As the designated regional transportation planning agency (RTPA) for the state of California and the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for the Federal Government, the San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) administers State and Federal transportation funding for the nine-county Bay Area. Local agencies requesting State or Federal funds through MTC must submit Complete Streets checklists for all transportation projects.
The MTC Complete Streets checklist includes information about existing facilities, trip generators, collision data for people on foot and on bike, new facilities for walkers and cyclists, removed facilities, detailed reasons why bike facilities aren’t added, and accommodations for walkers and cyclists during construction.
The Congestion Management Agency responsible for each county must present these Complete Streets Checklists to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee for the county. In Santa Clara County, for example, the VTA BPAC has the opportunity to review these checklists. The idea is that local people have a better handle on local road conditions.
You can also view these checklists for yourself here at the MTC Complete Streets Projects list. For Santa Clara County, I see several funding requests for fairly mundane projects like street resurfacing projects, but there are also potentially interesting projects like a “Java Road Diet and Bike Lanes” in Sunnyvale; a new “Hetch Hetchy Trail Phase I” to pave the east bank of San Tomas Aquino Creek levee from Agnew to the Hetch Hetchy right-of-way, with a spur along the Hetch Hetchy pipeline to Bassett Street; and the California Avenue Bike Station project in Palo Alto, which promises a 4,700 square foot bike station designed to provide bicycle services such as valet and storage of up to 300 bikes, a repair shop, bike share, and room for classes or events.
For the Cal Ave bike station, the application notes “the Bike Station will enable more cyclists to access the California Avenue district and Caltrain thereby reducing vehicle miles travel and air emissions.” This VMT-reducing bike station will be located on the ground floor of a brand new three story parking structure, hurrah.
Once you see a project of interest in your area, use your favorite search engine to find the project page for it. If you don’t find it, find the city or agency BPAC contact information, and email your letter of support or list of concerns. These Complete Streets checklists include a city contact email, and emails to these city officials become a part of the public record. Be sure to ask to forward your comments to the BPAC or even to city council.
Speaking of VTA BPAC, the next meeting takes place this Wednesday evening at VTA HQ on North 1st Street beginning at 6:30 PM. The public is invited. They’ll review the Complete Streets Checklists for Santa Clara County at this meeting. Find the meeting agenda here.