One of my favorite things to do is bike along the Campbell-Los Gatos Creek Trail. Campbell as a whole, with its small size and thriving downtown, has the potential to be one of the most bike-friendly cities in the area.
Despite this potential, previous City leadership has not considered bike policy a priority. This is a missed opportunity—bike policy should instead be considered a critical piece of our overall transportation and traffic mitigation strategy. As our region and our City continue to grow, expanding and encouraging the use of existing bike infrastructure will curb traffic growth and lead to a people-centered and more livable community.
While the current pandemic leaves limited municipal funds to continue to build out our bike infrastructure, opportunities nevertheless exist. There is potential to advocate for state and federal funds, such as through the CARES Act, that can be used to enhance our current bike infrastructure in alignment with community needs.
With a lacking bike infrastructure, safe social distancing is much more difficult, if not impossible. The pandemic has shown how critical bike infrastructure is to promote the safety and well-being of Campbell residents, now more than ever.
I will advocate for additional federal funding, such as CARES Act transit funding, that can be used to further enhance our bike infrastructure and promote the well-being of Campbell residents.
Currently, the General Plan, the document that laws out a blueprint for City policy, directs the Council to ensure the entire City can be safely navigated by bike, a critical Capital Improvement Project. Despite efforts from City staff, the City Council has not prioritized this issue.
I will work toward completing this critical piece of our City’s public policy within the next five years.
The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of having public infrastructure that supports community health. Expanding and maintaining the Campbell-Los Gatos Creek Trail has become a matter of public safety, with a lack of proper infrastructure making it difficult if not impossible in some areas to maintain proper social distancing.
I have previously participated in public meetings with housing developers to successfully push for the installment of bike racks in developments near the downtown area.
I will continue to encourage the use of bike infrastructure in new developments to keep cars off the road and achieve better public health outcomes.
I will call upon local experts such as the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition (SVBC) and San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) when developing an overarching strategy for transportation and traffic mitigation and its intersection with public health.
Groups like SVBC and SPUR can also serve as partners in proactively engaging residents and securing comprehensive public input for city planning projects and programs.
Promoting and normalizing bike use is one of the most important ways to promote community public health and get more cars off the street. According to experts from the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition, there is evidence of social effects — a tipping point — making it more acceptable to ride bikes for day-to-day use.
That’s why I plan to implement a citywide Ride Your Bike to Work Day in conjunction with regional and national initiatives.
Trails within Campbell’s jurisdiction are some of the most popular in Santa Clara County, used by over a thousand people per day, with that number likely rising in 2020 due to effects from shelter-in-place.
Unfortunately, these trails abound with dangerous blind turns and darkened underpasses which endanger pedestrians and bikers alike, a scary prospect given that these trails are commonly used by families with small children and people walking their dogs and can result in serious injuries even when exercising caution.
I’ll call for a bike trail safety study to identify areas of improvement, such as installing signs and mirrors to mitigate danger spots along the trail.