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Council finally sees Shoreline traffic fix ideas

Original post made on Oct 19, 2012

Dedicated shuttle lanes, futuristic people-movers, park-and-ride garages and new bikeways are among the transportation options being studied for Google's neighborhood as the city faces a wave of office projects there.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 19, 2012, 1:36 PM

Comments (26)

Posted by John, a resident of Castro City
on Oct 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm

This is a non-issue. Let's move on to bigger and better things like high rise apartments

Posted by resident, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

If most of the employees live locally (Mountain View, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Sunnyvale), then those tremendously expensive highway projects will be a waste of money. The city needs to look at ways to move people around the city more efficiently. Bike lanes and shuttle busses can be implemented quickly and cheaply.

How about extending the Stevens Creek Trail into Cupertino and extending the Permanente Creek Trail into Los Altos? These projects can be completed for a tiny fraction of that $500 million proposed freeway ramp, and in a tiny fraction of the time.

Posted by Sparty, a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I heard those things are awfully loud
They ride as softly as a cloud
Is there a chance the track may bend??
Not on your life, my Hindu friend
What about us brain dead slobs?
You'll be given cushy jobs
Where you sent here by the devil?
No good man I'm on the level
The ring broke off my pudding can
Take my pen knife my good man
I say its Spiringfeild's only choice
Throw up your hands and raise your voice
But Mainstreet's still all cracked and broken!
Sorry, mom, the mob has spoken!
Mono- DOH

Posted by Al, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Oct 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm

How will self-driving cars solve traffic problems? If they drop off the worker at Google and then drive somewhere else to park, there will be even more vehicle-miles driven and traffic will get worse, not better. It may solve a parking problem but not a traffic problem.

Posted by Bettina, a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm

VERY SIMPLE SOLUTION: If you ever visit almost any University Campus in CA, you will see most of the students use public transit or bike and walk. WHY? Because it cost a lot for a student to park a car. These companies should be rewarding their employees not use their cars or charge them for the privilege.

Posted by Cyndi, a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm

I think you will find with some people who live locally, driving is unfortunately the only option because they have other obligations to fulfill in combination with getting to and from work, for example, dropping or picking up their kids from daycare/school. We live in Mountain View, and could easily get to work by bike or walking in North Bayshore, only 2.5 miles away, but our kids go to public school 3.5 miles in a the opposite direction so we have to drive them there in the morning before going to work, and pick them up as well. My husband walks or bikes when he can, but it's just not an option on most days if you want to use your time efficiently.

Posted by Janet Lafleur, a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 19, 2012 at 9:53 pm

@Cyndi Driving may be the best option for some people. The idea is that we should make it easier for people to choose other options so not everyone is alone in a car on the road. The way things are now, very few people are comfortable doing anything other than driving alone.

That's a shame because for many people, biking and walking can save time because they don't need to drive to the gym after work to get some exercise. It takes me 50 minutes to get to work on Caltrain + a bike ride, which takes longer than the 20 minutes it would take if I drove to work. But I get 25 minutes of exercise and 15 minutes of work on the train so it makes sense for me. I want other people to have that option.

Posted by Cyndi, a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 19, 2012 at 10:23 pm

@Janet. I completely agree with you and was not missing that point. I am very pro walking and biking. I am simply pointing out that some people may WANT to bike and walk, but can't because of other circumstances (for example, the fact that we don't have school buses in this area).

Posted by former MV resident, a resident of another community
on Oct 19, 2012 at 11:39 pm

"Options include dedicated Highway 101 ramps for high-occupancy vehicles (HOV) that connect to dedicated HOV lanes in North Bayshore, guaranteeing that employee shuttles wouldn't get stuck in traffic. Lightbody estimates they would cost $150 million to $500 million, possibly paid for with regional and federal transportation funds."

Does that last line bother anyone else??: "... possibly paid for with regional and federal transportation funds." WHY isn't GOOGLE and these other companies paying for this??????????? I'm sure they've got WAY MORE $$ in their coffers than the City of MV!!!!! Sheesh!

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Oct 20, 2012 at 8:27 am

Options, not everyone wants to walk, bike, drive or even take public transit for one reason or another. eople are willing, they might just do, or traffic will get so bad the options are there. We just have to find the efficent options. Kids going to school, restore funding for school buses. In the 20's Mtn View had a shipping port with ferry service. Super Bowl in 2016 or 2017, Niner games or A's games. Maybe? Options, other then spending 500 million dollars on highway improvements that will take so.many years.

Posted by Steven Nelson, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 20, 2012 at 9:41 am

I guess I'm far from the maddening crowds. Many of these options are forward thinking relative to what we have now. (I agree with Garrett and others about $ and old thinking on freeway lanes) In particular - dedicated bike bridges and bike commute throughways. These would tie into the rest of the city and provide exercise, energy efficiency, low cost (1/10 of car solutions), and much less impact on the environment. THERE ARE SCADS of bike commuters out there compared to when I was bike commuting from the middle of town to Palo Alto in the late 1980's.
Bettina (ML) YES. If every employee within a 10 mile radius [or service area} was given a free transit shuttle pass there would be money to negotiate this with the VTA. In Santa Cruz this is the method to get to UCSC (for most off-campus students and many staff).
A "Traffic Mitigation District" (or New Transit Alternatives District), funded entirely by the property owners and companies at Shoreline will prevent the CONTINUED diversion of school tax money by this thriving business district. Shoreline is not poor - after 50 years it needs to start paying its own way and not divert the standard 1% property tax just for it's own use. Using education operational funds for business district 'traffic mitigation' is
very unwise.(and IMO borderline ethics. The traffic consultants are entirely funded by diverted education/county property taxes)

Posted by Janet Lafleur, a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 20, 2012 at 9:49 am

@Cyndi Whenever we talk about improving walking, biking and transit, people always say "not everyone can do that" which sounds like an argument for not making the improvements. Of course these modes won't work for everyone. In fact, driving doesn't work for everyone--the old, the young, the poor, the disabled--and yet our non-driving options are unpleasant and/or inefficient. If you couldn't drive, what would you do?

We need to give people options beyond driving alone, especially for short distances. Right now, the non-driving options are very limited. The fact that the vast majority of people choose to drive shows that.

Posted by agree with Janet, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 20, 2012 at 10:26 am

I agree with Janet Lafleur. When the city builds a bike path, they don't expect everyone in the city to use the bike path. However, if just a few percent of residents use the bike path instead of driving, then there will be a significant reduction in congestion that benefits everyone.

Now that the city has identified where the demand is (crossing over Hwy 101 from different parts of the city), they need to work to address it. $500 million freeway projects are too expensive and too slow to be the answer.

Posted by Matt L, a resident of another community
on Oct 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm

I'm a former Googler and a downtown Palo Alto resident. I'm thankful that I didn't have to drive in to campus by Shoreline regularly.

Google has recently started running more local shuttles - for example, they're running one that terminates at Palo Alto (University) Caltrain. It's not a perfect alternative versus driving, but it's a start.

Posted by Marti, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Oct 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Hey, maybe the "Monorail" idea is worth looking into... It works other places, why not Mountain View?

Posted by Cyndi, a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 21, 2012 at 9:27 am

Janet, you continue to miss my point. I am not arguing against funding at all! Yeesh. I was merely pointing out that people who are making the transit decisions need to take into account the whole picture of people's lives, not just the Point A to Point B commute.

Posted by Donald, a resident of another community
on Oct 21, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Cyndi, about your kids getting to school you said "we have to drive them there". I don't believe that, I believe that you choose to drive them there. I understand the constraints on people's lives, but they also need to understand how their choices affect the health and safety of other people. When you choose to drive for your convenience it degrades the air quality, increases congestion and decreases safety for others.

Posted by Otto Maddox, a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 22, 2012 at 11:09 am

Oh please.. you all are ignoring the obvious solution here.


That's right.. do nothing. Once the traffic gets bad enough people will find alternatives on their own.

Mitigating that traffic just means that takes longer to happen.

I for one do not want to pay one penny towards this. Let the companies that do business out there figure it out with their special tax zone.

Posted by Andrew, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 22, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Donald, you can believe whatever you want, but your beliefs are not absolute truth. If you are not aware, for the last 3 weeks 3 students of Graham school were hit by cars on their way to school. And without school buses any normal parent will think twice before letting their child to bike to school.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Oct 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm

How running ferry service into Mtn View via the old Southport Terminal at north end of Moffett Field.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Oct 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm

So sorry I meant to say how about. Anyway we can run buses, shuttles or build a rail line. From MV station to Ferry Terminal, build for a fraction of freeway, road, ramps improvements

Posted by Bill Mark, a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 22, 2012 at 9:46 pm

How about just charging a $1.00 toll for every car entering the north shoreline area? (A "congestion charge", like that used in London). All cars would need to have fasttrak.

Posted by JW, a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 23, 2012 at 11:28 am

Stanford issues free Caltrain passes and VTA passes to their employees to encourage them not to drive. It costs Stanford, but it's worth it because they have to cap the number of cars in and out daily. Google could easily cough this up. At Stanford there are also huge perks for giving up your parking pass. That being said- requiring parking permits to park at these businesses might be the first step.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm

I use to live in England, traveled to London quite a bit, this was before they started charging to enter the city zone. M-25 which circles London, I lived beyond and to the south. Getting to London was easy, bus, train or drive into London, pay big money to park. What I did was either the train or drove just past the M-25, parked and took the tube, rail or bus. Now London is far different then Mountain View, the bay area doesn't have a center area where everyone or most people work. London is run by the Greater London Council which overseas the planning, transit and everything that is London.

Posted by tommygee54, a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Hey I agree with Garrett in Mtn. View running a Ferry Service. AND that same Ferry Service can run up and down the Peninsula. If Seattle can run a Ferry Service, so can we here in Mtn. View. I have been suggesting this idea to the city council for years...

Also concerning the Poem by Sparty, the 7th line reads "Where you sent here by the devil?" That is grammatically incorrect. The first word in this sentence should be spelled as "WERE...". WHERE is used to describe that a person is going somewhere or has been somewhere, as in "WHERE have you been?" Conversly you would not say; "WERE have you been..." Hopefully I have helped many with this correction...

Posted by Mountain View Mom, a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm

With all of the comments here, I think there is one small group that is being forgotten. And it is small, so it may not be of great importance to all the people headed to work at all the tech companies in that neighborhood, but we are still significant! I am talking about the ONLY residential community on that side of the freeway; the residents of Santiago Villa. Granted, they aren't located in the heart of Google-land, but I live there and I work in Palo Alto. My direct route (when I don't have school carpool) is Shoreline, Charleston and E. Bayshore Rd. On one hand I feel so blessed that I am not stuck in 101 San Jose to San Francisco traffic, but I also have a kid in school on the other side of town, so biking to work is not an option for me. I am so tired of inconsiderate drivers that are in a such a hurry that they tailgate me all the way because they would rather do 50 in a 35 down Bayshore than 30 in a 65 on 101. And do I have to remind them that this is also currently a 'work zone'? If they think they can bully me into speeding, they can think again, because not only don't I want the ticket, I don't want the fine that is doubled in a work zone.

I am also tired of the people that aren't willing to wait, like the rest of us on Charleston as we head towards the light at Rengstorff. They speed through the center turn lane and cut in front of everyone INTO ONCOMING TRAFFIC.

And most aggrivating of all, is concert nights at Shoreline! If I have to go to MVHS or, God forbid, I have to make a quick stop at Safeway on my way home I end up sitting in Shoreline traffic for 40 minutes just to go a mile and a half!

Of course, the argument is, I chose to live there. Yes I did, but I think that (1) the police really need to crack down on the free-for-all drivers through Google-land. That right there might aid in weeding out those that only use it as a short cut off the freeway, and (2) this one way in, one way out is a load of bull and the city needs to figure out how to add more arteries leading in to the heart of their silicon treasure!

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