It’s a Thursday evening just before sunset, couples are walking hand in hand, bikers are commuting home from work and joggers are running along the Coastal Trail near Poplar Beach in Half Moon Bay.
And, in an effort to create safer and more accessible routes for pedestrians and bicyclists, a city advisory committee is preparing the groundwork to improve access for all trail users.
At the Sept. 17 Half Moon Bay City Council meeting, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan will be up for final review for adoption by the council. The Half Moon Bay Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee has been working for about a year to outline several recommendations to improve bike and pedestrian experiences on the coast.
As part of that effort, the committee hosted a walking tour of the Coastal Trail between Poplar Street and Kelly Avenue.
“It is very unsafe to bike in this town. There is no master plan for bikers,” said BPAC member Paulette Eisen. “Yet biking, for us that live here, is critical to go about and go places, especially on the weekends.” Key recommendations in the master plan involve providing parallel bicycle and pedestrian trails on each side of Highway 1, creating circulation within neighborhoods through traffic calming or bike routes, and facilitating easier access for pedestrians and bicyclists to the downtown area from other areas of town.
Other suggestions include lowering the speed limit for bicyclists to 10 mph and painting a dividing line onto the path to clearly define lanes. Additionally, the committee is looking for opportunities to secure grant funding for the proposed work and related studies.
“I see the Coastal Trail as being the greatest jewel that we have,” said bike and pedestrian committee member Michelle Daragony. She said she is interested in looking at the data on cyclist crash and injury incidents on the Coastal Trail.
With the popularity of electric bicyclists, Daragony and Eisen both mentioned working on ways to educate users of the trail on safety.
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan works in tandem with several other city efforts, including the Poplar Beach Gateways Plan, which is looking to move the city’s portion of the Coastal Trail to offset the erosion of the bluffs.
“It’s about how do we connect people and do it safely with ease of access,” Eisen said. To view the final draft of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan visit: half-moon-bay.ca.us/390/BicyclePedestrian-Advisory-Committee-BPA.