San Mateo adopts visionary new transportation plan

San Mateo recently became only the third city in California to adopt a visionary new policy that encompasses prioritizing maximum safety standards for street-planning. The “Vision Zero” policy won affirmation from the city council as part of its newly adopted Sustainable Streets Plan.

While Bay Meadows boasts a bicycle-friendly, walkable community that also is in close proximity to transit, the greater city of San Mateo will now implement sustainable streets citywide. The Plan calls for “complete streets, envisioning a transportation system … where walking, bicycling, and transit are integral parts of daily life,” according to plan documents.

With its leadership in adopting Vision Zero, San Mateo joins the ranks of San Francisco and Los Angeles. A commitment to eliminating traffic deaths in the near future, Vision Zero was applauded by Public Works project manager Ken Chin. “It’s not about just getting people from A to B as fast as can be, it’s about looking at everything as a network and making sure we get people there in a safe manner.”

The plan also calls for some specific street redesigns, including a sweeping overhaul of El Camino Real from 2nd Avenue to 9th Avenue through downtown San Mateo. The redesigned street would feature 15-foot wide sidewalks “to provide space for street trees and Green Street treatments” and raised protected bike lanes in both directions.

The Sustainable Streets Plan is another example of the city’s innovations to establish a high quality of life for a more dense, urban community.

In communicating with numerous agencies and jurisdictions over the course of the city’s work, City Manager Larry Patterson said he was pleased to learn that San Mateo was at the forefront of this type of planning.

“Both in terms of the Sustainable Streets and also the green streets … we are a leader in this area and I’m very proud of that,” Patterson said.

For more information about the Sustainable Streets Plan visit