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A Primer On San José’s New Bike Lanes

New green bike-protected lanes are starting to appear all over San José in late 2018. Unfortunately, many motorists are having difficulties figuring out where to park their cars, often leading to unnecessary traffic jams and accidents.

Since the current signs and meters in San José are close to the bike-protected lanes, some drivers mistakenly assume they can park in these lanes. Cars are actually supposed to park next to the bike-protected lane’s buffer area to create a strong barrier between the flow of traffic and cyclists.

City leaders say they understand drivers’ frustration and won’t penalize anyone for making mistakes as they transform San José’s streets. Crews are already working on moving the meters from the curb to the new parking area to help address this confusion.

In the meantime, the City of San José is promoting its Better Bikeways project to educate the public about the new bike-protected lanes. In addition to teaching drivers how to park and turn safely, the Better Bikeways webpage is full of maps detailing where the new bike lanes, buffer zones, and parking spaces will be located throughout San José.

Traffic safety officials in San José urge all motorists to only park their cars in the designated areas next to the buffer zone. They also remind car drivers and passengers to be careful when opening their doors.

Although there the buffer zone is designed to protect cyclists from getting struck by opening car doors, cyclists may still be traveling nearby. Keep in mind that pedestrians are allowed to walk on the buffer zone to cross the street.

Also, when drivers need to turn right at an intersection in San José, they now must ensure they don’t accidentally cross through the painted corner island. The correct way to turn is around the central island, not through the crosswalk.

Anyone who has questions about anything related to San José’s new bike lanes should send an email to bike.ped@sanjoseca.gov. Better Bikeways will also organize many community events where residents can openly discuss the changes to San José’s streets.

For more information on San José’s bike lanes, please visit Better Bikeways’ official website at http://sanjoseca.gov/betterbikeways