Want to See a Safer El Camino Real? Redwood City Survey Closes Tonight

As part of its ongoing efforts to create a safer El Camino Real, Redwood City is seeking input from the public through an online survey that closes tonight. The information gathered from the survey will be shared with the public at a June 7 meeting and will inform the decision making for the infrastructure that goes into the project’s design.

The survey asks for feedback on designs that include protected bike lanes, parallel car-parking and planted medians.

“The survey is one of many ways the city is gathering input from the community on the desired options to be included in the proposed El Camino Real Corridor Plan,” explained Meghan Horrigan, a communications manager with Redwood City. “City staff have attended community meetings and events, met with El Camino Real businesses, presented to local groups and committees, and held community workshops, all in an effort to gain input and feedback.”

El Camino Real runs for two and a half mines through Redwood City. The city’s corridor plan is to reactivate the boulevard economically through smart growth while making the road safer for all users. A meeting in February outlines many of the changes the city is considering.

While the survey does include a section seeking feedback on improving retail activity, the focus is on transportation: bicycling infrastructure, parking and a general category on “transportation” make up the bulk of it.

Once the survey is completed and the June 7 meeting is held, city staff hope to have a design ready for public review and possible approval by the City Planning Commission and City Council later this year. However, Streetsblog’s Andrew Boone reported in December that the safety improvements could still be years away.

“The proposed plan will be a guide for public and private investment on El Camino Real and will take years to implement. It will likely include goals, policies, programs, and funding strategies for implementation,” Horrigan continued.

Protected bike lanes are one of several options being considered for the 2.5 miles of protected bike lanes on El Camino Real in Redwood. See more from the city's most recent report by clicking here.
Protected bike lanes are one of several options being considered for the 2.5 miles of El Camino Real in Redwood. See more from the city’s most recent report by clicking here.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) has pushed for separated bicycle lanes throughout the corridor and they have been involved with the community process for years. For more information on their advocacy, and how you can help them work for a safer El Camino Real, visit their website for the project.

“El Camino Real is a high speed, multilane road, yet has a lot of opportunity for enhanced transportation and safety,” explained Emma Shlaes, the policy manager for San Mateo County with SVBC. But despite daunting current conditions, she believes there is potential for El Camino Real to be a crucial connection for bicyclists in the region.

“As Redwood City and El Camino Real in particular continue to see higher rates of development, it is crucial for the city to provide more options to get around town,” she said. “Protected bike lanes on El Camino Real would encourage more people to try biking and provide a safe connection on and across the road.”

While Redwood moves forward with its community process, similar work is being done to plan for an improved, safer and more multi-modal El Camino Real throughout the corridor: including the nearby cities of Atherton and Menlo Park. Earlier this week, Atherton held its own community meeting for its plans for the roadway. City Manager George Rodericks described its plans as “part of the Complete Streets Project for making sure that high-volume roadways contain multimodal transportation” to the Mercury-News.

  • Ryan

    It’s the city of “Redwood City”. There is no “city of Redwood”

  • The protective island bicycle island in that photo between the pedestrian crosswalk and the green bike land is too narrow. It could result in bicycle riders being right-hooked from drivers because bicycles can be in the driver’s blind spot as they make the right turn. In well designed protected bicycle intersections, cars will only ever cross bike lanes perpendicular to each other, which eliminates the blind spot issues and everyone can see and respond to each other. The turning radius is also too wide. If a car is driving at 15mph while making a right turn, and a cyclist is travelling at 15mph in the bike lane, the driver might not see the cyclist at all when the collide into each other at the intersection, and there would be no way for cyclists to avoid such a collision. Intersections need to be well designed to minimize conflicts between drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

  • John French

    It could work if the bike lane is on a separate signal phase, although I doubt that’s part of the plan.

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Hazardous and uncomfortable conditions greet people walking and bicycling on or along El Camino Real in Redwood City. Photos: Dyett & Bhatia

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