With an abundance of sunshine, temperate climate and relatively flat terrain, the Peninsula is a perfect place to ride a bike. This opportunity, combined with the need to invest in sustainable transportation solutions, has motivated an initiative to create a Peninsula Bikeway that better connects Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Redwood City. The project is the brainchild of the Managers Mobility Partnership, a collaboration between the four cities and Stanford University with support from Joint Venture Silicon Valley to address transportation challenges in the region. The group is initially focused on building a bike infrastructure to connect the four cities and eventually the entire Peninsula region.
The Partnership is hosting a launch event on Saturday, Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Burgess Park in Menlo Park to celebrate the opening of an interim bikeway and begin planning for a future, high quality permanent bikeway. Community bike rides will be organized from each city to the park where there will be food, music and information on how to become involved in the design for a permanent bike route. Elected representatives and staff from the cities will also be on hand at this family-friendly event to hear from the community.
“Silicon Valley can become the same kind of national leader in bicycling that you see in some European capitals,” said Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock. “To achieve that goal, we must take an innovative and collaborative approach to funding, designing and building connected bikeways.”
The temporary bikeway route covers almost 16 miles, and runs from Evelyn Avenue in Mountain View to Warwick Street in Redwood City travels along California, Bryant, Oak Grove, Laurel, Elena and Austin among others. The route takes advantage of existing facilities with a focus on including low stress bike streets. Click here for a map of the interim bikeway.
“Each route has its own challenges and opportunities, and we want to hear from our communities to gather ideas about where they’d like to see the bikeway and key destinations where it should connect,” said Menlo Park City Manager Alex McIntyre. “Regardless of the location to be chosen, making this route convenient, comfortable and safe for everyone is our primary goal.”
The design concept will consider how to improve intersections, driveway crossings and other features that will make it easier for people to bike around the Peninsula. Part of the discussion will be deciding a permanent route for the bikeway with options that may include El Camino Real, the Caltrain tracks, Middlefield or a combination of these and other local routes.
“Our goal is to design a bikeway that is safe, efficient and connected for riders that make people feel confident biking the peninsula,” said Mountain View City Manager Dan Rich. “We want to make it possible for anyone to ride a bike to work, run an errand or just to have fun in our cities and between them.”
A bike linkage between the cities could transform how people think about traveling around the Peninsula, according to Palo Alto City Manager James Keene. “The whole idea of connecting our cities through a shared network of safe and dedicated bikeways could be the catalyst for more people leaving their cars at home.”
Redwood City City Manager Melissa Stevenson Diaz agrees. “Safe, comfortable bikeways give people of all ages a healthy option for moving around Redwood City and the region,” said Diaz. “The Peninsula Bikeway initiative is an exciting first step toward making biking a viable choice for more people, and this collaborative approach is unique and powerful.“
Regardless of exactly where the Peninsula Bikeway is located, changing the way streets are designed and operated have impacts on not just bikes, cars and pedestrians, but also on city services such as street cleaning and trash pick-up. City officials say all of those considerations will go into any route that is ultimately chosen.
For more information, go to www.peninsulabikeway.com