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PROPOSED BICYCLE LANES & SHARROWS ON WILLOW GLEN’S LINCOLN AVENUE ARE TOPIC OF SAN JOSE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION MEETING, 13 AUG

IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME IN THE PLANNING, WHEREAS THE CITY OF SAN JOSE IS NOW COORDINATING A PUBLIC MEETING FOR “FUTURE BICYCLE PROJECTS” WHICH CONCERNS IMPROVEMENTS AT WILLOW GLEN’S LINCOLN AVENUE.

The city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) is to hold a public meeting that is being promoted by long-time advocates of this project, Stakeholders for a Safe Green Village (SGV).

Of the considerations for this meeting agenda, San Jose DOT will discuss Lincoln Avenue:

  • addition of Bicycle Lanes between Willow Street & San Carlos Street
  •  addition of Shared Lane pavement markings & signing between San Carlos Street & Park Avenue.

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 13 August 2014, starting from 6:00 PM at Gardner Community Center (520 W. Virginia Street).

Featured from San Jose DOT will be: Hans F. Larsen, Director; as well as John Brazil, Bicycle Programs.

The topic of this meeting concerns much of the work that Stakeholders SGV has contributed to over the years.  Richard Zappelli, former President of Willow Glen Neighborhood Association, is also founding chair of Stakeholders SGV.  Zappelli termed-out after nine years on the WGNA Board.  But, through that duration, Lincoln Avenue improvements have been one of his initiatives.  That includes the opposite side of Willow to Park Avenue.   (Just last week Zappelli coordinated a street clean-up project on Lincoln, opposite of the Downtown Willow Glen Area).

As a liaison person to Willow Glen Business Association for  over eight years, Zappelli also got that group to write a two-page letter in support of bicycle lanes, therein submitted to San Jose DOT.   (WGBA, aka “Downtown Willow Glen).

Zappelli introduced Tom Trudell, Chair of the Our Avenue Committee, to Hans Larsen, Director of San Jose DOT.  Zappelli has also been on the Our Avenue Committee, himself.

The original process for this initiative began in 2009, when Stakeholders SGV was formed.  Coming into that group were two members from WGBA, two from WGNA and one from Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.

Later on, additional members were added into Stakeholders SGV.   For example: San Jose’s Deputy Fire Chief; Deputy Police Chief; Willow Glen’s Community Center Manager and so on.  All these committee members had a “stake” in Lincoln Avenue’s traffic calming.

Accordingly, WGBA’s letter endorsed Zappelli’s proposal.  But, its been sold publicly at large, —often misleadingly — as a wholesale reduction of Lincoln Avenue, from four lanes to just two.

That’s not exactly right.

It really goes like this…

First: two lanes will be established: one going north and the other south.

Second: at the center of the street, there will also be a lane dedicated for left or right turns, as well as for emergency vehicle access.

Third: there will be bicycle lanes added at the side of the street.  Bicyclist will have a 5-foot wide lane on each side of the road, going north and south.

Fourth (lastly): parking spaces at the curb will remain.  Side parking is not going anywhere, despite all the wrongful gossip.

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/10053/10053.pdf

Example from U.S. Department of Transportation

This is what’s called a “road diet.”  And it works…

In cities like San Francisco, where road diets have already converted over 40 avenues — successfully — in this manner.

In smaller towns, like Pasadena.

See the U.S. Department of Transportation: “Highway Safety Information System (HSIS) – Evaluation of Lane Reduction “Road Diet” Measures on Crashes” (PDF document).

At the upcoming meeting, on 13 August, there will be some modifications to the previously said plan, which concerns the north Lincoln Avenue corridor.

The project involves two phases, of which the first is now being planned.  The first phase will stretch from West San Carlos Street to Willow Street, as it traverses along Lincoln Avenue.

Part of that first phase includes what is known as a CBID, or “Community Benefit Improvement District”; that is, from Broadway Avenue (near River Glen School) to Willow Street.

What’s also known as the rest of the CBID area, stretches from Willow Street to Minnesota; but, that will be considered as phase two.  The second part of this project is yet to be determined.

BELOW: See the promotional flier from Stakeholders for a Safe Green Village, featuring the public meeting by the City of San Jose: “Future Bicycle Projects.”

BICYCLE POSTER

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