Better Biking

SVBC has set a goal to see 10% of trips be by bike by 2025. To that end, we work strategically in the following five broad initiatives that govern our main campaigns and that we believe will lead to more people on bikes and a healthier and safe environment for bicycles. We also focus on other issues that influence the region’s bike friendliness.
SVBC Policy Advisory Committee

The Policy Advisory Committee comprises four Board members and four SVBC members who are appointed for a yearly term. The group discusses local biking policy issues of interest to SVBC and advises the SVBC Board and staff on positions. Meetings are open to current SVBC members and are generally held the fourth Tuesday of the month. See our calendar for more information.

How you can help improve bicycling in your community

Do you want to get involved in improving bicycling in your community? Then consider joining one of our Local Teams! These teams are made up of people who bike in a particular city or region and meet monthly to discuss relevant issues such as new bike infrastructure, events, social rides, and city policies and plans. Check out our calendar to find details about the next local team meeting near you!

Policy suggestions from the Local Teams can be submitted to the SVBC Policy Advisory Committee (see above) and help shape our advocacy efforts.

How SVBC can help you improve bicycling in your community

If there is a problem in your community that you would like SVBC to help support you on, please first explore our existing Initiatives and consider bringing the issue to one of our Local Teams for discussion – our local experts might have the knowledge you need!

To submit your request to staff and the SVBC Policy Advisory Committee for review, please fill out our Position Recommendation Form and send it to advocacy@bikesiliconvalley.org.

Recent News

Tell the Super Bowl Host Committee you support bike parking

Free valet bicycle parking, which is available at all 49ers home games and most events at Levi’s Stadium, will not be offered at Super Bowl 50. In fact, no option for arriving by bike is mentioned on the Super Bowl 50 website. We feel this is a wasted opportunity to provide and promote sustainable transportation at the most-watched television broadcast in the nation. If you agree, please sign our petition urging Super Bowl organizers to support biking to this and future events. We will send the signed petition to organizers on February...

Support studying Vision Zero in Sunnyvale

Thanks to bike advocate and Sunnyvale BPAC member Kevin Jackson for sharing this call to action with the SVBC community. SVBC submitted a letter (PDF) to the Sunnyvale City Council about the proposed Vision Zero study issue last week.

You probably know about the Vision Zero program, but if not you can read about it here. An obvious question is: Why would anyone be against this? Beats me, but in Sunnyvale a proposal to study developing a Vision Zero plan needs council’s vote of approval in a workshop this Friday. Some in the city don’t see the value in a Vision Zero program, so I’m asking for your help to make it happen.

San Jose Bike Party Celebrates its 100th Ride

This Friday, January 15, San Jose Bike Party (SJBP) will ride for the 100th time since October 2007. With a simple mission of building community through bicycling, SJBP has made a tremendous impact in increasing bicycle use among people of all ages and backgrounds. They have also collaborated with city leaders and groups like SVBC to promote bike-friendly programs and advocate for better bike infrastructure in San Jose.

Mark Hirsch, SJBP Organizer, GiDM Co-Founder, and SVBC member, shares with us his thoughts on SJBP’s 100th ride.

SVBC Spotlight: San Jose Fighting to Improve Safety

Being an advocate for a healthier community, environment, and economy across multiple communities is a lot like being a parent: We love all our cities and towns like children, but we have our favorites (Don’t tell your brother!). Of course we have great expectations for each and every one of the 30-odd municipalities we serve. Still, we can’t help but feel a fondness for the places that are leading the way in getting more people out of their cars and onto bikes. Today, we take a look at the biggest sibling in our family (okay, I may be stretching the metaphor a little thin): San Jose. The largest and most populous city in the Bay Area is not necessarily an easy place to promote bicycling. Though flat and sunny, the Capital of Silicon Valley is a 189-square-mile study in sprawl, with a crisscrossing network of freeways and expressways dividing neighborhoods and forcing traffic onto just a few main roads that traverse the city. In order to ride from one neighborhood to the next, people on bikes often have to share fast-moving, high capacity streets with motorists while navigating past on ramps, free right turns, and seemingly endless parking lot driveways. Nevertheless, San Jose is a city striving to become a leader in moving people by bike, and it has big goals. In 2009 the city adopted its Bike Plan 2020, which calls for five percent of all trips to be taken by bike by 2020. To accomplish this, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services (PRNS) are working together to complete a 500-mile...

San Mateo County Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Now Accepting Applications

The County of San Mateo has issued a call for applicants for their newly formed Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC). Applications are due Friday, February 5, 2016 at 5 pm. The BPAC will advise the Board of Supervisors on policies, programs, funding, and other issues that relate to improving and increasing walking and bicycling transportation in San Mateo County. Eligible applicants are people who live in San Mateo County (either in incorporated cities or in unincorporated areas). Members will be selected to represent the interests of older adults, safe routes to schools, bicycling, and other walking/bicycling interests.

Results of SVBC Survey on Caltrain Use

We recently partnered with San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to gather your thoughts on our work towards Caltrain’s bike-friendly future through on online survey. A huge thank you to everyone who took their survey and provided feedback! Following a successful campaign [link] to increase bike capacity on future electrified Caltrain trains (coming 2020) and secure $3 million in funding for bike parking at stations, we wanted to hear from you on what improvements would help make accessing Caltrain as easy and convenient as possible for you. The results of this survey will give us a data-driven approach to our future Caltrain advocacy work and help us accurately communicate the needs of our members to Caltrain.

Supporting Cities’ Funding Applications

As part of our work to get better biking infrastructure across our two counties, we offer our support to local jurisdictions as they apply for various funding pots. Whether it’s the statewide Active Transportation Program (ATP), nationwide grants, or local level funds, we reach out to cities and the counties to offer our review and support of their grant applications for better bike infrastructure and programs. Because these funding programs for bicycle and pedestrian improvements are always oversubscribed and there are a lot of good projects, support letters from relevant organizations make applications more competitive, can be worth several points in the ranking process, and can be the difference between being awarded a grant or not.

Update on Millbrae Station Area Specific Plan

City Council of Millbrae will hold a study session on the Millbrae Station Area Specific Plan (MSASP) on Tuesday, January 5 at 7:00 pm at City Hall. Following that, there will be a public hearing on the MSASP and the Final Environmental Impact Report on Tuesday, January 12 at 7:00 pm at City Hall. This gives you two chances to provide your voice and comments to this plan, which will have a big impact on the future of regional transportation moving forward. SVBC first got involved over the summer, partnering with other organizations to educate residents and stakeholders on some of the key issues .

Need a Bike Route to Work, School, or the Store? Virtual Bike Route Scouts Can Help!

Ever been stuck in traffic while a bike commuter breezes past you with a big smile on her face? Or maybe you’ve seen someone merrily riding along, with groceries in his bike bags? You’d love to try commuting or shopping by bike, but aren’t sure how to find a bike-friendly route that will work for you. If only someone could help …

You’re in luck! SVBC will soon be launching Virtual Bike Route Scouts, our personalized route advice service! If you want to ride your bike from “point A to point B” but aren’t sure how to find a route, you’ll soon be able to get the help you need from the Route Scouts. You’ll tell the Route Scouts where you’re starting your ride and where you want to go.

Envision Tax Dollars Being Spent

The latest step in our campaign to get quality bike and pedestrian projects included in the (potential) upcoming transportation sales tax measure took the form of a survey, sent to our member, to gauge their support for different project types. The results are in! Some priorities were expected, some were a surprise. All will help guide our work as we wheel and deal with other organizations intent on carving out a place in the measure for their interests.

Page Mill/280 Interim Improvement Process

In the six weeks since cyclist Jeff Donnelly was fatally struck by a vehicle on Page Mill Road near Highway 280, staffers at all the involved agencies have been working to improve, fund, and construct an interim design solution that will boost safety in the short term. SVBC has proposed a forum intended to gather public input and come to consensus on a design. The County Roads and Airports Department would prefer to first meet with technical staff from Palo Alto, Los Altos Hills, Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and Caltrans, then bring a more fleshed-out design to local cyclists for input. In any case, finding the money necessary for detailed design and construction is first on the to-do list.

Pipeline Organizers Coordinate with Cycling Clubs for Safety

This post was contributed by former SVBC Board Member Ted Huang and Roadway Safety Solutions Team co-leader Cindy Welton. We just want to share a positive community / bicycle collaboration that really epitomizes “Give a Little”, a local initiative, and the power of being connected and pro-active. The Town of Portola Valley, where thousands of people bike through on any given day of the week, is undergoing a lengthy and extensive pipeline project along the Portola Rd. corridor between Sand Hill and Alpine Road. The Civil Engineer working on the project emailed a one-pager on the project to Cindy Welton, leader of the Roadway Safety Solutions Team asking her to distribute it to her network of cycling team leaders. The Preston Pipelines safety manager, “Bill,” followed up with a call to express concern for keeping cyclists safe during the project. Bill wanted to learn more about what to expect and how to best handle the large group that rides through the corridor around noon. Cindy connected Bill to Ted for advice. The Safety Manager wanted to figure out exactly what time the ride would come through so he could have his flagging crew stop traffic to allow the ride through unimpeded. Bill even had visions of someone from the ride figuring some way to call him when the group reached the corner of Alpine and Portola so that they’d know more exactly how long it would take for the group to reach their work area. Ted told him that wasn’t feasible. While trying to keep the group moving is commendable, he told Bill that having the ride stop, especially...