The City Council passed the new Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan a few months ago and design work on one of the recommendations, the “Matadero Ave Bike Boulevard” is planned to start within the next few months.
The objective is to create a bike network that connects Matadero Ave and Margarita on the other side of El Camino, the Bol Park bike path and the proposed “Castilleja/Park/Wilkie Way Bike Boulevard.” Also in the plan is the recommendation for an “El Camino Way/Maybell Avenue/Donald Drive Bike Boulevard.”
The Transportation Division, part of City’s Planning Department, is now gearing up to design the “Matadero Ave Bike Boulevard.” Chief Transportation Official Jaime Rodriguez said the City intends to hold meetings with the Barron Park community within the next few months in preparation for starting design work on this Bike Boulevard project in early 2013, with implementation scheduled for 2014.
What is a Bike Boulevard?
According to the Comprehensive Plan, a bicycle boulevard is a low volume through street where bicycles have priority over automobiles, conflicts between bicycles and automobiles are minimized and bicycle travel time is reduced by the removal of stop signs and other impediments to bicycle travel. The removal of STOP signs is especially important in Palo Alto due to the large number of stop signs on local and collector streets.
The key words in this description are “a low volume through street where bicycles have priority over automobiles.”
Matadero Avenue is a collector street, one of only a few in Barron Park that provide entrance and egress from the neighborhood. There are a few questions that come to my mind.
– How would the Matadero Avenue roadway be changed to create a street where bicycles have priority over automobiles ? How would this affect traffic flow? Mr. Rodriguez mentioned adding some traffic calming measures, such as a “rubberized median island at Josina Avenue and Matadero Avenue.” This suggestion is on the ” Draft Barron Park Recommendations ” map that is on the city’s website : http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/filebank/documents/31613
– Is this bicycle boulevard concept appropriate for such a narrow collector street in our neighborhood? Matadero has no space for bike lanes, no space for pedestrians. White lines along the edges help motorists stay on the route but some say they endanger pedestrian safety and bicyclists are wary of utility poles that are in or very near valley gutters.
Stay tuned and stay involved. We’d like to hear your thoughts.