June 22, 2021
This information is being provided in “For the Record” to clarify information regarding a statement in the June 9, 2021 Pacifica Tribune publication titled “Pacifica City Council Hears Capital Improvement Projects, Pier Troubles.” The Tribune article noted that the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) included a project that would change Sharp Park Road to one lane in each direction to accommodate bike lanes.
Although the Sharp Park Road Separated Bike Lane project is listed in the City’s 5-year CIP program as a potential future project, it is not funded and there is no scheduled date for this project. The project is listed in the CIP because it was included in the City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan (BPMP) that was adopted by the City Council in February of 2020. The development of the City’s BPMP included extensive public outreach, including public workshops, multiple presentations, popup events, social media outreach and online participation with interactive web maps. This public engagement process resulted in hundreds of in-person and online comments that shaped the development of the BPMP.
However, a project of this magnitude would entail significant additional public engagement, a pilot study, and a robust traffic study prior to bringing the project forward for public input, City Council discussion and decision.
The BPMP includes separated bicycle lanes, with one shown on Sharp Park Road. Separated bicycle lanes are on-street bicycle facilities that are physically separated from vehicle traffic. These types of bicycle lanes were desired by the community because of the level of comfort they provide to less experienced cyclists. Less experienced cyclists are willing to use separated bicycle lanes because of this increased feeling of comfort, thereby greatly increasing the number of bicyclists who will travel on a roadway.
These types of bicycle facilities often require additional space through a “Road Diet”. A Road Diet is when a roadway is reconfigured with fewer lanes to utilize that space for other types of travel modes. As noted in the BPMP, Road Diets provide benefits such as reduction in accident rates, lower vehicle speeds and improved mobility for all users. There are eleven bicycle recommendations in the City’s adopted BPMP that call for use of a Road Diet. However, the Plan notes that prior to implementation of a Road Diet in these areas, additional public engagement and study is required. Typically, a temporary pilot project is used to simulate the reduced lanes using removable traffic control cones. A traffic study is then conducted while the pilot project is in place and this analysis is brought forward to the Council and public for further discussion prior to moving forward with a reduced lane project. This is the process that would be followed with the Sharp Park Road Separated Bike Lane Project, should funding be identified for these improvements in the future.