Pop-up Protected Bike Lane

17th Avenue, Live Oak, Santa Cruz County

Bike Santa Cruz County is excited to announce our latest project, a protected bike lane demonstration in Live Oak. This three-month demonstration project on 17th Avenue, from Brommer Street to Felt Street, will connect the Brommer St. route to the Boys and Girls Club, Simpkins Swim Center, Twin Lakes State Park, and Shoreline Middle School. In order to accomodate a five-foot bike lane with a two-foot buffer and physical barrier, the center turn lane will be blacked-out and narrowed when re-striped. Reducing the lanes will not only provide space to add a buffer to the bike lane, but it will also slow the speed of traffic. The goal of the project is to present a new type of roadway feature and collect feedback from the community and projects of this type are referred to as Tactical Urbanism. We anticipate a positive response and hope to see this model used for other roadway improvements across the county. The pop-up will be installed in late Summer and will complete in the Fall.

 
Pop-up protected bike lane in San Jose, CA. Photo credit: City of San Jose

Pop-up protected bike lane in San Jose, CA. Photo credit: City of San Jose

 

What is a protected bike lane?

Protected bike lanes have a physical separation between the bike lane and vehicle lane and can be separated from motor traffic by raised medians, on-street parking, or bollards. Protected bike lanes increase safety drastically because the physical separation between the bike lane and vehicle lane deters vehicles from floating or swerving into the bike lane and striking a bicyclist. Protected bike lanes have been proven around the world to exponentially increase safety due to the physical separation, rather than just paint, between cyclists and motorists.

Due to the increased safety, protected bike lanes also increase bike ridership significantly. After a protected bike lane was installed on Chicago's Kinzie Street: Bicycle ridership increased 55 percent, according to morning rush hour counts; 41 percent of respondents changed their usual route to take advantage of the new lane; Bicyclists accounted for a majority of all eastbound traffic (53 percent) and more than one third (34 percent) of total street traffic during a CDOT traffic count conducted during morning rush hour in August 2011. (Chicago DOT, 2011 - Initial Findings: Kinzie Street Protected Bike Lane).

Compared to counties similar in size, Santa Cruz County ranks among the worst for collisions causing injuries and fatalities among bicyclists, injuries and fatalities among pedestrians under the age of 15, and hit and run collisions. Protected bike lanes on our highest-capacity roads have the potential to drastically increase cyclist safety and increase ridership, helping our County meet its Climate Action goals. Unfortunately, protected bike lanes can be politically challenging, because of changes to the roadway configuration.

What is a pop-up?

A pop-up is a temporary demonstration of potential improvements to roadway infrastructure. This is known as Tactical Urbanism. A temporary demonstration is a pilot project that allows for the community to experience the potential of new infrastructure and therefore helps to educate the community and garner support for change. It also provides an opportunity for community input about design options.

17th Avenue was selected for this project because it is a major route through Live Oak, connecting three elementary schools, two business districts, the beach, the Boys and Girls Live Oak Chapter, Simpkins Swim Center, and the Schwan Lake open space. Additionally, Supervisor Leopold, the Principal of Shoreline Middle School, and the Chief of Live Oak Fire District have all given support.

Typically, instances of pop-up infrastructure is implemented by a public agency. Bike Santa Cruz County has taken the responsibility of implementation with the intention that the model can be replicated and be the catalyst to launch the movement for protected bike lanes across the county.

project Goals

  1. Conduct a 3-month protected bike lane demonstration on 17th Ave. from Brommer St. to Felt St. beginning July through November 2019

  2. Promote protected bike lane demonstration heavily and conduct personalized outreach to build community support

  3. Produce viable data for use in future protected bike lane campaigns with the ultimate goal of installing permanent protected bike lanes across the County

Proposed design of the Pop-up Protected Bike Lane on 17th Avenue in Live Oak, Santa Cruz County.

Proposed design of the Pop-up Protected Bike Lane on 17th Avenue in Live Oak, Santa Cruz County.

volunteer with us

We will also need numerous volunteers for the promotion and installation/takedown of the demonstration project. The project will require door-to-door contact with residents and businesses along the route as well as an all-day installation and all-day takedown of the demonstration.

If you would like to volunteer, please email volunteer@bikesantacruzcounty.org.

For more information about the project, email Janneke Strause at director@bikesantacruzcounty.org.

Donate to the project

Bike Santa Cruz County is currently raising $50,000 to cover the cost of materials, promotion and outreach, and staff time for this project. Materials include black, yellow, and white traffic tape, wave delineators, tempera paint, and industrial velcro. Promotion and outreach will include neighbor notices, door hangers, advertisements in local publications, flyers, and door-to-door canvassing. Data collection will include paper surveys as well as online surveys distributed to residents, businesses, parents and students of Shoreline Middle School and Del Mar Elementary, and Boys and Girls Club, as well as Simpkins Swim Center.

If you would like to make a donation to the protected bike lane demonstration project, please follow this link:

Donate

Bike Santa Cruz County Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) CA nonprofit. Federal Tax ID is 821-1434326.

Contribute to the 17th Ave Pop-up Protected bike lane project online at the Donate Now link above or mail a check to Bike Santa Cruz County Education Fund at 333 Soquel Ave. Santa Cruz, CA 95062.