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Google offers to fund city's bike projects

Original post made on Apr 26, 2013

Mountain View city officials are in talks with Google about using some of the internet giant's billions to help make its hometown more bike- and pedestrian-friendly.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 26, 2013, 12:43 PM

Comments (30)

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Posted by Nice
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 26, 2013 at 1:15 pm

The momentum of the cultural shift continues. Thanks Google!
And if there are any bitter bike haters out there fuming that cyclists are getting this infrastructure, remember, it will have a direct and positive affect of decreasing traffic as well.


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Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 26, 2013 at 2:07 pm

They might want to consider fixing Google Wifi first.


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Posted by kman
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 26, 2013 at 2:26 pm

At the amount of people flooding into this area, these minute changes won't do much to alleviate accidents. Instead the changes sound like they will make driving even more difficult, meaning more accidents as drivers us side streets where most of the bikers ride right now.

So what are they going to do, make it a little more convenient for a hand full of bikers at the expense of all the other drivers?

I think Google should stick to there driverless cars, or have they already abandoned that idea?



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Posted by iUseTheTrail
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 26, 2013 at 2:29 pm

"lights for the Stevens Creek Trail bridge over Central Expressway"

Anyone who as used the Stevens Creek Trail when it's really dark will probably tell you that lights on the bridge are unnecessary. The section just before the bridge (between Dana and the bridge over Central where the trail is split) is probably the darkest section of the entire trail and the only place where lights would really be justified.


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Posted by science guy
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 26, 2013 at 2:37 pm

have photometer - will travel (two weeks is dark-of-the-moon)


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Posted by Castro
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 26, 2013 at 2:44 pm

As someone who's had kids at Graham, the traffic issue in front of the school lasts for 10-15 minutes in the morning. At all other times of the day, traffic flows easily and safely.

Let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater on this one. Eliminate parking on the Graham side of the street from 7:30 - 8:15. Don't permit drop-offs at the curb. These solutions would increase visibility, and allow safer bike traffic.

Then, hire a crossing guard for $10/day (20 minutes of work). That bill will cost $2K for the entire school year. Google could fund it. Have one police car visible in that area from 7:40 - 8:00.

Done. Inexpensive, simple, and much safer.


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Posted by good
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 26, 2013 at 4:20 pm

The city has been doing only a superficial job at improving pedestrian and bicycle safety around town. I'm glad that the big corporate citizens are pitching in. We need more and wider bike lanes in many parts of town. Also more space for bikes at busy intersections.


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Posted by Kman
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 26, 2013 at 4:42 pm

@ good, Would removing the park vehicles be wide enough for you? Or are you one of those requiring to have the roads all turned into one lane?

Bike riding is great, there are trails and parks available where one can take there kids to and be safe.


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Posted by Bettina
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 26, 2013 at 4:47 pm

I just traveled on my bike on a section of road in Palo Alto on Park Ave near the Fry's Electronics. Part of the road was colored a very bright green over a section that can be dangerous for cyclist because of the merging car traffic to get to Embarcadero Road. What a brilliant idea! This could be done in many places in Mtn View including bike paths near schools and places where cars and bikes intersect. It probable cost a little more money for the paint but it sure emphases where bikes should be relative to cars on the road. I see cars driving in the bike lanes all the time.


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Posted by good
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 26, 2013 at 5:01 pm

@kman - The whole point of this project is to make bicycle commuting safer, so people can use bicycles to get to work or to visit local businesses. Bicycle transportation improvements are way cheaper for the city than building more streets. Making parks safe for kids is an entirely different issue that does not help with the city's transportation needs.

Of course, transportation is a huge issue for Google since their campus is on the other side of the freeway from most Mountain View homes and they need a big boost in access routes over the freeway. The few existing roads can only carry so many cars during rush hour. Adding capacity with bicycle infrastructure is 10 times cheaper.


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Posted by Jess
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Sounds great to me. Hopefully this will encourage more people to use bikes instead of cars to get to work.


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Posted by Mark
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 26, 2013 at 5:19 pm

I've noticed that there's always one Kranky Kranky man in these discussions. Always one? I should say Only one, and that's something to celebrate. Being happy is the best revenge. Have a great weekend folks!


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Posted by MV resident
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 26, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Bravo Google! This is real progress toward meeting an important community need that is mutually beneficial. We are very fortunate to have Google in our community, and I hope our community will thank them for stepping up.


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Posted by Old Abe Lincoln
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 26, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Castro said:
"As someone who's had kids at Graham, the traffic issue in front of the school lasts for 10-15 minutes in the morning. At all other times of the day, traffic flows easily and safely.

"Let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater on this one. Eliminate parking on the Graham side of the street from 7:30 - 8:15. Don't permit drop-offs at the curb. These solutions would increase visibility, and allow safer bike traffic.

"Then, hire a crossing guard for $10/day (20 minutes of work). That bill will cost $2K for the entire school year. Google could fund it. Have one police car visible in that area from 7:40 - 8:00.

"Done. Inexpensive, simple, and much safer."

That's an excellent suggestion. Thanks, Castro.

Now, how about Google considering fiber to replace the unfortunate WiFi implementation? The WiFi is just not reliable enough for serious use.


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Posted by Super Dave
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 26, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Any biking upgrades are welcome!

Also, the authors use of "gentrification" is pejorative where there are many people here who appreciate the positive changes and "beautification" that has occurred over the past few years.

If Google is really looking for something positive to do, they could upgrade that laughable WiFi connection on the light rail.


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Posted by Incognito
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Awesome! Thank you Google!

The MVWSD needs a seat at the table for this discussion, as they plan to add capacity for 100+ more students to several of their schools (including but not limited to Graham) that DO have huge traffic jams twice a day, and DO NOT have safe ways for kids on bikes to navigate through all those cars to get to the bike racks! Maybe they will think to include that in their new plans?


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Posted by Pat Grant
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2013 at 9:32 pm

I understand reason for lights on bridge is recent CalTran security rule. Bridges that go over roads and train tracks are to be lighted so those on bridge can be seen and ID if they get in mischief and drop things on vehicles below.


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Posted by Mr. Big
a resident of Jackson Park
on Apr 27, 2013 at 2:50 am

Fix Google WiFi first and stop making it difficult to post problems on the Google WiFi Forum, then spend money lighting a trail bridge that is closed from sundown to sunrise.


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Posted by Cheryl
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 27, 2013 at 9:39 am

Wow! I commute by bike and applaud such a forward-thinking company!


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Posted by J
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 27, 2013 at 9:56 am

Ironically, they should also consider some bike safety training for the drivers of the "Google buses" that transport employees. While riding to Shoreline Park on Monday, I was cut off by a driver who looked right at me before making a turn when I had the right of way and nearly sideswiped by another that passed me all the way to the right even though the left lane was empty.


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Posted by thankful biker
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Thank-you, Google, for all that you're doing to make our town an even better place to live. As a Mountain View educator who commutes across the city via bicycle, I *really* appreciate any and all efforts to make our commutes as safe as possible. I recently conducted a survey in my classroom to see how many children walk or bike to school, and the numbers were very low. If we had safer bike/pedestrian options, I believe those numbers might change...


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2013 at 3:35 pm

@ Castro. I agree that traffic around schools happen at a set times of the day. Stay calm and alert is best when coming to a school. Drive slow is good too.

People make traffic to be worse then it appears. Might be that everyone is headed out on that very same portion of road.

I have lived outside of Melbourne Victoria, use to work in city, traffic wasn't bad if you waited. Half hour was about right, no freeways mostly residential streetS.A

Again stopped and took a dip in the cool waters of Port Phillip Bay.


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Posted by ----
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 27, 2013 at 5:44 pm

The Graham issue is not only ten to fifteen minutes in the morning, it's more like twenty to twenty five minutes. It's also an issue in the afternoon, when the kids get out of school. My children often encounter speeding vehicles and those which run through the crosswalk without any regard for pedestrians, as well as those vehicles who at the last minute decide to stop and end up in the crosswalk, obstructing the walk way. Even- simpler, quicker and inexpensive: try driving the speed limit, required in a "school zone."


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Posted by Tsc
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 28, 2013 at 4:30 am

Thank you Google for demonstrating your enlightened support for the bike and pedestrian experience in our city. Not only are the funds welcome, but also the commitment to this cause which reinforces the importance to the City Council and community.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 28, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Palo Alto badly needs a year-round bridge over Hwy 101 near San Antonio Road to get to the Google campus area. I hope that Google can help to fund this, too. There is a tunnel under Hwy 101 at Adobe Creek, but it is only open sporadically and San Antonio Road itself is a death trap during commuting hours.


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Posted by Castro
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 28, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Graham in the afternoon may have a few speeding issues, but it's night and day from the morning. The afternoon doesn't feature a load of drivers speeding to work, nor a large number of parents skirting safe (and legal?) driving rules in an all-out effort to get their kids to school on time.

No excuse for speeding...at any time. I still believe much of that would be curtailed by simply having a visible patrol car out there for a few minutes each day. I don't know the police staffing or responsibilities at that time, but 7:45am doesn't feel like a time to be on high alert for crime around town.

PS - Nobody responded to kman...if there were no parking on the Graham side of the street, wouldn't that leave ample room for a bike lane? I'm not sure why Graham locks its back parking lot. Heck, the entire campus is unlocked. If people could always use the back parking lot, that would make up for a loss of street parking.


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Posted by Glen Buhlmann
a resident of another community
on Apr 29, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Sounds great!

Google - Kirkland next, right?


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Posted by Thanks google
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Thanks Google, this gives MV the chance to really lift it's game on biking and ped infrastructure. Time we caught up with Palo Alto, Long Beach, Stanford, Portland.

A lot of people choose to move to Mtn View because it is greener and more walkable than a lot of the sprawling cities of Silicon Valley but we've got a long way to go before we catch up with the european cities that have freed their people from reliance on cars.... especially the young and the old.




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Posted by Dad and Kids
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Excellent! another perk from living in MV: generous community members.
Thanks Google, this sort of stuff REALLY makes a town attractive and livable. Great stuff!


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Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2013 at 2:11 pm

@Thanks google, have you rode a bike in Palo Alto lately? Crumbling infrastructure, faded bike lanes, bike-unfriendly reconfigurations of major streets, sewer drains with big wide bike wheel-eating grates, etc, etc...


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