The VTA has produced their revised Technical Guidelines for bike facilities. It is supposed to promote “best practices” for bike facilities in Santa Clara County.
The document is all well and good — if the year were 1999. For a year 2012 publication, it looks rather dated. Perhaps they just dusted off the 1999 version?
For example, here is the recommended design for accommodating bicycles through an expressway interchange with a merging/auxiliary lane:
Does that look like a fun place to ride a bike? Now compare to how the Dutch might design this:
If you look carefully at the signal head, you will see that cars wanting to enter the ramp have a red arrow, while the cycle path has a green “bike” light. Much safer and less confusing — for all road users.
Even better: that right-turn arrow for automobiles can serve as a ramp metering signal so as to moderate the flow of traffic onto the freeway. All over the Bay Area, the MTC has been installing ramp metering signals. Problem is, they are being installed in the wrong location.