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California Drive, a local north-south corridor through Burlingame, has a distinct character, with uses that transition from single-family residential at the north end to neighborhood-serving commercial in the middle to auto dealerships at the south end. Running parallel to El Camino Real and the Caltrain right-of-way, California Drive provides local connections between Millbrae and San Mateo, supports a local SamTrans bus route, and is a designated bike route. This corridor is also a significant connection between the Broadway and Downtown commercial districts.

California Drive has long been a vehicle-dominated street, with narrow sidewalks, infrequent pedestrian crossings, and bicycle facilities consisting of “sharrows” to alert motorists that bicycles may share the outside travel lane. With low vehicle volumes relative to the roadway’s capacity (based on standard traffic engineering practices), this corridor will benefit from an updated design that reallocates excess right-of-way for enhanced pedestrian, bicycle, and transit use. The following goals and policies identify how California Drive will be improved and will enhance connections to local commercial districts and transit hubs.

Goal: M-10

California Drive will be redesigned to support multimodal access, with facilities that encourage active transportation and improved linkages to commercial and residential areas.

Implement a redesign of California Drive consisting of a “road diet” south of Broadway and installation of continuous bicycle facilities to establish a north-south bicycle corridor through Burlingame, connecting to bike facilities in Millbrae and San Mateo. Concepts for sections north of Broadway and between Broadway and Burlingame Avenue focus on traffic calming, providing a continuous bicycle facility, and improving pedestrian connections. These may include:

  • North of Broadway: Narrow vehicle lanes in each direction, install a buffered two-way off-street bike path on the east side, narrow parking lanes, and develop a new right-of-way of 42 feet from the west curb to east edge of cycle track, with additional four-and-one-half feet of width from the Southern Pacific easement.
  • South of Broadway: Create one through vehicle lane in each direction and one center-running left-turn pocket, install a buffered two-way bike route on the east side with a wide buffer (which could be planted or separated by a curb or other vertical barrier), allow parking on the west side only adjacent to the active space, provide a buffer between pedestrians on the sidewalk and moving vehicles in the street, and maintain the 63 feet of right-of-way from the west curb to the east edge of the cycle track. This configuration will keep bicyclists separated from motor vehicles and will connect seamlessly to a planned two-way bicycle path north of Broadway, providing an inviting continuous north-south bike route for all skill levels.