Council ponders big changes after slew of car-pedestrian collisions | November 30, 2012 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - November 30, 2012

Council ponders big changes after slew of car-pedestrian collisions

by Daniel DeBolt

Council members finally weighed in on the community's discussion of bike and pedestrian safety last week, with some members pushing for big changes, including narrower streets and 15 mile-per-hour speed limits near schools.

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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm

I witnessed the last pedestrian accident on Castro leading to Graham. It was very traumatic and could easily have been prevented had the crosswalks been flashing so the student was more visible. Reducing speed to 20mph would help tremendously also, but another problem is drivers crisscrossing and making sudden lane changes- It's scary the way some people drive, but many do drive safely. I think narrowing it to one lane will create a parking lot and frustration for parents, who in turn may feel more rushed?

Posted by tod ford
a resident of Shoreline West
on Nov 30, 2012 at 7:59 am

Great to hear the part about less studies more action. Also great to hear Kasperzak pushing bike upgrades. flashing crosswalks seem important. we cross shoreline a lot on our bikes as a family. shoreline west has a great system of smaller roads than california like mercy and latham, but they have a weird system of some uncontrolled intersections, 2 way stops, and then mostly 4 way stops to speed the cars through there. all of them should be 4 way. when you get to shoreline cars are unsure whether to stop for pedestrians trying to cross in the crosswalk. some do then some don't. we always wait because it is unsafe. flashing lights like those on rengstorff would be awesome. making big streets for cars and lesser streets for bikes is key. Palo Alto's bryant bike street is a good example. so road dieting should be used selectively when there is a school. separated bike lanes when the two cross are a necessity.

Posted by Cuesta Resident
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm

The tradeoffs here are far more complex than discussed.

For Graham. the simple answer is to get adult crossing guards near the school just before/after classes. Combine that with continued traffic EDUCATION for the kids, which will help keep them safe at ALL locations, not just by school.

Don't screw up traffic patterns at Graham for the 22 hours a day that it's fine already.

And it's good to ADD bike lanes to streets, but do NOT reduce/slow existing car traffic lanes - which will cause more traffic jams, increase pollution (from idling cars), and delay people further. Get rid of on-street parking or widen the lanes.

Slowing traffic and reducing lanes has lots of unintended side-effects. That's why you need LOTS of analysis before hand, and even then the analysis overlooks likely consequences. Don't make things worse!

Posted by Garrett83
a resident of another community
on Dec 1, 2012 at 11:37 am

Garrett83 is a registered user.

I think being a lousy driver can be open to all persons who have a license or not. The thing is that Castro St has a school, slow down or get a ticket. Improvements are needed, slower speeds, better crossings and maybe improve the way you drop and pick up areas. Airports have better unloading, loading and traffic planning.

Posted by DC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Dec 2, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Flashing yellow and Pedestrian signs create a problem. Drivers know there are people around. The signs and lights just give the walkers a false sense of security. "If I walk I am safe since the sign is there", wrong. Cars still need to see you and be aware of your intention. The price you pay is getting hit. Anyone else blinded by the signs at night? They glow and thus prevent drivers from seeing pedestrian seem to like wearing all dark clothes

Posted by AC
a resident of another community
on Dec 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm

AC is a registered user.

I comment periodically on how it seems to me to not make sense to diet roads which are freeway connections.

But I know the section of Castro in front of Graham, and it does indeed seem like a very sensible place to choke down and make more bike/pedestrian friendly. I can't think of any need for that piece of road to be wide or fast.

Posted by Steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 5, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Ban cars on all streets but el camino and central expressway unless they have an official mountain view resident tag. Then institute a 10% of registration fees tax on all cars owned by Mountain View residents - unless the resident is a rich 1%er in which case tax them 30% and take away one of their cars.

In the case of el camino and central expressway: Install access toll booths to generate money to pay for the public works union pension fund.

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