Advancing Vision Zero

Advancing Vision Zero

As many know, SVBC and California Walks debuted our Vision Zero Toolkit at the Silicon Valley Bike Summit in August. Since then, we’ve been spreading the good word to various city councils, Bike and Pedestrian Committees (BPACs), and other important groups. See below for a rundown of the presentations we’ve done so far. Next Wednesday, December 2 we are excited to present with California Walks on Vision Zero and safety on El Camino Real at the Grand Boulevard Initiative Task Force, a body of elected officials from all the jurisdictions that include El Camino Real. This is important because in Santa Clara County, El Camino Real is only 0.5% of streets yet has 6% of bicycle collisions; in San Mateo County, El Camino Real is only 1% of streets and has 13.8% of bicycle collisions. People are using El Camino Real to bike to work, school, shopping, and other destinations, and it needs to be safe for them. We are looking forward to a robust conversation about street safety with the leaders on the Task Force. Upcoming presentations of the Vision Zero Toolkit: December 2: Grand Boulevard Initiative Task Force January 19, 2016: Morgan Hill Parks and Recreation Commission February 18, 2016: Leadership Palo Alto TBD: South San Francisco Planning Commission and BPAC, Mountain View BPAC, and Cupertino Bike Commission Past presentations: May 3: Silicon Valley Bikes! Festival July 27: Grand Boulevard Initiative Working Committee August 20: Sunnyvale BPAC September 9: Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) BPAC September 21: Grand Boulevard Initiative Community Leaders Roundtable October 14: SPUR panel in San Jose October 22: San Mateo County’s City and County...

2015 Voting and Election Information for SVBC Members

Share Tweet Our December 2015 election is now open and all current SVBC members are being contacted to be involved in this crucial process. This year’s election includes voting on a new Bike to Work Day role for SVBC and on eight candidates for the Board of Directors: five returning and three new. The entire slate of candidates and the merger have been strongly recommended by the current SVBC Board; we think you will agree when you read their statements, but they need your votes! Voting is open from November 23 through December 6. The election is being held online, and an email with the link and information was sent to all current members for whom SVBC has an email address. If you are a member and did not receive notice of the election on December 2, then it is possible we do not have your correct email. Please send inquiries regarding the ballot to Anne Fisher, afisher@bikesiliconvalley.org. There will also be an opportunity to vote at the Winter Party on December 4. Vote to approve merger of Bay Area Bicycle Coalition into Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition ACTION: Approve the recommendation from SVBC Board of Directors to have Bay Area Bicycle Coalition merge into SVBC, and coordinate the regional Bike to Work Month. Summary The Board of Directors of Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is recommending a merger with Bay Area Bicycle Coalition (BABC), in which SVBC will assume all of BABC’s assets and liabilities. This includes BABC’s existing contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to coordinate Bike to Work Day (BTWD). SVBC would continue with the regional Bike...

Palo Alto Local Team 11/12 recap

Thanks to those who attended last Thursday. Here are the highlights and action items: SVBC’s Freewheelin’ Winter Party for members is Friday, Dec. 4th in Sunnyvale with raffle, drinks, silent auction, and food. Check out more details, we hope to see you there! Newell Rd. Bridge is being replaced and none of the current alternatives include Complete Streets elements like sidewalks and bike lanes. Here’s our comment letter and you can send one too, to pwecips@cityofpaloalto.org Bike parking We heard from the city that bike parking is demand driven. You can submit a request on Palo Alto’s 311 app. You can also look at current bike parking spots, or add one to this user-generated/crowdsourced bike parking map app. Action Item: David is going to contact someone at the Farmer’s Market to ask if they would consider having valet bike parking. 4 bike projects at December 14, 2015 City Council: Council will be approving concept plans for the design phase of Park, Wilkie Way, Maybell, and possibly Churchill at this meeting. It will be a consent item. Pop-up bikeway demos are included in the design phase for these projects. SVBC will be sending a letter in support of these projects and you can too, to city.council@cityofpaloalto.org (will share letter when sent). When these are approved, the city will need neighborhood leaders in the different areas to help do outreach regarding the pop-ups and the new designs. Let us know if you are interested. Page Mill/280 Please read our most recent blog update on this intersection. We are working with the relevant government stakeholders to move progress forward. See page ES-12...
Holly St. and Highway 101 update

Holly St. and Highway 101 update

Freeway crossings are one of the biggest barriers to biking and walking. Because of their high speeds, shifting traffic directions, and car-focused design, they discourage people from biking for transportation. As highway interchanges are updated, they should include safe and comfortable facilities for all roadway users, for all ages and abilities, which is the definition of Complete Streets. The Holly Street overcrossing of Highway 101 in San Carlos currently has a narrow sidewalk on one side, some fading sharrows, and shoulders adjacent to four to six lanes of fast-moving traffic entering and exiting the freeway. Even the most experienced bicycle riders are intimidated by this interchange, with good reason. The closest safe crossing for people biking is over a mile north of Holly Street at Ralston Avenue in Belmont or more than three miles south in Redwood City. The City of San Carlos has been working on this project since (at least) 2009. I dug through our files and found a comment letter from SVBC dating almost exactly six years ago, regarding the Holly Street/101 alternatives being developed at that time. Over the years, the project has undergone many iterations. Originally, the City of San Carlos sought to include high quality biking and walking facilities on the interchange itself. Unfortunately, this was not approved by Caltrans at the time and so eventually all parties determined that a physically-separate pedestrian and bicycle bridge would be the best design. Since then, City of San Carlos has been trying to line up the funds to get both the interchange and the ped/bike bridge constructed. SVBC successfully support the City’s request for $400,000...
Update on Page Mill/280

Update on Page Mill/280

As many of you know, last week a bicyclist was killed on Page Mill Road near the interchange with Highway 280. This was especially tragic given that SVBC has been working with the various stakeholders (Caltrans, County of Santa Clara, City of Palo Alto, and Town of Los Altos Hills) over several years to make this interchange safer. In 2014, our Roadway Safety Solutions Team visited the site with engineers and staff from the respective jurisdictions to analyze the site and offer solutions. As Colin mentioned in our previous blog post, there is currently a phased plan on the table. The first stage or “interim” plan requires approval by Caltrans and includes more visible delineation and green paint, similar to nearby Alpine Road at Highway 280. We are currently in conversation with Caltrans and the County of Santa Clara to figure out where the funding for this plan comes from and how to move it forward as quickly as possible. We know many of you are interested in getting involved, so please contact us using the form in the bottom righthand corner of this page if you would like to be added to the mailing list for this campaign. We will send out status updates and action alerts as they develop. Unfortunately, collisions like these happen far too often in both San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. This is why we have been working so hard on Vision Zero and helping cities take action through the Vision Zero Toolkit. We are currently making presentations to City Councils (such as in Daly City) and Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committees (such...
A Recap of The Eighth Annual Dinner: SVBC’s Largest Yet!

A Recap of The Eighth Annual Dinner: SVBC’s Largest Yet!

A record breaking crowd of more than 400 people helped make SVBC’s Eighth Annual Dinner a wonderful, fun, and successful evening in support of a healthy community, environment and economy through bicycling in Silicon Valley. The evening kicked off with the reception – featuring music from Blues Fried Jazz and a silent auction – on the lovely Crowne Plaza patio. The silent auction included items ranging from bikes to craft beer packages and sailing trips. We can’t thank our donors enough! Guests then made their way into the ballroom to enjoy an elegant meal followed by our live auction. Bidders enthusiastically competed for a Faraday bike, Hawaiian getaway, Paso Robles weekend escape, Utah vacation, a private ride with Megan Guarnier, and an InGamba luxury Portugal bike tour. Carl Guardino and Corinne Winter kept things lively as they led the paddle raise. Thanks to everyone who helped make the paddle raise wildly successful – we raised more than $30,000, including the matching gift by SVBC’s Board of Directors and Executive Advisory Board. The funds raised will go towards supporting our El Camino Real bike lanes initiative. The Ellen Fletcher Volunteer Award went to Janet Lafleur. Janet has been and continues to be a vocal proponent for safe and comfortable bike facilities through her blog and her involvement in public planning processes, and she is the founder and superpower behind Bike to Shop Day. Janet serves as a role model for people who want to ride a bike without worrying about wearing lycra, changing clothes, or messing up their hair – her work has been invaluable! The 2015 Corporate Cycling Award...
Fatality at Page Mill Interchange

Fatality at Page Mill Interchange

Yesterday, we learned that a bicyclist was struck by a driver and killed on Page Mill Road, in Palo Alto near the Highway 280 overpass. Our hearts go out to the friends and family of the victim of this tragic collision. Unfortunately, this is an intersection that Silicon Valley bicyclists know all too well. For over a decade, advocates, including SVBC and the Roadway Safety Solutions Team, have been working to get the area improved for the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. As it crosses under Highway 280, Page Mill becomes a confusing and intimidating space where the bike lanes mingle with and get tucked between multiple lanes of fast-moving traffic in the westbound direction, and actually cross over two lanes of uncontrolled, freeway-speed traffic in the eastbound direction. Though technically a 35 mile per hour zone, this stretch of road frequently sees speeds closer to 50 MPH. The County has prepared several improved designs over the years, and presented its most recent study and plans for a two-stage safety improvement project to the Los Altos Hills Town Council and Palo Alto City Council this past summer. The first stage or “interim” plan requires approval by Caltrans and includes more visible delineation and green paint, similar to nearby Alpine Road. The County has a meeting scheduled with Caltrans to discuss next steps for this phase. The second phase of the project will be far more extensive, including a dedicated path to provide an option to bicyclists who may wish an alternative to using the shoulder. Unfortunately, that phase will cost $20 million and must be implemented during or after...
A Potential New Bike to Work Day Role for SVBC

A Potential New Bike to Work Day Role for SVBC

This update on SVBC’s role in Bike Month was authored by our executive director Shiloh Ballard. Having come from the world of policy advocacy, many of my friends ask how the new job is going and whether I miss advocacy. Yes and no. It’s easy for me to gravitate towards the work of our policy team – working with Caltrain to increase bike capacity, figuring out the next phase of bike share on the Peninsula, or coordinating with Santa Clara County leaders on a potential new transportation sales tax. But instead I’m focused on what many might characterize as the more mundane but necessarily elements of the Bike Coalition: reviewing contracts, raising money, and playing a support role to a great team. One project that is on my plate is something that you don’t often hear of in the nonprofit world but is rampant in the for-profit sector – a merger and acquisition. In this case, the intent isn’t to gobble up competition, but rather to leverage SVBC’s strengths to improve how a regional program is run. Bike coalitions are often best known for their Bike to Work programs. This is certainly true in the Bay Area, where Bike to Work Day and Bike Month (in May) gets tens of thousands of people on their bikes. Financial backing for Bike Month comes from two main sources, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and corporate sponsorships. Currently, MTC contracts directly with the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition (BABC) to run the program for the nine-county Bay Area. BABC was formed years ago for several reasons, one of which was to oversee Bike...
Spotlight: Google, SVBC’s 2015 Corporate Cycling Champion

Spotlight: Google, SVBC’s 2015 Corporate Cycling Champion

Tweet Share Friday’s SVBC Annual Dinner will be an opportunity to honor some of this year’s biggest bicycle advocates in Silicon Valley. Along with Janet Lafleur being honored with the 2015 Ellen Fletcher Volunteer Award, Google will be honored with the 2015 Corporate Cycling Champion Award. Google has shown a commitment to reducing single-occupancy vehicle trips and encouraging healthy transportation options for their employees. But beyond its employees, Google understands and appreciates the myriad of societal benefits that come with more people riding bikes in their communities. With their Google Bike Vision Plan, published in partnership with Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, Google envisions a place where anyone from ages 8 to 80 can ride a bike safely and comfortably. Google’s Jeral Poskey and Brendon Harrington took some time to answer some questions from us. Enjoy, and be there on October 30 as we honor their efforts at our Annual Dinner! 1. Can you tell us why supporting a safe and accessible bicycling environment, both at Google and in Silicon Valley, is a priority for Google? Biking is a great way to commute, has a low carbon footprint, and it improves riders’ health. Biking is also the best way to add new capacity to our transportation networks. If we can shift more people from cars to bikes, everyone benefits. In addition to building infrastructure, we’re doing a variety of other things to encourage cycling. Our gbikes are probably the largest community bike share program in the Bay Area. We also have a fleet of commuter bikes we loan to Googlers visiting from other offices, people who would ordinarily assume they...

Questions for Redwood City Council Candidates

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is a 501c3 non-profit organization and is permitted to educate our members about where candidates for public office stand on our issues. We are not permitted to endorse candidates. Questions were developed with the SVBC San Mateo County Local Team. We emailed all the known candidates for Redwood City City Council and received responses from the following: Alicia Aguirre, Ian Bain, Janet Borgens, Rosanne Foust, Shelly Masur, and Tania Sole. Candidates’ responses are listed in alphabetical order following each question. 1. Should bicyclists be accommodated on El Camino Real through your city? If so, how should the roadway be designed to accommodate them? Alicia Aguirre: Bicyclists [should be accommodated] on El Camino and throughout our City. Unfortunately, not all streets, even El Camino are wide enough. My main concern is safety. We have restriped many streets and are in the process of adding more for bicyclists. Sharing the road with automobiles is a good option, as long as it is safe for all. Ian Bain: I have supported the expansion of bike lanes throughout the city, however, I’m not sure about El Camino. The road is very congested, even during non-peak times, so I’m not sure how well that would work. I will be watching Menlo Park very closely to see how their proposal plays out. Janet Borgens: El Camino is heavily traveled by cars and buses. When I bike El Camino I feel much safer when there is a designated bike lane. As we move towards the Grand Boulevard discussion we should look at opportunities that would accommodate both public transportation, cars and bicycles...