This is Part 3 of a five-part series introducing beginner riders and families to safe, calm and family-friendly routes through Campbell and into surrounding cities. The series will also highlight some connections and resources that intermediate riders could use to replace more and more car trips. The author is a journalist and bicycle commuter who loves living car-free in San Jose.
Check out a video introduction to the route in the attached images, and see a Google Map of the route here.
Pollard Road is a somewhat busier street than some of the other bike boulevards we've looked at, like Rincon and Virginia. However, it is a wide street, and the city will develop it into its newest bike route this year, using money from the federal Safe Routes to School program.
It includes a connection to the via Knowles Drive on the East side of Winchester Boulevard, and takes us to and West Valley College. It's also a gateway to Saratoga.
The route we rode took us safely under Highway 85 on Pollard Road, which lacks bike lanes but will be getting them for much of its length when Campbell and Los Gatos jointly develop it into a bike route. The route also took us safely back across Highway 85 using a great bike and pedestrian bridge by Rolling Hills Middle School.
Paul Tuttle, a member of the Campbell Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee who lives nearby and showed us around, said there are many students crossing to Rolling Hills using that overpass. He expects that improvements to Pollard will make it a similarly attractive route for Rolling Hills students and others.
One of the great things about Safe Routes to School is that it enables the next generation of cyclists to safely become comfortable getting around town on two wheels. They will have that memory for a lifetime, and it will empower them to keep getting back on a bike as much as possible. Moreover, the Safe Routes that are built benefit the entire community, making bike commuting more relaxing and safer for all of us.
Thanks for checking out Bikeable Campbell—ride safe, and have fun!
A Few Bike Safety Tips
- Always stop at stop signs and stop lights.
- Always wear lights and a helmet when you ride.
- 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.
- Avoid the dangerous 5-foot "door zone" of parked cars, or you may be knocked out by an opening car door.
- 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.
- Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition—our excellent local bicycle advocacy organization.
- League of American Bicyclists—longtime organization for cycling advocacy and resources.
- Street Films—great films about bikeable, walkable and livable streets around the world.
- Valley Transportation Authority countywide bike map—for trips beyond Campbell's borders.
- City of Campbell Bike Facilities Map—for trips within Campbell's borders.
- Almaden Cycle Touring Club Academy—offers a 6-week training for beginning bicycle riders.
- Google Maps bicycling directions—just enter your start and end, click the bicycle symbol (not the car), and Google Maps will give you pretty good options for bike routes. It shows you the best nearby routes, and highlights streets with bike lanes.