Council to look into foot and bike bridge over 101

MILLBRAE — A planned pedestrian and bicycle crossing over U.S. Highway 101 is expected to be the safest link between the city’s east side and downtown, a project that takes shape as officials anticipate more pedestrians around the Millbrae BART station.

Plans call for a 12-foot extension solely for pedestrians and bicyclists — fenced off from car traffic — on the north side of the existing Millbrae Avenue overpass. The current set-up has people, bikes and cars zooming over the freeway with almost no separation, which prompted officials to start examining ways to improve safety.

Millbrae has been pushing to turn the station area into a pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented haven, with plans for several mixed-use buildings already in the works along El Camino Real and red-light cameras up and running on Rollins Road.

City staff is recommending the City Council tonight approve an agreement spelling out the roles and responsibilities between the city and Caltrans, which has jurisdiction over the freeway and must approve the project before it moves forward.

The approximately 1,470-foot long bridge would start on the east side of 101 next to the San Francisco Bay Trail, continue across the freeway and over the southbound 101 off-ramp, and touch down just in front of the BART station, Public Works Director Ron Popp said.

Though the $8.5 million project has been on the books for approximately five years, it was delayed while officials determined how to separate the crossing from speedy drivers exiting 101, Popp said.

tramroop@examiner.com

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