Redwood Shores Has its Oracle

Click on map to see PDF. Bike routes to Redwood Shores. Google map.

Redwood Shores, the area north of Highway 101 opposite the cities of Belmont and San Carlos, is home to one of the largest technology companies in the world – Oracle.

The good news is that the office complexes in this area are modern and easy to reach on wide streets. The bad news is you have to cross Hwy 101 overpasses to get there.

Of course, there is some housing in Redwood Shores, so you may be lucky. Also, paths wind their way along sloughs (waterways), leading to Foster City north of Hwy 101.

The last time I visited this location was around 1984 when I attended a triathlon at the Marine World-Africa USA theme park. The park was located at the end of Redwood Shores Parkway, but moved to Vallejo in 1986.

Businesses: Oracle, EA (Electronic Arts), Kensington Computer Products Group, Proteus Biomedical, Check Point Software Technologies, Jameco Electronics, Tragon Corp., Aero Scout, Qualys, Shutterfly, Trilliant.

[A reader (see Comments) informs me that an overpass close to Ralston Road is being built by the city of Belmont. You can find more about it on the Belmont website.]

Ralston Road overpass, as a partial cloverleaf, is more modern and easier to negotiate than Holly Street/Redwood Shores Parkway. There’s a strange appendage called Island Parkway on the north side of Hwy 101, linking to Ralston, which essentially goes nowhere.

Holly Street is the classic double cloverleaf, which makes it more of a challenge to cross at rush hour. It’s best ridden earlier in the morning, or after the rush. I found worn striping, no bike symbols on the pavement, and no help for cyclists in the form of dashed lines at merge areas. Belmont and San Carlos do not rate highly on my bike-friendly list. (Website discussing Holly Street and Ralston Road overpasses)

Holly Street overpass approach from Redwood Shores Pkwy.

Cyclists will find paved paths in Redwood Shores, some that go past Oracle. There’s one nearby bridge crossing a slough to the north. Across the bridge, the path splits. The right path connects to Foster City. The left path gets you to Foster City, but it’s a chore. You have to circle a baseball field on a bumpy path. The path ends at an undeveloped area (no doubt to be built on), where there’s a break in the fence to the left. Riders can join up with Concourse Place and continue on paths into Foster City.

Commuters coming from Belmont, San Carlos, and Redwood City have some decent roads to travel, although this area is not known for scenic beauty.

To the south of Hwy 101, Industrial Road is a designated bike route as far as Harbor Blvd. Old County Road, paralleling El Camino Real, is another bike route going north-south. El Camino, known for traffic and lights, is relatively free of both impediments here.

If I were coming from the north to Oracle, I’d take Old County Road, left on Dale View Ave., right on Hiller St. Hiller offers a left-turn light onto Ralston at the overpass, reducing the amount of traffic to deal with on the ride up.

North of Hwy 101 there’s Shoreway, a frontage road right next to the freeway and suitable for cycling between Holly and Ralston. Enjoy the view.

Public Transit
Caltrain has stations conveniently located in Belmont (El Camino and Ralston) and San Carlos (El Camino and Holly St.). It’s not much more than a mile from either station to businesses north of Hwy 101. Oracle and EA have a shuttle bus service.

4 Responses to “Redwood Shores Has its Oracle”

  1. sally Says:

    fyi – Belmont has begun construction on a new bicycle/pedestrian bridge over Hwy 101 near Ralston Road. I think it is supposed to be finished in a few months.

    Also, there is a bike path along the east side of Hwy 101 from the San Carlos Airport down to the Redwood City seaport. From there, there is a series of bike lanes and bike paths down to Bayfront Park and Sun Microsystems in Menlo Park and the Dumbarton Bridge.

    • Ray Hosler Says:

      Sally: That’s good to know. Let’s hope the cities responsible for the overpasses do a better job marking them for bike traffic. The overpasses need re-striping. This would be a good time to seem them striped properly, which requires city cycling committee involvement.

      • sally Says:

        I believe that Caltrans is responsible for lane striping on freeway overpasses. Cities can request certain features, but Caltrans has the final say.

  2. Ray Hosler Says:

    Sally: That may be so, but they work with cities and if cities don’t say anything, they won’t do anything. That’s why some cities have the correct overpass striping, and others do not.

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