Study presents strategy to make Silicon Valley a national leader in cycling
March 15, 2017 – Joint Venture Silicon Valley and the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition have released a comprehensive study that lays out a vision for the bicycle to become a major mode of travel in Silicon Valley.
The report, “Silicon Valley Bike Vision,” documents the existing physical environment for bicyclists in Silicon Valley, identifies reasons more people don’t bike, outlines the need for investing in bicycling facilities, and offers next steps for creating a safe, continuous and connected bikeway network to make bicycling a compelling transportation alternative.
While Silicon Valley offers ideal biking conditions – a mild, year-round climate and a relatively flat topography – the region currently has insufficient, poorly-designed and often unsafe bike networks and is hampered by jurisdictional boundaries and local government policies, according to the study.
The report was produced in partnership with Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, Inc. and with financial support from Google, Facebook and Stanford University.
“Silicon Valley can become the same kind of national leader in bicycling that you see in some European capitals,” said Russell Hancock, CEO of Joint Venture. “To achieve that goal, we must take an innovative and collaborative approach to funding, designing and building connected bikeways.”
“More and more people are realizing the importance of the bicycle in solving many of our community’s health and environmental problems,” said Shiloh Ballard, Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. “Now we are grateful to have financial support for real data collection to better inform how to get more people riding for everyday use.
“Last year, Get Healthy San Mateo and Santa Clara County Public Health both released reports with bike collision data and San Jose did the same with its Vision Zero report, she added. “Our new report adds another important tool by using real data to benchmark progress and identify how to create bike friendly communities and safe streets for all."
Creating a connected, stress-free network of bike lanes is a key part of Google's vision for the future of transportation,” said Google’s transportation planning program manager Jeral Poskey. “This report helps identify the challenges to building out that network and the elements of city planning and policy that lead to a bike friendly community.”
The 40-page study details the health, environmental, economic, safety and social equity benefits of bicycling with extensive data for each category, and highlights visionary programs in such cities as Davis, Eugene, Boulder, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City.
It further presents the current state of biking in Silicon Valley – where bikeways are located, who bikes to work, how bike commuting has changed, and bike safety improvements.
Finally, the report shows the existing gaps and network barriers and how to design better freeway, railway and arterial crossings and bike path connections in the future.
Some work has already begun. Redwood City, Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Stanford University have formed a new alliance to tackle transportation issues collectively. The Managers Mobility Partnership, convened by Joint Venture, has made bike infrastructure a top priority and is working to create a continuous, high-quality, north-south bicycle corridor traversing their cities.