Cycling in San Jose, California
San Jose, California has various cycling routes on roads and trails used by both commuters and recreational riders. The city has plans to expand the current 285 miles (459 km) of bike lanes to 400 miles (640 km), and the current 60 miles (97 km) of trails to 100 miles (160 km). San Jose was ranked as a bronze-level bicycle-friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists.
Bicycle planning in San Jose is handled by the city's Department of Transportation.
San Jose Bike Plan 2020
The San Jose City Council passed the "San Jose Bike Plan 2020" in November 2009. It was a set of goals intended to be implemented by 2020 if possible, or otherwise make progress in those directions. The goals were as follows:
- Complete 500 miles of the Bikeway Network by 2020
- Achieve 5% of all trips taken by Bike by 2020
- Reduce bike collision rate by 50% by 2020
- Add 5000 bike parking spaces by 2020
- Achieve Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community status by 2020
The San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) reported from a panel discussion at an event they hosted in 2017 that the question came up why San Jose didn't see as much increase in cycling usage as expected after a round of bike lane construction. The panelists concluded that the unprotected bike lanes tend to only attract experienced riders. The panel said new less-experienced riders tend to want protected bike lanes before they will be attracted to ride more.
San Jose Better Bike Plan 2025
The San Jose Better Bike Plan 2025 will supersede Bike Plan 2020. It has been in development since 2018. It is expected for release in early 2020.
Cycling in the city of San Jose can't just be viewed in isolation because it is bordered by other cities within Santa Clara County. County-wide bicycle and pedestrian planning is done by the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) because it was formed by a merger of the county transit agency with the congestion management districts of the county and all the cities in the county.
Hellyer Park Velodrome is located in Hellyer County Park next to the Coyote Creek Trail. It was built in 1963. It served as the site of the 1972 US Olympic bicycling team tryouts. The velodrome was renovated in 2007. It is operated by the Northern California Velodrome Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.
Bikes on transit
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), which is planned to open in San Jose at the Berryessa/North San Jose station and in Milpitas (next to the border of San Jose) at the Milpitas station in 2020, has rules for bicycles restricting using the first car at any time, the first 3 cars during commute hours, or any crowded car. Cyclists are also prohibited from using station escalators, and must instead use stairs or elevators.
The off-street trail network in San Jose consists mostly of routes along waterways and highways.
- Coyote Creek Trail, from Tully Road in East San Jose to Anderson Dam in Morgan Hill
- Guadalupe River Trail, in two disconnected segments from Alviso to downtown and Highway 85 to Almaden Lake Park
- Highway 87 Bikeway, along Highway 87 from Tamien train station to Highway 85
- Highway 237 Bikeway, along Highway 237 in North San Jose connecting to Milpitas, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale
- Los Alamitos Creek Trail, in the Almaden Valley from Almaden Lake Park
- Los Gatos Creek Trail, two disconnected segments in downtown San Jose and from Meridian Avenue to Vasona Lake County Park and downtown Los Gatos
- Penitencia Creek Trail, in the Berryessa district from Alum Rock Park to the Berryessa BART Station
- Three Creeks Trail, a rail trail in the Willow Glen district
Commercial bicycle rental
Besides rentals available at bike shops, the City of San Jose has also permitted Bay Wheels (formerly known as Ford GoBike) to operate a bike sharing system in the city. As of December 2019[update], the bike sharing system does not have permits from any other city in the county.
Events and Organizations
Various bicycling events and organizations in San Jose include social riding, commuting and bicycle advocacy.
San Jose Bike Party
Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition
Bike to Work Day
Bay Area Bike to Work Day encourages commuters to try out cycling. "Energizer Stations" sponsored and operated by various local organizations or companies scattered along various commute routes hand out food, drinks and swag bags. In Santa Clara County, the local organizer of Bike to Work Day is SVBC.
Viva Calle San Jose
Since 2015 and now held each Spring and Fall, Viva Calle San Jose is a street festival where a pre-announced route of several miles of streets is temporarily closed for hours during the day to vehicle traffic and opened to pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, skateboards, etc.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cycling in San Jose, California.|
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- "San José Trail Network". City of San Jose. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
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- "CURRENT BICYCLE FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES" (PDF). League of American Bicyclists. 2019-11-21. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
- "San José Bike Plan 2020" (PDF). City of San Jose. 2009-11-17. Retrieved 2019-12-03.
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