"I'm here today to provide you with a letter of commitment from Google for a three-year funding process," said Google real estate director John Igoe at Tuesday's City Council meeting, as the council prepared to look at the city budget. He said the funding is to be used at the city's discretion for bicycle safety related projects.
As part of a proposed reduction in car trips for Google if it intends to grow in Mountain View, Google and city officials want to significantly increase the number of commuters on bicycles, but the benefits may extend to residents all over the city.
It's been a year since Google made its first donation of $500,000 towards bike improvements in the city. It paid $160,000 toward designing a new bike master plan for the city, $50,000 for new bike racks that will be installed downtown in the next few months, and $75,000 to add flashing lights to three crosswalks on Shoreline Boulevard near downtown, a project the City Council will be asked to approve on May 13, said Jacqueline Solomon, the city's public works director. Commuters and residents will also benefit from an extension of the Permanente Creek Trail to Middlefield Road that is in the works; with help from $150,000 paid by Google last year.
Google's Shoreline Fund property taxes will also help fund a new "cycle track" bike path that is being studied for Stierlin Road and North Shoreline Boulevard. If completed, it would create a direct route for commuters from the downtown train station, likely crossing a new bike and pedestrian bridge over Highway 101.