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...
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...

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...