An effort to make the city a bike-friendly, pedestrian-oriented community must be balanced with the funds available to reach that goal, officials said Wednesday.
Residents, city staff and members of the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee are scheduled tonight to discuss a handful of projects in hopes of securing grant funding for long-awaited improvements.
Traffic engineer Augustine Chou said the committee is set to talk about projects identified in the 2004 Bicycle Transportation Plan, which are mostly pedestrian crossings and a number of bike routes all over the city designed more for commuters than leisure cyclists. The group will likely meet every month to discuss a different project, and the public is encouraged to drum up their own ideas for projects.
The city currently doesn’t have many commuter-oriented bike paths, but instead has designated bike routes on residential streets citywide, Chou said.
Possible projects include a bike lane on Carolan Avenue between Oak Grove and Broadway; another at the Cadillac Way and Rollins Road intersection to link up with the planned Caltrain-sponsored Broadway bicycle and pedestrian over-crossing; a bike lane on California Drive heading north from Broadway; and one that would connect the Burlingame and Broadway business districts.
“I think anything that enhances municipal transit options is a healthy thing for the community, especially for those of us who live and work in town,” Broadway merchant Ross Bruce said.
Councilman Russ Cohen, who as a traffic, safety and parking commissioner helped create the 2004 plan, said committee members should keep funding in mind as they narrow down their bicycle improvements wish list.
“A project might sound very sexy, but the funding might not be available for that kind of project,” Cohen said. “The committee has to be smart about picking projects we’ll be able to fund with grants.”
The 2004 plan found that Cadillac Way improvements would cost approximately $10,000 and a 7,000-foot bike lane on Carolan would cost some $56,000. City staff has not come up with new cost estimates yet, as the committee has to solidify which projects are feasible.
Transportation Development Act funding would likely be the primary funding source for the projects. The city has already used $150,000 in such funding to pay for a lighted crosswalk at Morrell Avenue, pedestrian countdown signals downtown and bike route signs citywide.
The committee meeting takes place at 6 p.m. this evening in Conference Room A at City Hall, 501 Primrose Road.