Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Streetsblog.net

Making the Case for a Transit-First Street By Recording a Bike Ride

Commuting in the Silicon Valley is a nightmare, writes Richard Masoner at Cyclelicious, and that's by design. For the last 50 years, housing and employment growth have occurred in separate areas. And with streets that prioritize car traffic above all, the trip between home and work has gotten progressively more miserable.

Masoner decided to give folks a view of what it's like from a camera mounted to the back of his bike:

Experience a taste of 50 years of planning that assumes a car in every driveway for long distance commutes in this rear view video I shot from my bike on southbound San Tomas Expressway approaching El Camino Real last night. I originally intended a box turn for that left onto eastbound El Camino Real, but after I saw a quarter mile of stopped traffic I just filtered my way over to the left turn lane.

About 30 seconds into the video, I split the lane past the VTA 22 bus. The 22 and its limited stop cousin the 522 carry 20,000 riders per day, but these high volume, efficient conveyances carrying 50 passengers are stuck in the same traffic as the single occupant schmucks taking up nearly the same road space.

Until recently, planners' primary response to this problem has been to add lanes to the San Tomas Expressway. But Masoner says he's encouraged by the proposal for a high-capacity surface transit route that could finally end the cycle of wider roads and crushing congestion:

VTA (our county transportation agency) plans to build a Bus Rapid Transit system on El Camino Real from San Jose, across this part of the city of Santa Clara, all the way to Palo Alto. The preferred alternative for those who think systematically is a dedicated busway.

Here's a rendering of what that would look like:

Rendering of the El Camino Real bus rapid transit proposal. Image via Cyclelicious
Rendering of the El Camino Real bus rapid transit proposal. Image via Cyclelicious
false

Elsewhere on the Network today: Comeback City explains how the Red Line light rail route will be an enormous connectivity boost for Baltimore. Wash Cycle reports that the drunk driving, texting, scene-fleeing bishop who killed a Baltimore cyclist has been indicted on 13 charges. And Systemic Failure shares a video showing just how far some people are willing to go to protect their right to the sidewalk or bike lane.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Monday’s Headlines Bring Another Setback

The Biden administration's new rule requiring states to report their greenhouse gas emissions from transportation was dealt another blow when the Senate voted to repeal it.

April 15, 2024

‘The Bike Is the Cure’: Meet New Congressional Bike Caucus Chair Mike Thompson

Meet the incoming co-chair of the congressional bike caucus — and learn more about how he's getting other legislators riding.

April 15, 2024

Calif. High-Speed Rail Takes a Step Towards Acquiring Trains

The contract calls for two prototype trainsets for testing to be delivered by 2028, and four trainsets to be used on the "early operating segment" between Merced and Bakersfield, ready between 2030 and 2033.

April 12, 2024

Friday’s Headlines Are Still Unsafe

Traffic deaths are declining for those ensconced in thousands of pounds of steel. For the rest of us, not so much.

April 12, 2024

Measure HLA Is Now Officially Law for L.A. City

Check the city maps to find what bus, bike, and walk improvements are coming to streets in your neighborhood.

April 12, 2024
See all posts