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Part 1: Campbell Avenue

Get to know Campbell Avenue—it's an essential route.

This is part one of a five-part series introducing beginner riders and families to safe, calm and family-friendly routes through Campbell and into surrounding cities. We'll give you some connections and resources to help you ride more and more this summer and year-round. The author is a journalist and bicycle commuter who loves living car-free in Silicon Valley.

Check out a video introduction to the route in the attached images, and see a Google Map of the route here.

Campbell Avenue is the city's primary east-west bicycling corridor, with bike lanes nearly the entire length of it. The corridor basically runs from the western city limits to Bascom Avenue in the east, which has bike lanes and is a good bike route for intermediate riders.

Continuing on Campbell even further east past Bascom is another great option—the streets are wider in parts than you'd believe. That's how I bike to the from Willow Glen when I don't want to deal with much traffic.

Herman Wadler, chair of the Campbell Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, says Campbell is heavily used and is the right route for novice to advanced riders. It's much calmer than Hamilton Avenue, which has bike lanes but also has loads of cars all day long.

The Campbell route can take you to the cafes, restaurants and nightlife of downtown Campbell, to the movies at Westgate Shopping Center or the or onto the . You can hang out with the kids, shoot some hoops or jump on the trail at , near where the city is widening Campbell Avenue.

That widening project is going to create space for bike lanes near Campbell Park, allow drivers and cyclists to choose between going through downtown or going around and give pedestrians easier crossings and wider sidewalks.

The Campbell route also plugs you into a regional network of routes that are great for novice cyclists, and connect you to expressways that let advanced cyclists fly to work in the mornings.

Thanks for checking out Bikeable Campbell—ride safe, and have fun!

A Few Bike Safety Tips

  1. Always stop at stop signs and stop lights.
  2. Always wear lights and a helmet when you ride.
  3. Never ride on the sidewalk—it's far more dangerous than riding in the street because cars can't see you, you can hit pedestrians and driveways are major hazards.
  4. Avoid the dangerous five-foot "door zone" of parked cars, or you may be knocked out by an opening car door.
  5. Ride as closely as you safely can to the right side of the road, but don't be afraid to "take the lane." California law allows us to take the lane to avoid the "door zone," skirt debris on the roadway or pass other bicyclists.

Resources

Mayra Flores de Marcotte April 19, 2011 at 05:36 AM
Thank you for the great article, Cody. As an amateur cyclist, I find this very informative and useful in figuring out what roads to take (avoid) in Campbell.
Cody Kraatz April 19, 2011 at 09:34 PM
Thanks Mayra, I'm hoping people will find it useful. I was in Portland over the weekend and brought my bike to do some riding around. Wow, what a great place for bikes! The number of bike lanes, bikes on the street, bright green "bike boxes" on the street, vast network of excellent and calm bike routes was astounding. I think Campbell and Silicon Valley are on their way to that, and if we all get out and ride we'll get there faster!
Mayra Flores de Marcotte April 19, 2011 at 09:41 PM
Hey Cody, I agree! Portland is such a great city ... especially its downtown, the Pearl District and the Marina ... I was there earlier this year and was totally taken aback by all the cyclists there ... and how easy the city made it for residents to ride their bikes there. I think Campbell is well on its way to do the same, especially with the recent projects around the city, adding bike lanes, making underpasses easier to maneuver ... I guess we will see in a few short years what all of this will do to the city ...
Walker Kellogg April 19, 2011 at 10:11 PM
This is a great idea Cody! As always, excellent execution. I look forward to future videos.
Cody Kraatz April 19, 2011 at 10:15 PM
Thanks Walker! And if you know anyone in Campbell who is into biking or ready to get into it please pass these on—they might find the suggestions helpful. My mom, for example, bought a bike not long ago, and is always looking for mellow ways to ride around. I'm sure there are others out there.
Cheryl Kupras April 25, 2011 at 10:08 PM
Cody thanks for these articles! I live on Rincon and have a new cyclist in the family, so they are great!
Cody Kraatz April 26, 2011 at 02:09 AM
Cheryl, thanks so much, and I'm glad you found this helpful as you get the family into riding. It's important that our children are comfortable cyclists--prepares them for an active and healthy life. I'm assuming you saw the Rincon route, part 2 of this series, which was posted today. If not, check it out, and share these with your friends and neighbors.

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