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San Jose Bike Plan to Be Considered on Monday – Streetsblog San Francisco

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San Jose Bike Plan to Be Thought of on Monday – Streetsblog San Francisco

Town of San Jose is making ready to undertake a brand new, bold bike plan, the Better Bike Plan 2025.

Supporters and advocates are hoping residents will attain out to the Transportation and Environment Committee when it discusses the draft plan at its Monday, August 31 assembly and voice their help. As soon as adopted by the Committee, it’s anticipated to be mentioned by the Metropolis Council a while in September.

Whereas components of the plan are incomplete – together with the place the funding for it could come from – it comprises some actually good evaluation of what metropolis residents need and want by way of wholesome transportation. It additionally contains an bold targets to extend the share of motorbike journeys to fifteen % of all journeys by 2040.

It could accomplish that by constructing high-quality bike amenities, however the plan additionally acknowledges that road design by itself isn’t sufficient. It dovetails with the town’s Normal Plan, which requires infill and transit-oriented improvement and creating accessible public areas. However for San José to get extra individuals to trip bicycles, “the tradition should change,” writes the plan. Not solely does San José have to construct a low-stress, related community, nevertheless it additionally should construct a motorbike tradition (through applications, training, and promotion in addition to insurance policies and infrastructure) and make options to driving extra handy, together with high-quality transit and rebalancing streets to create space for pedestrians, buses, and bikes.

San Jose is generally flat, and has nice climate year-round, a vibrant downtown that encompasses a university campus, and housing and regional transit connections inside a brief bike trip. However the metropolis has suffered the identical financial pressures as cities throughout California, particularly close to the coast, together with gentrification, displacement, and affordability issues. Its car-oriented suburbs go away residents with few choices aside from lengthy hours commuting by automotive, whereas rising housing costs in areas extra simply accessible to downtown perpetuate historic segregation and inequity patterns.

“The ensuing metropolis isn’t as bike pleasant because it could possibly be,” writes the plan. Its lack of density and single-use zoning “leads to an city space the place housing, jobs, and errands are unfold out.”

However the metropolis has been working to vary that. A motorcycle plan in 2009 set bold targets, solely a few of which have been met, nevertheless it bought the ball rolling, and metropolis residents started to see what was attainable. In 2015, a highway weight-reduction plan on Lincoln Avenue led to an 83 % improve in bike site visitors on that highway. In 2018, the town handed the Higher Bikeways challenge, which mirrored “a brand new philosophy in road design, specializing in quickly constructing low-cost, low-stress bikeways that enchantment to a wider viewers and embrace extra separation from automobiles. These new bikeways have resulted in an unlimited enchancment within the high quality of biking all through downtown San José,” based on the brand new plan.

Each John Corda and Sandhya Laddha of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition reward the work achieved on the bike plan, significantly the general public outreach element. “We wish to applaud San Jose’s effort to be inclusive,” mentioned Laddha. Town reached out by means of native organizations and occasions to search out out what residents have been involved about, and requested questions like “Which road ought to we enhance first?” “What else could be improved?” and “What would make you wish to bike extra?”

The reply to that final query: extra individuals biking, higher separation from site visitors, and extra comfort by way of entry to vacation spot, a whole community, and higher signage.
“Via its surveys and outreach, the town found that just about sixty % of journeys are beneath three miles,” mentioned Laddha. “Even when solely half of these are transformed to biking, that might create a giant mode shift.”

They’re particularly happy with the town’s dedication to retaining bike and scooter share in San Jose. “We expect these are essential each for lowering site visitors and growing fairness,” mentioned Laddha.

“We’re additionally working with VTA [Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority] to persuade them that bike share needs to be thought-about public transit and never a business enterprise.”

San Jose Bicycle Network Analysis: How it works, where it needs work. From San Jose's Better Bike Plan 2025
San Jose Bicycle Community Evaluation: The way it works, the place it wants work. From San Jose’s Higher Bike Plan 2025

“Town has additionally achieved a very good evaluation of the community, and of potential bike demand within the metropolis,” mentioned Corda. “They usually have achieved a very good job of tying it to different plans, like the town’s Imaginative and prescient Zero plan, and its transit entry and mobility plans together with the brand new BART station, and the downtown station entry plans.”

“VTA has good visions about how they wish to join through bike,” mentioned Corda, together with fascinated with stations and connecting bikeways, hall research, and supporting the Coyote Creek path as a regional connector. “All people’s attempting to determine find out how to combine issues higher now,” he added. “Folks can’t use transit if it’s disjointed – and that ought to embrace the bike.”

Town has already practically accomplished practically 400 miles of motorbike lanes because it started including them, a course of that accelerated after the 2009 bike plan. Within the new bike plan, it’s making a dedication to transform over 300 miles of present Class II (striped, on-street) bike lanes to Class IV, or some form of protected bikeway. Corda says that is unparalleled.

“That could possibly be a sea change in America,” he mentioned. “No person’s achieved that to that scale. It’s a daring step, and that’s how they’ll make it safer for everybody. Town is acknowledging {that a} painted stripe isn’t sufficient to get the ‘ however involved’ individuals on a motorbike.”

The SVBC urges residents to name in to the committee assembly and voice help for the plan – and push for cash to finish it. Whereas funding sources are usually not recognized within the plan, the estimate is that it’ll price about $419 million over the subsequent 5 years for the infrastructure components of it.

“For context: only one freeway interchange in Sunnyvale, at 101 and 237, price $400 million. That was one interchange, simply to make it just a little bit faster for vehicles,” mentioned Corda. “What we’re asking for bike and pedestrian spending is within the rounding error of what we spend on highways.”

One other a part of the plan that also wants work is the town’s aim to create what it’s calling “a radically inclusive bike tradition.” There are some proposals floated as to find out how to obtain this, however element is missing, and there’s no estimate of how a lot it may cost a little. It could want to incorporate training, programming, incentives, and encouragement on many ranges. Each advocates say the town has already been doing a very good job on this, each with Secure Routes to Colleges applications and its Open Streets occasion, Viva Calle, which is now twice a 12 months.

These don’t should be costly, nevertheless it’s laborious to persuade these holding the purse strings to fund issues that appear amorphous or don’t end in some concrete on the bottom. “With infrastructure, you may all the time level to what number of miles of lanes you’ve constructed,” mentioned Corda, “However training and encouragement solely reveals up over time, in mode shift and habits.”

However that doesn’t imply they should price so much. “For Viva Calle, the most important expense – at $300,000 a day – was for police,” mentioned Corda.

However, recognition of the significance of those components is nice to have within the plan, mentioned Corda.

“In Santa Clara, we accredited a $6.6 billion transportation gross sales tax. Of that we have been comfortable to carve out $250 million for bike and ped,” he mentioned. “Out of that, 85 % is for infrastructure, and fifteen % for training and encouragement. In order that’s manner much less that $1 million a 12 months.”

See the full plan here, plus details about find out how to name in to Monday’s assembly.

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