Make the Lincoln Avenue Road Diet Permanent in Willow Glen

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

$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...
Write Menlo Park City Council to support bike lanes on El Camino Real

Write Menlo Park City Council to support bike lanes on El Camino Real

In case you missed it, the City of Menlo Park has been studying whether to add bike lanes or a third travel lane on El Camino Real. We at SVBC are supporting the protected bike lane option as we have an Initiative to see safe and comfortable bicycle facilities on El Camino Real throughout both counties. It is the most direct route between cities and hosts a number of businesses and residential areas throughout the region. El Camino Real also has one of the highest frequencies of collisions involving people who bike. Many people use this route and we want to make it safe for all users as well as creating a safer environment for crossing by schoolchildren and others. Cities like Mountain View, Sunnyvale, San Mateo, and Atherton have planned or executed bike lanes on El Camino and we hope to continue this trend all along the Peninsula. This issue will soon be coming to a vote by City Council in July. They need to hear from you why bike lanes are a better option! The Bicycle, Transportation, and Planning Commissions have all voted to support bike lanes on El Camino Real. You can read up on the history of this study on our campaign page and then take action by writing a letter to City Council members. Write Menlo Park City Council today to support bike...
Bay Area Bike Share to expand throughout region

Bay Area Bike Share to expand throughout region

As we first teased last month, Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) voted today to dramatically expand Bay Area Bike Share from 750 to over 7,000 bikes by the end of 2017. Of note for SVBC members, the San José system will expand to 1,000 bikes! The locations of new Bike Share stations will be determined, in part, based upon recommendations by individuals and businesses. Motivate — the new owner of the Bike Share system — is distributing a map to enable public requests for bike share stations. We urge you to submit requests for your city through the map. Where makes most sense for you as you work, shop, attend meetings, and more in San José? The pilot cities of Redwood City, Palo Alto, and Mountain View will have until June 2016 to make modifications to their station placement and work with sponsors and advertisers. This is key as the cities were limited in the pilot and will now be given more freedom to make the system work best for their needs, in particular as a way to get from Caltrain stations to destinations that aren’t within walking distance. With more usage, these cities will be able to maintain their system with lower levels of operating costs. Other cities in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties will be able to opt into the system using local funds. However, MTC will also be providing $4.5 million to assist emerging communities who would like to implement bike share. The expansion of Bay Area Bike Share and the introduction of discounted passes will allow more people to choose bicycles as a viable transportation...
Action Alert: Call Your Legislators NOW for More Active Transportation Program Funding

Action Alert: Call Your Legislators NOW for More Active Transportation Program Funding

Just a few weeks ago, we joined advocates from around the state to ask for increased funding for the state Active Transportation Program (ATP). The program creates safe streets and sidewalks in communities across the state, giving people the freedom to bicycle or walk to wherever they want to go. Last year, local projects funded include the East Palo Alto Pedestrian/Bike Bridge (above image) and Safe Routes to School programs for the San Jose Unified School District. On May 14th, however, the Governor released his “May revise” budget proposal, and despite over $1 billion in new available revenues, we were disappointed that the Active Transportation Program did not get a boost in funding. Earlier this spring, we joined 120 organizations statewide to call for an additional $100 million to build out bicycling and walking networks statewide, and high demand for the program locally far outpaced available funding in the first grant cycle. Traffic calming and pedestrian/bicycle improvements on Almaden Road in San Jose and Safe Routes to School programs in Cupertino, San Mateo and San Jose were not able to receive ATP funds. On Wednesday May 20 our champions in the Assembly budget committee stepped up and proposed a $25 million increase the the ATP. The final budget, which will be adopted by June 15, can still be modified to include more funding for the ATP. We have one chance to push back and ask the Legislature to counter Governor Brown’s proposal. Help us fight to increase the state’s investment in the Active Transportation Program so that all Californians can enjoy the freedom of walking and bicycling safely in...
About Katie Heaney – 2015 Bicycle Commuter of the Year, Santa Clara County

About Katie Heaney – 2015 Bicycle Commuter of the Year, Santa Clara County

Now in its seventh year, the Bike Commuter of the Year award recognizes individuals who inspire bicycling in their communities through their commitment and actions. Today we spotlight high school teacher and grad student Katie Heaney, this year’s Bike Commuter of the Year for Santa Clara County. Katie is an active volunteer with San José Bike Party and Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. She founded the San José Bike Party Ladies’ Ride in 2010 to inspire women to get on their bicycles and to acclimate them to riding in groups. Now in its 6th year, the Ladies’ Ride has proven to be a successful way of introducing new riders to the streets of Silicon Valley. Katie will receive her award at the Bike Away from Work Bash on Bike to Work Day, Thursday May 14th. We spoke with Katie about her inspiration and experiences. 1. What inspires you to embrace the bike as your primary mode of travel? I bike for the same reasons that most people do: to have fun, to exercise, to reduce my fuel consumption, etc. What really inspires me are the people in the bicycling community that I have met and befriended over the years. They motivate me to ride more often. 2. How have you tried to encourage more bicycling in your workplace and the community? While I often directly encourage people to embrace biking as a mode of transportation, I think my most effective means of encouragement has been to lead by example and to be visible in the community. My coworkers and students see me riding my bike to school daily, which sparks...
San Jose announces Vision Zero program

San Jose announces Vision Zero program

Last Monday, May 4, the City of San José announced it is refocusing its annual traffic safety report and moving forward with a Vision Zero plan (PDF). The plan, signed on to by Department of Transportation Director Hans Larsen, Chief of Police Larry Esquivel, and Mayor Sam Liccardo, outlines current efforts to improve engineering, education, enforcement, and outreach, and adds an emphasis on technology, policy, and partnerships. Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition was specifically called out in the Partnerships section, along with other community-based groups and agency partners that promote safety as a goal. We have also been asked to partner with California Walks to co-chair a task force, led by Vice Mayor Rose Herrera, that will conduct community outreach meetings and strategy sessions in San José neighborhoods that have been most affected by traffic violence. The announcement of a Vision Zero goal was big news – roadway deaths now significantly outnumber homicides in San José. We’re excited to tackle this problem alongside our partners at California Walks, with support from city agencies, our elected leaders, and the police department. San José has done a great job at improving its built environment for bicyclists and pedestrians in recent years. Now its time to identify the biggest threats to safety and begin eliminating them so that people feel more confident choosing to travel by foot or by...
Bike to Work Day Essentials

Bike to Work Day Essentials

This Thursday, tens of thousands of Bay Area residents will bike to work – some for the first time, some as part of their regular routine – for the 21st Annual Bike to Work Day, part of National Bike Month. The day and month offer a chance to see what Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition believes the morning commute should look like: parents and children, teachers, retail workers, politicians, CEOs, all doing the unimaginable – enjoying their trips to work and school. Here are the essentials to help you get on the road Thursday and celebrate. — Be sure to visit the an ‘Energizer Station’ to pick up your Bike to Work Day 2015 tote bag stuffed with goodies (get there early!). Check out this map to find an Energizer Station near your route. — Thursday’s forecast calls for some light rain; here are some tips on how to ride safely in the rain, from our friends at Bike East Bay. — Share your photos to our Twitter (@BikeSV) and Instagram (@BikeSiliconValley) pages, and use the hashtag #BTWD #BikeMonth to be part of the national conversation. — The Bike Away From Work Bash, 6-8pm, at the Roosevelt Community Center (901 East Santa Clara St) in San José will give bike riders a chance to celebrate their ride with food, drinks, beer from Gordon Biersch, and live music. There will be a raffle for a Brooklyn Bicycle Company Bike and a chance to pick up the exclusive 2015 Bike to Work Day t-shirt. Free for SVBC members, $10+ memberships available at the door. Interested in volunteering at the Bash? Click here....
A First-Time Bike to Work Rider’s Experience + Resources

A First-Time Bike to Work Rider’s Experience + Resources

A new SVBC employee and bike rider; Stevens Creek Trail; a King along Monterey Road (photo credit: Lost San Jose) Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and National Bike Month have transformed me from a reluctant, nervous rider of bikes in urban streets to a bike lover, rider, and advocate. I am proud to have recently joined the staff here at SVBC, and ironically, am also eager to learn more about bicycling. Yes, I owned a bike for years, a nice vintage Schwinn cruiser, but I only used it in rare occasions. I was afraid of riding out on the streets and getting hit, that I’d get a flat tire and not know what to do, or was nervous I wouldn’t know the rules of the road and get laughed at by other bicyclists. Would I sweat in my work clothes and smell all day? I wasn’t the only one; many people feel the same way. Only 7% of the population rides their bike more than once a month. In just four weeks, I have had a total transformation. The first day going to work, yeesh was it both terrifying and thrilling! Riding along a buffered bike lane along Monterey Road in San Jose, I still felt like I’d get clipped from a car’s side window, but with every quarter-mile I rode the less I worried about it. Riding along Third Street, a street that is without a bike lane for what seemed like miles, was tough the first day, and still is. I can see how many potential riders get discouraged the minute they encounter a street without bike lanes....