This post was written in part by Advocacy Intern, Miguel Salazar.

On June 7, Redwood City held another Citizens Advisory Group (CAG) meeting on the El Camino Real Corridor Plan with a presentation from consultants. The CAG, staff, and consultants are coalescing around many of the final ideas for the plan, which includes protected bikeways on El Camino. The inclusion of protected bikeways in the final plan has been bolstered by the survey, community outreach, and the traffic analysis. While the city is still working out the details of removing parking and other changes that would need to occur, there is strong support for protected bikeways.

In May, Redwood City ran an online survey that had ~600 responses.

  • A majority of respondents supported adding bike facilities on El Camino Real, either protected bikeways (54%) or bike lanes (16%).
  • Forty-three percent of respondents were very likely to use protected bikeways on El Camino if they were added.
  • People said they would use them for commuting/errands, exercise, and fun/recreation.
  • Forty-nine percent of respondents said if they could redesign El Camino Real, they would add a protected bikeway. Other options included large planted median, one-side parking, no changes, and painted bike lanes.
  • People rarely (41%) or never (24%) use on-street parking along El Camino.

Redwood City also spent a significant amount of time engaging with the business community. One thing they heard was that businesses would support a parking management strategy that created more shared parking, short-term parking, and employee parking. Many businesses already have informal shared parking agreements. Improved parking management will lower the perception of a need for on-street parking on El Camino Real, which can be replaced with protected bikeways. In addition, businesses will benefit from more foot and bike traffic with calmer streets.

The traffic analysis showed there would be little impact on vehicle level of service or travel time by removing parking or a right-hand turn lane to add a protected bikeway. Though it wasn’t covered in the presentation, safer conditions on El Camino and an increase in activity centers would make it easier for people to take short trips by walking or biking, further lessening vehicle traffic on El Camino.

Many of the CAG members expressed their support for the direction the draft plan is taking. In addition, several members spoke to the fact that this plan needs to be marketed so that the changes are shown to benefit all, not just special interests. In SVBC’s public comment we emphasized that it’s not just about benefiting existing bicyclists, but those who are “interested but concerned.” There is unmet demand for biking and with safer conditions, more people would be interested in trying it for short trips.

Next steps:

There will be another CAG meeting at the end of summer/early Fall to present the draft plan. It will be an implementation plan including policies and programs, funding mechanisms, concepts, and photo examples. In the meantime, SVBC will be meeting with City Councilmembers to share our report [LINK] and position. Contact emma@bikesiliconvalley.org if you’d like to receive further updates about this campaign.