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.

See our presentation on why we work on El Camino Real and the roadway’s relationship with safety and Vision Zero: 150710 GBI WC ECR VZ presentation


Current Campaigns:

Recent Wins:


Recent News

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 .

Advancing Vision Zero

As many know, SVBC and California Walks debuted our Vision Zero Toolkit at the Silicon Valley Bike Summit in August. Since then, we’ve been spreading the good word to various city councils, Bike and Pedestrian Committees (BPACs), and other important groups. See below for a rundown of the presentations we’ve done so far. Next Wednesday, December 2 we are excited to present with California Walks on Vision Zero and safety on El Camino Real at the Grand Boulevard Initiative Task Force, a body of elected officials from all the jurisdictions that include El Camino Real. This is important because in Santa Clara County, El Camino Real is only 0.5% of streets yet has 6% of bicycle collisions; in San Mateo County, El Camino Real is only 1% of streets and has 13.8% of bicycle collisions. People are using El Camino Real to bike to work, school, shopping, and other destinations, and it needs to be safe for them. We are looking forward to a robust conversation about street safety with the leaders on the Task Force. Upcoming presentations of the Vision Zero Toolkit: December 2: Grand Boulevard Initiative Task Force January 19, 2016: Morgan Hill Parks and Recreation Commission February 18, 2016: Leadership Palo Alto TBD: South San Francisco Planning Commission and BPAC, Mountain View BPAC, and Cupertino Bike Commission Past presentations: May 3: Silicon Valley Bikes! Festival July 27: Grand Boulevard Initiative Working Committee August 20: Sunnyvale BPAC September 9: Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) BPAC September 21: Grand Boulevard Initiative Community Leaders Roundtable October 14: SPUR panel in San Jose October 22: San Mateo County’s City and County...

Questions for Redwood City Council Candidates

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is a 501c3 non-profit organization and is permitted to educate our members about where candidates for public office stand on our issues. We are not permitted to endorse candidates. Questions were developed with the SVBC San Mateo County Local Team. We emailed all the known candidates for Redwood City City Council and received responses from the following: Alicia Aguirre, Ian Bain, Janet Borgens, Rosanne Foust, Shelly Masur, and Tania Sole. Candidates’ responses are listed in alphabetical order following each question. 1. Should bicyclists be accommodated on El Camino Real through your city? If so, how should the roadway be designed to accommodate them? Alicia Aguirre: Bicyclists [should be accommodated] on El Camino and throughout our City. Unfortunately, not all streets, even El Camino are wide enough. My main concern is safety. We have restriped many streets and are in the process of adding more for bicyclists. Sharing the road with automobiles is a good option, as long as it is safe for all. Ian Bain: I have supported the expansion of bike lanes throughout the city, however, I’m not sure about El Camino. The road is very congested, even during non-peak times, so I’m not sure how well that would work. I will be watching Menlo Park very closely to see how their proposal plays out. Janet Borgens: El Camino is heavily traveled by cars and buses. When I bike El Camino I feel much safer when there is a designated bike lane. As we move towards the Grand Boulevard discussion we should look at opportunities that would accommodate both public transportation, cars and bicycles...

Questions for Belmont City Council Candidates

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is a 501c3 non-profit organization and is permitted to educate our members about where candidates for public office stand on our issues. We are not permitted to endorse candidates. Questions were developed with the SVBC San Mateo County Local Team. We emailed all the known candidates for Belmont City Council and received responses from Davina Hurt and Dwight Looi. The candidate’s responses are listed following each question. 1. Should bicyclists be accommodated on El Camino Real through your city? If so, how should the roadway be designed to accommodate them? Davina Hurt: Several modes of transportation should be accommodated and supported on El Camino Real. We can look to cities with successful bike programs to see how they have implemented a complete streets application. Personally, I have heard from many bicyclists that protected lanes whether by barriers or clearly outlined on the street surface are needed for safe passage. Close attention needs to be made to retrofitting, signage, and intersections. All in all, the roadway needs to be such that safety is integrated into the design and it is a pleasurable experience that will insight more and more people to get out of their cars for a better and healthier environment. Dwight Looi: Given the small number of bicyclists, I do not believe that it is wise to have a dedicated lane for bicycles. This will take away from flow capacity for cars and exacerbate congestion. 2. A generation ago, half of schoolchildren walked or biked to school. Now, only 15% do. Meanwhile obesity and chronic disease linked to inactivity are soaring. How can your...

Your Unanswered Questions From the Silicon Valley Bike Summit

Share Tweet You may recall the rousing plenary discussion at the 5th Annual Silicon Valley Bicycle Summit between our Executive Director, Shiloh Ballard; head of VTA, Nuria Fernandez; and head of San Mateo County Transit District, Jim Hartnett. We had so many excellent audience questions that we couldn’t get to them all and so we promised to follow up with our speakers and have those questioned answered for you, our dear audience. So without further delay, here are the answers from: Mark Simon, Senior Advisor/Strategic Initiatives, San Mateo County Transit District Nuria Fernandez, General Manager and CEO of Valley Transportation Authority How are your agencies addressing questions of equity (economic, racial, modal) in transportation and transit? How can we actively engage low-income communities in improving access to safe bicycling and transit? MS: We are required by law, ADA and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, to operate both our systems within federal guidelines for social, racial and economic justice. Any change in service or fares triggers a Title VI review and public meetings that include multi-lingual outreach and information that includes targeting low-income and minority communities. SamTrans carries significant numbers of low-income customers – 67 percent don’t have a car, 41 percent have a household income below $25,000. Most take the bus to work or school. As you might expect, these numbers are substantially different for Caltrain, but for both systems, we have an extensive discount program for low-income, senior and student customers. Encouraging cycling – as you know we provide more bike space on our trains than any system in the country and cyclists can bring their...

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...