Supporting Cities’ Funding Applications

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. However, we don’t blindly support every application that comes across our desk. We take the time to carefully review the project and supporting maps and diagrams and talk with the staff in charge so that we really understand the benefits of the potential project. In addition, we typically run the support letter requests by the relevant SVBC Local Team. In San Mateo County, there are two county-level funding sources for bicycle and pedestrian improvements: Transportation Development Act- Article 3 (TDA-3) administered by the City and County Association of Governments (CCAG) and Measure A, a local sales tax measure for transportation, administered by the San Mateo County Transportation Authority (TA). The latter is the most recent funding cycle that we were asked to provide support letters for. During this cycle, we received ten requests and wrote support letters for nine of those, after evaluating the projects and speaking with the relevant staff as well...
Update on Millbrae Station Area Specific Plan

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 . After reviewing the documents, we submitted several comment letters to city council, met with the developer working on one of two large projects planned for the site, and communicated with the BART Board of Directors. Primarily, we have worked to make the bicycle circulation stronger, so that it is easy to access the station from north, south, east, and west. The Plan includes a new bike/ped bridge over Highway 101 at Millbrae Avenue, connecting to the Bay Trail. We also have encouraged the city to take a more detailed look at El Camino Real and provide safe and comfortable connections on and across that street. You can see what changes have been made to the plan outside of bicycling at our partner’s site. Plan to attend one of the meetings to make your voice...

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. Just answer a few queries about your riding preferences so that your Route Scout can craft a route you’ll enjoy. For instance, are you interested in the most direct route or would you prefer a route that might be longer but has many bike-friendly features (green lanes, light traffic, etc.)? Maybe you’re looking for a route that doesn’t involve lots of hills, or you need a route that will take the least amount of travel time. If there are specific roads that you don’t want to use, the Route Scouts will want to know that, too. Based on your answers, you’ll receive a suggested route complete with turn-by-turn directions, total distance, estimated travel time, and descriptions of hills along the way (if any). All you have to do is enjoy your new route! Want to Help Others Use Bikes...
2015 Successes at SVBC

2015 Successes at SVBC

As the year comes to a close, we would like to take a moment to celebrate the 2015 biggest wins for SVBC and the bicycling communities in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. First, thank you. Thank you to the membership, volunteers, partners, staff, and board for helping to improve the community, economy and environment through bicycling. Below is an outline of some of our favorite successes this year but it’s not comprehensive. Please feel free to share your favorite accomplishments with us by email or through social media by tagging us (@BikeSiliconValley) and using the hashtag: #BikeWins. Advancing Vision Zero: Arguably the most poorly named initiative around, since 2010 SVBC has been working toward “Vision Zero,” the goal of zero deaths and life-altering injuries on our roadways. This year, SVBC partnered with California Walks to release the Vision Zero Toolkit, a roadmap for city staff and policymakers to adopt and implement a Vision Zero policy and plan. This Toolkit will help more cities move towards safer streets and provides a how-to manual for making Vision Zero easy to implement. Educating New Bicyclists: Kids are the future which is why SVBC dedicates so much time getting in to schools and teaching kids how to safely ride. SVBC’s Safe Routes to School education team taught over 100 bicycle and pedestrian safety workshops in 2015, reaching nearly 3,000 youth participants in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. We anticipate reaching over 6,000 students by the end of the 2015-16 school year. 35,000+ Bicyclists and Pedestrians Take Back San Jose’s Streets: SVBC partnered with the City of San Jose to produce the...
Envision Tax Dollars Being Spent

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 members, 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 collaborate with other organizations intent on carving out a place in the measure for their interests. Didn’t fill out the survey? The first time we sent it out, we focused on current SVBC members who live in Santa Clara County. Now, we’d like to open it up to the general public. Click here to share your thoughts on Envision Silicon Valley! Read on to see what we learned from the member-focused poll: San Jose represented Of the 110 responses, 41 were from San Jose residents. At 37%, that rate exceeds the representation of San Joseans in our membership overall (25%). Respondents from Mountain View and Sunnyvale were tied for second place, at 12.7%, with a 10% response rate from Palo Alto after that. Take our money, please! We asked people, “In general, do you support the idea of a sales tax of up to 1/2 cent to fund transportation projects in Santa Clara County?” The response was an overwhelming “Yes,” at almost 78% (a transportation sales tax needs a two-thirds vote to pass). Pick and choose The bulk of the survey presented participants with 17 project types and 8 program types and asked them to choose those that fell to the top and bottom of their wish lists. Some...
Page Mill/280 Interim Improvement Process

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. Here is the timeline proposed by the County: Find the money and agree on implementation roles. VTA has identified some potential funding sources but more will be needed. County is refining the cost estimates and will be talking to Caltrans and the cities about what they can contribute. The County expects to have a proposed funding plan in January. Also, this is all in Caltrans’ right-of-way and further discussion is needed about whether Caltrans could deliver the project and to clarify Caltrans’ role in the design. Design. The County’s concept was preliminary and needs refinement and more thorough design. There will be a technical working group consisting of Caltrans, Palo Alto, Los Altos Hills, and VTA staff as well as a couple of representatives from the VTA/County BPAC to provide input into certain design questions. Public outreach. Supervisor Joe Simitian has generously agreed to facilitate a forum once agency technical...
2015 Voting and Election Results

2015 Voting and Election Results

Share Tweet This year’s member election, which concluded on December 6, resulted in a resounding approval (94% yes vote) of the merger of Bay Area Bicycle Coalition into SVBC and on eight candidates for the Board of Directors: five returning and three new. See below for an overview of the what the merger means, as well as bios of the three newest SVBC board members. We also wish to send a hearty thanks to our two outgoing boardmembers, Susan Tiernan Kroll and Scott Lane. Thank you for strengthening our work and supporting the bicycle community here in Silicon Valley and on the Peninsula! Approved by SVBC’s Board of Directors and Members: A Merger with Bay Area Bicycle Coalition (BABC) with SVBC The Executive Directors of San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC), Bike East Bay, and SVBC currently comprise the BABC Board of Directors. While BABC had a role in regional advocacy in the past for the last several years it has become much more streamlined. BABC as an organization has one main function – to run Bike to Work Day at the regional level. For over a year, the BABC Board of Directors has been discussing how to run BTWD more efficiently for several reasons: the management of BABC creates additional work, BTWD is less successful without a committed home, and the MTC contract money and event sponsorship require a separate insurance policy and other business expenses. After thoughtful evaluation of different options, it was decided that the best direction is to merge BABC into Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. SVBC was chosen as the appropriate home for regional BTWD because...
Games, Grub, and Gifts at Freewheelin’

Games, Grub, and Gifts at Freewheelin’

SVBC members showed up to Freewheelin’ ready to party last Friday, December 4. LinkedIn generously hosted our Annual Winter Party at their Sunnyvale location. The evening festivities included tasty food and drinks, a goofy photo booth, an exciting silent auction, and a game room featuring pool, Foosball, and giant Jenga. Click here for more great photos from the evening. We can’t thank our dedicated members and volunteers enough for a wonderful year! Special thanks to: Gordon Biersch, Dolan Law Firm, and...
Today, Help Get More People Like Sal on a Bicycle

Today, Help Get More People Like Sal on a Bicycle

Today, December 1, is Giving Tuesday, a national day of giving to nonprofit organizations doing important work. Invest today in SVBC and support programs that get more people on bikes and make streets safer for everyone. Sal Alvarez, an SVBC member, decided last spring that he wanted to ride a bike for transportation. He had watched his father’s health fade and wondered, “How can I improve my health to make sure I am around a long time for my children?” An employee with the City of San Jose, Sal also realized that his meetings were generally downtown – a couple miles from each other at most – and he felt that biking made good sense. Like anyone trying something new, he had a few hurdles. He was nervous because he hadn’t been on a bike in a while, and the only bike he had wasn’t comfortable to ride. He had a lot of questions about the bike, the gear, the clothing, and his safety. Problem solver that he is, Sal asked the advice of SVBC staffers and other bike commuters. He found the right bike, realized he didn’t need special clothing, and discovered a route that could take him home safely and quickly. Now Sal rides 2-3 times per week and has lost 25 lbs. He enjoys his morning commute and is figuring out the next hurdle – riding in the dark. We have already been chatting about lights and reflective clothing. Sal is not unique. Sixty percent of people say they are interested in riding regularly but have concerns. We know that to get people out there on...
Pipeline Organizers Coordinate with Cycling Clubs for Safety

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...