The following Sunnyvale Area Report was written by Kevin Jackson.
After a long hiatus, the Sunnyvale report is back! Described below are some exciting developments in the world of Sunnyvale cycling. You can help push progress simply by voicing your opinion to the people who will soon make important decisions about further improvements for the cycling community.
Sunnyvale’s Street Space Allocation policies, which make safe accommodation of all transportation users the highest priority, are starting to pay big dividends. Bordeaux Drive, which runs parallel to Mathilda through Moffett Park, has been given a road diet in order to add bike lanes (map). Remington Drive has also been approved for the same treatment. Bike improvement plans for Mary Avenue from Fremont to Maude are currently being developed, and could use your support to insure the final configuration meets the needs of cyclists. The VTA Bicycle Technical Guidelines call for minimum 6-foot wide bike lanes for the traffic conditions on Mary, but the preliminary plans fail to meet this standard in several key locations. If you believe cyclist safety should not be compromised on this vital north-south corridor, this is the time to speak up and encourage others to do so as well. Send your comments to BPAC liaison Heba El-Guendy at firstname.lastname@example.org and stay tuned for upcoming meeting announcements when this project will be discussed (probably January 20).
The city has been working with Mountain View, Cupertino, and Los Altos on a joint effort to extend the Stevens Creek Trail. The four cities endorsed a feasibility study as the next step with Sunnyvale staff taking the lead to seek funding, but so far none of the grant applications have been approved so keep your fingers crossed. The news is much better for the East Channel Trail, which will run next to Fair Oaks Avenue from the John Christian Greenbelt to Tasman. A grant has been awarded that will cover the cost to complete the design as well as construct the trail, which is expected to be completed in 2012.
The Council approved a project to designate 14 useful bike routes that were identified by the BPAC and Traffic Engineering staff. These routes are primarily on quiet neighborhood streets and suitable for novice riders. It will take a year or so to install route signs and make some minor roadway improvements, but virtually all of it is usable today. You can view the route map by going to the BPAC web site and downloading the attachments for the August 19, 2010 agenda. If you know people who are reluctant to ride on streets with heavy motor vehicle traffic (and don’t we all?), encourage them to consider these low-stress routes for at least some of their trips.
Sunnyvale recently partnered with the Traffic Safe Community Network to apply for a grant from the Vehicle Emissions Reduction Based at Schools (VERBS) program, and the VTA scoring committee recommended an allocation of $835,619 to fund the Safe Routes to School project. If approved by the VTA Board of Directors, this grant will provide many opportunities to promote walking and biking to schools throughout the county.
The BPAC is sponsoring four Study Issues in the upcoming year, and public support is always helpful in getting Council approval for our initiatives in this highly competitive process. All four are in the Department of Public Works (DPW) section, and details can be found at http://studyissues.insunnyvale.com. The specific issues are:
- DPW 09-01 (Comprehensive School Traffic Study)
- DPW 11-06 (Closing Murphy Avenue to Automobile Traffic)
- DPW 11-07 (Adopt a Policy to Utilize VTA Bicycle Technical Guidelines)
- DPW 11-04 (Placement of “Bicycles Allowed Use of Full Lane – Vehicles Change Lanes to Pass” signs)
You can express your support for any or all of these issues by writing to email@example.com.