Comments for City of Mountain View Council Transportation Committee Meeting
May 18, 2011
The new 2010 Highway Capacity Manual (a publication of the Transportation Research Board (TRB)) now contains a tool to measure bicycle, pedestrian and transit Level of Service in addition to motor vehicles.
The City of Mountain View Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) held a special meeting on May 9th to discuss adding bike lanes on San Antonio Road as part of the Center project, and here is a synopsis of what came out of that meeting:
· We unanimously (with the possible exception Lauren Angelo, who was unable to attend) feel very strongly that bike lanes *must* be included as part of (or along with) the San Antonio Center project plans.
· For our part (in what we feedback re this issue to the City through the CTC), we feel that the "why" should be emphasized over the "how" (which we chose to leave, as much as possible, open to interpretation by traffic and project planners (the more options they have, the more likely we'll achieve the goal of seeing the lanes added.
The whys include:
· Even though the existing bike plan doesn't call out the need for bike lanes at that locations, no San Antonio project was in the works at the time, so any omission can be considered merely an oversight. Meanwhile, current thinking and trends now tend in the direction of placing bike lanes in any appropriate and necessary locations.
· Even though the existing general plan doesn't emphasize multi-modal transit accommodation, the draft mobility section for the updated general plan does, and the "Complete Streets" direction now mandated by the State is called out specifically.
· The draft Pedestrian Master Plan should include (and is expected to include) the need to separate bike traffic from pedestrian traffic as much as possible.
· Bike lanes on San Antonio extend bike routes south of El Camino into Los Altos, and create a bike-transit "hub" enabling ease of travel between Mountain View, Los Altos, and Palo Alto bike routes.
· Mixing two-direction, multi-modal traffic on sidewalks, especially when planter strips are included (thus making it far more difficult for bicyclists to yield to pedestrians as needed) sets up dangerous situations that shouldn't be acceptable in current planning.
· The nearest north/south bike routes are at Charleston and Rengstorff, neither of which are very near to San Antonio.
· The Environmental Sustainability Task Force final report recommended prioritizing bike and pedestrian modes of travel (see in particular page 120 in the attached final report segment).
The hows include: Narrowing the median space, narrowing the traffic lanes, eliminating planter strips, and narrowing the sidewalks to allow for (estimated) six-foot bike lanes (noting that bike lane width is dictated, at least in part, by the posted speed limit for vehicular traffic).
· We would like to see the bike-lane solution extend between Miller and California, but we do not want a lack of a solution there to compromise setting the proper precedent by completing work between Miller and El Camino.
· We would like to see infrastructure within the center also provide bike-friendly amenities (including, for example, bike parking structures), which can also enhance the center's aesthetics. We noted that bike riders entering the center are not necessarily going to the center, but might be passing through to other end points, such as Showers and California, the Greenway bike route, transit hubs, etc.