Resident Survey Reveals Transportation Choices

Bay Meadows residents are, indeed, switching up their transportation lifestyles. We’ve even got the data to back up that statement. But first, what does it mean to change the way you get around and why does it matter?

How we get around affects us in many ways – our finances, our schedules, our health, the environment and our community. When there are few options in busy urban regions beyond driving alone in a car, all of those aspects are negatively impacted. Without transportation choices, residents find themselves stuck in traffic en route to work, while picking up groceries or going to the gym.

As Bay Meadows set out to create this transit-oriented development that actually functions optimally, with people on the streets and sidewalks and in cafes, the development team thought it was critical, in addition to access to Caltrain, to make walking and biking a part of the community’s social fabric.

Photo courtesy Kristen Loken

Photo courtesy Kristen Loken

By encouraging many modes of transportation (hoverboards included!) we are hoping to create a place that allows people the option to jump on a bike or stroll a few blocks to grab a coffee or pick up dinner. Ultimately this provides them more time to enjoy life with their families and friends—and less time on the freeway!

As for the data? We regularly survey our residents, inquiring about a number of lifestyle components. Regarding transportation, our most recent survey of the new community revealed:

  • 40% of residents ride Caltrain, the commuter rail, daily. When we asked this same question one year ago, 28% were commuting on Caltrain – a big leap in one year!
  • 85% walk or bike to shop or dine nearby on a regular basis.
  • 86% of residents count bike-friendliness and walkability among their top 3 attributes for life at Bay Meadows.
Bike accessory vendor Revolights at Bay Meadows event.

Bike accessory vendor Revolights at Bay Meadows event.

For a non-downtown, more suburban location, Bay Meadows is pleased to report these numbers. We’ve implemented specific urban planning techniques – such as locating garages in alleys for safer sidewalks with fewer curb cuts and integrating an abundance of bike racks, adding pocket parks and landscaping throughout. These small design attributes together foster behaviors, such as walking, biking and social interaction. Those behaviors, in turn, lay the groundwork for more significant “mode shifts” that might not have otherwise occurred.

Bay Meadows residents receiving a PUBLIC bicycle, courtesy of Bay Meadows and Shea Homes.

Bay Meadows residents receiving a PUBLIC bicycle, courtesy of Bay Meadows and Shea Homes.

Some other activities that Bay Meadows has implemented to encourage a variety of transportation modes include:

  • Providing a PUBLIC bike as a welcome gift for home-buyers.
  • Presenting activities and programming to encourage bicycling, such as group-rides led by local bicycle businesses. At large events that we’ve presented at Bay Meadows (such as movie night in the park and a food truck night), we provide bike valet parking and bring in bicycle-related vendors.
  • Bay Meadows sponsors Bike to Work Day, with a hosted “energizer station” nearby on the day of. We provide Bay Meadows-branded bike accessories, such as bike bells and water bottles. We’ve also designed and printed a map of bike trails in the region.
  • The Bay Meadows blog is a great source of information and even has a PDF map of local bike paths and trails available for downloading.
Trail ride, presented by Bay Meadows in conjunction with Performance Bicycle.

Trail ride, presented by Bay Meadows in conjunction with Performance Bicycle.brains rates Bay Meadows high on the list for walkable locations to live on the San Francisco Peninsula and for good reason! Bay Meadows has a high Walkscore because it is steps from shopping, groceries, parks, Caltrain, a farmer’s market and a few short miles from downtown San Mateo with its bourgeoning restaurant scene.