SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — Over the last several years the city of San Jose has seen a dangerous increase in traffic related fatalities — city officials proposed a renewed bike plan in an effort to continue to make roads safer for its everyone. 

“We had to make a lot of emphasis on safety on our roadways to council this year with the information about our highest peak of traffic fatalities of last year,” said Lily Lim-Tsao, city of San Jose Deputy Director of Traffic Safety and Operations. 

“Council approved what’s called our Vision Zero action plan back in February to combat these high speed related traffic fatalities that we were seeing on our streets.”

The city has updated and adopted various plans and policies to prioritize roadway safety — one is the “Vision Zero” initiative which is aimed to eliminate deaths and severe injuries on roadways and the Bike Plan 2020, a 500-mile network consisting of 400 miles of on-street bikeways and 100 miles of off-street trails.

San Jose’s Department of Transportation (DOT) leads development of on-street bikeways along with the Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (PRNS) — who leads development for the city’s off-street trail network.

Recently, the DOT drafted the Better Bike Plan 2025 — a renewed version of the city’s Bike Plan 2020 and calls for a mix of off-street trails, protected bicycle lanes and bicycle boulevards in an effort for the city to encourage bicycle use. 

The renewed plan aims to build an additional 37 miles of multi-use trails, 79 miles of new separated bike lanes, 101 miles of bike boulevards and upgrading 293 miles of existing bike lanes. 

San Jose Better Bike Plan 2025
San Jose Better Bike Plan 2025

“We just went to council and reported our bike plan and we just exceeded our target of putting 400 miles of bike lanes on our street,” said Lim-Tsao.

“We’re working very hard to also protect those bicycle facilities … and creating greater dedicated space for bicycle travel.”

In 2015 the city of San Jose adopted the “Vision Zero” initiative in an effort to reduce traffic fatalities to zero. 

However, since adopting the initiative traffic fatalities throughout the city reached high numbers — in 2015 a total of 60 of traffic related fatalities, of those 23 were pedestrians and in 2019 a total of 60 traffic related fatalities, of those 29 were pedestrians. 

Currently — the city of San Jose has a total of 30 traffic fatalities with 13 of those being pedestrians.

In addition, the plan focused on equity that incorporates “inclusive planning practices and provides project list aimed at prioritizing investments in communities that have historically experiences a lack of investment.”

The plan is scheduled to go for review to city council Oct. 6.