An illustration of the objectives of the El Camino plan.
BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Staff Writer
Street parking along El Camino Real in Redwood City might be eliminated in order to widen sidewalks and create buffered bicycle lanes along the “Grand Boulevard.”
A draft plan released yesterday (Sept. 29) by the El Camino Real Citizens Advisory Group outlines a future for the just over 2-mile stretch of El Camino that runs through Redwood City. The plan includes removing on-street parking from Northumberland Street to Whipple Avenue.
Parking might be removed north of Whipple Avenue up to the border with San Carlos to allow protected bike lanes, but it depends on how much right of way is available for the project.
On average, sidewalks along El Camino are about 8 feet wide, which can get easily crowded, according to the report. The report suggests expanding sidewalks to 12 to 16 feet wide to allow businesses to install seating outside and for people to feel less cramped on the sidewalks.
According to a survey of residents, employees and business owners of the area, 54% of respondents said they’d like to see protected bicycle lanes on El Camino. Meanwhile 30% said there should be no accommodations for bicycles on El Camino, with some saying it is safer for cyclists to use other streets.
Just over half of the 612 survey respondents, 55%, said they may use the protected bicycle lanes, and 45% said they would not be using protected bike lanes.
“There’s no way I’m going to get on El Camino on a bike,” one respondent wrote.
The report says it is OK to get rid of the parking along El Camino Real because parking is underused.
The east side of El Camino has 96 parking spaces while the west side has 170 spaces, according to the report. Surveys of parking along El Camino Real done in spring 2016 say that about 65%, or 62 spaces on the east side were used while 70%, or 119 spaces on the west side were used.
That was backed up by 75% of survey respondents, who said they never or rarely park along El Camino, with some saying the traffic is too bad along the cor- ridor to try parking there.
As a way to balance the removal of parking, the group recommends that some retailers along El Camino Real with large and underused parking lots team up with the businesses that would be losing their parking.
The plan also looks into ways to improve traffic flow in Redwood City by eventually connecting streets that dead-end at El Camino Real, such as con- necting Roosevelt and Redwood Avenues to Main Street, on the other side of El Camino.
It also suggests adding crosswalks with flashing signs half-way through a block to make the corridor more “walkable.”
The draft plan, which also discusses housing and business uses along El Camino Real, will be discussed at the advisory group’s meeting on Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at City Hall, 1017 Middlefield Road.
Nine Redwood City residents make up the group: Planning Commissioner Kevin Bondonno, Roger Buckhout, Erin Callaghan, Brian Jaffe, Stephanie Kolka, Marc Manuel, Alma Montalvo and Andrew Rivas. Senior Planner Lindy Chan is the city manager’s liaison for the group.
The plan will also be discussed at a Nov. 7 Planning Commission meeting and the City Council’s Dec. 4 meeting.