Caltrain, bikes and 21st century choices | May 23, 2014 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

Opinion - May 23, 2014

Caltrain, bikes and 21st century choices

by Janet Lafleur

All it takes is a trip downtown at 6 p.m. on a weeknight to see the changes.

This story contains 606 words.

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Janet LaFleur is a Mountain View resident who writes a Voice blog about about bicycling.


Posted by Andrew Boone, a resident of another community
on May 26, 2014 at 7:33 am

Caltrain needs to install high-quality bicycle parking facilities at every station, including rent-by-the-hour BikeLink electronic bike lockers and simply more standard inverted U-racks. Good bicycle parking is extremely cheap compared to other ways of increasing capacity on Caltrain. This is the ultimate "low-hanging fruit"!

Bay Area Bike Share also needs a major expansion centered on Caltrain stations and nearby employment centers. It's just not a practical network with only 20 stations on the entire SF Peninsula.

Posted by Adina, a resident of another community
on May 27, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Strongly agree about the bikeshare. The peninsula bikeshare use was very low in large part because the stations aren't in the places where riders need to go! Caltrain's data says that 17% of people use a bike for the last mile. The bike share kiosks are clustered walking distance around the stations, rather than 1-3 miles away which is what people use bikes for.

Posted by Choo Choo, a resident of Shoreline West
on May 27, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Weren't bikes and trains invented in the 19th century? Backwards we go!

Posted by commuter, a resident of The Crossings
on May 27, 2014 at 11:39 pm

Mountain View bike share is missing most of their potential users by targeting only the "last mile" crowd. There are already lots of shuttles that take people from the train station to major employers. What bike share really needs to target is the "first mile", i.e. helping people get from their homes to the train stations. The city should deploy bike share stations at local shopping plazas (which are already distributed around residential areas), especially the ones that are on existing major bike routes.

Posted by Future, a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 28, 2014 at 6:48 am

Choo Choo, do you still drive one of those internal combustion engines? How retro-cool! My friend likes his steam powered car.

Posted by Choo Choo, a resident of Shoreline West
on May 28, 2014 at 8:32 am

@Future -- So you can put 4 small children on the back of your bike and pedal from Mt.View to Gilroy and back in a day? Wow! You must be Superman!

Posted by Future, a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 28, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Oh Choo choo, that's where the train comes in. There will always be solutions for those who are positive minded and not mired in negativity. Of course, not that anyone here harps only on the negative, but in general. Good luck with your commuting struggles...must really be rough.

Posted by Janet Lafleur, a resident of Rex Manor
on May 28, 2014 at 11:16 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@Choo Choo Make fun all you want, but people are choosing Caltrain because it meets their needs better than whatever technology you think is superior. The truth is that people these days want a full range of choices--walk, bike, car, transit--so they can choose the right tool for the job.

That stands in sharp contrast to how we've designed our cities to only accommodate cars, regardless of whether we're only going a mile where a car is overkill or going into a densely populated area where parking is difficult. Cars work best on the open road, where manufacturers feature them, not getting that gallon of milk from a store not far from home or bumper-to-bumper on a morning commute.

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