Sunnyvale leaders elect to replace parking and lanes with buffered bike lanes

During last night’s Sunnyvale, CA City Council meeting, city councilors selected a plan to remove more than half of the available street parking and remove a traffic lane on Duane Avenue to make room for buffered bike lanes. Currently, Duane Avenue between Stewart Drive and Fair Oaks Avenue consists of four traffic lanes, street parking on both sides of the road, and no bike lanes.

Council voted for a plan that will reduce this one mile segment of Duane Avenue from four lanes down to three. Curb parking will be removed from eastbound Duane, leaving room for six foot bike lanes on both sides of the street with three to four foot buffers. While the city still needs to draw up plans, the lane configuration will be pretty close to what I drew below.


Sunnyvale Duane Avenue Alternative 3 - selected

City transportation staff had recommended an intermediate plan that removed one lane while preserving most parking on Duane Avenue. Former Sunnyvale BPAC chair Ralph Durham attended the meeting and reports:

During last night’s meeting the council voted 5-2 in favor of option 3 for the change in Duane Ave to a 4-3 conversion. The surprise was going against the staff recommendation and creating separated bike lanes which will entail removing more parking to allow for the buffers sections on the road. Staff and BPAC had recommended Option 1, a 4-3 conversion which left most parking in place, thinking that would be the most palatable for council. A few people spoke about the current dangerous situation and that separated bike lanes would be preferable.

Also parking restrictions will be enforced in the vision triangles at all intersections along the route. [Referring to 20 foot parking restrictions near intersections to improve sight lines – Richard.]

What will be interesting is how the city traffic engineers plan to handle the offset intersection at San Luisito Way and the Montessori Academy / daycare entrance which are offset 100 feet from each other. This causes a dangerous situation for all road users during drop off and pickup times, not to mention the bus stop across the road where approaching 100% of the riders must cross. I asked for a traffic light.

Now it goes to the actual planning phase of how this will look. BPAC will be asked to approve the renovations and council will vote on the subject before construction will start, hopefully within the year. This has been a long time coming.

For more details on current conditions on Duane Avenue and proposed bikeway plans, see: Sunnyvale City Council to discuss Duane Avenue lane reduction tonight.

5 Comments

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  • September 11, 2013 - 7:13 pm | Permalink

    For the shared bike/parking lane, the “buffer” should be on the right, not the left. Dooring is far more common than being hit from behind by a passing motorist. Bicyclists need a better signal to cycle further from parked cars.

  • September 11, 2013 - 9:55 pm | Permalink

    With so much space available, they could build cycle tracks (bike lanes on the right side of parked cars).

  • John Murphy
    September 12, 2013 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    Meh. Wide road with little to no usage getting bike lanes. I used to work right there, the bike lanes are better than not bike lanes but the net impact is next to zero but lets Sunnyvale talk about their bike lane.

    Do something about Mary and I get exicited.

  • MikeOnBike
    September 12, 2013 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    As I commented on the other Sunnyvale post, putting the bikeway behind parked cars can be made to work with separate signal phases, no right turn on red, etc. Without those essential features, Yikes!

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