On Tuesday October 3 the East Palo Alto City Council declined to consider an approved a staff-written update of the city’s 2011 Bicycle Transportation Plan that appeared on their agenda, as the meeting had already run past midnight. The council will review the plan on October 17.
One of the plan’s key goals is simply to keep the city eligible for all sources of county, state, and federal funding for bicycle infrastructure projects. Conditions for bicycling remain poor in East Palo Alto, with either narrow or no bike lanes at all on streets crowded with parked and parking cars. Crossing Highway 101 remains risky and uncomfortable.
The 2017 Bicycle Transportation Plan commits the city “to build a comprehensive and well used bicycle network that comfortable accommodates bicyclist of all ages and skill levels,” although it is less than visionary. The plan acknowledges the new ped/bike bridge over Highway 101 at Newell/Clarke avenue and calls for another ped/bike bridge to be built at University Avenue, completing the missing section of the Bay Trail, building a one-mile separated path on Fordham Street from the Bay Trail to Bay Road, no bike lanes at all, and sharrows on Pulgas Avenue, Weeks Street, O’Conner Street, and East Bayshore Road.
The city is likely to seek funding from the state’s Active Transportation Program for the $10 million ped/bike bridge at University Avenue. The sharrows and signage called for in the plan will cost much less and could be paid for with the city’s own funds, or with smaller grant programs.
In addition, the city will implement the related Bicycle Parking Master Plan, the Americans With Disabilities (ADA) Master Plan, and the Dumbarton Transportation Corridor Study, which all include some components improving conditions for bicycling and walking.