Late in 2009, the San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans) closed a gate connecting Pico Boulevard with the San Francisco Bay Trail. SamTrans staff cited safety concerns because Pico Boulevard provides access to the SamTrans bus yard in San Carlos.
This gate closed off a very popular cycling route and an important connector for cyclists traveling from the Shoreway Road bike route into Redwood Shores. Riders must now detour along a very busy six lane parkway with multiple turns and conflict points. Local cyclists are holding a petition drive Tuesday morning at Pico Boulevard to ask SanTrans to reopen Pico Boulevard to bicycle traffic.
The below maps shows the situation. The light blue line is the preferred route, and deadends at the gate (where the pushpin symbol is). With the gate closed, cyclists must detour using the route highlighted in pink. SamTrans safety “improvement” results in multiple conflict points with high speed traffic. In October 2009, a cyclist was run over and killed by a gravel truck at one of these intersections.
View Pico Problem in a larger map
Tuesday morning, John Murphy will be on hand at Redwood Shores handing out goodies to encourage cyclists to sign the petition.
Read more about Pico Boulevard:
- Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition: Pico Blvd. gate closure
- LTE: Open the Gate.
- SMDJ: SamTrans: Gate to remain closed to bicyclists
- Mark Simon (SamTrans CEO) responds to John Murphy.
We were fairly successful this morning collecting signatures at the corner of Shoreway Rd and Redwood Shores Parkway. Approximately 30 people signed the paper petition between 6:15 and 9:15am. With the 220 online signatures, we’re up to about 250! Maybe a third of those signing were aware of the gate — the rest weren’t, but happily signed. Thanks to Murph for organizing and bringing the fruit and Reeses pieces.
The bus count was 27 between 7-9am, which is an average of little more than one bus every 5 minutes. But this stat doesn’t capture the fact that a whole bunch of buses stream out of the depot around 7am. So, the real frequency for most cyclists encountering a bus is much lower. Tough to see how Samtrans finds Pico so unsafe. I also shot some video of auto traffic on Redwood Shores Parkway (bazillions of cars) and buses traveling down Pico Blvd. Might prove useful.
Sign the petition: http://murphstahoe.com/pico/