The idea that a city would temporarily close miles of San Jose streets to bring communities together to walk or bike was irresistible, so a group of us cyclists from Cupertino decided to take one Sunday morning to see how San Jose put on one of their Viva Calle SJ events. We went on May 1, but it’s a regular San Jose event in a variety of locations where streets are closed to auto traffic and filled with families and cyclists who have great opportunity to see their city without the presence of cars.
Inspiration for other cities
The Viva Calle SJ event was eye-opening and a treat to experience. The city closed three major motor vehicle routes to from 10 AM to 3 PM, opening up the streets to cyclists, walkers, scooters and skateboards. With many booths along the way, the family friendly event let the cyclists and pedestrians visit the many information and food booths in different parts of the city. The next one is June 22. (More information is here.)
Viva Calle has:✓ Bike Parking (bring own lock) ✓ Activities for those not on a bike, scooter, etc
✓ Portable Bathrooms
✓ Free water stations ✓ Fun for all ages
It would be wonderful to have a similar event here in Cupertino for the enjoyment of all residents. There are many suitable locations! Let your Councilmembers know that you would appreciate and enjoy it.
Routes from Cupertino by bike
If you want to follow our route from Cupertino, start at the Apple visitor center on Tantau. Below are some low stress East/West routes to Santana Row and Metro San Jose where the celebration was located. These routes also allow a cyclist to enjoy the Alameda/Rose Garden District before continuing into Downtown San Jose.
- Pruneridge to Hedding into the Rose Garden or onto Japantown near 4th and Jackson;
- Bollinger/Williams Road to Monroe in Campbell (Santana Row to /Campbell/Willow Glen).
- Homestead Road to Santa Clara University and then on to the busy Alameda.
For our ride to Viva Calle SJ, we chose the first route (Pruneridge to Hedding), as it provided a wide street with plenty of buffered bike lanes for a relaxed ride. With access to Valley Fair Mall, Santana Row and the Rose Garden, this route also has safe bike crossings at the busy Lawrence and San Thomas Expressways and Winchester Blvd. Part of this route is the subject of a major VTA “Completes Streets” improvement effort. For more information on that, click here.