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Cycle track to replace expressway ramp

Original post made on Jun 19, 2013

Despite outcry from neighbors over the possibility of increasing traffic jams on Moffett Boulevard, City Council members stuck to their promise of making the city more bike- and pedestrian-friendly Tuesday night.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 6:06 PM

Comments (63)

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Posted by commuter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 19, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Does anyone have a map of the entire route of this proposed "cycle track"? What is the schedule for completing it? Thanks.


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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Plain and simple-it's a sellout to the developer, there is no "cycle track".


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Posted by Mr. Nice
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 19, 2013 at 8:26 pm

What is really needed is an overpass over the RR trax @ Castro.


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Posted by Moffett Resident
a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 19, 2013 at 10:23 pm

I was at the meeting, and heard that figure - 100 cars per day using the ramp - from both Clark and Abe-Koga. The planning department had told the council the number of cars using the ramp was 750-1650 per day. Most of these are at rush hour, of course - about 200 per hour from 5:30 to 6:30. But the ones who are going to be inconvenienced are not the ramp users - it's everyone who drives Moffett. This is a huge mistake. It's sad that the city council (those 5, anyway) have so little regard for the people they are supposed to be representing.


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Posted by Jes' Sayin'
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 19, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Bummer


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2013 at 6:06 am

I liked this ramp but we are talking about improving bike flow to North Shoreline. Change is ugly but those that lived in Old Mountain View loved having most of their neighborhood taken away for that overpass.

Why not take the rest of the neighborhood away to improve car flow.


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Posted by Human Powered
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 20, 2013 at 7:02 am

YEEEEEAAAAH!!!!


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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 20, 2013 at 10:08 am

Again, its not about "cycle track". its about promo and the city council thumbing their noses at the residents of the city. Its a give away of city property to a developer, by a tiny self concerned council.

We don't need a "study". See for yourself.


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Posted by Jody Frease
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jun 20, 2013 at 11:05 am

With respect to Mr. Markle, who did an excellent job preparing and presenting his case, he does NOT speak for the Moffett Neighborhood. He speaks for the subset of local residents who want the ramp left open. The neighborhood was and is divided on this issue. Many of us in the neighborhood, and particularly those who actually live on heavily impacted blocks of Jackson, Central and Stierlin, want the ramp closed, and for good reason. We are not perhaps as vocal as the pro-ramp contingent, but several of us did speak at the meeting in favor of ramp closure, and clearly the Council considered our quality of life concerns as valid as those of people worried about Moffett Blvd back-ups. I'm disappointed that our point of view was not at all represented in this article. You might refer to the Mercury News article on the subject, which was a lot less slanted in its coverage.


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Posted by Elliot Schwartz
a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2013 at 11:27 am

Here are more details from the meeting:
Web Link
Web Link


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Posted by Peter Spitzer
a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 20, 2013 at 1:26 pm

With respect to Jody's comment, 95% of local residents opposed to closure is hardly a "subset," and the word "divided" is a bit misleading. Her point of view is, I think, clearly represented by Bryant and Abe-Koga's comments at the end of the article. On the other hand, Jarrett Mullen got way more than his share of space. Other than that, this article, as the one in the Mercury, seems pretty fair.

The "cut through" argument and the allure of a bike lane provided cover for a couple of council members (Kasperzac, Inks) who are predictably pro-developer, and resonated with a few (Bryant, Clark, Abe-Koga) who might have otherwise been able to see the lack of wisdom in degrading their "gateway" intersection. The developer played it very effectively.

I think this will prove to be a very poor decision, but done is done. I truly hope that I am wrong.


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Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 20, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Peter, where did you get 95% from? I don't see that in this article, the Mercury News article, or either of Elliot's links.

I don't know if this was the right decision, and I share Siegel's skepticism of the "43 seconds" figure. However, I'm glad to see the City Council treating bicycle and pedestrian access as a priority.


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Posted by Peter Spitzer
a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 20, 2013 at 1:55 pm

The 95% figure opposed to closure was the result of an online poll that was run by a local resident in the weeks leading up to this decision. You can see it here: Web Link .

Of those who left specific comments on their position (about 70, I think), approximately 95% opposed closure.


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Posted by Jody Frease
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jun 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm

With respect to Mr. Spitzer, your 95% refers to respondents to a survey that was worded in such a way that most people thought that signing it meant you were in favor of keeping the ramp open. It also required that residents of the neighborhood (a) be members of Nextdoor.com, (b) be aware that the survey existed on Nextdoor.com, and (c) if they ever got that far, read the small print clearly enough to understand that "no" votes were a possibility. The limitations of the survey were stated as a disclaimer when it was mentioned in the presentation document that was given to the City Council, which I thought was appropriate, and well done on the part of the author(s). So while I will concede that 95% of the people who bothered to sign the survey were in favor of keeping the ramp open, interpreting that to say "we represent 95% of the neighborhood" is stretching the point. That is what I meant by "subset", and why I objected to the characterization in the article that Mr. Markle was speaking for the neighborhood as a united whole. It's not true. That said, I have great respect for the work done by Mr. Markle and company, and I think, even though the vote on the ramp didn't go your way, the end result for the neighborhood is better because of the Moffett Blvd. concessions than would have been possible in the beginning. That is directly attributable to your efforts. We will have to agree to disagree on whether or not Armageddon will result as a result of the ramp closure.


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Posted by Alex
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jun 20, 2013 at 2:13 pm

I am so glad I chose to rent when I had the chance to buy. I will be moving as soon as i can after that ramp gets closed. I use it to avoid the massive gridlock that is Moffett and Shoreline daily.

I don't have a problem with peds or bikes but a minority cannot make up rules for the rest. Its not that bad! I walk with my kid almost every day to DT, crossing the tracks with no issues, for a few years now.

Think people drive like idiots now? Just wait till you take their only decent escape.

There will be many more "accidents" than there are now after this ramp gets shut down.


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Posted by Valerie Fenwick
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm

I agree with Mr. Nice - a pedestrian overpass or underpass is desperately needed at Moffet/Castro and Central. It takes forever to cross two sides, with the lights' cycle constantly restarting every time a train comes by, giving preference to traffic on Central.

I'm not sure why the city is closing a ramp that helps ease this traffic bottle neck and does not pose risk or danger to pedestrians.


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Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm

City council math:

Close an on ramp used by hundred of cars per day so a few dozen (maybe) bicycles can use that space instead.

Anyone know how many members of the city council ride or walk to the meetings? Just curious.. would be interesting to know.


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Posted by Stierlin Rd Homeowner
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jun 20, 2013 at 2:45 pm

With respect to Ms. Frease, you do not speak for all the residents of the "heavily impacted blocks of Jackson, Central and Stierlin". I live right there as well and wanted the ramp to remain open, mostly so that a portion of the traffic from 100 Moffett has a way out of the neighborhood without impacting our streets.

This closure will result in more traffic on Stierlin, Jackson and Central Ave once the project is built. How do you think the 191 units x 2-3 cars will be getting to the main arterials of Moffett or Shoreline?


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Posted by I for one oppose it
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Here is another one of those screw ups the council is doing for what, a measly 1 million dollars for the odd shaped land they can sell. It's obvious this city council does not care about the people, but how much more money they can put in their coffers.

Unless if we do not show up with pitchforks and cry bloody foul like what was done on the cat licensing fiasco, they will do nothing for the people of Mt. View.


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Posted by Rob
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 20, 2013 at 3:39 pm

This closure is no surprise to me. Let's forget about practicality and basics that most people need to use a car for transportation. I know it seems like it's getting more crowded every year, but we still don't have the density and infrastructure to rely on public transit and leave our cars at home.

What's next? Is the city council going to approve narrowing El Camino from 3 lanes to 2 lanes and turn the "new" lane into a bike lane? It won't surprise me that the council will use similar logic that the lane reduction will actually reduce traffic and make it quicker to go from El Camino/85 to El Camino/Shoreline. I would ask the city council to please use common sense and try driving down El Camino during rush hour and any other street they want to change before voting!

But alas, common sense seems to be absent from our city council. We should vote in some new faces that are critical of the current council. Even if we have grid-lock at the council level, it won't be any worse than the status quo.


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Posted by jackson park
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jun 20, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Sellout... So when does the city get the cheesy sign they sold out for & the $$ for the proposed park... hmmm makes one wonder where this money will be going to once extensive studies show there is already a park there w/in a one block radius of the soon to be new building.


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 20, 2013 at 4:17 pm

A lot of silly comments on this issue show how listening to the public is useless. Most of the council got this right. Most of the users are across Moffett in the cypress area and do not live near the street in question. There are a few homeowners actually on the street in question and a few business's. Council listened and solved the problem by adding a longer right turn area on Moffett. it didnt make sense to have a street go through the new development.

As for the developer, Promethues doesnt care since they would merely lower the offer price to the landowner. Fewer units less profit and lower selling price to the landowner.


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Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Otto Maddox: you wrote that "dozens (maybe) of bikes use that intersection every day". Your guess is at least 10X too low.

The study says "The counts show that on a regular weekday, pedestrian/bike activity
peaked between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. and on a Sunday between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. with approximately 250 to 300 pedestrians/bikes during the peak hour." Compare that to the peak hour (average) of 1,200 car trips on Moffett. It's a lot closer than I'd realized. Keep in mind that bad as the congestion seems now, it would be noticeably worse if those people drove instead.

This makes me wonder what the numbers will be like once they complete this bicycle boulevard. (Not just this section, but something going all the way to Google.) Could bicyclists outnumber drivers crossing Central near Moffett? That would be fantastic! Everyone would benefit, including drivers stuck in traffic. With the increasing density of the city, we need that kind of change just to keep the traffic from getting worse.


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Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Actually, are they just talking about joining up with the existing boulevard that goes along Central Ave toward the Stevens Creek Trail, or are they talking about something more? I think I saw in an earlier article a mention of a new bicycle track parallel to Shoreline. And I heard something before about extending the Permanente Creek trail all the way to downtown; I don't know what its route would be.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jun 20, 2013 at 5:18 pm

More proof that our city leaders are only interested in pleasing developers (by allowing far too many housing and office building projects than we need) and pleasing M.V. business owners (trying to get far more people to move into town than we need OR desire). As far as they are concerned, the more crowded the city gets, the better.

And also proof that they could care less about what SO MANY current residents who will be affected by this the most (like myself), have to say against it.


I've lived here long enough that I can still remember when the Moffett and Central Expressway crossing was a 5-way intersection, with Stierlin Road running straight through to downtown instead of turning right onto the expressway. Think my opinion means anything more to them because of?

Of course not. I'm not wealthy, so I don't count.


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Posted by Jody
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jun 20, 2013 at 5:36 pm

To the anonymous Stierlin Road homeowner: I never claimed to speak for you or anyone else. I do object to the implication in this article that the pro-ramp group who spoke at the Council meeting represented me. I am part of Moffett Neighborhood both online and in physical reality. That was my only point.


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Posted by NeHi
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 20, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Sure would like a definition of "cycle track". How does it differ from a bike lane?? Mtn. View used to have a "cycle track" [bmx, at least one] and a go-cart track.

Daniel, perhaps you could define terms that have multiple meanings.


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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 20, 2013 at 8:10 pm

The developer had another easy walk in the park to get this deal through. Cycle track! Yea, that's the ticket!
Now city council is selling off land that belongs to the public--and cheap!
More coming to pay off the public employee pension tsunami


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Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 20, 2013 at 8:27 pm

I live a mile away from this ramp leading to central expressway. I am in this area with my car about two times a year. But I do think of it as a shortcut to Central expressway. BUT for the people who need to use this ramp, if and when this ramp closes, that will be a hardship for the people who live in this neighborhood.

As I said earlier I am in this area twice a year when I park at the social services parking lot for the A La Carte and Art fest and for the Art and Wine festival. Since I park so close to this ramp, I never use it when I eventually drive out onto Stierlin Road to get back home. I just diive up Stierlin Rd and get back onto Montecito. I may have only used this ramp a total of 3 times in all the years I have been driving here in this city; since 1970!!!

But it will be interesting to see the new traffic problems that arise when this ramp closes. What we need at this intersection and at the Rengstorff intersection at Central is a bridge.


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Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2013 at 8:28 pm

A cycle track is physically separated from car traffic by some sort of barrier. Some people who do not feel safe in a bike lane feel safe on a cycle track. Some people do not like them because of the conflicts that arise at intersections, because you can't turn left from one and because they cannot be swept. We don't have enough of them in this area for most people to have an opinion based on experience.

From Wikipedia (Web Link )

"A cycle track is an exclusive bike facility that has elements of a separated path and on-road bike lane. A cycle track, while still within the roadway, is physically separated from motor traffic and is distinct from the sidewalk.

Cycle tracks may be one-way or two-way, and may be at road level, at sidewalk level, or at an intermediate level. They all share in common some separation from motor traffic with bollards, car parking, barriers or boulevards."


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Posted by Pat Grant
a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2013 at 9:58 pm

We have a lot of Caltrain commuters to Moffett Field area. Bus service end early and i have seen many making the long walk from NASA area to Caltrain. bringing a small commuter bike for those unexpected long days and a viable bike route opens up needed commutter options. Having a viable bike route up Moffett Blvd is desperately needed. Thank you for this important piece!


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2013 at 8:11 am

I use to laugh at projects like cycle tracks, pest walking trails and Rapid Bus Transit but seeing how much time and money it will cost to build more car centered freeways and massive roadway improvements.

Also got to think about what it will take to build or I should say taken as in land, homes, businesses, farms and wetlands. Now I think cycle tracks and Rapid Bus doesn't sound to bad.


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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 21, 2013 at 8:21 am

I've biked this area many times, including taking my bike on caltrain, and a so called "cycle track" is just something the developer threw out there to get a give away from the development(city) council.

The real issue is the giving away of public land.


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Posted by Steve Hays
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 22, 2013 at 9:58 am

I am so grateful that the city council is taking the long term view for our city. It is clear that the car-centric culture that we live in is defunct / becoming obsolete / untenable. Bold steps need to be taken to promote alternatives. True leadership involves looking hard at issues and making hard choices, even when those choices may seem misguided in the short term.

The roads around Stierlin were not meant to handle large amounts of through traffic. There is a children's park nearby too. It seems contra-indicated to have drivers rushing to get to and from work in such a neighborhood. As it is, I have to double up on my safety measures when biking through this area.

I think back to when the city closed the end of Bush street. I'm guessing that that change restored traffic in that area to appropriate levels for such residential roads. I remember being shocked by the changes surrounding that area, but now view it as another excellent decision made by the city.

Thank you again Mtn. View city council! Please continue to make strong decisions in favor of long term solutions, and solutions that continue to make the city a leader and model for other cities.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2013 at 10:41 am

The land under the cycle track will remain public, some of the parcels of land is being sold. Remember folks people lost their property, their homes to the Bailey Sterling Rd project. Aka Shoreline Blvd.

So we give up a little but of road.


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Posted by john
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 22, 2013 at 5:00 pm

As garret makes no sense and kills the thread....


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2013 at 8:38 am

I was typing on a mobile device, have to type fast before the signal goes and comes back.

I commenting on the fact that homes, property was taken for that overpass, on and off ramps and the Bailey to Sterling roadway. Don't know if their was much stink about taking homes for cars.

Now we are taking a big of roadway for bikes, seems to be a stink.

Earlier in the article was something about part of the cycle trace will remain public so the city won't lose control. It will be OK if 13 fewer units were built or places somewhere else to keep the former onramp in public hands.


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Posted by (Many) Shades of Green
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2013 at 12:57 pm

A few months back, weren't Prometheus and City Council all opposed to a possible easement/trail along Permanente Creek at the "Tropicana" development? Where was Prometheus and the City support of "long term goals of a pedestrian and bike friendly city"?


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Posted by Trudysw
a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 25, 2013 at 3:26 pm

I use the secret onramp to Central Expressway a lot, and will sorely miss it. I will have to use Shoreline instead. Having a dedicated turn lane going to Central Expressway north will be a huge improvement and could fix the problem. But the real problem is the lights at the intersection of Moffett and Central Expressway, which will only get worse with more trains ganging up on certain times of the day. Also, traffic in the middle lane going into downtown always tries to merge rudely into the single through lane rather than turn right, further gumming up the works. Traffic engineers, here's a great intersection to apply your skills. Why do the lights have to reset the same way every time a train comes through? One direction gets relief and others just wait just and wait and wait, yes, as long as 10 minutes or more. I can't wait to see what happens with construction in that area. By the way, Patch, next time, we could use a picture of the intended changes...


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Posted by Trudysw
a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 25, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Oops, not Patch, but Mountain View Voice... Sorry.


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Posted by Prometheus
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Has anyone looked into why Prometheus and the City Council are in bed together? Why is Prometheus the only developer in Mtn. View? Well except for the ugly development at the old Sears site.


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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 26, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Not only anything they want but even more...buy a property walk down to city hall and get a zoning change, has anything been denied to anything Promo wanted. I believe the Promo rep said dealing with this city is "like a walk in the park".
It may be that the city representatives are in over their heads when dealing with an aggressive, greedy developer...or it may be something else?
Or it may be the voter's faults for re-electing the same old same old.


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Posted by Future planner
a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2013 at 12:01 am

When Cal Train is electrified, things will change with the Castro street intersection because the signals will work differently. There might even be a grade separation in the works. This cycle track may disappear. How does the cycle track currently connect into downtown? The loss of the on ramp is not absolutely required to get the cycle track. There is already a sort of a cycle track alongside the train/Central overpass of Shoreline. A problem there is that it is very steep and winding and goes up and down. Is this required because of the grade separation? You could end this cycle track at Jackson Street and it would do the same job.


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Posted by Moffett Resident
a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 27, 2013 at 11:12 am

Here are a few relevant facts that came up at the council meeting - 1) The City traffic engineer said specifically that the upcoming reworking of the lights would not help Moffett congestion, as the basic problem is which street to empty out first after a train - Castro or Moffett. And it has to be Castro. 2) There will be little change in train frequency after electrification - one more train per hour during peak hours, as currently planned. So, a small change for the worse. 3) A below-grade crossing is not in the foreseeable future - perhaps in 10-20 years, if then. 4) As "Future planner" says, the loss of the ramp was not required to get the cycle track. Council had an option in front of them, provided by Planning, to have bike/ped/vehicle access, and ignored it. 5) As a matter of fact, the planned cycle track DOES end at Jackson, at the property line of the new development. To extend it towards North Bayshore would require eliminating street parking on Stierlin, a neighborhood already heavily impacted by parking demands, and that's before 180 or so new units are added, with dubiously adequate parking.

All in all, poor thinking by the 5-2 majority in this council decision.


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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 27, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Welcome to Gridlock!


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Posted by Moffett Resident
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 28, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Moffett Resident: you're talking about the backup of cars on Moffett heading left and straight, right? Yeah, it can be painful, but I don't see the relevance. The Stierlin ramp doesn't have anything to do with that.

The people cutting through the neighborhood are doing that to effectively turn right on Moffett. With a dedicated right turn lane, they can do that easily without cutting through the neighborhood. They no longer have to wait for all those cars going straight.

The people in the neighborhood - both current residents and future apartment-dwellers - use the Stierlin on-ramp to do this, or would if it continued to exist. They'll have to go the other way through the neighborhood instead. It sounds like their route will be a little less direct. In terms of the number of cars going through the neighborhood, the removal of this ramp and the addition of the dedicated right turn lane should be about a wash.

And this sounds like a big step toward treating bicyclists and pedestrians as first-class citizens. It will really be used given the current numbers on bicycle traffic. Maybe this and the road could have existed side-by-side, but I'm skeptical. I've never really seen something for bicycles and cars where the bicycle bit doesn't seem like an afterthought.

After reading through the traffic study, I'm convinced the council did the right thing.


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Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 28, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Oops, the last comment was from me. Pardon my inattention while filling out the webform...


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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 29, 2013 at 2:35 pm

The council did the right thing for Prometheus.


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Posted by Future Planner
a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2013 at 12:15 am

Regarding CalTrain electrification, I believe it will change the signalling for the trains. Currently, a train arriving from the South to Mountain View and planning to stop will trigger the guard arms at Castro TWICE. First, as it stops at the station, with no danger of crossing Castro, the arms come down nonetheless. Then again when it is ready to go, the guard arms have timed out and raised, only to be lowered again as the train continues on its way.

With better signals, there is no need to bring the arms down for a train that is coming from the south to stop at the station. This is an improvement, more so in the morning when there are rapidly spaced north-heading trains that mostly stop at the station.


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Posted by Future Planner
a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2013 at 12:20 am

"The project to implement an Advance Signal System is also known as the Communications-Based Overlay Signal System Positive Train Control (CBOSS PTC) Project. CBOSS tracks train locations and prevents unsafe train movements through the use of equipment on-board the locomotives and in the field. Rail corridor will be increased, by allowing trains of different types to safely operate together using the same network of tracks. The project will upgrade the peninsula corridor to meet the requirements of the federal Railroad Safety Improvement Act, in time for the Act's 2015 deadline."


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Posted by Moffett Resident
a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 30, 2013 at 8:14 am

The CBOSS PTC project, which will rework the signals, seems to be a separate project from electrification. Here's a link: Web Link . According to Caltrain, installation and testing of CBOSS will begin this September. But this site says nothing specific about improving traffic flow problems, and certainly nothing about the double lowering of the gate for northbound trains. All it says is that the new system may result in "Improved grade crossing warning functions." Also, I do recall that at the council meeting, the City traffic engineer was asked by a council member if the new system would improve the problem of southbound Moffett congestion, and his reply was "not much." So while we can always hope, unfortunately I don't share Future Planner's optimism about this.

According to Planning staff, most of the traffic presently using the ramp is going to end up on Moffett. At peak hours, the new right turn lane will not have the capacity to replace the ramp. Expect worse congestion.

By the way, for anyone who cares to read the City documents posted by Eliot (above), don't be too quick to believe the traffic and timing numbers. Much of it came from a Prometheus-funded study. Please see Jac Siegel's comment in the Voice article above concerning the notorious "43-second delay" figure.


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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 30, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Again, this has nothing to do with trains or bikes, it is only a land grab by prometheus. Look for more of the same.


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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 30, 2013 at 6:07 pm

WELCOME TO MOUNTAIN VIEW!

A wholly owned subsidiary leisure service of Prometheus.


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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 30, 2013 at 8:04 pm

They sure own city council, at least 5 of them any how.
There's no give back, as far as the impacts that the dense apartments are creating. Just some "transit oriented" fluff.
How about real value? 191 apartments will bring what impacts on the community? Then charge promo accordingly.

The way it is now, we aren't on a level playing field when dealing with these corporate predators.


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Posted by Tsc
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 30, 2013 at 9:19 pm

I think these comments bashing City Council ate extremely unfair. I watched the webcast of the City Council meeting when they voted to close the ramp and I think the City Council members all voted to support the interests of the citizens as they saw fit. If they had been looking out for the interests of Prometheus, they would have allowed the development of the 3rd parcel rather than reserve it for potential cycle track.


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Posted by PoliticalInsider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 1, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Its called file a writ of mandamus. File it today, stop the council and planning department in its tracks. Speaking of tracks, I called the CAHSRA about using a boring tool deep under the Caltrain right of way. They loved the idea from Gilroy to San Francisco they have their own set of 200 MPH tracks. With stations going underground like in London, we never hear the train yet its there. That makes Caltrain useless and close it down. Then only one set of tracks are needed for the Union Pacific which uses it sparingly.

You think that would clear up Moffett-Castro-Train intersection?

BART proved in Fremont it is far cheaper to bore underground than to build a railway at grade level. We want high speed rail, did we ever say we wanted a nuisance as well?

If you like this idea, contact the CAHSRA on the web. The more management hear this idea, the more they find its makes economic sense. Then while its built too, Caltrain is not impacted. When its done Caltrain is done, no need to spend hundreds of millions electrifying. Then the intersection flows again, less tickets for the cops of the violations I see there everyday, but is that the point?

We deserve the BEST, demand it.


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Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 1, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Moffett Resident: I looked at the "43 seconds" figure a bit. I don't think it means what you think it means. I don't think it's even relevant. But I do think it's accurate.

I think it means that on average (arithmetic mean) at the peak evening hour, cars wait 42.9 seconds before crossing the Moffett/Central intersection. (See page 25 of Web Link ) That's considering all directions, including people going straight through Central with a green light.

For perspective, at the peak hour, there are 2,900 Central car trips and 1,200 Moffett car trips. (See page 6.) I'm not sure exactly where those were measured. (Would turning right from Moffett to Central count toward neither? both? just one?) But let's ignore that subtlety. Imagine every Central car goes straight through and every Moffett car has to wait for time x. 2900*0 + 1200*x = (2900+1200)*42.9 sec. x ~= 2.5 minutes. That huge number of cars going straight through on Central pulls down the average even though the Moffett people wait for much longer than 43 seconds.

More realistically, there are many circumstances that affect wait time: direction (straight in any of four directions, left in any of four directions, right in any of four directions), time in the cycle, timing of trains, and of course traffic. And there's a bias in what you remember - you probably have a stronger memory of that one time you were stuck for 5 cycles than you do of the 10 times you breezed straight through. So the 43 seconds may not match anyone's experience, but that doesn't mean it's wrong.

I'm not sure why it's standard practice to use the overall arithmetic mean to define Level of Service for an intersection, but apparently it is. So they gathered this number, among many others.

As I mentioned before, I think a more useful question today is this: given that there will be a dedicated right-turn ramp from Moffett to Central, how much longer will people have to wait on that new ramp than they would have to wait on the Stierlin ramp? And I think the answer's basically 0 seconds. They won't have to wait for the traffic crossing Central anymore. Each car, once it reaches the front of the right-turn line, will just need to wait for a gap in traffic on Central. There will be no more reason to cut through the neighborhood. That sounds good to me. Okay, maybe with the Stierlin ramp they'd be able to jump the right-turn line by cutting through the neighborhood, but that sounds like a jerk move anyway.

Yes, this intersection will still suck for people trying to go south across Central at peak times. Keeping the Stierlin ramp open wouldn't solve that, so this suckiness isn't relevant to the Stierlin discussion. I don't know why anyone's looking at the 43 second figure.


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Posted by Moffett Resident
a resident of Willowgate
on Jul 1, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Scott, I agree with your first 5 paragraphs. The "43 seconds" figure is relevant precisely because it is irrelevant. That is, the figures that Planning provided to Council did not actually address the problem that worried us locals: the extent of present congestion, and the likelihood that closure will make it worse. The figures provided were presented to make a case that there would be no significant impact, but pointedly ignored the reality that we see most weekday evenings, which we were trying to bring to Council's attention. If southbound Moffett at peak hours had been considered separately, it would surely have rated an F in "Level of Service."

The new lane will not have sufficient capacity to replace the ramp. It also will not have a "free" right turn, as the ramp did. Traffic will stack up. It remains to be seen how pedestrians and bike riders crossing the expressway will be safeguarded - but drivers won't be able to "turn at will."

Will it get worse? Time will tell, right?

Now, please excuse me if I step out of this dicussion. Someone else can have the last word.


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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 2, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Prometheus has the last word


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Posted by PoliticalInsider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm

A new dedicated right lane will never work. Have you ever noticed at peak times the traffic can go almost end, sometimes does if the train screws up, to Middlefield? If just to Central Avenue, which it does almost any time of the day, and that dam* train starts the gates down: the southbound traffic on Moffett always suffers the most. You would have to eminent domain all the way to Central Avenue to make a dedicated right turn work. I doubt the property where the old A&W will allow that.

Planning dopes, do your dam* job instead of letting your jerk client run the roost. Just because they pay you does not mean you're to simply obey them. That is what the problem is, planning does not understand who they serve. You serve the people idiots, not the developer.

I hate to say it, but this city is running afoul of everything. No manufacturing jobs only social media. Seeing the article about Zynga proves that one day maybe soon social media will take its likely role as a complete waste and failure. How about cabinet shops, and boat building, and electronic manufacturing. No we outsourced all of it through get the heck out of here attitude, we like software it does not pollute. CPCEO cites "high carbon footprint" with the electricity used, I think he or she is right.

Good article in CNET about Zynga where CPCEO says ".....take the fires and drought raging in 5 Western states, its the 1930 precursor to the Dust Bowl all over again. Marc Andreeson is a genius but again him being plugged the last time was the Dot Com Failure with words spoken to ATT that were cooked. We now have the same cook in the stew, this time its Bloomberg......"

Couple in all the development, I think our city stinks of too much council developer tom foolery. The ramp is an overflow and works well. A new right lane will get clogged time and again and wont be nearly as effective. This time the status quo works and should be left alone. I think everyone who hates this project and what it is doing to the ramp should get together in a class action and litigate this until everyone gives up, like happened in other cities.


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Posted by SProf
a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Council, closing the ramp to bicycles, really? How stupid do you think we are. There is no way those bicycles can get to downtown and the reverse without using either Shoreline or Moffett. You stupids using Bush Math. Real Math, the ramp is a relief to the traffic at (your numbers) 200 cars/hr. So now your going to add 200 more cars per hour plus 191 units with 1.5 cars on average or another 300+ cars at 2.5 trips per day onto the already overloaded Moffett? That amounts to about 2000-3000 extra trips on overloaded Moffett average per day. It will truly extend to 101 when those crossing gates go down and add in high speed rail at double the frequency, it will be a riot.

Go get an education all of you, you stink.

The developer should pay for lightly under-grounding Moffett and Castro and slightly raising the tracks at the train. Prometheus can have the ramp for free. Moffett won't get impacted by the extra load. Developer, your about to be sued. City your about to get fired. Do your jobs.

Retired Stanford Professor living in Palo Alto where we do things right.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jul 3, 2013 at 11:33 am

I think the cycle track is a good idea but what happens if it doesn't quite work out, at least you could have put the ramp back. Sometime you do need to try something to get cars off the road.


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Posted by jon botelho
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm

I'm a regular bike commuter, but think that this is a mistake. This put pressure on the need to underground Moffett at the train tracks and synchornize the lights along Castro to move traffic. Perhaps that can be done as part of the High Speed Rail planning, which is realistically the first/best chance of undergrounding.


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