Last Chance to give Re-Imagine SamTrans Route Feedback ~ Changes coming to Melendy Dr & San Carlos Ave ~ SCSD Walk/Bike Audits begin Nov 18 ~ Youth Climate Ambassador opening ~ SVBC Biking 101 Workshop ~ Belmont Parks & Rec lays groundwork for Pump Track, Skate Park & Learning-to-ride course ~ RWC seeking input on downtown parklet plan and more...
1) Update on City of San Carlos plans for Melendy Dr at Sunset, Heather, Torino and Bauer in San Carlos -- Curb cuts and bulb-outs coming, but their proposed design doesn’t block traffic flow on Melendy, only slows traffic turning onto those side streets (see slides, linked)
2) Update on City of San Carlos plans for San Carlos Ave at Prospect and Kenton: Per the city, planned pedestrian curb extensions will not change the width of existing bike lanes at Prospect; At Kenton, existing plans to finish bike lanes on west San Carlos Ave will also not be impacted, except that bike lane buffer will briefly reduce from 4 ft to 2ft leading up to and away from the crosswalk (see slides, linked)
3) San Carlos School District Walk/Bike Audits coming (finally!) First one is Thurs Nov 18, 1:45pm at Tierra Linda/Mariposa. Please sign up to participate! (Rare opportunity to give in-person, in-place safety concern input to city staff and consultants)
Tierra Linda/ Mariposa, November 18, 1:45-3:15pm
Brittan Acres, December 2, 7:45-9:15am
Heather, December 7, 7:45-9:15am
White Oaks, December , 1:50-3:20pm
Arundel, January 11, 1:50-3:20pm
Central/ Arroyo, January 25, 2:30-4pm
4) Biking-enthusiast Ilana Yakubovich is San Carlos School District new Wellness Director & Safe Routes To School coordinator -- Welcome! She can be contacted at email@example.com
5) This Fri, Nov 5 at 8:30am is the quarterly San Carlos City + School (“2+2”) Meeting -- It’s a unique opportunity to make public comments to local leaders about issues that affect BOTH city and school, like Safe Routes to School issues. Agenda will be posted on website (linked) by Tuesday, Nov 2.
6) Climate Youth Ambassador program accepting applications (due by Nov 29, for 9th-11th graders in San Mateo County, includes $500 stipend + up to $500 funding for project; extra support available if low income)
7) Free Bicycling 101 & Bike Share Workshop Tues, Nov 16, 6-7pm Has it been a while since you’ve been on the bike? Are you feeling rusty? Join SVBC for our Bicycling 101 & Bike Share webinar! In addition to getting ready for your ride and bike safety basics, we cover ride routing and rules of the road too. We’ll also go over the Bay Wheels bike share program from head to toe, so you can bike share like a pro! Register here!
8) Save the date: SVBC’s Next Biketivist Forum is Wed, Nov 17
5-6pm Presentation on Repaving/Restriping with Speakers from City of RWC, Caltrans D4, SJ DOT
6-7pm Local Team Meetings -- Join our newly-merged San Carlos/Belmont to talk biking and plan upcoming events
Free, but don’t forget to register to get the link.
9) On Wed, Nov 3, 7pm Belmont’s Parks, Rec & Open Space (PROS) Advisory Committee presents their Recommendations for Park Improvements again at the regular meeting of the Parks & Rec Commission
In case you missed their presentation a couple weeks ago, you can still call in to give feedback on the plans this Wed. Recommendations include plans for a pump track at Belmont Sports Complex (across 101, over Ralston bike/ped bridge), a learn-to-ride bike loop at Belameda Park, and a skatepark along El Camino near Ralston.
Zoom link at: https://belmont-gov.zoom.us Select JOIN and enter Meeting ID 924 8319 3757. Use the Hand Raise Feature to request to speak. You may rename your profile if you wish to remain anonymous. It’s Agenda Item #6, see full Agenda here.
Can’t make the meeting? Link here to see draft plan and Give On-line Feedback on the Park Improvement Recommendations
Also, the General Feedback Belmont Resident Survey Still Open: If you haven’t filled out the City of Belmont Resident Survey yet asking to hear resident priorities, please add your voice!
10) Redwood City Asking Residents to give feedback on their Downtown Experience with a Parklet Survey -- They want to know:
“Have you visited Downtown Redwood City recently? Where do you typically park? What businesses do you visit? Have you experienced our parklet program (outdoor business activity)? We want to hear from you! Your invaluable feedback will shape the way our City streets and sidewalks are used as we continue to support our businesses during this challenging time!”
11) THIS Wed, Nov 3 is THE crucial SamTrans Board Meeting for advocating for better School Routes in our communities -- Bikes and buses go hand-in-hand!
The (very nearly final) Re-Imagine SamTrans Proposed Route Changes will be presented (as Agenda Item 5) and discussed, but to be viable for kids to take to school (and their parents to take the train!), more changes to Route #295 are still needed. If you can, please attend and speak up to request SamTrans do a pilot of SamTrans’ original (pre-2014) Route #295.
→ Here are SamTrans’ final proposed routes: https://www.reimaginesamtrans.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/295.pdf
→ And here’s a summary of concerns on the present proposal
The proposed changes to the #295 Route won’t make it useful enough for students traveling to/from Sequoia and Carlmont High Schools and to the Youth Center from Tierra Linda/Mariposa/CLC campus.
Frequency needs to be every 20-30 min during peak hours, 6-9am and 3-6pm, not hourly as is being proposed. Hourly service is insufficient--it won't meet the needs of multiple different school bell schedules. If we don’t want to run empty buses (which happens to the current 295 because the timing works for almost no students), they need to make sense for the populations they serve.
It’s not realistic to require students to transfer/take multiple buses to get to school. Planners focused on creating shorter bus routes (to be more on-time) with more transfer opportunities to connect to other routes. However, requiring students to take two buses to school isn’t realistic--it involves too much risk and uncertainty. School routes need to get kids from home to final destination in one ride.
Please restore the pre-2014 Route #295 that served DOZENS of schools (including Carlmont and Sequoia High), and with more frequency, every 20-30 min. Would SamTrans consider a pilot of the old 295 route, at least down to Woodside HS, which has a broader service coverage to avoid transfers, if funding and operational needs would allow it? Given bus driver shortages, might it be possible to recruit drivers, potentially retirees, from our local community who are only interested in driving a school route, and only during these peak times? Here’s what the original pre-2014 Route #295 looked like.
(The new SamTrans proposed Jefferson/Alameda extension adds unnecessary time and traffic backups. Consider using Hopkins/Hudson as the old route did.) Learn more about old Route 295 and sign the petition to restore it! https://www.getonthebusrwc.org/feedback
Join the SamTrans Board meeting via Zoom link or access by phone (669) 900-9128
Submit Public Comment for Agenda Item 5 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s not too late! SamTrans Survey still open through Nov 8
WHY RIDE A BUS? Create safer streets! Converting more school trips from cars to alternative multi-modal transportation options, including transit, walking, or biking, reduces peak period congestion, improves local air quality, and promotes youth independence. Today, fewer than 15 percent of children nationwide walk or bike to school. Rates of severe childhood obesity are three times higher than they were 30 years ago, putting children at higher risk of premature death and several chronic diseases. Parents driving their children to school accounts for 20-30% of morning rush hour traffic.
Effective, efficient Public Transit for Students is a Win-Win for Everyone -- students, parents, community congestion relief, air quality & climate. Bikes and buses go hand-in-hand, especially when it rains. Youth taking public buses to school are tomorrow’s confident public transit-taking adults and there is NO hope for climate and congestion relief that doesn’t include efficient, effective public transit.
Thanks for reading/riding! Sonia Elkes,
Founder, San Carlos Bikes
PS: Want to get bike-related news more promptly? To see more bike- and San Carlos transportation-related updates sooner:
Follow San Carlos Bikes on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sancarlosbikes
Join the Nextdoor Group, “Let’s Talk Transportation: San Carlos & Surroundings,” https://nextdoor.com/g/ldy7tlfot/
Join the SVBC San Carlos/Belmont Team through Google Groups: https://groups.google.com/a/bikesiliconvalley.org/g/sancarlosandbelmont
Want a general Guide to Biking in San Carlos? See this article: Guide to Biking In San Carlos (San Carlos Living magazine, April 2021)