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.