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You Ask, Patch Answers: Why is Los Gatos Bike Unfriendly?

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“You Ask ... Patch Answers,” is our Sunday feature where we strive to find answers to all your questions—big, small and in-between—about the town we live and work in.

Whether it’s something you’ve always wondered about, some information you just can’t put your hands on or a sudden curiosity, we want to hear it.

Send your queries to sheila.sanchez@patch.com or leave them in the comments section below, and I will do my best to dig up an answer for you. You also can call me at 408-391-8725.

Los Gatos Patch reader Bonna Kauffman submitted the following question and comment: "Who do I contact about our town being basically bike unfriendly because it's so dangerous to ride along University Avenue, Santa Cruz Avenue and Highway 9 ... ?"

Los Gatos Parks and Public Works Director Todd Capurso said residents with complaints about bike lanes around town should email him at ppw@losgatosca.gov, or call 408-399-5770. "I don't think Los Gatos is bike unfriendly, but that doesn't mean that every street in town is bike friendly," Capurso said.

The streets mentioned by Kauffman in her inquiry are certainly constrained since there's not always sufficient room for bicyclists along their path, Capurso noted, adding that Los Gatos has alternatives such as the Los Gatos Creek Trail.

"It's known far and wide as being bicycle friendly and our wider roads, like Winchester Boulevard, Blossom Hill Road and Los Gatos Boulevard, have bike lanes on them. We have a lot of streets with bike lanes," Capurso said.

Even portions of University Avenue have bike lanes, Capurso added.

Santa Cruz Avenue is challenging because it traverses through the Los Gatos downtown area and there's a lot of parallel parking on the street, he explained.

"I would have to agree that Santa Cruz Avenue is not bicycle friendly," he said. "But I'm not sure what we could do about it."

About Highway 9, Capurso indicated it is a state highway. He noted Los Gatos has worked cooperatively with Saratoga, Monte Sereno and the state to make sure Highway 9 bike lanes are properly marked and traffic detectors are being considered for bike lanes to alert traffic signals that there are cyclists waiting. "We've done a fair amount along Highway 9, but unfortunately you can't make every street bicycle friendly."

LGCRC Coffee drinker January 28, 2013 at 06:12 AM
Cars cause Global Warming. Everyone should be forced to ride their bike everywhere. and if you break any traffic laws, the police should shoot you with the taser.
LGCRC Coffee drinker January 28, 2013 at 06:12 AM
Cars cause Global Warming. Everyone should be forced to ride their bike everywhere. and if you break any traffic laws, the police should shoot you with the taser.
Peter Cook January 28, 2013 at 09:37 PM
My car doesn't cause global warming. The heater is broken.
Ann Jasper January 31, 2013 at 03:21 AM
Here are two articles which speak to misconceptions and assumptions about cyclists. If we can get past these false stereotypes, it would go a long way to creating practical solutions. Cyclists are not "jerks" any more than drivers. We're all just trying to get along ... http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/04/21/dont-be-a-jerk-the-wrong-message-at-the-wrong-time/ Cyclists do feel "entitled" ... to not be subjected to harrassment and to arrive at their destination alive. http://brooklynspoke.com/2013/01/07/entitled-cyclist/
Don Wolf January 31, 2013 at 04:16 AM
The survey in Ann Jasper's articles includes the fact that bicyclists died 129 times while motorists were never injured. The fact that the motorist can kill bicyclers with impunity while bicyclers only risk their own lives, gives the motorist the advantage of all big, heavy bullies. Being able to bully without retribution brings out the worst in some people.

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