Redesigning bike lane where cyclist was killed | July 11, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - July 11, 2012

Redesigning bike lane where cyclist was killed

by Dave Boyce

A proposal to redesign a bike lane on Alpine Road near Interstate 280 where a cyclist was killed in 2010 is on the agenda of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors this week.

The board on Tuesday, July 10, will consider approving a request to the county Transportation Authority to spend $175,000 on that project plus $500,000 to install traffic lights at Alpine Road intersections with La Mesa and La Cuesta drives in Ladera, effectively bracketing the Ladera Country Shopper mall with traffic signals.

If approved by the Transportation Authority, the money would come from the county's Measure A half-cent sales tax revenues for transportation projects.

Bike lane

The $175,000 would be spent on improving an ill-defined bike lane on westbound Alpine Road as it passes under Interstate 280. In November 2010, Los Altos Hills cyclist Lauren Ward died in this stretch of road after a collision with a tractor-trailer.

The westbound bike lane on Alpine Road "suddenly disappear(s)" as it heads under I-280. Restriping it has the support of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and the California Department of Transportation "to better define the movements of the cyclist and the motorist in order to minimize potential conflicts," according to the staff report to the supervisors.

Caltrans and the county Public Works Department have had four plans to consider, each of which inserts a bike lane between the lane for I-280-bound traffic and the westbound lane into Ladera. The differences lie in where bikes weave into traffic and the markings that indicate the bike lane.

Go to for a look at the four designs.

Traffic lights

The $500,000 traffic light proposal is a response by the county public works department to concerns of the Ladera Homeowners Association about congestion at the Alpine Road intersections with La Cuesta and La Mesa drives.

The public works department concluded that "both intersections warrant traffic signals in order to improve traffic flowing onto Alpine Road at peak hours and to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety."

Between 2004 and 2011, the staff report says, there were six collisions with four injuries in and around La Cuesta, and nine collisions with seven injuries around La Mesa.


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