El Camino Real bikeways

El Camino Real is the only non-highway road that connects from Daly City to San José, and is the backbone of our historical communities on the peninsula. This, as well as the concentration of housing and businesses along this corridor, make it THE essential North-South route, not only for motor vehicles (its main use today), but for bicyclists and pedestrians as well. Yes, there are parallel routes in some of the various cities along El Camino Real, yet these are disconnected and not always well publicized. From a high concentration of crash data, we know that biking on El Camino isn’t currently advisable and we also know that many people do already bike on El Camino to access the many businesses and other destinations. We need to make this corridor safe, comfortable and vibrant for all users.

Whether you live on El Camino Real or want to use El Camino Real to get from city to city or to access the wealth of small businesses on the strip, we want to help by creating continuous, protected bike lanes on El Camino Real in both counties. We are urging cities to be innovative and create new solutions


Current Campaigns:

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Recent News

Buffered Bike lanes to be Piloted on El Camino in Menlo Park

After a rousing City Council study session that went past midnight on August 25, Menlo Park has directed staff to scope out a buffered bike lane pilot for El Camino Real. Since this was only a study session, a final decision by Council is still anticipated. That will determine the design of the bike lane, the length of the pilot (6 months or a year), and the criteria for making the pilot permanent. SVBC strongly supports adding bike lanes on El Camino Real and has been involved with Menlo Park’s process over the last year. I spoke in favor of adding protected bike lanes (alternative 3) to El Camino Real over a third vehicle lane (alternative 1). Buffered bike lanes were alternative 2. The San Mateo County Health System has found that though El Camino Real makes up only 1% of streets in San Mateo County, it is the location of nearly 15% of bike collisions and 20% of pedestrian collisions. We urged Council to consider the dire safety issues and plan for a vision of Menlo Park for future generations: a lively place that draws people for shopping, transportation, recreation, and community events rather than a traffic-congested highway. With Menlo Park taking the lead, neighboring Atherton and Redwood City may follow suit with bike facilities on their portions of El Camino Real. There were over 15 speakers present who supported bike lanes on El Camino Real and only a few against. One of the highlights was a middle school student who would like to bike on El Camino Real with her friends. SVBC will be following up with...

2015 Silicon Valley Bike Summit Recap

Thanks to all who attended the 5th Annual Silicon Valley Bike Summit! Did you miss it? See below for more information and a chance to hear a podcast of the day. You can also view the archive of all tweets from the Summit as well as photos from the event. The Summit was a great day learning about safety and active transportation in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties and we enjoyed seeing people from the non-profit, private, and public sectors as well as local residents and advocates! A special thanks to our high level sponsors. Stanford Health Care was our presenting sponsor and co-host, and many thanks to Microsoft and Emison Hullervson LLP for their generous support. We would like to also thank Genze, Palo Alto Bicycles, Paoli & Geerhart, Gary Brustin, Dero, Bank of the West, and M-Group. The opening plenary featured Nuria Fernandez, head of VTA, and Jim Hartnett, head of the San Mateo County Transit District. Our own President Shiloh Ballard moderated a fascinating conversation between them about their respective counties’ involvement in bicycling, safety, and the future of transit. Audience questions touched on funding through sales tax measures, bike access on trains and buses, bike maps, El Camino Real, and equity in transportation. Next, Jessica Osborne and Corina Chung of San Mateo County Health System (SMCHS) and Susan Lowery and Pamela Amparo of Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD) presented on collision and injury data involving people who bike and walk. Check out the presentations from San Mateo County Health System and Santa Clara County Public Health Department. We learned that: In SMC,...

VTA’s Nuria Fernandez Shares Top Priorities, Projects to Support Biking in Silicon Valley

Tweet Share Nuria Fernandez, the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of Santa Clara County Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), is one of the highlighted speakers at the 5th Annual Silicon Valley Bicycle Summit, hosted by SVBC and presenting sponsor, Stanford Healthcare, next week, Wednesday, August 26 at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto. The future of safety and bicycling in Santa Clara County are key issues for the Summit, and Nuria took the time to share how VTA is addressing these issues and give us a sneak peek at what she’ll be talking about at the Summit. What are the top priorities and projects for the Valley Transportation Authority? VTA’s Envision Silicon Valley process, which began last year and will continue into 2016, is gathering elected officials and stakeholders to examine our transportation network, identify the gaps and find ways to fill those in. It’s a big job that could result in VTA going to voters with a sales tax to help fund the identified projects. VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Extension: Phase I, the extension from Alameda County to the Berryessa area of San José, is halfway through construction, and it’s time for work to begin on Phase II. The preliminary work includes community meetings and pursuing funding for VTA’s extension of the line farther into Santa Clara County. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT): VTA broke ground on the first BRT line in the Bay Area last year, and this year will continue planning for a second line, down El Camino Real. As a viable alternative to trips made in cars, BRT is expected to help relieve...

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...

Write Menlo Park City Council to support bike lanes on El Camino Real

In case you missed it, the City of Menlo Park has been studying whether to add bike lanes or a third travel lane on El Camino Real. We at SVBC are supporting the protected bike lane option as we have an Initiative to see safe and comfortable bicycle facilities on El Camino Real throughout both counties. It is the most direct route between cities and hosts a number of businesses and residential areas throughout the region. El Camino Real also has one of the highest frequencies of collisions involving people who bike. Many people use this route and we want to make it safe for all users as well as creating a safer environment for crossing by schoolchildren and others. Cities like Mountain View, Sunnyvale, San Mateo, and Atherton have planned or executed bike lanes on El Camino and we hope to continue this trend all along the Peninsula. This issue will soon be coming to a vote by City Council in July. They need to hear from you why bike lanes are a better option! The Bicycle, Transportation, and Planning Commissions have all voted to support bike lanes on El Camino Real. You can read up on the history of this study on our campaign page and then take action by writing a letter to City Council members. Write Menlo Park City Council today to support bike...

Menlo Park El Camino Real: tell them what you want

Last week Menlo Park held a workshop on the El Camino Real Corridor Study. They presented the traffic study for the three alternatives, and found that adding a 3rd vehicle lane in each direction would not significantly decrease traffic into the future. SVBC is supporting alternative 3 with protected bike lanes (see our letter) Please let City Council know your opinions in one of the following ways: Take the poll! Rank which of the alternatives you prefer and provide comments here Attend a meeting! Commissions will be deciding which alternative they want to recommend to Council: Bicycle Commission: Monday, March 9, 2015 at 7pm Transportation Commission: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 7pm Planning Commission: Monday, March 23, 2015 at 7pm All meetings at: 701 Laurel Street, Menlo Park, CA 94025 Write to the City Council: city.council@menlopark.org (see attached letter for talking point ideas) and cc: emma@bikesiliconvalley.org Stay tuned for the City Council date when they will decide on the alternative to go forward...

San Mateo passes precedent-setting Sustainable Streets Plan

At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting in San Mateo, the passage of the city’s Sustainable Streets Plan was so inevitable that it wasn’t even pulled from the consent calendar. The Council voted unanimously to pass this plan which includes many visionary plans and ideas, including: Vision Zero A goal for zero roadway fatalities and a reduction in collisions involving injuries, Conceptual drawings for El Camino Real bikeways, Complete Streets, The prioritization of movement over vehicle storage, The goal to increase bicycle and pedestrian mode share to 30% by 2020, The adoption of the NACTO guidelines, and The elimination of Level of Service metrics in favor of Vehicle Miles Traveled metrics. We applaud the city for taking this action and look forward to working with them to help implement this plan. Congrats, San...

Menlo Park reveals draft alternatives for El Camino Real

Menlo Park has been studying changing the lane configuration on El Camino Real (ECR) for a year and consultants have just presented three draft alternatives for the road to the city’s Bicycle and Transportation Commission. As part of SVBC’s El Camino Real initiative, we have been advocating for bicycle lanes to be added to ECR in Menlo Park as part of this process. Last spring and summer, Menlo Park surveyed residents and other users of ECR to help inform their study. The results were very favorable to adding bicycle facilities. They showed that 61% of survey takers regularly bike on ECR (the same percentage that walk on ECR); that 55% of drivers also ride bicycles on El Camino Real; that most bicyclists travel El Camino Real to shop and visit local businesses, and 60% are traveling to or from work. The second most desired change on ECR (with 72% positive ratings) was for the inclusion of bicycle lanes on El Camino Real. Check out the full results, which are chock full of useful information. The draft alternatives took the survey results info into consideration. They are: 1. three continuous vehicle lanes 2. buffered bike lanes and 3. one-way cycle tracks. SVBC supports both the buffered bike lane and one-way cycle track options. We believe that ECR should be safe for all people, and that adding a third, high-speed vehicle lane will not contribute to that goal. ECR is currently a barrier cutting through the community, and adding bike lanes will make it easier and safer for more people, including schoolchildren, to cross ECR and access the many business on...

Mountain View passes visionary El Camino Real Precise Plan

Great news from Mountain View! At the final study session for the El Camino Real Precise Plan, City Council voted to approve the plan with several changes suggested by the Environmental Planning Commission (EPC). The final version of the plan contains details for bicycle access that seemed like a non-starter a year ago, when SVBC first started our campaign on this issue. The plan now explicitly outlines a vision for buffered or separated bike lanes along the corridor, as development and land use changes permit the removal of on-street parking. Additionally, the plan specifically calls for bike infrastructure between Calderon Avenue and the Sunnyvale border, as well as a gap closure that would allow people to travel safely by bike on El Camino Real through offset intersections “such as where El Monte Avenue and Escuela Avenue intersect with El Camino Real.” Following a recommendation from the EPC, original language suggesting that bicycle improvements should be implemented “gradually, over time,” will be struck from the final plan. Other bicycle accommodations in the plan include bicycle parking, encouragement of Bay Area Bike Share expansion along the corridor, and a parallel bike boulevard along Church and Latham Streets. Also included in the plan are significant improvements for pedestrian comfort and safety. These include widened sidewalks, improved landscaping, additional crosswalks, curb bulbouts, better lighting, and improved access to transit. SVBC conducted our advocacy campaign in close partnership with other community organizations. What originally began in late 2013 as a collaboration between us, Greenbelt Alliance, and Peninsula Interfaith Action (now known as SFOP/PIA), eventually grew to include four other local organizations: Mountain View Coalition...

San Mateo debuts Sustainable Streets Plan, takes major steps toward safe transportation network

On Monday night, November 3, Ken Chin of the San Mateo Department of Public Works introduced the draft Sustainable Streets Plan to City Council. This plan has been over two years in the works and has involved many community meetings, the Taste and Talk series as well as other visioning exercises and research. SVBC is very happy to see San Mateo take such an innovative approach to transportation. The plan embodies at least three of our five major initiatives, including Vision Zero (setting a goal for zero roadway fatalities and a reduction in collisions involving injuries), El Camino Real bikeways (more below), and Connecting our Communities. In addition, we applaud the incorporation of Complete Streets, the prioritization of movement over vehicle storage, the goal to increase bicycle and pedestrian mode share to 30% by 2020, the adoption of the NACTO guidelines, and the elimination of Level of Service metrics in favor of Vehicle Miles Traveled metrics. The plan lays out a vision, goals, and objectives as well as street design guidelines. It also includes several sample projects, including two on El Camino Real. SVBC has been working in several communities to encourage bicycle facilities on ECR, to help increase visibility and accessibility of bicycling. San Mateo’s draft plans are the first from any city on the Peninsula that fully embody the vision that we have for El Camino Real: protected bike lanes, pedestrian improvements, and traffic calming. Specific details can be found starting on page 4-3 of the draft plan (downloadable here). Most of the City Council members seemed supportive of this plan. However, there will be a number...

Tell them what you think: El Camino Real survey

The City of Menlo Park is conducting the El Camino Real Corridor Study! The study will review potential transportation and traffic safety improvements to El Camino Real between Sand Hill Road and Encinal Avenue. The City is inviting the community to provide ideas and feedback on how the El Camino Real, being a key roadway connecting cities throughout the Peninsula, can become a safer and more accommodating transportation resource for all users, including pedestrians and bicyclists. The City heard from many at the first workshop in April 2014, but now’s an additional chance to tell them what you think! They have a 10-minute survey on the project website – fill it out and give them your thoughts on El Camino. Stay tuned to the project website for future updates, including the next workshop in Fall 2014, where they will be discussing improvement...

A step closer to bike lanes on El Camino Real

We have big news out of Mountain View to celebrate this week. At a February 5 study session for the San Antonio and El Camino Real Precise Plans, City Council directed planners to study the feasibility of removing parking on El Camino to make space for a bike lane.