Pearl Avenue Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Project

The City of San Jose wants to make Pearl Avenue a safe street for you and your family to walk, bike, and drive. In the summer and fall of 2021, the San Jose Department of Transportation plans to redesign the street between Chynoweth Avenue and Hillsdale Avenue. The dashed green line in the map below shows this location.

The image is a map that shows the location of the Pearl Avenue Bike and Pedestrian Safety Project
Location of the Pearl Avenue project

The project plans to repair the pavement, repaint the crosswalks, and add a protected bike lane. A protected bike lane is a space for biking between the sidewalk and motor vehicle traffic, and is separated by a vertical element such as plastic posts. The picture below shows an example of a protected bikeway in San Jose.

Shows an example of a protected bikeway
Protected bikeway on San Fernando Street, San Jose, CA

Most of Pearl Avenue includes two wide through lanes in each direction, plus a wide center turn lane.  Wide traffic lanes tend to increase speeding and increase the likelihood and severity of crashes. Reducing lane width and the number of lanes generally reduces speeding, improves safety, and creates space to better accommodate people biking or walking. 

Before developing plans for this project, the City of San Jose evaluated existing and future projected traffic volumes on Pearl Avenue and found that those volumes can be accommodated with fewer motor vehicle lanes.  The City of San Jose has successfully implemented similar Lane Reduction Safety projects on more than 30 city streets. The picture below shows what this might look like.

Before and after lane reduction
This is what Pearl Avenue could look like if our project is built