Positions & Policies
SVBC supports cities within San Mateo County and Santa Clara County, as well as the counties themselves to cover unincorporated areas, to pass anti-harassment ordinances in order to create more awareness and change behavior to ensure increased safety for people who bike. Local examples can be found in the City of Sunnyvale, Berkeley and Sebastopol. The anti-harassment ordinance, most often adopted by cities, is focused on intentional threats, assaults or other behavior that endangers cyclists. Normally, an anti-harassment ordinance will make the harassment and assault of a person who bikes a civil offense, in addition to a criminal offense. The burden of proof is lower for civil cases thus making it easier for people who bike to be properly compensated. Typically, this allows an injured or harassed bicyclist to seek treble damages (triple the amount of actual damages) and attorney’s fees in civil court.
Bikes + BRT:
SVBC supports bus rapid transit (BRT) with appropriate routes and facilities, in particular in conjunction with protected bike lanes, and will evaluate specific design details on a case by case basis. We believe BRT supports our mission because:
- Many people use bikes plus another form of transportation (train or bus), and we want to recognize and help these trips.
- Bus rapid transit would attract people who have distances too far to bike, but could use bikes for first and last mile connectivity.
- The fewer cars on the road due to better transit means that roads are more comfortable for bicyclists.
- Bus rapid transit systems are easier to adapt to new conditions than rail systems.
Bikes + Transit:
SVBC strongly supports the ongoing efforts of many of our transit agencies to more seamlessly integrate bicycling as a “first and last mile” solution for getting to and from transit.
Caltrain: See the 2014 SVBC, SFBC, and Bike SMC Joint Platform.
Complete streets policy:
SVBC supports Complete Streets policies, which aim to provide safe mobility for all road users: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit users of all ages and abilities. The State of California passed the California Complete Streets Act in 2011 to require cities and counties that were revising the circulation element of their general plan to include complete streets considerations. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission also requires all cities in the Bay Area, including those in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, to adopt Complete Streets resolutions in order to qualify for certain types of funding.
Pedal-assist e-bikes allow for a broader range of people to choose bikes, thus contributing to our goal to have 10% trips by bike by 2025. They help people who need an extra boost on a bike, whether it is to go farther, carry a heavy load, tackle steep hills, bike with kids, or make it possible to use a bike with a disability.
Multiuse Trail Behavior policy:
SVBC supports courteous behavior by people biking on multiuse trails. Class I Multiuse trails are shared and can legally be used by pedestrians, including people walking, running, biking, using wheelchairs, pushing strollers, and using other devices. People biking must comply with all posted speed limits.
Best practices to ensure courteous trail behavior:
- Mountain View report on best practices for multiuse trails
- Post speed limit signs and speed radars
- Education and outreach to nearby homes and businesses, residents and employees
- Education and outreach to trail users on trail
- Bike East Bay’s Richmond Bay Trail Outreach
Maintenance (addressing potholes and other repairs) should be completed by an agency before repaving or resurfacing to ensure a smooth result. This is of particular importance when applying slurry seal.
Street space allocation policy:
SVBC supports the passage of street space allocation policies, as exemplified by the City of Sunnyvale, in the many jurisdictions through Silicon Valley. In many cities, there may be adequate street space to improve bicycle facilities, but that space is currently being reserved for parked cars. In some cases, the parking is used but in many other cases, the on-street parking is underutilized. Sunnyvale has passed a policy to address this, the Street Space Allocation Policy, which states that city streets should be prioritized for the movement of all vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians and that parking is not a transport use, but the storage of transport vehicles. Therefore, providing street space for parking is less important than providing it for all transport uses. To support this, a city can conduct parking analyses that show actual parking usage on different streets. This policy is a tool for cities to implement their Complete Streets policy.