David_StillmanThe Cupertino City Council has just adopted its 2016 Bicycle Transportation Plan at its meeting of June 21, 2016

By David Stillman, Cupertino Senior Civil Engineer, in charge of all bike/ped infrastructure plans and improvements.  FMI: DavidS@cupertino.org

The Bicycle Transportation Plan is a long-range planning document designed to encourage bicycling as a safe, practical and healthy alternative to the motor vehicle.  The current Plan was adopted by the City Council in May, 2011.  Since that time, the city has witnessed an increase in bicycle usage and an increased emphasis on alternative forms of transportation as a way to reduce traffic congestion and promote environmental sustainability.  As a result, over the past eight months City staff, along with Alta Planning + Design, have been working together to develop an update to the Bicycle Transportation Plan that addresses present and future needs of the bicycling community and lays the groundwork for grant funding eligibility for bicycle projects.  The result is a Plan that is in close alignment with the goals set forth by the Cupertino Bicycle Pedestrian Commission to significantly increase the attractiveness and safety of bicycling throughout the City, with a particular focus on safe connectivity to school.


The 2016 Plan is a significant departure from the 2011 Plan.  Highlights of the updated Plan include:


*A network of Class IV separated bike lanes throughout the city *A predominantly off-street network of bicycle/pedestrian paths forming a loop around the city *Key intersections identified for improved bicycle accessibility *Significant expansion of bicycle education and encouragement programs


The City is currently negotiating an Agreement with an experienced bikeway planning consultant, who will assist City staff in developing conceptual designs, civil drawings, and the public outreach necessary to bring the highest priority bikeways in the Plan to fruition, including Class IV bike lanes along Stevens Creek Blvd and a bike boulevard network throughout the city.  City staff will also soon be initiating feasibility studies for the UPRR rail trail and the I-280 Channel bike path, both high priority off-street Class I bike paths.


The Plan, which has received strong community support, aligns with the City’s solid commitment to improving the environment for active transportation alternatives.  Earlier this year, City Council reaffirmed that commitment by approving a full-time Safe Routes to School Coordinator to encourage more students to walk and bike to school.  And the work continues; City Council recently approved the budget to update the City’s Pedestrian Master Plan, and allocated $2 million to jump-start implementation of the newly adopted 2016 Bicycle Transportation Plan.