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Big discussion due on pedestrian plan

Original post made on Jan 11, 2013

A plan that could take the city's walkability up a notch is going in front of the City Council on Tuesday, Jan. 15, but those who have studied it closely say it lacks specific plans and measurable goals.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, January 11, 2013, 10:36 AM

Comments (20)

Posted by Matt Raschke, a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Here is a direct link to what appears to be the latest report:

Web Link

The link on the page referenced in the article is not the latest draft of the document.

It doesn't look like the Safe Routes to Schools program addressed all public schools that Mountain View residents attend (see Page 88 of 124). Parts of Mountain View are served by Santa Rita, Almond, Covington, Egan, Blach, Los Altos High, and Bullis Charter School. These schools need to be considered because crossings of El Camino and San Antonio are involved. I know many kids in the Crossings who cross El Camino and San Antonio to get to school by bike or scooter everyday.

Posted by resident, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm

The number of acceptable pedestrian fatalities in this city is ZERO. If car drivers aren't willing or able to pay attention at the current speed limits, then the city needs continue to reduce road speeds until the streets are safe. We should all be willing to pay an extra minute of commute time per day for much safer streets.

Posted by Jill, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 11, 2013 at 2:48 pm

The report could use a little editing. Girls Middle School was replaced by Waldorf more than a year ago, and its been quite a while since there was an Alpha Beta at Rengstorff and Middlefield.

Posted by kman, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 11, 2013 at 3:01 pm

What's more important, 5% that walk and ride bikes or the 95% that drive? Road diets don't work for car traffic, they will make the side streets have more traffic. It's already happening on Rengstorff, lot easier to use the side streets then to wait for the lights.

Posted by BPAC, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jan 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm

The BPAC is the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory "Committee" -- not "Commission"

Posted by Steve, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm

We absolutely must make our Mountain View streets idiot-proof. The ever expanding idiot population mandates it.

Posted by resident, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 11, 2013 at 4:28 pm

If idiots were killing themselves, maybe we could let them keep doing it to improve the gene pool. When idiots are killing innocent people, a civilized society needs to put an end to it no matter what the cost.

Posted by Sally, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jan 11, 2013 at 4:58 pm

On south bound El Camino in Palo Alto, just before University Ave, there is a sign that says "Trucks use San Antonio", hence sending Palo Altos truck traffic trough Los Altos and Mountain View. No wonder San Antonio is such a mess, and over crowded. My Los Altos living friends dont use San Antonio to get to 101 even though it is the most direct route for them. So they use Rengstorff!,

Need I say more.

Posted by David, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 11, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Kman- The 99.9995% that walk, ride, and drive are all important. There's no need to exclude anyone. We have some really smart people here so let's make the effort to find a plan that works for everyone. Some roads should prioritize cars while others do so for bikes and pedestrians.

Zero fatalities is not possible due to true accidents, but it's a good goal nonetheless. If we work together to make this city--our home--work for everyone we'll all be happier.

As for shunting truck traffic to San Antonio, I suspect that that's done to optimize flow. Yes, it inconveniences some while improving it for the majority. The key is to avoid inconveniencing that few consistently.

Traffic flow is a hard problem but one well worth getting right.

Posted by Otto Maddox, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 11, 2013 at 8:02 pm

"The number of acceptable pedestrian fatalities in this city is ZERO."

This is such silly thinking. A zero defect mentality only creates organizations that are terrifid to make any decisions because all decisions have a certain amount of risk.

We can never reach ZERO fatalities. We're dealing with humans here. There is always someone willing to do something we never expected.. and die while doing it.

Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 11, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Typical Mtn View public works:

We'll plan a plan to have a plan so we can plan the plan then we can study the plan to make a study of the plan so we can study the study.

My prediction after the Cal avenue recklessness was that nothing would get done or change, and so far its true.

And yes drivers are short cutting through Monte Loma to avoid the Rengstorff Central mess, and crowding the bike boulevards to do it!

Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 11, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Just paged through the web link. It's some kind of joke right?

Glaciers move faster than these studies and surveys.

And why all the blank pages. Basically the "plan" says there is no plan.

It looks like some cut and paste that a high school sophomore put together.

Sorry to be so critical, but my dealing with the traffic calming entities in this city have gotten no where and this "plan" is exhibit 1 of the inertia of city bureaucrats.

Posted by El Camino, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jan 12, 2013 at 11:18 am

Wait until all the El Camino developments are completed. Then we'll have a real mess. Enjoy San Antonio / El Camino while you can...when that project is complete, that intersection and surrounding traffic will be a nightmare.

We've been too accepting of the notion that high density housing should be built along major corridors, as those locations will result in those folks using public transportation. That's a pipe dream, and my hunch is that there's been little push back because at least in premise, it "feels" good...after all, it sounds ecological, and keeps developments out of other neighborhoods.

The reality is that most/all of the folks in those new developments will still have the 1 or 2 cars everyone else has. It's conceivable they may use public transportation at a slightly higher rate, but the vast majority will still be driving. If anything, today's work force is more transitional than in the past...people don't work for one company for 20 years...even if you locate near your current workplace, that workplace (and your commute plan) will likely change in a few years. Having kids also changes commute routes.

I'm sure the pro-bike, pro-"close a lane on El Camino" supporters will vehemently disagree. But this is one where there will soon be no need for conjecture...the impacts will be plain for all to see.

This is not to be anti-safety. I'm all for slowing speed limits in some areas and improving pedestrian safety. I'd be fine with lowering the speed limits on California. As another example, every crosswalk on Shoreline should have flashing lights...on a dark night, with 3 lanes in each direction, it's extremely difficult to spot someone hoping to cross.

My major objection is to the notion of road "diets"...that's ill conceived, doesn't match reality, and would be a major flop. I don't want our community to have to spend multi-millions to reverse direction on something that should be common sense.

Posted by SP Phil, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 12, 2013 at 8:05 pm

One major problem for safe pedestrian crossing is this: The law (on various signs) tells motorists to stop for pedestrians IN crosswalks. This would mean that a mother with a child in a stroller needs to be IN the crosswalk as a signal to drivers to stop. Who would trust a driver to do that by stepping off the curb?

The second problem is "immigrants"--no, not necessarily people from other countries, but people from other parts of the US, where the priority for pedestrians in crosswalks is not codified in traffic law. The influx of hundreds of thousands of drivers from other states may explain why most of the time I try to cross Shoreline or Castro, drivers think they have right-of-way over me as long as they don't run me (and other pedestrians) down. Many of these people work in great jobs in Silicon Valley, and are unaware of pedestrian rights because they don't have California driver's licenses yet or didn't pay attention to the handbook.)

Posted by OK Then, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jan 14, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I hate the planning process, but I can't wait for the improvements!
Turning MV into a more walkable/ride-able city will make it a more attractive place to live, which is good for property values :)

Posted by tommygee54, a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 15, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Perhaps Shoreline Blvd can be narrowed from 6 lanes to 4 lanes between Central Expy and El Camino. I assume that many people do not know that the roadway became as wide as it is now way back in 1970!

Posted by Steve, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm

The gridlock being created from the city's lust for higher density is already slowing traffic to absurdity... let's take some lanes away from our most heavily traveled streets. That will help things immesurably.

Posted by kman, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jan 17, 2013 at 12:21 pm

What made the Romans so great, there roads. Like i said before, roads are like arteries and veins, the bigger one gets, the bigger they need to be. This reverse logic of narrowing roads is basically going against all logic. Our forefathers that build our roads knew this and that is why the roads are nice and big. To distroy this would create chaos.

Posted by Luigi, a resident of Whisman Station
on Jan 19, 2013 at 5:07 am

The Roman Empire. Yes, they seemed to have great planning, evidenced by its utter failure that we still talk about today.

Posted by Luigi, a resident of Whisman Station
on Jan 19, 2013 at 5:16 am

Trying to cure traffic congestion by increasing capacity is like trying to cure obesity by buying a bigger pair of pants.

Its been documented that it does not work...again and again.
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