Bike Share performance in the South Bay

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) will provide an update on the performance Bay Area Bike Share in Santa Clara County during the VTA Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting on July 9, 2014.

Bay Area Bike Share South Bay 2014

The San Francisco Bay Area Bike Share program launched a year ago August in San Jose, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City and San Francisco. VTA operates the bike share in the three South Bay cities of San Jose, Mountain View, and Palo Alto.

VTA wryly notes that although San Francisco has half of the bikes and stations in the system, 90% of all bike share trips take place in San Francisco. For the South Bay, usage mostly coincides with Caltrain arrivals and departures at Diridon Station in San Jose. The below graphs shows hourly usage in the three South Bay cities; note the vertical axis units change in this animation.

Bay Area Bike Share South Bay use times

Also on the VTA BPAC agenda: Santa Clara County plans to improve vehicular travel for South County residents by adding lanes to Monterey Highway between Morgan Hill and San Jose; along with Santa Teresa Boulevard in Gilroy, Masten Avenue north of Gilroy, and Buena Vista Avenue north of Gilroy to speed access to Highway 101.

South Santa Clara County road widening projects 2014

Level of Service for all of these roads is currently at LOS “A” for most of the day, which means free flowing traffic. County Roads warns that if they don’t widen these roads, the unthinkable LOS “C” is almost certain to result with anticipated growth in South Bay. Here’s the definition for LOS “C”:

LOS C: Stable flow, at or near free flow. Ability to maneuver through lanes is noticeably restricted and lane changes require more driver awareness. Minimum vehicle spacing is about 220 ft or 11 car lengths. Most experienced drivers are comfortable, roads remain safely below but efficiently close to capacity, and posted speed is maintained. Minor incidents may still have no effect but localized service will have noticeable effects and traffic delays will form behind the incident.

In the map below, solid red and solid blue means plans for added lanes. Dashed red and dash blue means new roads. Green designates planned locations for new bike trails, pending funding of course.

South Santa Clara County road plans 2014

The VTA BPAC meeting takes place next Wednesday evening, July 9, 2014 beginning at 6:30 PM at the VTA headquarters, 3331 North First Street, San Jose, CA. This is directly in front of the River Oaks light rail station. The meeting location, Conference Room B-104, is located kind of in the back of the complex; you should be able to find it by following the signs.

Bike Link electronic lockers are available for those of you with a Bike Link card. Otherwise, I’ve seen people roll their bikes inside the building and leave them in the hall outside of the conference room.

The meeting is mostly informational, but the public is still invited to speak. This is supposed to be a workshop session, which I think means you can ask the County Roads person what all of those green bike paths are really supposed to be. Do they really plan a long bike path along the entire length of Uvas Road? Or does that green stripe designate plans for a wide shoulder or bike lane there?


  1. Looks like the Uvas bike improvement ends at McKean road. What good would that be, when McKean road is the scariest part anyway? How are we supposed to get from Uvas to Almaden or Alamitos Creek trail?

  2. Another issue to bring up are the speed limits.

    For example on McKean Rd. In 2012, they decided to leave the speed limit between on McKean Rd between Casa Loma Rd to Bailey Avenue at 45 mph, instead of lowering it due to the excessive number of collisions, including a bicyclist (see below). The reason….because there was too much speeding already. First they don’t enforce the speed limit in order to bump up the 85th percentile, then use the elevated 85th percentile to block lowering the limit to improve safety, and often raising in instead, regardless of the collision rate on the section of road.

    In their own words…..
    “Five crashes on this segment were speed related, of which one resulted in a fatality; there were two additional injury crashes involving a bicyclist or a pedestrian; this segment of McKean Road is heavily used by recreational cyclists, and due to the narrow roadway width and lack of shoulders, cyclists share the roadway with vehicular traffic. A 45 mph speed limit also provides continuity in speed zoning with the 45 mph speed limit established by the County of Santa Clara for the adjoining segments of McKean Road and Uvas Road.”

    They make it sound like they are making an improvement, but are just keeping the same 45mph limit, and setting the stage for future increases.

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