No Needed Freeways in Silicon Valley: Gas tax $$ to Build Bike SUPERHIGHWAY

While we are paying about a dollar and a quarter more for gas than the national average, and have the highest gas tax in the nation—government has decided to use that money for buses, trains, trains to nowhere and now a BIKE SUPER HIGHWAY.

“The idea of a superhighway stems from VTA’s Santa Clara Countywide Bike Plan released in 2018. The plan proposes a central bikeway to help cyclists travel more easily and safely between cities.

Santa Clara County already has 800 miles of bikeways, including dedicated bike lanes on roads such as San Fernando Street in downtown San Jose. There are 200 miles of dedicated bike trails, but many popular routes—such as the Guadalupe River Trail and Coyote Creek Trail—are not connected through a continuous, uninterrupted path.

VTA allocated $903,000 in funding toward the project, and aims to complete an analysis of the preferred route by January.”

Bad road. Potholes. New freeways needed.  Instead your gas tax money was spent on bikes—the riders pay NO special tax for us of these lanes.  Maybe they need to pay their fair share?  No free rides.  Create these bike lanes as toll ways—then see how many riders you have.

Silicon Valley pedals closer to region’s first bicycle superhighway

by Sonya Herrera, San Jose spotlight,  7/9/21

Santa Clara County is planning the region’s first bike superhighway—but a route still needs to be selected.

“I don’t see a bicycle superhighway going down El Camino,” Erik Lindskog, a member of VTA’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, said at Wednesday’s meeting. “I think a bicycle superhighway needs to be a little more separate from traffic.”

The idea of a superhighway stems from VTA’s Santa Clara Countywide Bike Plan released in 2018. The plan proposes a central bikeway to help cyclists travel more easily and safely between cities.

Santa Clara County already has 800 miles of bikeways, including dedicated bike lanes on roads such as San Fernando Street in downtown San Jose. There are 200 miles of dedicated bike trails, but many popular routes—such as the Guadalupe River Trail and Coyote Creek Trail—are not connected through a continuous, uninterrupted path.

VTA allocated $903,000 in funding toward the project, and aims to complete an analysis of the preferred route by January.

The transit agency reached out to local bicyclists to evaluate three alternative routes for a protected bike path stretching from East San Jose to Santa Clara. The three routes—dubbed the Shortliner, Trail Trackway and Walsh Wizard—take different paths from east of Highway 680 north of Mabury Road to Santa Clara as far west as Lawrence Expressway.

VTA judged each route by eight metrics: equity, compatibility, desirability, sustainability, access, joy, safety and feasibility. Equity measures how attractive a route is to new users, women and people of color, while desirability is based on whether segments of a route lead to popular destinations.

The Shortliner route scored highest among the most categories and follows an on-street path from Mabury Road, Taylor Street, Hedding Street and The Alameda to El Camino Real. The route is the shortest of the three alternatives.

San Jose resident and cyclist Andy Murillo said that when they travel via bike, they choose routes with as few turns as possible, which makes the Shortliner route attractive. However, they cautioned that riding along The Alameda and El Camino Real can be dangerous.

“The optimal option would be to make it easier and safer to bicycle The Alameda (and) along El Camino Real, rather than along a bike route that you have to piece together,” Murillo told San José Spotlight. “For a lot of people, it’s a lot easier to imagine yourself sharing a trail with pedestrians than sharing a street with cars.”

The Trail Trackway route scored highest for equity and safety. The route extends along the Penitencia Creek Trail, Coyote Creek Trail, Caltrans Corridor, Caltrain Corridor and San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail through Central Expressway.

However, VTA considers the route infeasible along some stretches of San Jose and Santa Clara. For example, in Santa Clara the route faces gaps in the Caltrain Corridor which are expensive to connect.

The third route is the Walsh Wizard, which tracks along Berryessa Road, Hedding Street, the Guadalupe River Trail and Trimble Road, eventually reaching Kifer Road.

The Walsh Wizard route, which follows a portion of the Guadalupe River Trail, would likely be the cheapest of the three alternatives proposed. Image courtesy of VTA.

Lindskog is disappointed that the Trail Trackway route is considered infeasible, and said it may be a better alternative than the on-street options, given that many of the streets on the route are planned to have bike lanes added anyway.

Betsy Megas, who also serves on the bike and pedestrian committee, said the Trail Trackway route is an attractive option, but that on-street segments are necessary to provide a safe alternative during nighttime or in periods of flooding.

Many streets in San Jose are designated as bike routes, but don’t have basic features such as bike lanes that make roads safer for cyclists, Murillo said.

“I’m kind of salty that The Alameda is designated as a bike route, but there are no bike lanes,” Murillo said. “I’ve actually stopped riding on The Alameda for the most part because of having to share travel lanes with cars.”

VTA plans to survey more residents next month, and may set up a booth at San Jose street fair Viva Calle in September to solicit more feedback on the three alternatives. Readers can learn more about the bikeway alternatives at VTA’s website.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. And let’s not forget about the Horses they are they have their own lanes also out in the wilderness for the horseback riders they did that too they had to push the gas tax money and as many places as they could I knew damn well that the gas tax was going to be raided and use for something other than the roads for cars and trucks what a scam it’s about time for people of California to take control of their money I get rid of bike lanes walking lanes start using it for the cars like it was intended get rid of some of the CalTrans engineers they’re in charge of this bike lanes and stuff like that and get new ones they will make sure the money gas tax money goes to fixing the roads and bridges like it’s supposed to

  2. Christian says

    Its amazing how most of CA highways and freeways have finally been repaved, but in the SF Bay area they are as bad as ever.

  3. Richard Wahl says

    It is amazing how little of CA highways and freeways have been repaved. I drove 40,000 miles a year on the job most of which was in Kommiefornia. A friend hit a pot hole and ripped the rear end out of his pickup. I met a U Haul employee a couple of weeks ago who hit broken road and lost control of his car. I cannot get out of Fresno on Hwy 99 without knocking my eye teeth out of my head. Super bad.

  4. Really??? says

    Think of the lost time and productivity efficiency with this type of transportation.

    My Grandmother was faced with this option when Santa Barbara had few roads and the streets were centrally located. The auto made them in effective.

    No let’s go back to what has proven not to work, for Woe-be-gone days.

    Not too smart but then again Democrats are not that smart, just conniving

  5. Cars Are Basic, has faced this planning before.

    We pointed out the population base since 1980’s has not just shifted but dramatically changed making the use of bikes mainly irrelevant as point to point commercial / business operations.

    The new census is complete. The 20 year CAB projection is confirmed, the population is aging, there are fewer kids (5-20 years) available to ride. The latest fad is e-bikes that have proven to increase auto bike accidents by 200% (Consumer Reports). Anti car factions are merging because they a) have lost public confidence and b) have failed after close to 50 years of policy and applications.

    We are happy to represent your issues like the above waste.

    Contact CarsAreBasic.org and donate.

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