Riding a bicycle is a great way to stay in shape, decrease pollution and reduce traffic congestion. The City of Cupertino, through implementation of projects recommended in the Cupertino Bicycle Transportation Plan, is working towards establishing a comprehensive network of bicycle facilities throughout the City in order to encourage cycling by providing safe and convenient routes for doing so.
The Cupertino Bikeways Map shows all existing bike routes and bike lanes throughout the city.
Benefits of Bicycle Commuting
Bicycle commuting is one of the very low-cost modes of transportation. The bicycle also uses much less space than the automobile, and is considerably quieter than other modes of transportation. The benefits of bicycling are:
- Reduces the costs of commuting to the employee
- Improves health through exercise
- Lowers employer costs through a reduction in health insurance costs and better performance by employees
- Saves time for the employees during the actual commute
- Replaces time and money spent in workouts in a gym
- Reduces traffic congestion on overcrowded streets and highways
- Reduces the need for automobile parking
- Does not pollute the air
- Reduces adverse automotive impacts on the environment
- Increases accessibility to transit
According to the 2000 Census, 0.6% of Cupertino residents bicycle to work. Countywide 1.2% of the residents bike to work, which is slightly higher than the Bay Area average of 1.1%.
Bicycle Transportation Plan
The 2011 Cupertino Bicycle Transportation Plan, adopted by the Cupertino City Council in May 2011, is a roadmap designed to encourage bicycling as a safe, practical, and healthy alternative to the automobile.
The Plan describes the long-term goals with respect to the creation of a safe, convenient and comprehensive network of bicycle facilities throughout the city.
The Plan is divided into five main chapters. These chapters address Environment, Engineering, Encouragement, Education, and Enforcement as pertaining to bicycling within Cupertino. The heart of the Plan is Chapter 3, in which seventeen proposed bikeways are described. City Council’s adoption of the Plan will allow staff to pursue the feasibility of the individual bikeways through detailed engineering study, public outreach, and funding research. Staff will return to Council for final approval of each of the bikeways once that work has been completed.
Questions about the 2011 Cupertino Bicycle Transportation Plan can be directed to David Stillman, Senior Civil Engineer, at (408) 777-3354 or email@example.com.
The following tips are recommended to help ensure that bicycles and vehicles can share the road safely:
- Ride predictably, act like a good driver. Drivers are used to the patterns of other drivers. Ride in a straight line, obey all traffic signs and signals, and do not weave in and out of traffic. Riding predictably reduces your chances of a crash with a motor vehicle.
- Look, signal and look again before changing lanes or making a turn. Establish eye contact with drivers. Seeing a driver is often not enough. Make sure drivers see you before executing a turn or riding in front of a turning car.
- Watch out for opening car doors. Be prepared for the possibility that a car door may be opened in your path. When possible, leave room between yourself and parked cars (3 feet is generally recommended) so that you can avoid a door that opens unexpectedly.
- Stay visible. Wear brightly colored clothing for daytime riding. At night, use reflective materials and lights.
The following links provide additional information about bicycling safety:
Bicycling rules and safety tips video;
10 smart routes to bicycle safety;
Bicycle Safety Guidelines
Bicycles riders on public streets have the same rights and responsibilities as automobile drivers and are subject to the same rules and regulations as any other vehicle on the road. Both the California Vehicle Code and the Cupertino Municipal Code contain rules and regulations regarding operating a bicycle on public thoroughfares.
A bicycle helmet must be fitted and worn correctly in order to properly protect your head against injuries. Use the following guidelines:
- Sits level on the head,
- Not tilted forward or backward,
- Strong, wide straps that fasten snugly under the chin,
- Tight enough so that after fastening, no sudden pulling or twisting could move it around.
Always lock your bike to something fixed like a metal fence or a bicycle rack. Follow the link for bicycle parking and theft prevention information.
- The most common place for a bike to be stolen is from your home. But bikes have been stolen from parks, schools, stores, and libraries. The most important thing to know is that MOST STOLEN BIKES WERE NOT LOCKED.
- Always lock your bike. Never leave your bike unlocked--even if you're leaving it for only half a minute. A thief can grab your bike in seconds.
- Lock your bike to something that's permanent and not easy for a thief to take. Lock to a bicycle rack, a metal fence post, or a large tree. Don't lock to another bike, a door handle, or small tree. And if you keep your bike in a garage, basement, or on a porch, lock it.
- Park in open areas where many people pass by and your bicycle can be seen easily. Thieves usually don't like an audience.
- Put your bike where you can get to it fast. Thieves like to steal bikes whose owners are far away.
A thief with enough time and the right tools can break any lock. But you can discourage many thieves if you follow these tips about locking your bike:
- Lock the Whole Bike: You should put your chain, cable, or U locks through your frame and both wheels--taking the front wheel off if you have a quick-release hub. Never lock through your wheel without locking the frame, because thieves can remove your wheel and steal the rest of the bike.
- Cross Locking: A good way to foil thieves is to use more than one kind of lock. For example, put a U lock through your frame and rear tire, and put a cable or chain through your frame and front tire.
- Placing the Lock: Thieves may break a lock by putting it against a wall or sidewalk and smashing it with a hammer. If you use a padlock, try to put it where it's not close to the ground or against a wall or another solid surface-leaving little or no slack in your cable or chain. When using a U lock, leave little or no space in the lock's middle to prevent prying.
- Removable Items: When you leave your bike, remove any parts you can't lock and a thief could steal easily: a quick-release seat, horn, bike bag, pump, cycle computer, or lights. If removing quick-release parts is a hassle, replace them with permanent ones.
Bike to Work Day
Bike to Work Day (BTWD) is a community event that takes place every year in the month of May to encourage residents and commuters to try bicycling as their mode of transportation. Several energizer stations are set up on common commute routes throughout the bay area. These stations typically have snacks and bicyclists are able to obtain useful information about bicycle commuting. The City sponsors an energizer station on Stelling Road in front of the Quinlan Center every year. More information about Bike to Work Day will be provided as the date approaches.
Student Incentive Programs
Lincoln Elementary School and Kennedy Middle School use a high-tech program to reward students who bike and walk to school.
- The technology, called Boltage, measures how many students walk and bike to school. The Boltage system uses a machine called "the zap”, a solar-powered radio frequency identification reader.
- Students who walk and bike in the program get an RFID tag that attaches to their backpacks, and the zap reads their unique number when they go past it near school entrances.
- The zap beeps and the student's data is uploaded to a computer database. Student tags can be read only once a day and are programmed just for school days.
- Each student has an account on the Boltage website, where they can see all their trips. Boltage also provides reports and data that can be used to measure the number of children walking to school and to help create an incentive program for students and classrooms.
- When the students register, Boltage software calculates how far they live from school, how many miles they travel and total trips they make.