San Mateo Bike Plan Languishes for Decade

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    AFP/Getty Images
    The First Family concluded their 10-day vacation to Martha's Vineyard this Saturday. Here President Barack Obama rides his bicycle followed by daughter Malia.

    Some things are worth waiting for. And waiting for. And waiting for.

    San Mateo's bike plan is finally getting a revamp after more than a decade. The last time the county examined its bike infrastructure, we were all worried about Y2K -- Napster was brand new. Less than half of a 2000 plan has so far been implemented.

    The revamp comes at a particularly urgent time, with bicycle ridership seeing a dramatic increase. Many of San Mateos roads are ill-suited for alternate transportation modes, with bike paths abruptly starting and stopping.

    The region is ripe for a bicycle renaissance. Friendly weather and relatively few hills make for ideal conditions.

    A new plan calls for over 300 miles of new bike paths, with brand new considerations for pedestrian amenities. Routes around the 101 freeway are getting particular attention, as car-drivers have been known to kill bicyclists near various freeway overpasses.

    San Mateo's not alone in shifting its priority to more sustainable forms of transportation. Pittsburg recently got a half million dollars to improve street safety by widening curbs, slowing traffic, and improving crosswalks. A roundabout and traffic lights are expected to make the area easier for school children to navigate without having to worry about speeding cars.

    Upgrades like those would be a welcome sight in other towns, where police have experienced difficulty with vehicular assaults. The SFPD announced this week that they need the public's help to find a driver who hit a 23-year-old man, carried him for a block on the hood of the car, and then sped off. And in San Jose, a driver hit a 9-year-old girl early Wednesday morning. She escaped major injury.