San Jose Future Bikeways meeting tonight

The second of two San Jose future bikeways meetings takes place tonight, Wednesday, August 13, 2014. This meeting at the Gardner Community Center at 520 West Virginia Street will cover proposed bikeways in Willow Glen and streets west of downtown, including the important Park Avenue east-west connector between San Jose and the city of Santa Clara.

san jose future bikeways meeting August 13

I laid out the bikeway tentative details in this post, but to sum up, the city DOT proposes bike lanes on Park Avenue from downtown all the way to Newhall Street, the entire length of Stockton Street from the Alameda (under the Caltrain tracks) to Bellarmine, Julian Street from The Alameda to the Guadalupe River, and Lincoln Avenue from San Carlos Street to Virginia Avenue Willow Street.

San Jose bikeway projects 2014 with labels this time

Street parking will be removed from one side of both Park and Lincoln to make space for the bike lanes. Unsurprisingly, some business owners lament the loss of street parking, believing that increasing the flow of people through their neighborhoods will somehow result in a loss of business and income for them.

The meeting begins at 6 PM. Bring a lock for your bike. Consider ways to effectively communicate the benefits of these bike facilities to business owners who fear that change will always result in negative consequences.

Also: SJDOT to present St John Street Improvement Project August 21, 2014 — The City of San José Department of Transportation (DOT) will host a public meeting to discuss the proposed street improvements along the St. John Street corridor in downtown San Jose. According to SJDOT, the St. John Street Improvement Project includes a variety of pedestrian and bicycle improvements as well as enhancements to intersections to improve vehicle circulation and enhance safety for all modes of transportation. This meeting takes place Thursday, August 21, 2014 beginning at 6 PM, San Jose City Hall, 200 E Santa Clara St., Wing Room 120, where presenters will discuss proposed improvements for St John Street between the SAP Center and 1st Street. San Jose Bike Train rides the portion of St John between the Shark Tank loading dock to the Guadalupe River Trail.

The meeting notice highlights parking validation for the City Hall garage, but makes no mention of the Bay Area Bike Share kiosk located at City Hall, or that VTA buses 22, 522, 23, 55, 63, 64, ,65, 72, 73, 81 and the DASH shuttle all stop within a block of City Hall.

In other news, SJDOT deputy Paul Smith will visit Copenhagen. Smith was hired away from the city of Portland, OR last year.


  1. I couldn’t make it to this meeting last night, but for the businesses who lament the loss of parking, they should know that many of us end up on Park at all *because* it’s a bike route. If I hadn’t been there regularly, on a bike, I might not have noticed the music shop there, or decided to spend money.

    We should also remind these business owners to install or request bike racks.

  2. The meeting was a good chance to talk directly with actual DOT engineers. They seemed open to specific input on what kind of bike infrastructure cyclists preferred. This phase1 plan is pretty basic though, mostly paint, and no additional bike detection at intersections that I could see, or other enhancements like the selective use of ‘green’. Those would be phase2, pending additional funding.

    For the Park Ave bike lane, there is no actual loss of parking, since ample off-street parking exists. Also it was not pointed out, but maybe should be, that the introduction of bike lanes has been shown to consistently increase adjacent property values. Applied percentage wise based on available data, property owners could be looking at minimum 20k to $40k instant increases. These add-on deltas would only keep increasing in the future as the network improves. Not chicken feed. Their introduction has also been associated with increased local business and an improvement in the local economy. Various information on-line. It would be nice if SVBC would take the lead to work with DOT to point this out and provide some good data/examples. Seems like the existing data already proves its a win for everyone. Many other places have been through these discussions, so would be a good time to reach out for help from other cities DOT and coalitions that have been through the process.

  3. @Scoot – On my comment card to SJDOT I wrote that we need to better communicate the benefits of these changes to Park Avenue businesses.

    There’s a lot of discussion on Facebook regarding the meeting. The Park Avenue business owners between Sunol and Race pretty adamantly believe they need the parking to survive. Side street parking is not available — those are residential neighborhoods with resident permit parking only, which I assume was implemented specifically to address the business parking that likely occurred there previously. Off-street parking is available only for a few businesses that provide the space and are likely signed “CUSTOMER PARKING ONLY,” so one can understand the dismay of those who signed a lease on a commercial property and assumed the street parking would always be there.

    There’s a lot of discussion regarding the meetings on Facebook. It starts with Carlos Babcock’s summary here, with several subthreads in Andrew Boone’s I Walk I Bike I Vote page and more discussion on the Facebook event page.

  4. For that mini business district I have the bad feeling they will propose just sharrows and nothing else. With a 35mph 85th (95th would be?) that’s just way too fast. Max practical speed limit would need to be 15 or 20mph with an 85th controlled at <25mph by minimum two tunned speed 'humps' (not bumps) per block. Raised mid-block crosswalks could substitute for some of these.

    I would actually prefer sharrowed 15-20mph business districts with active traffic calming, vs 35-45mph ones with bike lanes. If you want to visit businesses on both sides of the road its easier than trying to merge out of the bike lane into high speed traffic.

    Santa Cruz Ave south of 9 in Los Gatos should be a similar width and a good example of what can be done. It has a 15mph speed limit, spaced bike racks, benches, bulb-outs for cross-walks. No bike lane and has full street parking, but its still calm enough for kids and the most novice of riders to ride down the middle of the lane.

    Lincoln Ave business district is 25mph and just seems too fast still. I think they missed an opportunity to go 20mph with raised cross-walks, which would have really increased business for that stretch.

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