Biking to Work from East Palo Alto

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition sponsored "Bike to Wherever Day" on Thursday, May 16th, 2024.  Bike to Wherever Day is an annual celebration encouraging people to bike to work instead of driving.

I worked the the SVBC Energizer Station at Friendship Bridge with a few friends. We handed out snacks, drinks, and counted the number of people riding by on bikes. This year we saw over 200 people riding between 7am and 11am. Most people were riding to work at local companies: Google, Apple, Stanford University, Amazon, Meta, and many startups. There was even a group of geologists and seismologists riding to their new work location with the US Geological Survey at Moffett Field!

East Palo Alto is a great location if you want to ditch your car and bicycle to work.  We are close to hundreds of thousands of jobs, have relatively flat terrain that makes for easy cycling, and have ideal weather most of the year for biking. Getting cars off the road helps everyone, and the more people who bike instead of drive to work is a win for the environment, our roads, the employers (who do not have to provide parking) and the riders themselves who see many health benefits.

I met a friend for lunch yesterday, and I was again reminded of how easy it is to bike from East Palo Alto to Google's main campus. I rode at a relatively slow speed (12 MPH) and it only took about 25 minutes door to door.  Most of the route to Google is on a protected bike lane, and I only rode on streets for the last mile through the Google Campus.

Google is just one of the many nearby destinations that are easily reached by bicycle from East Palo Alto. The farthest I personally have ridden on the trail was to attend a Green Bay Packers- San Francisco 49ers exhibition game in Santa Clara. You can get to Levi's Stadium from East Palo Alto by riding almost exclusively on the Bay Trail from East Palo Alto, and only entering city streets for the last 3 blocks. The same trail is a route to large employers like Amazon in Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, and San Jose.

Live in Peace does great work in East Palo Alto expanding bicycling to the community. Cycling is often thought of as a bougie sport, but the truth is that bicycles are a far cheaper method of transportation than a car. The fanciest bike is often much less expensive than the cheapest car, and someone on a bike has access to thousands of jobs close to EPA.  Many low income people in EPA ride bikes exclusively for transportation, including for their work commutes.

East Palo Alto continues to improve bicycling infrastructure in the city. East Palo Alto will be rebuilding the levee along which the Bay Trail runs from Bay Road to Friendship Bridge. The new levee will be replacing the current dirt berm, which is riddled with squirrel tunnels and inadequate to protect against flooding. Along with providing much more resilient flood protection (and hopefully remove flood insurance requirements for EPA homeowners), the new levee will have improved paths and bike lanes.

Another project in East Palo Alto will be flood improvements along the San Francisquito Creek and Woodland Avenue. This new construction will also be an opportunity to build a new bike lane along the creek, which will make riding to Palo Alto and Menlo Park safer and easier.

I am optimistic that East Palo Alto will continue to invest in biking infrastructure, and we will see more people biking instead of driving for transportation.

Share this article: Link copied to clipboard!