Sunnyvale to replace parking with bike lanes on El Camino Real

The Sunnyvale City Council approved a plan to remove street parking and replace that with bike lanes on El Camino Real (ECR) between Sunnyvale Avenue and Remington Drive during their meeting on July 23, 2013.

ECR is a six lane traffic sewer in this part of Sunnyvale. This half mile segment of bike lanes will be the very first bike lanes painted into this historic highway in Santa Clara County. Because this state highway is under Caltrans control, the city could only obtain permission to stripe ECR if they removed street parking. The below map shows existing bike lanes in blue and the new proposed lanes in green. Click through to Google Maps for the larger geographic context.

Bike lanes on El Camino Real  Sunnyvale, California

The city of Sunnyvale approved a Street Space Allocation policy in 2009, making the change to this part of El Camino Real easy for decision makers. City and County surveys show peak usage of the 134 available street parking on this section of the road at only a single vehicle, a taco truck stored overnight and on weekends on the southbound side of the road.

City staff also noted excess off-street parking in adjacent lots, with an average weekday occupancy of 32% in 3,337 available spaces, with a peak of 63% on weekends during the middle of the day. When the city surveyed residents and property owners in the area about the bike lane plan, 73% responded favorably. The bike lanes will be paid with a $15,000 grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District

Members of the Sunnyvale Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission note that while this is only a half mile segment of El Camino Real, the bike lanes will connect to the existing bike network. City staff and the BPAC are already talking with Caltrans about reconfiguring other parts of ECR through Sunnyvale to replace general travel lanes or parking with bike lanes.

El Camino Real became the first paved highway in California when cyclists urged San Mateo County to pave a short portion in San Bruno, CA on 1912.