Buffered Bike lanes to be Piloted on El Camino in Menlo Park

Buffered Bike lanes to be Piloted on El Camino in Menlo Park

After a rousing City Council study session that went past midnight on August 25, Menlo Park has directed staff to scope out a buffered bike lane pilot for El Camino Real. Since this was only a study session, a final decision by Council is still anticipated. That will determine the design of the bike lane, the length of the pilot (6 months or a year), and the criteria for making the pilot permanent. SVBC strongly supports adding bike lanes on El Camino Real and has been involved with Menlo Park’s process over the last year. I spoke in favor of adding protected bike lanes (alternative 3) to El Camino Real over a third vehicle lane (alternative 1). Buffered bike lanes were alternative 2. The San Mateo County Health System has found that though El Camino Real makes up only 1% of streets in San Mateo County, it is the location of nearly 15% of bike collisions and 20% of pedestrian collisions. We urged Council to consider the dire safety issues and plan for a vision of Menlo Park for future generations: a lively place that draws people for shopping, transportation, recreation, and community events rather than a traffic-congested highway. With Menlo Park taking the lead, neighboring Atherton and Redwood City may follow suit with bike facilities on their portions of El Camino Real. There were over 15 speakers present who supported bike lanes on El Camino Real and only a few against. One of the highlights was a middle school student who would like to bike on El Camino Real with her friends. SVBC will be following up with...
2015 Silicon Valley Bike Summit Recap

2015 Silicon Valley Bike Summit Recap

Thanks to all who attended the 5th Annual Silicon Valley Bike Summit! Did you miss it? See below for more information and a chance to hear a podcast of the day. You can also view the archive of all tweets from the Summit as well as photos from the event. The Summit was a great day learning about safety and active transportation in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties and we enjoyed seeing people from the non-profit, private, and public sectors as well as local residents and advocates! A special thanks to our high level sponsors. Stanford Health Care was our presenting sponsor and co-host, and many thanks to Microsoft and Emison Hullervson LLP for their generous support. We would like to also thank Genze, Palo Alto Bicycles, Paoli & Geerhart, Gary Brustin, Dero, Bank of the West, and M-Group. The opening plenary featured Nuria Fernandez, head of VTA, and Jim Hartnett, head of the San Mateo County Transit District. Our own President Shiloh Ballard moderated a fascinating conversation between them about their respective counties’ involvement in bicycling, safety, and the future of transit. Audience questions touched on funding through sales tax measures, bike access on trains and buses, bike maps, El Camino Real, and equity in transportation. Next, Jessica Osborne and Corina Chung of San Mateo County Health System (SMCHS) and Susan Lowery and Pamela Amparo of Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD) presented on collision and injury data involving people who bike and walk. Check out the presentations from San Mateo County Health System and Santa Clara County Public Health Department. We learned that: In SMC,...
Vision Zero Toolkit to debut at Silicon Valley Bike Summit

Vision Zero Toolkit to debut at Silicon Valley Bike Summit

On August 26, attendees to the Silicon Valley Bike Summit will get to hear the debut of our Vision Zero Toolkit, in collaboration with California Walks, and take home a copy to help them implement this important program in their communities. SVBC has been working towards Vision Zero, the goal to have 0 deaths and life-altering injuries on our roadways, since the early part of this decade. This was the impetus to create the Roadway Safety Solutions Team with Stanford Healthcare, in which we work with stakeholders from around San Mateo County and Santa Clara County on safety initiatives. Vision Zero has been gaining attention nationally and worldwide over the last year, with the United States Department of Transportation Mayors’ Challenge, and San Francisco and New York City adopting Vision Zero policies and implementation plans. Locally, City of San Mateo and City of San Jose have adopted Vision Zero policies this year as well. With all this movement, we’ve had cities from San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties asking us how they too can adopt and implement such plans and create safer streets for their communities. To address this need, we are developing a Vision Zero Toolkit in collaboration with California Walks. This Toolkit will provide a guide for city staff and policymakers with key steps to take towards achieving Vision Zero. The Toolkit will be organized using the “Five E’s,” a common framework in street safety to categorize the types of projects and improvements that will lead to systematic change. These are engineering, enforcement, education, encouragement, and evaluation. We’ve added a couple other E’s that we think are...
Friends of Future Millbrae launched to educate residents on Station Area Plan

Friends of Future Millbrae launched to educate residents on Station Area Plan

On Tuesday night, a group of non-profits (including SVBC) and local residents called Friends of Future Millbrae convened a community workshop to educate residents about the potential benefits, impacts, and concerns of Millbrae’s Station Area Specific Plan (MSASP). The plan is an update from the original 1998 plan. It includes updates to zoning, circulation, design, and other guidelines for the specific plan area, immediately surrounding Millbrae’s BART and Caltrain station. This multimodal transit station is one of the busiest on the Peninsula, servicing not only the two train lines, but also connections to San Francisco Airport. It will also serve as one of a few High Speed Rail train stops in the Bay Area (the other two being San Jose and San Francisco) on a blended system with Caltrain. Currently, the station is surrounded by parking lots and effectively disconnected from the Millbrae community through the barriers of Millbrae Ave. and El Camino Real. However, this station is a commute hub for Millbrae and other nearby communities like San Bruno, Burlingame, and San Mateo to access employment and other destinations north and south. This plan and two proposed Transit-oriented Developments could be a real game changer in terms of connections for Millbrae and nearby cities. Friends of Future Millbrae is an ad hoc group of local Millbrae residents and non-profit organizations including the Millbrae Cool Cities Team, the Sierra Club Sustainable Land Use Committee, the Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County, Friends of Caltrain, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, and public health advocates. We are dedicated to making the proposed (MSASP) the best transit-oriented development possible to benefit the...
New Caltrain Car Design Directive: More Space for People Who Bike

New Caltrain Car Design Directive: More Space for People Who Bike

For those of you that couldn’t skip work to attend Caltrain’s Joint Powers Board (JPB) meeting this morning, I have some good news to share after our call for action last week. Thanks to all of your petition signatures and comments (there was over 150 at last count), letters to Board members, in-person comments, and other outreach, the JPB voted to increase future bike capacity on electrified vehicles (coming in 2020) and commit to a minimum of $3 million for wayside bike parking improvements. Now, this isn’t everything we asked for. We were hoping to get 16% of bike passengers able to bring their bike on board. The JPB decision didn’t go that far, but didn’t preclude it either. Basically, they decided to dictate an 8:1 seats to bikes ratio when telling train manufacturers what to design, which is greater than staff recommendation of 9:1 seats to bikes ratio. This will increase bike capacity over today’s levels and allow for future increases as the cars will be designed with flexibility to take seats out. There will be further opportunities to influence the car design over the next year, so stay tuned. As for bike parking, the Board took a strong stance that this is a priority for their agency, and added a resolution to commit to at a minimum $3 million in funding for bike parking improvements. This is a great start and we will be working with other local partners to help Caltrain get this and other money so that there are safe and secure options for people who bike. There’s more work to do. We want to...