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

View, Download the Vision Zero Toolkit

Our Vision Zero Toolkit is designed for city and county staff, elected officials, and other transportation and planning professionals who would like to see their jurisdiction adopt and implement Vision Zero, the goal to eliminate traffic deaths and life-altering injuries on our roadway. SVBC, along with California Walks, created the Toolkit to provide the short-, mid-, and long-term steps that a city can take to reduce major collisions. Informed by best practices from around the globe, we hope that this Toolkit will provide a roadmap for cities to work toward this important goal. Advocates can also use this guide to understand what actions to ask their jurisdictions to implement at the local level to end roadway fatalities and life-altering injuries. The Vision Zero Toolkit is framed using the “Five E’s” of street safety improvements (Evaluation and Planning Engineering, Enforcement, Education, Encouragement). It is essential that municipalities also think of Engagement and Equity as they work toward a Vision Zero program that is inclusive and impactful. Vision Zero cannot be achieved without looking at changes in each of the categories. Download the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition / California Walks Vision Zero...

Help Guide Our Work Towards Caltrain’s Bike-Friendly Future

Tweet Share As you may know, Caltrain voted on a bike-friendly future for its transit service at their July 2, 2015 meeting. Caltrain’s Board committed to providing more bike space on the trains as well as significant improvements to bike parking at their stations. This win would not have been possible without the support of you, our members. We want to make bike parking at Caltrain as easy and convenient as possible for you, so you have more options on how to get around. To do that, we need to hear from you about how you connect your bike with Caltrain and what are the challenges and desired improvements. We’ve put together a brief survey with our partners at San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, please take a few minutes to fill it out and better inform our work. Please share this survey broadly! Jim Hartnett, head of Caltrain and Samtrans, will be one of the opening plenary speakers at the 5th Annual Silicon Valley Bike Summit next Wednesday, August 26. This is another great opportunity to hear directly about Caltrain’s plans for bikes and provide your input on the future of bike...

VTA’s Nuria Fernandez Shares Top Priorities, Projects to Support Biking in Silicon Valley

Tweet Share Nuria Fernandez, the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of Santa Clara County Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), is one of the highlighted speakers at the 5th Annual Silicon Valley Bicycle Summit, hosted by SVBC and presenting sponsor, Stanford Healthcare, next week, Wednesday, August 26 at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto. The future of safety and bicycling in Santa Clara County are key issues for the Summit, and Nuria took the time to share how VTA is addressing these issues and give us a sneak peek at what she’ll be talking about at the Summit. What are the top priorities and projects for the Valley Transportation Authority? VTA’s Envision Silicon Valley process, which began last year and will continue into 2016, is gathering elected officials and stakeholders to examine our transportation network, identify the gaps and find ways to fill those in. It’s a big job that could result in VTA going to voters with a sales tax to help fund the identified projects. VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Extension: Phase I, the extension from Alameda County to the Berryessa area of San José, is halfway through construction, and it’s time for work to begin on Phase II. The preliminary work includes community meetings and pursuing funding for VTA’s extension of the line farther into Santa Clara County. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT): VTA broke ground on the first BRT line in the Bay Area last year, and this year will continue planning for a second line, down El Camino Real. As a viable alternative to trips made in cars, BRT is expected to help relieve...

Peninsula bike advocacy roundup

It’s been a busy week for bike advocacy on the Peninsula! We sent out comment letters on three issues affecting bicycling: one discussed a new redesign proposal for the Page Mill Road crossing of Highway 280, one weighed in on the Millbrae Station Area Specific Plan, and one urged the City of Belmont to utilize a scheduled repaving of Old County Road as an opportunity to add bike lanes that connect to neighboring communities. Have an issue you’d like to see SVBC act on? Attend a meeting of one of our Local Teams or send us a Position Recommendation Form to...

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

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...

Lincoln Avenue Road Diet needs your help to survive

The June 18 community meeting to discuss the Lincoln Avenue road diet in San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood had an impressive turnout of both supporters and detractors of the project. Several hundred residents filled the Willow Glen High School auditorium, with many donning extra large t-shirts with a red circle and stripe through the words “Road Diet” to show their disapproval. Despite the fact that most reactions to the road diet, and the data behind it, have been positive, there was an undeniable sense that the opponents were out in force that night. City staff presented the results of the three-month trial period road diet (PDF). Traffic had been reduced! Speeds had been reduced! Travel times were up by a few minutes during the worst times of day, true, but one of the goals of the project was to make Lincoln Avenue less appealing to commuter traffic using Willow Glen’s main drag as an alternative to Highway 87. Mission accomplished! Importantly, bicycling and walking had increased. And cut-through traffic on side streets was either not significantly increased or actually reduced. To us, to many residents and business owners, and to the city, these were all positive results. SVBC and our partners at California Walks had written a letter to Councilmember Oliverio, the Willow Glen Business and Neighborhood Associations, and the Department of Transportation to voice our support for the trial and celebrate the results. I also attended the community meeting with several SVBC members. We spoke about the multiple goals that have been achieved by the road diet: To reduce and slow vehicle traffic, shifting Lincoln Avenue away from...

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...

SVBC on KQED’s Forum – View the Google Bike Plan

What does it take to make a whole region “bicycle friendly?” How can we double the number of people riding bikes in northern Santa Clara County? What do bike networks look like when they’re built for residents of all ages and abilities, from 8 to 80? Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and Google went on KQED’s Forum program to discuss the Google Bike Vision Plan, a new look at what it’s like for people riding bikes in northern Santa Clara County today and what our region could look like with 8-to-80 bike networks. Click here to hear the segment. Download the Google Bike Vision Plan...

Announcing Silicon Valley Bike Summit 2015

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is excited to announce our Fifth Annual Silicon Valley Bike Summit, with co-host and presenting sponsor, Stanford Health Care. The annual summit is the region’s largest gathering of active transportation leaders and organizers from government, law enforcement, non-profit, and the public. If your organization or agency is actively involved in active transportation issues, wishes to get involved, or if you are passionate about a healthy environment, economy and community for Silicon Valley, this is the Summit for you. Registration is $35, and you can sign up here. This year will focus on how San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties are addressing safety for people who bike and how we can all work together toward achieving Vision Zero, the goal to have zero deaths and major injuries on our roadways. Our Keynote Speakers are Nuria Fernandez and Jim Hartnett, both relatively new to their positions of head of Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and San Mateo County Transit District, respectively. They’ll discuss how their agencies approach bicycle issues and what is in the works for the future. Next we’ll hear the results from over a year’s worth of research from San Mateo County Health System and Santa Clara County Health Department, who have both produced collision reports that focus on the what, where, why, and how of bicycle collisions in our region. These reports dig deep into existing data from a multitude of sources to provide a baseline snapshot of crashes in our area. However, there’s much more work to do! Using those data reports as a launching point, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition will debut our Vision...

Make the Lincoln Avenue Road Diet Permanent in Willow Glen

Since February of this year, Lincoln Avenue in Willow Glen, a business district in San José, has been experiencing a pilot road diet, which has aimed to make the street safer and more friendly to all transportation choices, including people who bike. SVBC has promoted this project from the beginning and there was a lot of work that went into researching the best ideas and doing community outreach. A couple months ago, staff checked it out and the San José local team led a bike ride out to the district. We’ve been thrilled with the results and the improved accessibility to Willow Glen businesses for people who bike and walk. It has also created a safer streetscape. Not everyone is convinced however. We want to ensure that the community and businesses hear why these changes have benefited the residents and visitors to Willow Glen. Here’s what you can do: Educate yourself and read the City of San José’s report on the pilot. Sign the petition in favor of the road diet. Attend the public input meeting on June 18 to voice your...

$3 million for bike parking proposed for Caltrain

Photo credit: Andrew Boone, Streesblog SF Today, Caltrain staff gave recommendations to the Caltrain Joint Powers Board of Directors (JPB) for the future of Caltrain: the proposed configuration of new train cars, or electrified motor units (EMUs), for electrification in 2020 and a proposal to invest $3 million in wayside bicycle facilities. The JPB will be voting on July 2 on these proposals to inform the future train car design. Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition has enjoyed working with Caltrain over the years to ensure accommodation of bicycles both on-board and in bike parking. In December of last year, we joined San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) and BikeSMC to call for onboard bicycle capacity improvements and other consideration for people who bike. Due to this advocacy, Caltrain will add a third bike car to Bombardier train sets this summer, which will bring the on-board bike capacity more closely in line with the Gallery train sets. For the next iteration of Caltrain, we are advocating for an increase in on-board capacity as well as goals for bicycle access to stations and funding to match. Biking is a low-cost, healthy, and environmentally friendly way to access Caltrain and should be encouraged. As the economy on the Peninsula has grown, biking has continued to increase as a first- and last-mile solution for many people. Bike boardings have risen steadily and demand will continue to grow, and thus we urged Caltrain to increase on-board bike capacity beyond the current ratio to accommodate this growth. We are thrilled to support staff’s recommendation for $3 million in funding for wayside bike parking which is the first...