Roadshow: Bicycle bridges opening this spring
Q Any idea when the bicycle bridge over Interstate 280 in Cupertino is going be ready for use? "... I see there is a bicycle connector going up over Highway 101. When will it open? "... There's some kind of bridge being built over Highway 237 in the Sunnyvale area. I assume this is for bicyclists. Am I correct? "... What's the status of the bicycle path along Highway 85 in Mountain View?
Robin A., James Frank, Bill Ho and many more
A Bicyclists, get ready to roll. The 280 pedestrian bridge near Mary Avenue is slated to open April 30, and the bridges over 101 and 237 are also expected to be ready sometime next month. And about the same time, the Moffett Boulevard bridge over the Stevens Creek Trail will open.
Q I was bicycling up Sand Hill Road from El Camino Real the other day, a common road-cycling route, when I noticed a nice sign. It said "Bicycle Friendly Community" and below, it said "2003-2007." I'm not one to be particular, but hey, they're two years off now. Unless Palo Alto is no longer a bicycle-friendly community, it would be nice to see a nice little "2009" sticker on there. Funny stuff you notice on a bike.
A Julian, you're not the only one wondering about our Bike Friendly communities.
Q My teenage son and I have seen a sign near El Camino that says "Sunnyvale, Bike Friendly, 2008-2012" or something close to that. He wondering what happens after 2012. Is it open season on bikers?
A I hope not. The Bicycle Friendly Community designation is an award given by the League of American Bicyclists and is based on a review of a community's facilities and programs for supporting and encouraging bicycling. The League awarded Sunnyvale the designation until 2012. Palo Alto had it for a few years. Both cities can reapply for the honor.
Q As a part-time bicyclist, I have noticed many other vehicles in the bike lanes, from a Segway to mopeds. I asked one moped driver why he drives in the bike lane and he said that he had a 50cc bike and can't keep up with traffic. He says the 35 mph speed limit is pushing his moped to the limit. Is this legal?
A The only ones who are supposed to be using the bike lanes are bicycles and motorized scooters. Segways are actually considered pedestrians, and mopeds (same as motorized bicycles) are vehicles that are supposed to follow the rules of the road.
Q What would it take to make high-traffic bridges more bike friendly? I used to bike to Eastridge once in a while, but would hesitate to go over the bridge at Tully Road and Highway 101 on a busy Saturday now. There are many other choke points where bridges or limited access streets are murderous to pedestrians or bicyclists. Will we ever see traffic calming in those areas?
A You will see improvements at Tully. There are now bike lanes on both sides of the overpass, but not on the 101 bridge itself. That will change in maybe three years thanks to Proposition 1B, passed by voters in 2006. It will fund improvements to the Tully-101 interchange, including bike lanes. Construction could begin next year.
Q Do you know if there will be bike lanes on the Benicia Bridge?
A Yes, when work ends late this year, there will be a two-way bicycle and pedestrian path on the far right side.
Q We love all our new bicycle commuters. Really, we do! Saving energy, cutting congestion, and staying fit. But, Gary, could you please, please have a word with those who think it's OK to go the wrong way in a bike lane? These aren't club cyclists, so we're counting on you to get the word out because, apparently, those new "Wrong Way" signs aren't doing the trick.
A I, too, am dismayed at the number of bicyclists I see riding against traffic. Bicyclists need to follow the same rules of the road as motorists. That means driving in the same direction as traffic, whether in a bike lane or not.