San Mateo City Council Moves Forward with Bike Lane Project Despite Local Misgivings

Image: San Mateo, from the Bike Master Plan
Image: San Mateo, from the Bike Master Plan

Note: Streetsblog was alerted to this story by San Mateo activist David Groves. Missing an on-the-ground reporter for the Peninsula, we’re reliant on reader alerts to cover local stories such as this one. Drop us a line at roger@streetsblog.org or damien@streetsblog.org to let us know what’s going on in Silicon Valley and beyond.

Last week in a 3-2 vote, the San Mateo City Council decided to move forward with painted bike lanes and a pair of bicycle boulevards that will provide needed connections throughout the city’s North Central community and remove over 200 spaces of on-street car parking. Reportedly, the city hopes to paint the bike lanes by the end of next week.

Bicycle lanes will be added on East Poplar Avenue from El Camino Real to North Delaware Street, North Delaware Street from East Poplar Avenue to Indian Avenue, and Humboldt Street from Peninsula Avenue to Fifth Avenue. A bicycle boulevard would be added on Indian Avenue from Delaware Street to North Humboldt Street, Poplar Avenue from Delaware Street to Eldorado Street, and Eldorado Street from Poplar Avenue to Indian Avenue.

The North Central Bike Lanes project will construct the 2nd and 4th highest priority projects in the 2020 Bicycle Master Plan. Despite the need, the project proved controversial with residents along the streets worried about the loss of parking and increased congestion for car commuters. A recent survey conducted by the city showed that a majority of San Mateo residents (57%) support the project but when those numbers are broken down to just the North Central community, support drops with a 62% majority opposed to the project.

Screenshot of flyer being distributed by the city in North Central.
Screenshot of the flyer being distributed by the city in North Central.

One of the Councilmembers who voted for the project bemoaned the lack of support in the neighborhood and hopes the city will continue to do outreach.

“The way that this neighborhood is torn is a reflection of the fact that we have not brought the community with us in understanding the importance of the project and how it needs to be implemented,” Councilmember Joe Goethals said to the San Mateo Daily Journal.

For a full breakdown of the project scope, cost and maps; visit the City of San Mateo’s project website.

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