July 26, 2021
11 11 11 AM
Electric-Vehicle Sales Growth Outpaces Broader Auto Industry
US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is coming to Disrupt
This Yugo Disguised As A SEAT Is The Most Self-Aware Car On Earth
Take a Fully Functioning Miniature LEGO Bicycle for a Spin
Valmet Automotive Will Build Lightyear One EV In Finland From 2022
GM again recalls its US electric vehicles over fire threat
Avoid crowded public transportation with Google Maps’ new features. Here’s how
Pedestrian struck by car later dies of injuries
Biden team sees chip relief coming soon for carmakers on supply gains
Uber to buy logistics company Transplace for $2.25 billion
Latest Post
Electric-Vehicle Sales Growth Outpaces Broader Auto Industry US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is coming to Disrupt This Yugo Disguised As A SEAT Is The Most Self-Aware Car On Earth Take a Fully Functioning Miniature LEGO Bicycle for a Spin Valmet Automotive Will Build Lightyear One EV In Finland From 2022 GM again recalls its US electric vehicles over fire threat Avoid crowded public transportation with Google Maps’ new features. Here’s how Pedestrian struck by car later dies of injuries Biden team sees chip relief coming soon for carmakers on supply gains Uber to buy logistics company Transplace for $2.25 billion
Jul
2021
16

Cities make the case for a ‘bicycle superhighway’ | News

Few roads better epitomize the frustrations of Peninsula’s bicycle advocates than El Camino Real, a critical north-south connector that offers both the most direct and, arguably, the most perilous route between Redwood City and Mountain View.

Living up to its moniker as “The King’s Highway,” the original connector between California’s network of Spanish missions is today dominated by cars in just about every Peninsula jurisdiction through which it passes, despite years of talk around the region about converting it into a multimodal “grand boulevard.”

And even as each city has been making its own bike-safety improvements (Palo Alto, for instance, is now completing construction of a bike bridge over U.S. Highway 101 as well as planning for further bike improvements along East Meadow Drive and on the Charleston-Arastradero corridor), these efforts have largely steered clear of El Camino.

A recent traffic analysis commissioned by city managers from Peninsula cities concluded that the 12.5-mile stretch of El Camino between Redwood City and Mountain View has a “high concentration of bicycle collisions” and virtually no bike infrastructure.

But even as it poses a steep challenge for city leaders across the Peninsula, El Camino also represents their greatest hope. During the pandemic, the cities of Redwood City, Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Mountain View collaborated on a Peninsula Bikeway study, a survey of bike amenities in each city with recommendations for further improvements to bike connections between the jurisdictions. The study, which was released in November, evaluates three different possibilities for separated bikeways that would stretch along the Peninsula. After considering other routes, including Alma Street and Middlefield Road, the study concluded that a bikeway on El Camino, despite the massive challenges it would entail, “represents the most viable opportunity to implement such a vision and help improve safety and connectivity for all bicycle users.”

The Peninsula Bikeway study is an outgrowth of a partnership that city managers from four cities formed in 2016 to discuss stronger connections between their jurisdictions. Known as the Managers’ Mobility Partnership, the effort initially focused on using existing bikeways and routes to design an interim “low-stress bicycle connection” between the north and sound ends of the segment.

The latest effort is far more ambitious. The new study bills itself as “the first phase of implementing a high-impact bicycle superhighway network in the Bay Area helping residents and workers increase connectivity and safety to jobs and activity centers.” Its goal is to offer a “long-term, high-quality, bikeway suitable for bicyclists of all ages and abilities.”

Unlike the interim route — a meandering path that forces riders to cross El Camino Real once and the railroad tracks twice to avoid hazardous road segments in the various cities — the new bikeway would be direct. All three of the study’s options feature a straighter path between Redwood City and Mountain View. One would rely predominantly on Middlefield Road; another would stay within El Camino Real; the third would run along the Caltrain right-of-way and rely on Alma Street in the

Jul
2021
12

Silicon Valley pedals closer to region’s first bicycle superhighway

Santa Clara County is planning the region’s first bike superhighway—but a route still needs to be selected.

“I don’t see a bicycle superhighway going down El Camino,” Erik Lindskog, a member of VTA’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, said at Wednesday’s meeting. “I think a bicycle superhighway needs to be a little more separate from traffic.”

The idea of a superhighway stems from VTA’s Santa Clara Countywide Bike Plan released in 2018. The plan proposes a central bikeway to help cyclists travel more easily and safely between cities.

Santa Clara County already has 800 miles of bikeways, including dedicated bike lanes on roads such as San Fernando Street in downtown San Jose. There are 200 miles of dedicated bike trails, but many popular routes—such as the Guadalupe River Trail and Coyote Creek Trail—are not connected through a continuous, uninterrupted path.

VTA allocated $903,000 in funding toward the project, and aims to complete an analysis of the preferred route by January.

The transit agency reached out to local bicyclists to evaluate three alternative routes for a protected bike path stretching from East San Jose to Santa Clara. The three routes—dubbed the Shortliner, Trail Trackway and Walsh Wizard—take different paths from east of Highway 680 north of Mabury Road to Santa Clara as far west as Lawrence Expressway.

VTA judged each route by eight metrics: equity, compatibility, desirability, sustainability, access, joy, safety and feasibility. Equity measures how attractive a route is to new users, women and people of color, while desirability is based on whether segments of a route lead to popular destinations.

The Shortliner route scored highest among the most categories and follows an on-street path from Mabury Road, Taylor Street, Hedding Street and The Alameda to El Camino Real. The route is the shortest of the three alternatives.

Map of the Shortliner route option. Image courtesy of VTA.

San Jose resident and cyclist Andy Murillo said that when they travel via bike, they choose routes with as few turns as possible, which makes the Shortliner route attractive. However, they cautioned that riding along The Alameda and El Camino Real can be dangerous.

“The optimal option would be to make it easier and safer to bicycle The Alameda (and) along El Camino Real, rather than along a bike route that you have to piece together,” Murillo told San José Spotlight. “For a lot of people, it’s a lot easier to imagine yourself sharing a trail with pedestrians than sharing a street with cars.”

The Trail Trackway route scored highest for equity and safety. The route extends along the Penitencia Creek Trail, Coyote Creek Trail, Caltrans Corridor, Caltrain Corridor and San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail through Central Expressway.

However, VTA considers the route infeasible along some stretches of San Jose and Santa Clara. For example, in Santa Clara the route faces gaps in the Caltrain Corridor which are expensive to connect.

Map of the Trail Trackway route option. Image courtesy of VTA.

The third route is the Walsh Wizard, which tracks