San José Makes Major Strides for People on Bikes

City on track to add 70 miles of bikeways within 18 months and be a top-tier bike-friendly U.S. city

San José, Calif.- The City of San José today announced completed efforts towards making San José one of the most bike-friendly big cities in the U.S.

These include the addition of new bikeways, pavement maintenance updates, innovative street design elements, bike parking, bike-friendly code and policy updates, as well as partnership programs that encourage everyday use of the bicycle.

Improvements, announced in a report during today’s San José City Council’s Transportation and Environment Committee, support goals put forth in Bike Plan 2020, the City’s 10-year plan for being among the best cities in the U.S. for people who bike—where bicycling is safe, convenient and an integral part of daily life. With a goal of five percent of all trips by bicycle by 2020, the Plan lays out a 500-mile bikeway network that embraces a high standard of design and provides safe and efficient travel for bicyclists of all ages and abilities.

According to Paul B. Smith, deputy director, planning and project delivery, San José Department of Transportation, the aggressive rate of bikeways development is a testament to San José’s commitment to offering the community a variety of transportation options.  “Over the past six years, San José added 40 miles of bikeways. In the next 18 months, more than 70 miles more will be developed. This is key both in enhancing the existing bike network off and on City streets, and in making San José more accessible whether on foot, by transit or on a bicycle,” said Smith.

Examples of top San José bikeways include the Guadalupe River, Coyote Creek and Los Gatos Creek trails and the on-street “green lanes” on Hedding and San Fernando streets.

In addition to enhancing San Jose’s bike infrastructure, Bike Plan 2020 puts forth a goal of five percent of all trips in San José to be by bicycle. According to the report presented today, one percent of trips are by bicycle—with four percent of trips by bicycle in Downtown San José.

Jeremy Engleman, general manager at Mike’s Bikes, 1180 Lincoln Ave. in San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood, said the City’s push to make the community more bike-friendly has had a positive impact on business. “Sales have definitely increased in tandem with the City’s bike infrastructure enhancements. And, we continue to see a marked rise in interest from commuter and recreational riders,” Engleman said.

The City’s efforts to be one of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S. complement San José and Silicon Valley’s long history of cycling. This includes the production of the first mechanically pedaled bicycle in North America, created in the 1800s, and one of the first bicycling clubs in the U.S., the Garden City Wheelmen, formed in 1884. In addition, the Hellyer Park Velodrome is currently the only velodrome in Northern California, and is one of 19 in the U.S.

“San José has a long love affair with the bicycle. Our aim now is to build on this legacy to encourage bicycling everyday for all while helping to improve health, fitness and the environment,” said Smith.

For more information about Bike Plan 2020 updates, please visit: http://sanJoséca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/41745.

ABOUT SAN JOSE’S BIKE AND PEDESTRIAN PROGRAM
In Oct. 2007, the City of San José introduced its Green Vision, which sets forth 10 ambitious goals for environmental protection and economic development. A key part of this 15-year plan is the creation of a Green Mobility system—an integrated and sustainable way to get from place to place. Cycling and walking play significant parts in making this happen. San José’s mild climate and flat terrain provide an ideal environment for bicyclists and pedestrians. The City has been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bicycle Friendly Community. With more than 30,000 daily bike trips on more 240 miles of on-street bikeways, San José complements this by offering ongoing children’s’ walking and biking safety training in San José schools to ensure all have access to key safety training and help transition commuters from cars to bikes. San José is in the midst of expanding to 500 miles bikeways, including a network of trail systems, allowing residents to travel more easily by bicycle. For more information, visit http://www.sanjoseca.gov/transportation.

ABOUT THE CITY OF SAN JOSÉ
From its founding in 1777 as California’s first city, San José has been a leader, driven by its spirit of innovation. Today, San José stands as the largest city in Northern California and the Capital of Silicon Valley—the world’s leading center of innovation. The City, the 10th largest in the U.S., is committed to remaining a top-ranked place to do business, to work and to live. For more information, visit, www.sanjoseca.gov.

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