Atherton wants to have new bike routes done by early 2016


Atherton officials say the town hopes to have the first phase of its plan to make improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians in town completed by late December or early January. They plan to start with the simplest changes first: designating some streets as shared bike and auto routes.

Andrew Poster, the senior engineer for the town who is in charge of the project, says only about 10 people, not counting those working for the town, came to a public meeting about the new bicycle routes on Aug. 11.

Some of those who came, he said, wanted to know more about the different types of bike routes, lanes and paths the town plans to eventually install. All the initial improvements will be "Class 3" bike routes, which simply consist of signs placed along the designated routes and pavement markings in the traffic lane showing arrows and a bicycle, which are called "sharrows."

"It's not a striped lane," Mr. Poster said. "It reminds motorists basically to share the road."

In the future, the master plan the town has adopted for bicyclists and pedestrians also envisions Class 1 and Class 2 bike lanes and paths.

"We're still studying the feasibility" and details of construction, including how they will be paid for, with those types of bicycle facilities, Mr. Poster said.

Class 2 lanes are painted on the roadway, and Class 1 paths are separated from the roadway by some sort of physical barrier.

The questions that the town must answer for Class 1 paths, Mr. Poster said, include whether there is enough room in the right-of-way for a bike path. For the Class 2 bike lanes, those painted on the roadway, the town must determine if roadways have enough pavement on them for the bike lanes, of if they will need to be widened.

Among the work that could be necessary to install the new bike lanes and paths are relocating utilities, or winding a path around existing trees.

Mr. Poster said that at the end of the study the town will figure out how much each new bike improvement should cost.

Public meetings will be held to discuss the Class 1 and 2 bike lanes, but have not yet been scheduled, he said.

The full Bike Pedestrian Master Plan can be downloaded from the city's website.

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4 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 13, 2015 at 1:23 pm

Bicyclists need to ride down the center of those arrows. That is what the arrows mean. Don't weave in and out of cars parked on the right. Cars that want to pass you can change lanes to pass.

4 people like this
Posted by Tony
a resident of another community
on Aug 14, 2015 at 11:03 am

First most, bicyclists are doing what keeps them safe. You're annoyed that they're avoiding danger, but you're the one most likely to kill them in this situation. Maybe you should stop blaming the victim, and maybe consider a realistic solution to separate bike traffic from car traffic. Protected bike lanes behind the parked cars would be ideal, but even separate bike lanes with green paint would be a start.

4 people like this
Posted by Josh
a resident of another community
on Aug 14, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Tony, I know your heart is in the right place, but you clearly have never ridden a bike in Atherton. There are no roads in Atherton at all that are wide enough for parking-protected bike lanes, almost all streets even lack sidewalks. These marked bike routes are an improvement, and "parent" is absolutely right - you should bike in a predictable straight line. When you ride in the parking lane, motorists expect you to stop or turn into a driveway, not suddenly swerve into their path.

2 people like this
Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 14, 2015 at 2:24 pm

Bike routes are by far the weakest form of bike facility as riders and motorists are required to share a single vehicle lane. This does not provide a much safer environment for school age children who are the largest group of bike riders. Bike lanes with and without parking are much better.

Like this comment
Posted by Walker
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Aug 14, 2015 at 3:36 pm

Well intentioned people are missing the unintended consequences of this bike-lane project. Not only are Atherton roads too narrow to mark off any bike-lanes, but this plan is supposed to mix bicyclists and pedestrians in those narrow lanes. Cyclists are supposed to ride on the right side and obey traffic rules. Most blast right through intersections ignoring stop signs. Meanwhile, pedestrians are supposed to walk on the LEFT so they can safely see oncoming traffic and bicyclists. Half do. As a motorist, I sometimes have to stop entirely for a walker (often with his/her back to me) who is confidently walking along the road assuming cars will pull out into the other lane to pass him/her. Cars can't do that when there's on-coming traffic. It's a wonder more right-side walkers aren't run over! Bikers, walkers and cars have co-existed in Atherton for generations. Let's not deface the pavement and erect more intrusive signs while possibly causing more accidents and injuries in the process.

3 people like this
Posted by Barbara Wood
Almanac staff writer
on Aug 14, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Barbara Wood is a registered user.

Just to clarify - this phase one proposal is not for bike lanes, it is for bike routes on the streets shown in the map. No lanes would be painted on the street. The town would put up signs and paint "sharrows" on the road showing a bicycle. From the story: "It's not a striped lane," Mr. Poster said. "It reminds motorists basically to share the road."
The town has proposed putting bike lanes, and separated bike paths, on some other streets and is studying the feasibility of doing that.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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