San Jose

San Jose's Plan to Add Bike Lanes Sparks Debate

Jon McQueen has parked his car outside of his home on Samaritan Drive in San Jose for 15 years. Wednesday, he learned that spot is going away.

“I like parking in front of my own place. I want to be able to see my car. I want to be able to hear it,” he said.

Lisa James is losing two spots.

“We have five people living in this house. Not everybody fits in the driveway and we have family over often."

It’s all due to a new road project on Samaritan Drive, which is a main connector to Good Samaritan Hospital. On the road between Samaritan Place and Clydelle, 54 on street spots will be eliminated to make room for bike lanes in October.

“Projects like this help to create a safe space to ride a bike and make it a real option for more people,” said Colin Heyne, the Public Information Officer for San Jose’s Department of Transportation.

The city has an overall goal of getting people to both bike and walk 15-percent of the time by 2040. The plan includes adding bike lane infrastructure through much of downtown San Jose by the end of 2019.

“A lot of the roads already have bike lanes on them, but we're going to step them up and separate them from traffic physically with either parked cars or plastic bollards."

Some homeowners on Samaritan say it’s a positive for San Jose.

“Connecting bikeways is one of the best things we can do to relieve congestion and traffic, which I think is a much better deal than finding parking,” said Emily Thomas.

The city will also hold a meeting about the broader downtown plan, titled Better Bikeways, next Wednesday at City Hall.

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