SVBC has been actively involved in the Caltrain Bike Plan. SVBC representatives met with Caltrain staff throughout the development of the plan. Executive Director Corinne Winter has met with senior Caltrain staff; Board members met with Ken Yeager, Santa Clara County Supervisor and a Caltrain Director; Board members have discussed the issues with the staffs of other Caltrain directors in Santa Clara and San Mateo County. All this is having an effect, as was evidenced in the comments made by Caltrain directors at the August Caltrain directors meeting, and the more thorough discussion of the onboard program in the current draft of the document.
What is the Caltrain Bike Plan?
The plan was originally called the “Caltrain Bicycle Master Plan” but it never was truly a “master plan.” The original grant application for the plan targeted only bicycle parking and access to the stations. The onboard bike program was not in the scope. The current draft version of the plan is titled the “Caltrain Bicycle Access & Parking Plan,” which more properly describes its scope. SVBC pointed out to Caltrain that this was not a master plan, and labeling it as such was misleading and counterproductive.
As a bicycle parking and access plan, the current plan has many good proposals. Improved bike access and parking at the stations will encourage more people to ride their bikes, rather than drive, to the train, and this would be a positive development.
What about the Bikes on Board Program?
The current Caltrain Bike Plan gives short shrift to the onboard bike program. Given that the onboard program was never within the scope of the plan, this is not unexpected. SVBC strongly supports the onboard bike program and is committed to working to solve the lack of current capacity.
The SVBC Board recognizes the frustration of the many bicyclists who are bumped from Caltrain. Unfortunately, some of the rhetoric used to vent this frustration has been very strident and less than truthful. The SVBC Board is committed to working honestly, professionally, and forcefully with Caltrain staff and our elected officials to solve the current problems in the onboard program. We feel strongly that these tactics will be more likely to achieve our ends, than a more confrontational and aggressive approach.
Members are encouraged to contact their local county representatives to the JPB (Caltrain Board) to express their opinions. Contact information is at http://www.caltrain.org The SVBC Board is always interested in hearing from our members, please use the contact form at http://bikesiliconvalley.org/contact