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Aug 3, 2022 Biking News

Special Edition:

Public Comment Needed on the (NOT-bike-friendly) New

Safe Routes to School Draft Plan

San Carlos Bikes Newsletter

~ Aug 3, 2022 ~

  1. First Draft of San Carlos Schools Walk/Bike Audit Results was released to the public June 20*, and is in serious need of more public review/comments before comment period closes soon! – (Bottom line: There are still no new bike lanes recommended for around schools, just more shared lanes and hazardous-to-kids-on-bikes curb extensions. Not ok. Also, routes to school from East San Carlos are largely neglected.

Please go to the plan, read the comments already left, like the ones you agree with, and add any more you have:

While this (school-specific) draft plan IS consistent with our city’s Bike/Ped Masterplan, it's nowhere near adequate yet as a real safe routes to school plan. The city can and must do better by our school children than the plan currently recommends, and it is NOT too late to make this happen. Please help!!

Some feedback on the draft plan so far:

“This plan is mostly pedestrian oriented. Cycling provides a roughly 10x increase in the transit area over walking. Where are the class 2 bike lanes? Protected bike lanes? Folks won't cycle when they don't feel safe. You will not increase how many kids ride to school if they/their parents, don’t feel safe. Bulb outs are car infrastructure, not pedestrian, and are a hazard to cyclists. Bulb outs send young cyclists into the path of cars, as drivers are now focusing on the bulb out, and not the cyclists next to them…Bike boulevards are also really car infrastructure, designed to remove bikes from primary routes, and don’t provide cycle lanes on the bike boulevard, and so do not much increase cyclist safety. You need more folks, especially school kids, cycling. Many more kids and parents can cycle to school than walk. And that requires cycle lanes along primary transit routes to make it efficient and safe to do so. Folks won't cycle when they don't feel safe." G.C.

“Shared bike/vehicle lanes are NOT safe/comfortable bike infrastructure, especially for kids, even if they're part of a ‘bike boulevard’. Unless a bike boulevard diverts through-vehicle traffic off the street so it’s local resident traffic only (which doesn't seem to make sense for Cedar and Arroyo), bike boulevards are a bad compromise.

Prioritizing walking at the expense of biking is a mistake. Mornings get rushed and kids need sleep, so students who could walk often end up being driven to make it to school on time. Having a safe bike route to school changes that equation, because it doesn’t take much more time to bike than drive, for much of San Carlos. When there’s a good bike route, kids don’t have to sacrifice sleep for exercise in the mornings, and they gain better independence and responsibility too. Any chance to exercise before school improves student focus and learning, but because time also matters, a parent-approved bike network is crucial to both not clogging our streets with vehicle traffic and maintaining the physical health and mental well-being of San Carlos students.” S.E.

“I know some grownups might like bike boulevards, but they are not suited for school kids.

1] These kids would have to share the road at the same time as drop-off parents that are in a hurry to get their kids to school.

I have seen car accidents between parents in a hurry - you don't want to see small kids on bikes in the middle of that mess.

2] while single people often drive small cars, as soon as we become parents, we drive the biggest minivans, SUVs, pick-up trucks we can find to make our new precious cargo as safe as possible. Again having small kids riding right in front of people with the biggest cars possible seems negligent and uneducated.

3] on bike boulevards and at stop signs, small kids on bikes have to stay behind large vehicles with huge exhaust pipes. That is not a healthy location. Or they sneak by, which brings us back to point 2] you don't want small kids on bikes 'sneaking' around inexperienced and hurried drivers with huge vehicles. I have seen moms in these huge Suburbans who couldn't even see over the steering wheel - they don't see what is going on around them…Because of all these and other points having class 2 bike lanes is an absolute minimum for anybody taking pride in their job, their training and their leadership.

You want clarity where your kids are supposed to be safe at all times, you want clarity as a driver where to expect bicycles in all weather and light conditions.

You also want bike lanes for kids on scooters, skateboards, roller blades, etc.” G.S.

Thanks for reading/riding!

Sonia Elkes,

Founder, San Carlos Bikes

(415) 806-4632

*PS: In case you didn't notice, SIX weeks went by between this plan's release for public comment and this newsletter! Despite my best intentions (and a lot of travel in July), I’ve never been awesome at getting biking news out promptly, so a lot of my communication comes out last-minute, marked ‘‘urgent’.

Thankfully, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s San Carlos/Belmont Local Team Google Group is set up now to have SVBC staff sending out the most important greater San Carlos area bike news (especially official, city-related bike news) when it comes out, not days or weeks later.

I will continue to send out these newsletters, but if they are helpful to you, PLEASE also make sure you are on the San Carlos-Belmont SVBC local team email list so that you get the most critical news and opportunities with more notice. Again, the link to get on the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s San Carlos/Belmont Local Team Google Group

(Note: For the Redwood City-specific biking news, make sure you join the SVBC Redwood City Local team’s Google Group:

For General Information on Biking in San Carlos see our website:

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