A new overpass is in the works to provide a safer path for bicyclists and pedestrians crossing Highway 101 on Hillsdale Boulevard in San Mateo.
The Hillsdale Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge project would create a separate path for people to cross Hillsdale Boulevard without having to encounter oncoming vehicles entering or exiting Highway 101, according to a city report.
Hillsdale Boulevard is currently the only overpass in the area that’s accessible to pedestrians with the closest being two miles north at 19th Avenue near Bridgepointe Parkway and the other 2.5 miles south in Belmont, according the report.
The proposed bridge would be completely separate and south of Hillsdale Boulevard between the Franklin Parkway and Norfolk Street intersections, according to the report.
It would also complete the last major segment of a 1.2-mile multi-use path separated from vehicle traffic connecting the Hillsdale Caltrain station and the Los Prados and Lakeshore neighborhoods.
“The city is trying to become more pedestrian and bicycle friendly,” said Ken Chin, a project manager for Public Works.
The plans are still in the very early stages and the department is a long way from picking a specific design but the City Council indicated it wanted to create a unique signature design and become a landmark for the city, according to the report. The city recently held a community workshop to gather public input and ideas as it moves through the process, Chin said.
About 60 people attended the meeting and shared thoughts about the style of the bridge, a signature design, amenities they’d like to see and concerns about funding, Chin said.
The public wants a timeless design that draws from the surrounding environment such as the rolling hills and lagoon, Chin said. Ideas for including amenities such as benches and shelters will also be taken into consideration, Chin said.
People want to make sure the bridge is well lit and even made suggestions for the city to install security cameras. Although the city hasn’t determined exact measurements for the width of the bridge, it should be able to accommodate wheelchairs and strollers, Chin said.
The bridge could cost upwards of $12 million to create but the city hasn’t gotten far enough to determine where it could find the money, Chin said.
The current outreach phase of the project is being supported by San Mateo County Measure A funds the city secured last year and it will probably look at applying for other grants as it progresses, Chin said.
One thing is for certain, Caltrans will be have to be on board with the project since the bridge crosses the freeway, Chin said.
Public Works staff will work on compiling the community workshop discussions and present a report to the council sometime in March. Further workshops will be held throughout the coming months and listed on the city’s website.
For more information about the Hillsdale Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge project visit www.hillsdalebridge.com.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 106