Editor,

In a Dec. 30 letter to the editor, E. Picchi expresses concern about Millbrae’s proposed Active Transportation Plan where one of the alternatives is to reduce the traffic lanes on El Camino Real from three lanes each way to two lanes each way to widen sidewalks, install protected bicycle lanes, and plant landscaping and street trees. The writer says the sidewalks do not need widening because few people walk along El Camino now and bike lanes are not required because bicyclists generally avoid El Camino.

That is true because El Camino, as currently configured, is not a pleasant or safe place to walk or bike, and that is exactly why the city is proposing the change — to make El Camino more amenable for all modes of transportation, not just motorized vehicles.

For too long, we have designed our cities to favor the automobile over all other forms of transportation at great cost to environment and the social fabric of the city.

When people walk or bike it improves their health and general well being. It allows social interactions, an expanded sense of community, and creates a more favorable environment for retail shopping and commerce.

From what I’ve seen of the proposed El Camino Real plans, the changes will be a great improvement to the unsafe no man’s land it currently is. I hope Millbrae approves the reduced traffic lane alternative.

David Crabbe

San Carlos

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(2) comments

edkahl

Your suggestion would increase the time it takes people to get to work, shop for things they need, get their kids to and from school, and commute on slow buses that don't get you door to door with two bags of groceries. I sympathize with your idea but the El Camino isn't the place for it.

Seema

My daughter attends an elementary school on El Camino Real. Occasionally I drive her to school which usually involves sitting in traffic, especially during the current construction along the stretch through Burlingame. We often drop her off via our cargo bike, taking a circuitous path through side streets that feel safer than biking on ECR. Biking her to school is faster than driving, and allows us to get some fresh air and exercise while reducing our carbon footprint. Protected bike lanes on ECR would allow us to take a more direct route to school, making for an even faster commute. (And the panniers on our cargo bike can hold quite a few groceries!)

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