerful collaborative. At our last meeting, we identified three subcommittees to focus on specific topics: Behavior/PR, Infrastructure, and Education/Institutional Change. The first Behavior/PR subcommittee meeting occurred this morning and was attended by representatives from DMV, AAA, the Sheriff's Offices in both San Mateo and Santa Clara County, Stanford Trauma Center, local city mayors, PenVelo, and SVBC. The goal of the group is to enhance roadway safety, particularly for cyclists, and to that end the group is going to work to develop a PR campaign to target both cyclists and motorists in the Woodside / Portola Vally / Los Altos Hills area. We will then push the messaging out via YouTube, DMV, town newsletters, bike shops, and the media. Please let us know if you have resources to share in this...

New York, New York

I had the opportunity to check out some of the innovative bike facilities in New York last week–in the best way possible: riding around on a rented tourist bike. First, let me say that the City produces an amazing bike map, and the new High Line park is really cool. Second–although they have some neat facilities, there are still some issues… exemplified by times like when my partner and I were dumped from a nice two-way cycle track into the bottom of Manhattan and forced to follow signs for over a mile–on really busy lower Manhattan streets–to find the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. Fine for two hardy cyclists like us, but not exactly what the average tourist is looking for. But hey, they did have signage to direct us. Check out my photos of signage protecting cyclists on a two-way protected cycle track from right-turning motorists. Perhaps the best was the non-official and graffiti-enhanced posters slapped up on a construction site fence for a local bike shop. The cyclist-specific stoplights on Broadway were exciting, as were the innovative pavement markings they are using through intersections to make everyone aware of where to expect cyclists. They even used stencils to depict the path for bikes on a temporary detour that led through a primarily pedestrian area. Your move, Silicon...

King of the Mountain

SVBC members were invited this year to join our first team ride effort at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group's King of the Mountain (KOM) charity ride. Much to our surprise, and to the credit of team leaders and board members Shiloh Ballard and Alyssa Plicka, we were able to recruit 16 people to the SVBC team! It was great fun–and, we took third place in the “largest team” competition! Monica had the SVBC table out to tell the riders more about what we do. Our jersey was so popular, people kept asking to buy it–we let them have one when they joined SVBC for $50. I think the tunes Monica brought with her helped attract the masses. After the KOM I was able to jump over to the Tour of CA Stage 3 start with a VIP pass, where Bruce Hildenbrand introduced me to Bob Roll, who will be joining us next October 11th for SVBC's Annual...

Good showing for the Bay Trail

I'd like to thank the SVBC members who attended Liz Kniss' press event this morning, where she officially announced a proposal to invest $5 million in the Adobe Creek Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge over Highway 101 in Palo Alto and $3 million in the Dumbarton link to the Bay Trail in East Palo Alto (a project SVBC advocates have been working on in conjunction with our Facebook campaign). The funding will come from a County fund for recreational facilities near Stanford, and the proposal will be voted on next Tuesday, May 22, by the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. If you can show up, I urge you to support this proposal at the meeting. If you can't show up, please email or call your Santa Clara County Supervisor this week to urge them to support Kniss' proposal for the Stanford funds. The funds would come from a nearly $10.4 million chunk that Stanford paid to the County to mitigate the loss of recreational opportunities caused by new development on the University's core campus. It's been nearly 11 years since Stanford received its general use permit to develop, but the full mitigation for loss of recreational opportunities has not been realized, due, in part, to San Mateo County's recent decision not to accept the funds to improve the Lower Alpine side path. Speakers at the press conference included Santa Clara Supervisor Liz Kniss, Santa Clara Supervisor Dave Cortese, San Mateo County Supervisor Carole Groom, the Vice Mayor of Palo Alto Greg Scharff, Palo Alto Deputy City Manager Steve Emslie, MidPen Regional Open Space District Directors Nonette Hanko and Yoriko Kishimoto, Lennie Roberts...