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Council: thumbs down on El Camino Real bike lanes

Original post made on Oct 18, 2013

Bicyclists who brave the ride on El Camino Real aren't going to be getting help from the city anytime soon, if council member comments Tuesday are any indication.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 18, 2013, 12:00 AM

Comments (70)

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Posted by Fou du vélo
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Oct 18, 2013 at 7:12 am

When our City Manager said "I got a sense that biking was not a priority on El Camino", I hope he meant ALONG El Camino. Crossing El Camino by bike or by foot ought to be a HUGE priority for the precise plan. For biking, it means continuous bike lanes across El Camino, some short bike lanes on El Camino to connect the dots (Escuela to El Monte for instance).... Bike Boulevards are great but only if we can safely get to the right side of El Camino :)


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Posted by commuter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 18, 2013 at 8:57 am

El Camino is a major business district, lined with dozens of small businesses. Is the city really trying to prohibit bicyclists from visiting those businesses? Pushing bicyclists to "quieter streets" away from popular destinations is very short sighted.


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Posted by KW
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 18, 2013 at 11:07 am

KW is a registered user.

Very disappointed to hear that the council is being so shortsighted. I went to the meeting and spoke as did several other local people who bike.

I live within 50 yards of El Camino Real near Escuela Ave. (on Chiquita Ave.) in Mountain View. Although we own two cars, my husband and I walk, bicycle, and take public transportation whenever it's convenient.

Cycling should be given the same consideration as cars and given routes that are the most convenient (fast) just like cars.  El Camino is the best option for shopping, getting to major locations like schools, etc.  Off El Camino routes, even when they exist, are not as direct and are not practical. 

The first improvement on El Camino needs to be the creation of usable bike lanes. That means lanes that are not in the "door zone" (five feet out from parked cars).
 
What's the alternative?:  The naysayers argue there will be more gridlock if we don't continue to prioritize cars in our city planning.  Well, that's how it's been for 50+ years.  Like Dr. Phil would say "How's that working for you?"  


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Posted by sfgrate
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 18, 2013 at 11:14 am

I would bike more, maybe even commute to work, if I didn't feel like I was gonna get hit at all times.

Even recreationally, I would drive the bike to a safe section of town (Baylands, for example), take the bike off the rack and bike where there were no cars.

I entered the wrong verification number twice, so I'm a robot. Pizza is delicious.


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Posted by Bikes2work
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm

I don't ride El Camino very often, but when I do, I take control over the entire right lane. This gives motorists behind the most advanced warning that they must change lanes to pass me. Otherwise, they may feel compelled to try and squeeze by me unsafely. This is especially true now that California required 3 feet passing distance for cars and bikes.

Drive your bike on a street like this. Don't cower on the right side in the "door zone".


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Posted by BikesOnlyPlanetSaver
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Oct 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Ban all cars other than truck deliveries! BIKES ONLY. I'm moving to first town that does this.


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Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm

I too, believe that bike boulevards which run parallel to El Camino Real - similar to what Palo Alto has - may be the best solution to provide a safe route for bicyclists while not further impeding the flow of traffic on El Camino Real, which is a state highway (codified) and considered a principal artery for purposes of vehicle travel.

~~~~~

El Camino Real = State route 82 aka "State highway 82"

"Any highway which is acquired, laid out, constructed, improved or maintained as a State highway pursuant to constitutional or legislative authorization. [SHC Sect 24]. Elsewhere, this is defined as a way or place of whatever nature, publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel. Highway includes street."

Functional Classification: Prin. Arterial: 52 mi; Minor Arterial: 0.5 mi.



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Posted by Biker1
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm

"I too, believe that bike boulevards which run parallel to El Camino Real - similar to what Palo Alto has - may be the best solution to provide a safe route for bicyclists while not further impeding the flow of traffic on El Camino Real, which is a state highway (codified) and considered a principal artery for purposes of vehicle travel."

If you have looked at El Camino that runs through Mountain View, you would know that is not possible without a massive destruction of existing businesses and homes. Also, nobody in their right mind would consider El Camino a 'highway' in any modern sense. Cut over to 101 or 280 if you want a highway.

I agree with "Bikes2work" that it is safer just to take over the whole right lane, just as cars and motorcycles do. It is also completely legal to do so.


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Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 18, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@MVResident67 The issue with not allowing for bikes on El Camino is that it's not a freeway which is exclusively dedicated to transportation. It's the retail center of our city, home to many residents and even more residents in the future.

How can a parallel route get you to a store that's on El Camino in the middle a "superblock" where cross streets are 1/4 mile apart? How can a parallel route help an El Camino resident bike commute to work when their driveway is on the wrong side of El Camino in the middle of the block?

Right now, most people on bikes end up either riding the sidewalk or riding in the relatively underused parking lane on El Camino. Do we want bikes on the sidewalk? No. Do we want people weaving in and out of parked cars on El Camino? No.

Like everyone else, we just want a way to do our shopping, visit our friends and get to work without risking our necks or bothering people who are walking.


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Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 18, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@MVResident67 One more thing. I love bike boulevards. They're make getting around town much better. I use the one on Montecito every time I go to San Antonio shopping center would love to see more of them.

My point is that bike boulevards don't (and can't) take us everywhere. People need to be able to ride a bike to any destination they can drive to, especially an area like El Camino which is densely filled with many destinations today and even more in the future, per the new El Camino Precise Plan.

If we only provide routes that favor cars, all we will get are more cars.


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Posted by AliceC
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 18, 2013 at 2:22 pm

For many years I used the Park Boulevard (Palo Alto)bike path to get to and from my work at Stanford. Even if there had been bike lanes on El Camino I wouldn't have used them. In addition to the safety risk, the thought of breathing in the fumes of heavy traffic would make the journey very unappealing. The relative peace of the bike lanes that run parallel to El Camino make the ride safer and much more pleasant.


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Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 18, 2013 at 2:34 pm



El Camino Real is a state highway which is designated as a "primary artery for vehicular use". This state highway is not only used by the residents of Mountain View, but it is also used - as designed - as a primary artery of vehicular travel by residents and visitors up and down the peninsula.

I don't subscribe to the notion that one who believes that providing a bike boulevard that runs parallel to El Camino Real equates to not caring about the wants and needs of bicyclists, to the contrary actually. I want bicyclists to feel and BE as safe as possible when riding on city streets, and I believe that it is unreasonable to presume that a state route/highway that is designated - and IS - a primary arterial route for vehicular travel, is the most prudent choice when it comes to trying to provide safe transit routes for bicyclists.

Peace.


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Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 18, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@MVResident67 How does providing a bike lane on El Camino preclude vehicular travel? El Camino has three lanes each direction for vehicle travel and roadside parking along most of it. How does converting parking areas to bike lanes keep people from driving down El Camino?

And you haven't answered my question about how people on bikes are supposed to get to destinations on El Camino. On the sidewalk? Or should they just leave their bikes at home and drive there instead, adding to the often heavy traffic on El Camino?


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Posted by Rides on El Camino
a resident of another community
on Oct 18, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I ride on El Camino in Mt. View and Palo Alto because it is BETTER than California Street. At least the edges of the road are wide enough. Improvements would be to remove on-street parking and fix the places where the roots stick through the pavement.
Latham is a HAZARD. There are jay-walking pedestrians and cars meandering down the middle of the street at all times. It isn't wide enough for separate bike lanes unless the partking is removed, and that won't work well for the residents.
I do use the Bryant Street bike boulevard, but it has it's own problems - it doesn't connect to anything at the south end, has too many stop signs, and it is a long way away from some of the places I need to go.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Oct 18, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Use to work on El Camino and rode a bike. Drove up and down El Camino driving a car, van and truck. Walked and jogged up and down El Camino. All of which is a challenge and a hair pulling night mare.

Bike centered development will work around streets near old MV and placez that small pathways to others street more to bike riders.


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Posted by Car on ECR
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Even if there was a bike lane, the drivers are so terrible it wouldn't mater. They would/are still out there killing people. I think this is the right decision. Let the cars have ECR all to themselves. They "Earned" that fate ;)


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Posted by David Burckhard
a resident of another community
on Oct 18, 2013 at 4:01 pm

As a cyclist who has ridden in Mountain View for decades, I'm disappointed in Mountain Views short-sighted view on bicycling. Discouraging riding along this thoroughfare, only means more cars on an already overly stressed road.


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Posted by Good
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Oct 18, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Good move by Council for safety reasons alone. Already too many comings and goings to watch for on the El-C. Bike Boulevards sound safer and healthier air quality.


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Posted by Waldo
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 18, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

El Camino is a dangerous, noisy, smoggy street to ride a bike. Even if the danger could be removed, it would still be noisy and smoggy. Parallel side streets are definitely the way to go. Thanks MV City Council.


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Posted by Waldo
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 18, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

El Camino is a dangerous, smoggy, noisy place to ride a bike. Even if the danger could be removed, it would still be noisy and smoggy. Parallel side streets are definitely a better way to go. Thanks MV City Council.


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Posted by Waldo
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 18, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

El Camino is a dangerous, smoggy, noisy place to ride a bike. Even if the danger could be removed, it would still be noisy and smoggy. Parallel side streets are definitely a better way to go. Thanks MV City Council.


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Posted by NeHi
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 18, 2013 at 4:42 pm

I rode El Camino into Palo Alto for for several years in the late '60s and early '70s; then they improved it. Rode it once after that which was once too many. 4 lanes with wide shoulders was great for biking but then it was scary.

Calif. St. was scary also because of lack of visibility of the driveways; I couldn't see cars and they couldn't see me until their hoods were right in front of me.

Don't remember trying Latham. I ended up wandering thru Los Altos or using Foothill which was a bit out of the way but much less stressful.


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Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 18, 2013 at 5:14 pm

The vilification of automobiles and those who drive them by some in the cycling community is something I find troubling. No one is perfect, not car drivers, not pedestrians and not bicyclists.

Several years ago while driving less than 20MPH on a quiet residential street (not in this city) I looked to my left as I was approaching a street that 'T'd into the street I was traveling on. The street was a decent slope and had a stop sign at the bottom of the street. (Even though the street I was traveling on was a thru street, my habit was to always look up the street and check for traffic - in case someone might blow thru the stop sign or something.) So anyway, broad daylight, dry roads, not a cloud in the sky as I approach this 'T' street, look up and see a young child screaming down the hill and going so fast his bike was wobbling - he was THAT out of control. The second I saw him, I knew we were going to collide. I had a split second to try and decide what the best chance of not killing this child might be...hit my brakes and hope that the child doesn't swerve to the right anticipating hitting me and hit me all the same...step on the gas and hope that maybe I could accelerate the vehicle I was driving quickly enough to avoid this child slamming into me, or swerve to the right, directly into a tree and hope the child might be able to stop before hitting me and/or the tree. I opted to step hard on my brakes and hope the child flew past me and somehow made the turn onto the street before slamming into the tree. Unfortunately, the child slammed directly into the left front of my vehicle. I will NEVER forget the sound he made as he slammed into my vehicle. NEVER. I screamed and was crying as I leaped out to try and help this child. His bike was laying under my left front tire and by some miracle as I bent down asking him to stay still and not move, and my sister began running up the street to get help, this child jumped up and shook his head and said "I'm okay, I'm okay." By this time I had tears streaming down my face because I thought he had been killed when he hit my vehicle. Just then, his 9 year old brother came tearing down the same street. My sister stopped him and asked him where they lived and where their parents were. I stayed with the child who hit me as my sister went to find his parents. Evidently, the parents had allowed the children to ride ahead of them on their way to a community picnic, and when I told them what had happened - by this time the child was up and sitting on a rock on the side of the road - the response I got was dumbfounding "Oh, he's just learning how to ride his bike and he's not very good with his brakes yet." And that was it. They thanked me for stopping and making sure he was okay and seeking them out, and then went on their way to this community picnic. I was so badly shaken up I could barely speak. My sister had to drive the rest of the way to the house, and I was literally unable to function. I was shaking and reliving the moment of impact - thinking I had killed a child - over and over again. Finally, I had my sister drive me down to the community picnic where I found the boy and his family...I wanted to double check and make sure that he was really okay. His parents said he was fine, and when I asked the boy how he was feeling, he said "great" and ran off to play. My sister drove me back home and I still a wreck. I didn't drive for several days...I was just too shaken up. Eventually, my distress turned to anger...I had done nothing wrong, nothing. I was driving cautiously and below the speed limit, the road conditions were excellent and these parents had allowed a 7 year old child, whom they admitted was just learning how to ride a bike and was "not good with his brakes yet" to ride his bike unsupervised on a steep residential street, and because of this not only did this child nearly lose his life, but I was deeply traumatized by the incident. Like i said, too this day I can hear the thud this eight year old child made as he slammed into my vehicle. It was a miracle he was not killed...i think he actually hit my left front tire dead on and then bounced off the tire and landed on the ground just in front of the tire. It was a horrifying sight.

I don't know that there is a point to telling this story other than to say, sometimes the vehicles/drivers are not responsible for auto v bicycle collisions, and to demonize all drivers as careless, reckless, or unwilling to share the road with cyclists...well, it's simply not true. I don't dislike cyclists - I AM a cyclist - and I also have a healthy (and not unwarranted) FEAR of cyclists on the road...so, the fear works both ways.

Again...peace.


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Posted by Gordon
a resident of Gemello
on Oct 18, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Biking on El Camino Real is never pleasant, but it is crucial for those of us who try to use our bikes for day to day transportation and errands rather than only recreation. The businesses by-and-large are on El Camino and usually have no back entrances. So you have to make at least part of your bike trip on El Camino. I don't think they should "invest a lot of money to build a nice pedestrian-bicycle experience"--just paint bike on the sides and ban parallel parking on the side of the street. The businesses along El Camino generally have off-street parking anyway.


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Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 18, 2013 at 5:18 pm

The child was seven, not eight.


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Posted by Patty
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 18, 2013 at 7:30 pm

We traveled El Camino Real today between San Antonio and Grant Road! It was a mess of cars whic at on point caused us a sudden, unexpected stop which blocked intersection. The opposing lane rendered a young woman in her BMW to start screaming at us that we should know better than to block the intersection! I am of the observation that a bike lane on zel Camino during peak traffic times lies somewhere between manslaughter and suicide!the city liability insurance might need to be costlier and it's a very high risk decision. At best, as pilot study needs to be considered but frankly, it's really too dangerous amidst the nut drivers of Silicon Valley. Please don't do it! There will be lives llost dt unrealistic expectations.


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Posted by AC
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 18, 2013 at 8:35 pm

The problem is that biking around El Camino is so horrible. As soon as the trails near Standord ends you are stuck with local streets that go in all random directions with dead ends, humps, stop signs, etc.
Going to Fish Market in PA to buy fish takes me longer than going to Sunnyvale on Central, which is almost twice the distance.
I don't see why bike lanes would be impossible, bike lanes on Central work great.
Or, they should have on straight corridor like Bryant in PA, where there are few cars (cause cars are on Alma).


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Posted by incognito
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 18, 2013 at 9:10 pm

I wasn't at the meeting, so it's hard to tell if this article accurately depicts the intelligence of our council members. This article gives the impression that Kasperzak and Siegal were scratching their heads saying "I don't know how..." while Bryant and Abe-Koga were saying they would rather have something else that's not currently possible.

So the outcome is they all talk about it, then conclude that there is nothing they can do? So they just don't do anything to make it safer to ride a bike on El Camino, which would help alleviate our massive traffic problems?

And I might add, keep an eye on the remodeling of the school campuses. They all have bike racks on campus but, to my knowledge, no safe, designated route for getting to the bike racks except cutting in front of the onslaught of cars.


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Posted by David Speakman
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 19, 2013 at 9:43 am

Put good bike lanes and a center turn lane on California - like Sunnyvale did to Evelyn between Castro and San Antonio. That also will calm the traffic on that dangerous road.


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Posted by David Speakman
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 19, 2013 at 11:45 am

Put good bike lanes and a center turn lane on California between Castro and San Antonio - like Sunnyvale did to Evelyn. That also will calm the traffic on that dangerous road.


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Posted by Maher
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Oct 19, 2013 at 11:54 am

Maher is a registered user.

I live near ECR and I agree that car traffic on ECR is already crowded. I ride my bike for exercise but not on city streets due to dangers. I would like more bike lanes but I don't think ECR is a good candidate... parallel streets sound more sensible to me.

Also I think huge fines and criminal penalties for car drivers who ignore laws protecting pedestrians and bike riders should be put in place and fully enforced. Zero tolerance for hazardous driving.


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Posted by TDM
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 19, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Make sure those bikes have lights and reflectors to be "vehicle approved" on El Camino. 3 feet does no good if you are not seen. And this also means stop at the lights.


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Posted by Tod ford
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 20, 2013 at 7:00 am

That would be great. They need to fix the stretch of Latham between escuela and shoreline better for bikes. The practice of 4 way stops quickly in succession is ignored by bicyclists. Is there a way to do yields for bikes? Also the alternating 2 way stops are dangerous in our shoreline west so cars don't have to stop as much. Even california is a good bike artery, but the green lanes and the bike share arrows are super helpful.


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Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 20, 2013 at 7:41 am

Here's a bold idea that may or may not have any merit, so I'm curious what other residents think: what if the full length of Mercy and Latham (just were they are both parallel) were made into one way streets in order to preserve resident parking and yet make room for dedicated bike lanes on those two roads?

There would still be the issue of what to do once the parallel roads end, but it seems to be an interesting way to get real bike lanes.

It wouldn't solve the commuter issue but may make that part of Mountain View more bikable for daily living travel like going downtown. Reducing small car trips.


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Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Oct 20, 2013 at 5:18 pm

If they want to keep bikes off of El Camino, can they do something to keep cars off the alternate routes?


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Posted by incognito
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 21, 2013 at 9:27 am

@ Christopher Chiang,

Thank You for thinking outside the box! Converting parts of Latham and Church into one-way streets may not be perfect but it is definitely worth considering!

For all the problems facing Mountain View, IMO it's better to at least try SOMETHING than to do NOTHING. Thinking creatively outside the box and being willing to accept that the perfect solution may not be attainable are important.


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Posted by John Olive
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 21, 2013 at 8:52 pm

The ONE big problem with most ALL bikers is at a red light most of them will not allow the cars to make a right turn. I have rolled down the window on a few this year and asked them (yelling so they can hear me) to PLEASE move over, I'm in a hurry. They either ignore me and don't look back or will yell something at me like "I have the right to be here"
Winter is just around the corner. Lets see how many bikers are out in the rain. I guarantee a good percentage of you bikers will be in your nice warm 2014 automobile, drinking your lattes.
MAYBE ONE DAY YOUR UTOPIA WILL EXIST, BUT I HOPE IT'S NOT TOO SOON.


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Posted by Pimento
a resident of another community
on Oct 21, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Perhaps you need to try another approach, maybe one without yelling or maybe one that involves leaving on time so you are not in a hurry. If there is a car going straight in front of you when you want to turn right, do you honk and yell at the driver? Bicyclists who are going straight should not be up against the right curb, which encourages drivers to turn right in front of them, which is illegal and dangerous. If there is room, they should move far enough to the left to allow drivers to pass on their right to turn right. Many bicyclist do not feel comfortable doing this, though, as you can imagine. Doing that also causes abuse from drivers who don't understand what they are doing. I have had drivers yell at me that I am not a car when I have been trying to be polite and let right turning drivers have room on my right.

You may be upset that you can't get through when you are in a hurry but you need to see it from the other side before you can really understand the situation.


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Posted by reader
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 21, 2013 at 9:48 pm

To be perfectly honest, there is no safe routes for bicycles in MV anymore. Cars are overtaking El Camino, California, San Antonio, Rengstorff, Shoreline, Escuela, Latham, Castro (watch them wait forever or rush past crossing pedestrians to race through their left turns often there), etc. There is no way to ride safely to or from anywhere anymore. It has gotten extremely bad in the past 5 years. The air is worse, and the priority is to have more jobs and more stores, and to make that accessible first by car while saying people should use other means of transportation, as long as cars are always able to go as before.
If people are driving over 35 on El Camino, why do the police not ticket them? Shoreline also has many cars go over 45 all the time. And the crossing signals for pedestrians to cross El Camino, Shoreline, San Antonio are set so short that most people barely make it, and old and disable don't make it across before it turns red.
I find it hard to believe that those who design and plan our city live and walk it. They don't seem to be addressing these issues, so these must not be issues to them.


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Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 21, 2013 at 10:07 pm

It seems you have to have a death wish to ride a bike on El Camino, I hope no one rides there, as a matter of fact I can't remember seeing anyone riding a bike on this super busy street.


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Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 22, 2013 at 7:08 am

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@John Olive Another reason people on bikes wait in the middle of a straight/right turn lane is that's where the signal sensor is. If they move left or right for your convenience, they'll get off the sensor and lose their turn at the light. That hardly seems fair, does it?

Also, moving over when you're riding with 20-40 pounds of groceries on a sturdy bike is not easy at all. Just wait until the light changes just like you would if it was a car in front of you. After all, if you and others continue harass riders, they may just drive next time and you'll be sitting behind them anyway.


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Posted by member
a resident of another community
on Oct 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Simple solution. No bikes allowed on El Camino. Cyclists should use alternate routes.


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Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Oct 22, 2013 at 2:51 pm

State law does not allow bicyclists to be prohibited from any public road aside from freeways and toll bridges, so they cannot be banned from El Camino. Providing attractive alternatives can entice most of them to ride elsewhere most of the time, though.


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Posted by BayAreaBill1
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 22, 2013 at 4:08 pm

I was an avid biker and learned many years ago, when traffic was a lot lighter, that BIKES AND CARS ARE LIKE OIL AND WATER --- THEY DON'T MIX. I stopped biking after a serious accident that was all my fault. I was dumb, but not stupid. Putting bike lanes along El Camino Real, or any other heavily trafficked street, is pure insanity. Bicyclists are totally vulnerable and to make things worse, if a car hits a bike then the car's driver automatically is blamed even though the biker probably messed up. Better to put bike lanes on lightly trafficked side streets and leave the heavy traffic to the big boys. I know that some bikers here may take issue with what I say, and I really don't care what you think. I'm right and you're wrong --- or just plain crazy.


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Posted by john Olive
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 22, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Sorry you misunderstood me. I did not say I am yelling at them, just to yell. I am not that rude and if I were on a bike,I wouldn't want someone scaring the blank out of me. I meant I raise my voice loud enough for them to hear me. Also Pimento says bikers should move to the left to give a car the room to turn right, but says it's dangerous to be in at that spot because you have cars to your right and left. I agree. It probably is dangerous. But the only alternative would be to park your self in front of a row of cars and hold up traffic. Another idea was to have the people in the car leave a bit earlier to accommodate the biker that WILL park in front of a row of cars. Do you realize how that sounds? But this is how bikers really do think. They and I use the word they on a very high percentage of them, they believe the cars should not be there in the first place. Utopia I think is what I said last time. Maybe one day the USA will have rid itself of automobiles, but that isn't today.
You bikers drive cars to GET GROCERIES, GO TO DOCTOR VISITS, HOLIDAYS WITH FAMILY, FRIDAY NIGHT OUT WITH FRIENDS ETC....
Wake up bikers and learn to share the road.


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Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 22, 2013 at 5:17 pm

@John Olive: Wow. You get mad at the cyclists who "park [themselves] in front of a row of cars [at a stop light] and hold up traffic" but not drivers who do the same thing. You want the cyclists to "learn to share the road". You acknowledge that you're asking them to do something that "probably is dangerous" but care more about your own convenience.

I think you need to learn what sharing is. It doesn't mean that bicyclists must cease to exist. It doesn't mean that John Olive is the most important person on the road. If it did, the mayor would outfit your car with a siren so everyone else would know to pull off the road and let you pass.

I've moved to the left before to allow right-turning drivers to pass me. Many of them say thank you and probably realize that I'm doing them a favor that I couldn't do if I had driven instead of biked. It's too bad that you're too self-centered to understand this.


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Posted by you're not the only one
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 22, 2013 at 5:57 pm

@incognito. I've often gotten the same sense from the reporting on City Council meetings. I don't know if the Council members are that dumb and lacking in any sort of out of the box thinking, or if the staff on the MV Voice are not very good at distilling meetings into coherent articles. I do come away with the sense that we have not elected the best people for the job.


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Posted by Great Auntie
a resident of Slater
on Oct 22, 2013 at 7:25 pm

I am confused about what the road rules are these days between bicycles and cars. Drivers and bicyclists seem to make up their own rules, as do pedestrians. Maybe it would help if there were some public service announcements in the media reinforcing right of way, etc. and/or website(s) covering this. Maybe there already are and I'm not aware. There is plenty of blame to go around between drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. Everyone is in such a hurry - help!


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Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 22, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@John Olive You said: "You bikers drive cars to GET GROCERIES, GO TO DOCTOR VISITS, HOLIDAYS WITH FAMILY, FRIDAY NIGHT OUT WITH FRIENDS ETC...."

Yes, most people who ride bikes also drive cars for some of their trips. And when they drive, they understand why a person on a bike at a stop light might not move over so they can make a right turn on red.

However, you should also know that last weekend I personally went grocery shopping twice and out to dinner on Friday night by bike. And my last trip to the doctor was by bike, but it was six months ago because I don't get sick much. As for visiting my family for the holidays, you got me there. It's a very long bike ride all they way to Louisiana.


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Posted by john Olive
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 22, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Mr. Lamb. The cars in that lane do turn to the right when it is safe to do so. The biker NEVER DOES MAKE A RIGHT TURN. I have seen as many as 10 or more cars just sitting there unable to move and take turns to make their left turn and only because of (1) person sitting on his bike not a foot to the left where he can make room to allow them to move forward and not to the right, closer to the curb because as mentioned above "It's dangerous" ? So please tell me Mr. Lamb, who is in the most important person on the road? The (1) biker or the 10-20 people just waiting to go to work, a Dr. appointment or a job interview ? I would say no one is important. Some of us, the elderly for example can not ride bikes (You would argue "Let them take the bus, less pollution" and some of us enjoy all the benefits riding a bike has to offer. I get it. What I don't get and NEVER WILL is how (1) person can not be considerate enough to move just 1 or 2 feet to the left to allow "The Car" people to go about their business.


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Posted by Pimento
a resident of another community
on Oct 22, 2013 at 8:13 pm

@John Olive, I didn't say drivers should leave earlier to accommodate a biker who is (legally and safely) in the lane. I said leave earlier so you are not in a hurry. Drivers who are in a hurry cause many of the problems on our roads. They make bad decisions, hasty judgments and take too many risks with their safety and that of others. If they left earlier so they could relax and drive peacefully with all the other people on the road we would have fewer problems. We live in a crowded area and we need to get along with lots of other people, in cars on bikes and on foot. Bikers aren't trying to slow you down or annoy you, they are trying to get to their destination safely. Their safety is more important than your impatience.


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Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Oct 22, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Countries that do bikes seriously have completely separate bike paths, not lanes, and do not try to mix motor vehicles and bikes. They have separate traffic signals too.
Mixing bikes and motor vehicles is not a good idea.


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Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Oct 22, 2013 at 8:24 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Here is the BOTTOM LINE about adding bicycle lanes anywhere BECAUSE IT IS HUMAN NATURE THAT TANSTAAFL!!!

You want bike lanes: YOU PAY FOR THEM IN THE SAME MANNER THAT OTHER VEHICLE DRIVERS DO!
That means A LICENSE, REGISTRATION ( COMPLETE WITH LICENSE PLATES SO NO MORE HIT AND RUN PEDESTRIAN AND OTHER VEHICLE ACCIDENTS AND NO MORE BLOWING OFF TRAFFIC SIGNALS BY OPERATORS ) AND INSURANCE TO PAY THE MEDICAL BILLS OF THE PEDESTRIAN YOU JUST RUN OVER!

Yes, your $4K bike could be a weapon WHEN OPERATED IMPROPERLY!

I've never had a problem with cyclists in other parts of the country BECAUSE COPS ON BICYCLES ENFORCE ALL THE LAWS ON THE TRAILS!

I ( and my fellow REACH members, we are all disabled ) had PLENTY of problems at the Cubberley campus. Getting knocked down by IMPROPER OPERATION OF A BICYCLE was a too common occourence. (dismount and WALK YOUR BICYCLE was the law posted everywhere, but few people followed the law ).

Mountain people have had enough of these lawbreakers; they have a special " TACKS " they apply to these bicycle " problem areas ".

That was a very practical solution and just as anonymous as the arrogant law-breaking cyclist.

Until you PAY just like ANY OTHER VEHICLE OPERATOR, Bicyclists will be second class citizens on our highways.TANSTAAFL!!





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Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 22, 2013 at 10:56 pm

John Olive, in many intersections around town it's common for the right lane to be for both people going straight and people turning right. When a car gets into this lane and doesn't turn on their right turn signal, do you yell at them? If not, then why do you yell at the bikes?


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Posted by john Olive
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 23, 2013 at 1:42 am

Mr. Lamb your still on the yelling. I already told you I have to raise my voice just loud enough for them to hear me. I also said I wouldn't want a person yelling at me if I were on a bike. It would surprise you to know and I really don't want to keep talking about "The yelling" and that I even roll down the window and than, YES THANK, the bikers that actually look back, see there are a lot of cars waiting and move over. I know they appreciate it and I feel good letting them know their little jester really helps.
But I know you want to just focus on "yelling" like if I was some crazy person. Quit trying to be the victim and learn one thing out of all this. THAT BIKERS AND DRIVERS CAN GET ALONG NO MATTER HOW CROWDED IT GETS, but it takes both sides to work together. If you have anything else to bring up besides the "Yelling" It would make for a more constructive conversation.


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Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 23, 2013 at 10:33 am

Scott Lamb is a registered user.

John Olive, I said yelling because I imagine the cyclists perceive it as such. Obviously you disagree. You also avoided my question: would you do the same thing if it were a car? You're sitting at the right lane with your right turn signal on, behind a vehicle that is going straight. You've told me what you do when it's a bike: ask them to move and be upset if they don't. What about when it's a car? Do you get upset with them, too? If not, why not?


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 23, 2013 at 11:04 am

After reading the threads I agree with the council and those that would prefer safer routes not on ECR. While not a biker, I have looked at the bike pamphlet put out by the city and think our bike trail system in Mountain View is easy to read and follow.

As an example I notice a lot of bike riding on Foothill Expressway. Looks very dangerous. Rather than listening the spandex crowd, a smarter approach would be to think about getting newer riders to use bikes on safer streets. No one buys all of their weekly groceries on a bicycle and not one goes shopping at a department store to buy supplies on a bicycle. I dont see a lot of bikers shopping at costco.


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Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Biking on expressways is actually much safer than on a street like El Camino. The main hazards to bicyclists are inadequate width, parked cars, driveways and intersections. Expressways have wide shoulders, no parking or driveways, and the intersections are far apart and well-controlled with lights. Expressways serve bicyclists the same way they do drivers: an efficient route with limited access to cover significant distances. That doesn't cover all the needs, but it can cover commuting very nicely. There is not one route that will work for all bicyclists and all trips, so we need variety just like car drivers have local streets, expressways and freeways.


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Posted by 100% bicycle commuter
a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Just to clear up an apparent misconception that "[n]o one buys all of their weekly groceries on a bicycle": That's false. A lot of us do. I've never owned a car. I do all my shopping, including grocery shopping, using my bicycle. I've outfitted it with a sturdy rack and strong, water-proof panniers. I also commute to and from work in all weather; I have a rain suit for the hard rains. I'm far from the only one. @Political Insider wrote that s/he doesn't "see a lot of bikers shopping at [C]ostco". So evidently s/he sees some, which is way better than none. Same with Walmart, Safeway, Trader Joe's, and so on. It's rare for me to get to a grocery store and have the only bicycle.

On my commute this morning, I paid particular attention to the issue of where bicyclists stop in right lanes that are combination forward/right-turn lanes. Surprisingly many stopped on the left side of the right lane or the right side of the inner lane, thereby letting right turners through until a forward-going car got to the head of the line and so stopped it. Of course, morning commute-hour adult cyclists tend to be the most experienced, so I was seeing the best do their thing well.

I always move to the left of the right lane at a stop light, but I do something more for safety at crowded and very intense intersections. I use a rearview mirror, so once I see a forward-going motorist come to the head of the line, I move back to the right so the motorist doesn't shoot past me once the light turns green, leaving me stranded between lanes. If I have enough room, I move fully to the right; if the motorist has left me no room, I move directly in front of the car, positioned at a diagonal, and then once the light turns green, I am ready to move to the right on acceleration. (Keep in mind that I was at the light first, so I'm not cutting. The motorist behind me is at the head of the line only because the right turners ahead were able to turn right.)

Another misconception is that Foothill is dangerous. Not true. It has a wide shoulder and is great for commuting. It's probably the least dangerous way to cover a lot of ground on a longish commute. I often cut over to Foothill even if the overall trip length increases.


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Posted by john Olive
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 23, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Mr. Lamb I will try and make this as simple as I can. On Middlefield and Shoreline heading West, there are 4 lanes. The left lane is only used to make a left and has left arrow light. I have seen bikers in front waiting for the light, just like everyone else and when the light turns green, he goes first and everyone follows. THAT IS NOT A PROBLEM BECAUSE HE IS WAITING FOR THE LIGHT TO TELL HIM WHEN TO GO, JUST LIKE THE PEOPLE IN CARS.
Then you have 2 lanes to go straight with a light. I HAVE NEVER SEEN A BIKER WAIT IN FRONT OF THESE CARS. So I can't comment.
Then you have the lane you and I are discussing. The right lane that has no light, but the cars take their turn to make a right and do so when it is safe to do so. THAT IS THE LANE THAT THE BIKERS PARK THEIR BIKES ON AND HOLD UP TRAFFIC. If the biker was making a right, just like avery one else, then we wouldn't be having this discussion, he would make a right, then the next car and the next and the next and no one would have to wait.
So to answer your question there is no reason to get what you call "Upset" because the cars in that lane intend to make a right to go about their business. The biker NEVER did intend to make a right. He's just going to hold up 5,10, 20 cars. Because he can.


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Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 23, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

To everyone who keeps saying that no one shops by bike:

If you don't believe people like me or 100% commuter who shop by bike regularly, take a look at the bike racks at Trader Joe's or Safeway in San Antonio Center. Or outside Macy's or Nordstrom's at Stanford Shopping Center. These racks always have bikes parked. Stores that are accessible by bike and put up bike racks get bike customers. It's very simple.

We need better bike access on El Camino not so it will be a preferred cross-town bike route everyone will use. We need access because it's where we live, shop and dine, and parallel routes won't get us to the whole way there.


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Posted by Googler
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 23, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Middlefield at Shoreline has 3 lanes plus a bike lane. I guess the bikers that Mr. Olive is complaining about are in the bike lane. It seems wrong to get upset over that. They are where they think they should be, based on the paint on the road.


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Posted by Shoppers vs Workers
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Oct 23, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Janet,

Do you know that the bikes you reference don't belong to workers?

100% Commuter,

""[n]o one buys all of their weekly groceries on a bicycle": That's false. A lot of us do."

Really? "A lot"? "all of their weekly groceries"? What do you think, maybe 1/2 of 1 percent?


The pro-bike arguments would have more credibility if they weren't making arguments that are so obviously false that they lose the people who are still open-minded on the topic.


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Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@Shoppers vs Workers I can tell the bikes parked outside belong to shoppers more than workers because there are different bikes locked up when I arrive and when I leave. Plus we're often loading our bike bags with groceries alongside each other.


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm

@ Shoppers vs Workers - Exactly

"Really? "A lot"? "all of their weekly groceries"? What do you think, maybe 1/2 of 1 percent?
The pro-bike arguments would have more credibility if they weren't making arguments that are so obviously false that they lose the people who are still open-minded on the topic."

I have never in my 40 years of living in this town observed a biker making large bulk purchases at shopping centers. Do a few people ride bikes to shopping centers. Absolutely. But 95% of people ride cars and make far more purchases than bikers.

Beside the spandex crowd, is there anyone that prefers ECR to side streets? Would you want your children riding on Foothill Expressway or ECR? The council made the right call if it wants to encourage more people to bike in this town.


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Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Oct 23, 2013 at 9:22 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

My last comment and it is about personal observations and MY bicycle/tricycle use:

I Have NEVER seen a BICYCLE USED FOR ANY SHOPPING OR PURCHASES.

( It is a different case in other undeveloped countries and countries that have a PROPERLY DESIGNED MASS TRANSIT SYSTEM, the VTA, Samtrans and the other system DO NOT QUALIFY as designed transit.

When I was finishing High School ( I wanted to graduate in 3 years ), the only summer school class was a 2 HOUR bus ride from ECR to Santa Clara. I know that because I tried it ONCE.

That means that I had to use my RAMS Handlebar 5 speed Stingray Banana Seat bike I used for throwing the Mercury News in the morning.

I figured out the quickest commute was NOT staying on the ECR.

I didn't have all the fancy stuff you Spandex Crowd take for granted. I still got the commute done and did it LEGALLY!

I NEVER see a mountain commuter hauling shopping items.

The ONLY ways to do grocery shopping would be paying the store to deliver them OR a bike with a trailer with groceries instead of the kids.

( Now if a Cyclist was using AMPHETAMINES, that would explain the small amount in the panniers and packs )

My other experience is with the Three Wheel Cycle we got for Grandma to use ( She didn't use it ). MOST cyclists didn't mind the fact that it used THE WHOLE BIKE LANE however there were some of the SPANDEX crowd that got upset and showed it in the usual California CAR commuter fashion. THAT trike COULD be used for shopping; it had a big enough basket that could carry 4 bags in it.

My personal trike ( I now have balance problems due to strokes ) is an HPV with an electric twist.

The rear wheel is an electric motor that makes it good for use on both trails and highways. The bad news: It takes the whole bike lane too.

It has to tow a trailer to go shopping.

No proof about the numbers quoted on bicycle shoppers makes the comments NOT TRUTHFUL and is a violation of the site rules. It is time to put up or shut up.


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Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 23, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Scott Lamb is a registered user.

My wife and I get all of our groceries by bike. That includes both trips to get the one missing ingredient for dinner and weekly trips where we go together and load up four panniers of groceries. I don't know what percentage of shoppers do this, but we're not alone. I see others biking with loaded panniers, trailers, or...tubs, I guess (a novel bicycle design, hard to describe). If you haven't seen any bike grocery shoppers, you haven't been paying attention, or (the_punnisher) you don't actually live here.

We still use the car occasionally. We can't fit 24 rolls of toilet paper into a pannier, for example, so we drive to Target for bulk household goods. But most of our local trips are by bike. That puts us in the minority for sure, but the more the city council prioritizes bicycle friendliness, the more people will bike, and the more the city's traffic situation will improve. I'm disappointed that the City Council has punted on bicycle access to the businesses on El Camino Real.

@John Olive: Well, I'm glad you decided to stop asking us to read your mind and finally mentioned the very specific intersection design you've apparently been thinking of this whole time. But it sounds like you think bicyclists are being rude by being in their marked lane. Perhaps you should take it up with the traffic engineers who designed those markings. And by the way, please stop YELLING. It'd be a lot easier for me to believe you don't yell at bicyclists in person if you would stop yelling online. Lose the all-caps. You sound like a crazy person.


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Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 24, 2013 at 11:30 am

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

I think my grocery shopping patterns by bike are pretty similar to what I did before with my car. On the weekend, I buy about three stuffed bags of groceries at Trader Joes which fit on my oversized panniers and front basket. During the week, I often pop in on my way home to pick up something for dinner or a bottle of wine. Since I have my laptop pannier with me and not my bigger panniers, I can only buy about one small bag's worth of groceries.

About 1-2 times a month I need to buy more than three bags or groceries or bigger items like the infamous 30 rolls of toilet paper from Costco. For that, I hook on an inexpensive cargo trailer I bought last year. I do have a car so I could just drive, but it's fun to take the trailer out and I don't have to deal with the car parking issues.

Here's the trailer on a Costco run: Web Link


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Posted by So primitive
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 25, 2013 at 11:17 am

So primitive to use a bike for shopping. Back to the Flintstone days i guess.

If thats what turns you on fine, but don't make it miserable for the 99% that drive.


--------------

We all can tell those that rode their bicycles to work, they all have an aura around them that smells really bad.

Good Job council makes a wise decision.


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Posted by reader
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 25, 2013 at 8:21 pm

the city council has approved 100s if not 1000s of apartments and residences on El Camino. These will eventually have little children in them. they will walk and ride bikes to school. residents will walk and ride to stores and starbucks and peets since they are only a few blocks away, inn fact the city council wants them to walk and ride bikes to these places. many of which are on el camino. so they will go down el camino. If the train tracks required a fence to protect kids, shouldn't el camino be made safer for the children and families that will be living there someday?


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