Peninsula bike advocacy roundup

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...
Friends of Future Millbrae launched to educate residents on Station Area Plan

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...
South San Francisco Downtown Plan and new Caltrain station approved

South San Francisco Downtown Plan and new Caltrain station approved

The City of South San Francisco recently passed their Downtown Station Area Plan by unanimous vote. Just a week later, the San Mateo County Transportation Authority (SMCTA) voted authorize allocation of $49.1 million in original Measure A funds to the City of SSF for Caltrain Station improvements. SVBC has been working as part of the South San Francisco Community Benefits Coalition for over a year now in support of these two things. The South City Community Benefits Coalition worked over the course of three years with a dozen community and labor organizations and hundreds of city residents to develop a community consensus around a four-point platform that included: Greener and healthier development alternatives, Affordable homes and homelessness solutions, Efficient affordable public transit with bicycle and pedestrian transportation options, and Building businesses and creating good jobs in our community. The final plan is great for bikes. The plan builds upon the City’s 2011 Bicycle Master Plan by planning for key east-west and north-south routes, including a new bicycle and pedestrian tunnel to the relocated Caltrain station, bike lanes on Grand Avenue (the main commercial street), a Colma Creek Canal Trail over the train tracks, and other bike lanes connecting to the east side of the city. This plan hinges on the relocation of the Caltrain station south to line up with Grand Ave. and the completion of a pedestrian and bicycle undercrossing that would connect downtown to the Caltrain platform as well as the east side of the city. I attended the SMCTA meeting in which they approved the funding for this important project to speak in favor. I was...
Campaign update: Bicycle friendly Downtown Station Area Plan in South San Francisco

Campaign update: Bicycle friendly Downtown Station Area Plan in South San Francisco

South San Francisco released their draft Downtown Station Area Plan last month after months of delay. Over the last year, SVBC has been working as part of a Community Benefits Coalition to ensure positive bicycle improvements in the Station Area Plan. We are pleased with the results of the Draft Plan. The Plan builds upon the City’s 2011 Bicycle Master Plan by planning for key east-west and north-south routes, including a new bicycle and pedestrian tunnel to the relocated Caltrain station, bike lanes on Grand Avenue, a Colma Creek Canal Trail over the train tracks, and other bike lanes connecting to the east side of the City. We are working with the Coalition to draft a detailed analysis of the Draft Plan with recommendations. We welcome you to read the Plan and add your comments below. While we think the routes are great, we would like to see the City put a little more effort into extra improvements that will really encourage those who don’t already bike to do so, like buffered or protected bike lanes and way-finding signage with key destinations. The City will be holding community workshops to gather feedback about the Draft Plan in the next few...
California state Active Transportation Program funding announced

California state Active Transportation Program funding announced

The California Transportation Commission has published their recommendations for the statewide Active Transportation Program (ATP). This year saw a change in the way that local projects received state funding by pooling the money from previously separate funds, including the Safe Routes to School state funding, Federal Transportation Alternative Program, and others. The 2014 ATP will cover a two-year period from 2014-15 through 2015-16. The 2014 ATP represents $368.079 million in funding capacity for the following program components (a minimum of 25% of all ATP funds must benefit disadvantaged communities): Statewide (50% or $184.04 million): Safe Routes to School ($72 million with $21.6 million for non-infrastructure) Small Urban & Rural (10% or $36.808 million) Large Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) (40% or $147.232 million) 771 applications were received for projects valued in excess of $1 billion, an oversubscription of the program to say the least. This large amount of projects shows that active transportation programs and projects really demand more money than is currently being allocated at the local, state and federal level. However, many projects not recommended for the statewide program component remain eligible for the MPO program component, which will be governed in our area by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). Of the 13 San Mateo County applications and 18 Santa Clara County applications (31 total), the California Transportation Commission is recommending only 2 of those projects for funding. Congratulations to East Palo Alto for being funded for $8,600,000 of their total project cost of $9,400,00 for the Highway 101 Pedestrian and Bicycle Overcrossing! We wrote a letter of support as this project contributes to SVBC’s Initiative to create...

South San Francisco walking tour highlights areas for improvement

This post was written by Adina Levin of Friends of Caltrain On March 22, over 30 people, including all city council members and several planning commissioners gathered in downtown South San Francisco for a walking tour of sites that show the important decisions that will need to be made for the upcoming South San Francisco Downtown Station Area Plan. This event was organized by a coalition that Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is a part of that has been working on, including better bike access in the Downtown Station Area Plan, among other benefits to the community. At the South San Francisco Caltrain parking lot, Lawrence Henriquez, an Associate Civil Engineer with the City of South San Francisco talked about the City’s plans to improve connections between the Caltrain station to the downtown and industrial area, uniting the two parts of the city. The photo below shows the challenge of station access today – behind the shuttle, you can see the multi-story metal staircase needed to climb to reach the sidewalk, which is adjacent to a freeway offramp. The project will add an undercrossing for pedestrians and bicyclists, move the station southwards, and separate the northbound and southbound platforms for safety. The City has recently won a grant to update the design for improved station and pedestrian undercrossing, and is applying with Caltrain for federal funding to implement the project. Council member Karyl Matsumoto spoke about the importance of the improved station to the future of the downtown area. In the business park area to the East of the train station, (the area where Genentech is headquartered) Dan Sherman, a...