East Palo Alto Adding 8 Miles of New Bike Lanes in Q3 2022

In Q3 2022, East Palo Alto is planning to add 8 miles of new bike lanes as part of the Annual Street Resurfacing Project 21/22.

I have become very involved with transportation infrastructure in East Palo Alto since being appointed to the Public Works & Transportation Commission. Today I want to bring your attention to the Annual Street Resurfacing Project - 21/22 listed on the City's Annual Street Resurfacing website which details the work for improvements to the top 2" surface of roads, some sidewalk gap closures, and 8 miles of new bike lanes in the city. How exciting! I have attached a copy of the PDF here in case its web location ever gets changed.

This post will mainly focus on the new 8 miles of bike lanes because the new road surfacings and sidewalk gap closures can be articles on their own. Our Public Works & Transportation Commission discussed the Annual Street Resurfacing Project and Schedule last week on July 20, 2022, and the agenda, notes, and video are available on the City website here. Prior to this meeting, I had read through the project plans and compared them to the City's Bicycle Transportation Plan Adopted 2017. I compared the existing bike network to the additional lanes to be added this year, and here is the diagram below.

Comparing existing bike lanes (in purple) to the 8 miles of new bike lanes to be paved in 2022 (in blue).

You can see how visually the amount of bike lanes in the City is roughly doubling this year (ignore the purple line on the top left as that is Willow Road in Menlo Park). Most of these bike lanes are Class III bike lanes; there will be "sharrow" markers indicating that bikes share the lane with cars. This is because roads like Pulgas Ave and Clarke Ave - for the majority of their length - are not wide enough to accomodate one lane in each direction, parking on each side, and Class II bike lanes. As you can see from the meeting recording linked earlier, I have advocated for more one-side Class II bike lanes on Pulgas Ave and Clarke Ave where they can fit. Our Associate Civil Engineer, Adrian Biggs, said he will look into it and do what he can.

Note that this resurfacing project doesn't include other projects which will add additional bike lanes into our city:

  1. Route 101 / University Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing Project, which I wrote about earlier here.
  2. Addison Avenue Complete Green Street, which is under construction and will have bike lanes.
  3. Potential Runnymede street project, which Public Works is submitting a $2.5 million grant application for and may or may not get funded.

Also note that there are some bicycle lane gaps from the Annual Street Resurfacing Project 21/22 plans which are actually going to have bike lanes striped this year:

  • Pulgas Ave from Runnymede to Bay Rd was supposed to have been completed by Teichert last year, and it will be done this year.
  • Pulgas Ave from O'Connor to Myrtle Street will have bike lanes added this year.
  • From the meeting recording, Adrian Biggs mentioned that Fordham is planned to have bike lanes this year, though it is earmarked in next year's Resurfacing Project. I personally use that road every day and it is nice and wide and can have Class II bike lanes on each side which I think would be a big win for ¬†University Village and EPA residents in general.

There is a chance that Public Works may have unused funding if the project stays within budget, and we are looking for ideas for additional places to add bike lanes. Do you have any ideas for places where you'd like to see bike lanes added? If so, please comment below within the next 6 weeks (counting from 7/24/22) because we may be able to get them added when bike lanes striping start in around 7 or 8 weeks from now.

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