Image: A pop-up protected bike lane on El Camino Real in Redwood City from 2018.

Our hearts are heavy with the news or three recent traffic collisions on El Camino Real in April and May and our best wishes are with the friends and family of the people involved.

Right before Bike to Work Day, an 83 year old woman was struck and killed on El Camino Real and Fifth Ave. in Belmont while crossing the street. Late last month, eight people were seriously injured by a man driving on El Camino Real in Sunnyvale, who struck the people as they were crossing the street in a crosswalk. Just a couple weeks earlier, a woman was hit and killed as she was crossing El Camino in Mountain View. This is not ok.

It has long been a priority for SVBC to make El Camino Real safer for people walking and biking. As part of Vision Zero, we focus solutions on places where there are a disproportionate number of collisions. El Camino Real makes up only 0.5-1% of the street network in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, yet 5-15% of collisions involving people walking and biking take place there. The street is a community hub of destinations including new homes and offices, shops, schools, and transit, yet it is a wide multilane road with fast-moving cars and lengthy crosswalks. SVBC shares the vision of the Grand Boulevard Initiative (GBI) for a people friendly El Camino Real with a focus on increasing access to destinations and improving quality of life.

SVBC has been working with GBI along with Caltrans and the cities of Mountain View, Menlo Park, Redwood City, South San Francisco, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, and more since 2014 to create safer places for people to bike on El Camino Real. But no change has been implemented yet. Now is the time to push our cities and Caltrans to make changes to this key corridor to prevent these types of tragedies from happening again. Let’s make a safer El Camino Real for everyone.

Please sign the petition to encourage cities and Caltrans to put in protected bike lanes, more opportunities to safely cross the street, traffic calming, and other improvements that will slow drivers and protect people walking and biking. We’ll use this to push action by our decisionmakers. Don’t forget to opt in to get further updates on this and other bike safety campaigns.

If you want to get even more involved with SVBC’s work to create a more inviting El Camino Real, please contact emma@bikesiliconvalley.org

Where is each city in its plan?
  • Mountain View: In Nov. 2014, City Council passes the El Camino Real Precise Plan, which outlined a vision for buffered or separated bike lanes along the corridor, as development and land use changes permit the removal of on-street parking. Now, the city is preparing a Streetscape Plan that’s consistent with the Precise Plan, and it needs your input! Upcoming City Council meeting discussion in June.
  • Santa Clara: The city is in the process of its Specific Plan through the end of this year. It is hosting a Public Scoping Meeting for the El Camino Real Specific Plan Environmental Impact Report (EIR) analysis on Thursday, May 23, 2019 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Margie Edinger Room at the Central Park Library – see more on what you can do now.
  • Sunnyvale: The city is in the process of its El Camino Real Corridor Specific Plan.
  • Redwood City: Passed protected bike lanes in the El Camino Real Plan in December 2017, In 2018-2019, the city used a grant for 30% conceptual design drawings for bike and pedestrian safety improvements on El Camino Real between Charter and Maple streets, including protected bike lanes, crosswalks, street crossings, and bus stops. The study helps the City seek grant funding and identify next steps for making the vision become a reality.
  • Menlo Park: The city studied whether to remove parking to add a bicycle lane or third vehicle lane. Ultimately, after approving buffered bike lanes on the corridor in 2015, City Council deferred implementation in 2016.
  • Colma: will still be starting its El Camino Real Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvement Plan.
  • Burlingame: The city and Caltrans have started an El Camino Real Task Force to identify safety improvements.