A Mad Max Future One Road at a Time

A short stretch of Pruneridge Avenue in Santa Clara has been re-striped from two lanes to one.

As we move at glacial speed to a sustainable future (everyone rides a bike), note that the first step on that long and uncertain journey began at Santa Clara’s Pruneridge Avenue this June.

On Thursday, Gary Richards, aka Mr. Roadshow, writes in the San Jose Mercury News about the move to reduce lanes on some streets to better accommodate bikes and pedestrians, including a tiny stretch of Pruneridge. It’s happening all over the San Francisco Bay Area, although it’s really only a few streets at this point.

I can comment with authority on Pruneridge because I’ve been riding and driving on that street almost daily for more than 20 years.

The re-striped section of Pruneridge is between Pomeroy Avenue and Lawrence Expressway, maybe a quarter mile. My understanding is that this stretch of road is being changed because it’s part of a network of inter-city bike routes. The plan is to extend the re-striping to Tantau Avenue. I don’t know that it’s part of some grand plan.

Of course, as a cyclist I have no complaints. As a motorist, I also have no complaints. In fact, it’s a blessing in disguise. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been driving in peak traffic on Pruneridge when someone signals a left turn. I dread the left turn signal.

Invariably, there’s traffic to my right, and I know of no better way to get into an accident than moving quickly into the right lane. That’s no longer a problem because there’s a turn-only lane in place of the second lane. I’d like to see all of Pruneridge re-striped this way.

One Response to “A Mad Max Future One Road at a Time”

  1. Murali Says:

    This is such a fantastic configuration. We recently had the same thing done here in Sunnyvale on Remington between Sunnyvale-Saratoga and Mary.

    Previously, making a left turn on the bicycle was treacherous because I would have to cross 4 (!) lanes of bidirectional traffic. Now I cross one lane to get into the turn lane, then again one lane to make the turn.

    Considering I take my young daughter to daycare on the bicycle, I feel infinitely safer. Traffic has not been impacted noticeably. And street parking was not even reduced. I call it a win-win.

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