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Guest opinion: Getting people where they need to go

Original post made on Jul 24, 2015

One of the reasons that commuter traffic in Mountain View is such a mess is that public transit doesn't get people where they need to go. In particular, there is no fixed transit link from either Caltrain or the VTA Light Rail system to North Bayshore, which currently has nearly 25,000 people working there on a normal weekday, even before new offices expected to hold 13,000 or more employees are built. Building housing in or near North Bayshore will help, but it's not enough.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 24, 2015, 12:00 AM

Comments (68)

4 people like this
Posted by bjd
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 24, 2015 at 12:09 pm

Hear, hear! Thanks to Mr. Siegel and Mr. McAlister for starting this discussion.

What will it roughly cost? Can we get federal funding?

It would be great if whatever system comes about could link to El Camino, but that may be a tricky corridor to reach.


8 people like this
Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jul 24, 2015 at 12:26 pm

I'm glad you're seriously looking into this. Right now Mountain View and the surrounding city is not great for people who would like to avoid driving or car ownership entirely. I have friends and coworkers who get by without a car, but it's not easy for them. It would be great if we could support people who want to choose not to own a car. It's really the only way to avoid endlessly worsening traffic and to do our part to mitigate the global climate crisis from carbon emissions.


4 people like this
Posted by Madeline Bernard
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 24, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Madeline Bernard is a registered user.

Sounds good to me. We could use the exact same tech as the new Oakland Airport Connector and maybe be able to share maintenance tips with BART. The OAC cost $484 million to build (for half the distance, at the height of the Great Recession) and might take $8 million a year to run. Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 24, 2015 at 12:43 pm

This is a great idea, but not new, Mike Kasperzak has proposed Pod Cars as a link.
However, this may be the time when it gets some traction
It is sorely needed now and the need will on;y get large as NBS continues to develop.


12 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 24, 2015 at 1:10 pm

True is a registered user.

Makes a lot more sense than that absurd VTA BRT.

Not sure what the right template is (monorail or other) but the idea has enough merit to warrant further study.

Two suggestions;

Leave VTA out of it. They couldn't plan/project a transit system addition to save their own lives and have shown to be far less than honest when they communicate with the community.
Include in the plan surface transit that loops from downtown toward the Southern parts of town to encourage less driving into downtown to access Caltrain.


3 people like this
Posted by MV Wakes Up
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 24, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Important ideas. Cupertino officials are trying to stop the pouring of another lane of asphalt on 85 for a toll lane, and are advocating for public transit instead. What is MV doing to make this happen? The Council refused to participate in the lawsuit to force an environmental impact review. Our transit agency is all for using federal and state dollars to add traffic not decrease it as this article proposes. What is the point of a wish list if the Council does not deal with the reality of the situation. Once the lane is gone from 85, there will be no room for a transit lane.

The sad irony is that a toll lane would be another regressive tax on the working poor. Those driving electric/hybrid vehicles pay little or no gas tax; taxes which pay for and maintain the roads that the electric/hybrid vehicles use (freebie!) and are generally in the higher income brackets than the working poor whose gas tanks pay taxes every mile for the asphalt they cannot access unless they pay again.

Council Member Showalter, concern for social justice (as you characterized it) prompted you to vote for the $213 million boondoggle on ECR, where are you on 85 toll roads instead of public transit?


9 people like this
Posted by Miss Hoover
a resident of North Bayshore
on Jul 24, 2015 at 3:42 pm

I hear those things are awfully loud.


9 people like this
Posted by Lyle Lanley
a resident of North Bayshore
on Jul 24, 2015 at 4:18 pm

It glides as softly as a cloud.


13 people like this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2015 at 6:20 pm

I think this is a feasible idea, but I would urge you to think beyond Mountain View. The Palo Alto shuttles and the Mountain View shuttles do nothing to help each other out. Both cities talk about traffic and transport shuttles as if each is an island or that there is a Berlin Wall along San Antonio.

It is about time both cities had a joint task force on traffic and public transit discussions.


3 people like this
Posted by Scott
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 25, 2015 at 12:24 am

While I strongly support this, it's worth noting that Rengstorff is utterly cut off from the rest of mountain view and devoid of useful commuter options. Either VTA light rail should extend to San Antonio, or this new transit system should loop through to Rengstorff.


5 people like this
Posted by Kevin Crispie
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 25, 2015 at 11:01 am

I think that's it great that local leaders are finally approaching seriousness when it comes to transportation systems. With the economic growth that has been going on it's time that cities all around the Bay Area look seriously at expanding transportation systems. Traffic is only going to get worse as more office buildings and more housing gets built. We need to make sure that growth is balanced with effective transportation systems to move all these people around.

I hope the city council and other local leaders see the implementation of mass transit systems as an important issue, because the need for more transportation grows rapidly each year, and the cost of implementing such systems are only going to get more expensive as time goes on. I anticipate there will be some local opposition to this from residents, but with the city's rate of growth, more transportation infrastructure is badly needed.

Extending light rail or adding something like a monorail to other areas of Mountain View such as Rengstorff is something that is probably also necessary to alleviate transportation pains. If we are serious about clearing congestion on the roads and limiting the dependence on cars, we need to give people of all communities access to high quality transportation.


6 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 25, 2015 at 11:46 am

Exactly how much would this cost? Would the North Bayshore companies be willing to foot the bill, since this mostly benefits their employees and not most city residents?


10 people like this
Posted by bjd
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 25, 2015 at 5:54 pm

@PA Resident, I agree with the sentiment of "thinking beyond Mountain View", and I think the initial concept from Siegel/McAlister is on the right track (no pun intended). A rail connecting the downtown transit hub to NBS would connect to Caltrain, which could get people from PA to NBS with one transfer.

Along those lines (...again, no pun intended), I wonder if it is possible/feasible to run more frequent local transit along the Peninsula on the existing CalTrain tracks. If I could get from Castro to San Antonio, or SA to University Ave while waiting no more than 10 minutes or so, that would be a game-changer. Seems a shame to have the tracks available with relatively low usage on them.


7 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 26, 2015 at 2:52 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

Wasn't there a candidate for city council that proposed something very similar over a year ago?

Web Link ( G-Rail )


Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


9 people like this
Posted by gerald sanders
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 26, 2015 at 6:57 am

We'd like to bring SkyTran to your attention: Elevated, high speed, low cost, environmentally compelling personal rapid transit. Based at NASA Ames and a NASA Space ACt Company, SkyTran offers the fastest, most convenient way to travel. Please see us at www.skytran.us

SkyTran: The Physical Internet


12 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 26, 2015 at 8:07 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

The SkyTran idea looks brilliant! I was very impressed by the presentation on the website. If it is as good as they are claiming, we could possibly look forward to saying goodbye to BRT and maybe the VTA as well. This looks like a well conceived private sector solution that everyone would like.


Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


5 people like this
Posted by Adina
a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2015 at 4:22 pm

"I wonder if it is possible/feasible to run more frequent local transit along the Peninsula on the existing CalTrain tracks. If I could get from Castro to San Antonio, or SA to University Ave while waiting no more than 10 minutes or so, that would be a game-changer."

Caltrain is scheduled to be electrified in 2020/2021, and that will reduce the incremental cost of running additional service - electricity is cheaper than diesel. Caltrain's current plans include moderate increases in frequency.

To run trains even more frequently, a few more million dollars per year will be needed. Not much, compared to the expense of using the country's most expensive land for car parking, and the opportunity cost of traffic, and the wealth of our area. If we figure out how to pay for it, electric Caltrain could run more frequently all day long.
Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by Arnold
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2015 at 6:13 am

WHO SHOULD PAY for getting employees to work? I just saw the latest edition of the Termintor move series. Skynet will be taking over soon. The machines are not fond of humans. Transportation of humans in the future will not be needed. Which reminds me: WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO TELE-COMMUTING?


10 people like this
Posted by Evolution
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 27, 2015 at 9:26 am

"WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO TELE-COMMUTING?"

Ah, yes... The promise that with video conferencing, chat and other virtualization technologies, people can work from home or in small regional offices thus eliminating the commute.

The question is not what happened to tele-commuting, but what happened to the companies that relied on it? Since tele-commuting is inherently less efficient than having a physical presence, what do you think would happen in a competitive business environment? Ask Yahoo and HP. These used to be top tech companies and now they are treading water. They severely cut back their telecommuting program in response.

Google is very savvy in managing people resources. They collect data and noted that groups that were physically co-located were more effective, so they re-orged away from regional centers and kept product groups together as much as possible. Facebook wants all their employees to work in ONE SINGLE BUILDING!

Keep singing about the environmental benefits of telecommuting, but realize the business costs will keep its use minimized.


4 people like this
Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 27, 2015 at 9:28 am

I very much support Mayor McAlister, mayor of Mountain View and Lenny Siegel, a member of the City Council on this important strategy to address the growth in this region and external negative impact on our community in terms of traffic congestion. Corporations such as Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn and others have responsibility to invest in public transportation (linking major campuses to public transit), supporting policies for biking, walking and telework initiatives and innovations such as intelligent maps, autonomous vehicles, and other strategies to promote healthier communities. The desired outcomes go across the Bay Area and our region. My primary concerns are community safety especially in neighborhoods with elementary school access where today's commuters are not aware or considerate of the dangerous they are creating for children walking to schools and parks in our communities. Together we can solve this! Thank You!


4 people like this
Posted by JustAnotherDay
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 27, 2015 at 10:06 am

"Keep singing about the environmental benefits of telecommuting, but realize the business costs will keep its use minimized."



And we all know that corporate shareholder value is much important than the environment.

Environment v Corporations.
Greed wins, as per usual. Environment takes a gut punch, again, as per usual.


7 people like this
Posted by mike
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 27, 2015 at 11:08 am

Here's a thought: Go to the Google headquarters near the end of the business day, and count the buses leaving to their numerous destinations. The buses are nearly full, moving employees to wherever. Now apply the Caltrans/Vta system - single buses arriving at city locations - or light rail trains - all mostly empty. Why?
Each large employer could have a bus system like Google, based upon rider needs, instead of a fixed schedule based upon the physical map.
Whatever system is addressed should be rider based, and flexible enough to meet rider needs.


5 people like this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2015 at 12:58 pm

I know several people who telecommute or work from home several days a week. Each of them still need to spend most of their time at their office, but they are able to work from home several hours each week, some of which is done at weekends or evenings which enables them to do other things during the day. Unfortunately, the other things usually mean using a car to get to the location of the other things.

Telecommuting from my experience is doable, but never as a 5 day per week option.


7 people like this
Posted by reside
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2015 at 3:19 pm

Mike, have been past Middlefield and 237 lately, thats where Google parks all their buses during the day. And these buses are on the roads to go to and from all Google sites that were not built for heavy vehicles. The roads are starting
to wear.


9 people like this
Posted by SP Phil
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 27, 2015 at 3:22 pm

A key transit gap: Please connect El Camino Real with CalTrain/Light Rail. The 22 and 522 buses are fine on ECR (I live 2-1/2 blocks from a stop), but switching from those buses to the train require a walk down Castro Street.


10 people like this
Posted by OldMV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 27, 2015 at 3:51 pm

Creating high capacity transit links of any sort between downtown MV and N
Bayshore will shift a lot of the traffic and parking nightmare of N Bayshore to downtown MV. Weekday traffic and parking in downtown MV already is a mess. Why make it even worse?

A light rail link from a park-and-ride lot at the NASA-Bayshore joint station makes a lot more sense, because it keeps the mess out of Mountain View proper and closer to N Bayshore where it belongs.


6 people like this
Posted by Erik
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 27, 2015 at 6:30 pm

I think the author never been to a place with a good public transportation system.

There are already shuttles providing the link between North Bayshore and downtown and your monorail won't increase amount of people giving up on using their cars on the "last mile" to North Bayshore.

The reasons are quite obvious - because the light rail and caltrain are not convenient for use and you can't improve it within next 20 years, because both are very ill designed.

How a normal person could give up on using the car when the light rail takes 1h to reach San Jose from Mountain View downtown? I could reach San Jose faster even when driving in a complete gridlock.

Caltrain has the same problem - moves with an average speed of a car in heavy traffic and moreover is ridiculously expensive.

Caltrain has some chances to be improved provided that they get rid of same-grade intersections, electrify the trains, but this won't happens within next 20 years.

Light rail has no chances at all - just take on the green line in the system map - in has a zig-zag shape instead of the straight line meaning that train spends 2x time reaching the destination.

The only way to get a good transportation system here is to stop wasting the money and trying to improve existing broken things. What is needed to be done - is to build an elevated rail-based route or BRT line along every major highway or heavy-traffic streets (e.g. El Camino Real) in the area.

Imagine - a person could come to the station which is closest to his neighborhood, park a car at the park and ride lot and move along the highway in the same way like he does with a car, but without any traffic.


10 people like this
Posted by J
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jul 27, 2015 at 10:26 pm

How about trying buses first on the planned monorail routes with the proposed monorail frequency and see how it goes? A monorail is an expensive bus on tracks.

Why not give the buses a temporary dedicated lane on the proposed route first? Seems like a cheaper option to test for a year or two before jumping to a track based system / monorail. When self routing / driving buses are a reality in 15 - 20 years the monorail on a predefined track will seem obsolete and have an ugly raised track through the city.


10 people like this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 28, 2015 at 9:30 am

When planning something like this, it is wise to remember that this should not be planned for the present but for the future.

Many of the younger people are looking on commute transportation differently from their parents. They are looking for reasonably comfortable buses or whatever that are clean, reliable and get them where they need to go in an efficient fashion. They plan to work while commuting or at least use wifi for news and social media. The success of Google buses shows that they think along these lines.

So when we look at what transportation needs are going to be like in 5 or 10 years in advance, we must remember that younger people with these ideals are going to be making up more of the work force at all businesses.

The age of the car is not over, but the way the next generation use them is definitely going to be different. The family car will be the family car, but a family may not be a two car family. The employed will look on their commute as part of their work day. The car may become a recreational or at least evening/weekend convenience. Childcare/preschools and even elementary schools are aware that parents are picking up children later into the evening hours.

The younger crowd do not go shopping, for example, as their parents did. They shop online and this is not going to go away. The younger crowd are happy to watch movies online and attend large concerts and large sporting events. They spend less of their free time away from home or away from work on a daily basis and are much more flexible in the hours they choose to work. Many offices do not get their full complement of workers into their desks until 10.00 am and they are often their until well past 7.00 pm and the single workers are often leaving together to get food somewhere before heading home, so their evening commute home may not be until past 8.00 pm.

Transportation being planned now has to take a lot of these factors into play. I know that I am making a lot of generalizations in this, but someone has to. Society in Silicon Valley is changing. Transportation has to acknowledge this.


8 people like this
Posted by Limit Development in Mountain View to Alleviate Congestion
a resident of another community
on Jul 28, 2015 at 4:20 pm


Mountain View is congested already... Adding Monorail will
remove any aesthetics in this already aesthetics-challenged city.

Moratorium in all developments is sorely needed.

For example....
San Antonio shopping center phase 1 and phase 2 are over-the-top
developments. They are out of place. That did not stop MV from
going ahead because MV wants all the revenue from these developments.

After approving over-the-top development of offices, MV then argues
that it needs to develop apartment buildings under the guise of
office-housing balance. MV knows the fallacy and the fantasy behind
this balance argument.

The fact that MV is causing all the unbearable traffic congestion
doesn't seem to bother MV at all.

MV must do the following in San Antonio area and El Camino
and everywhere else in the city:
1. Stop developing office buildings.
2. Stop building apartment complexes everywhere.
3. Start adding more parks to improve livability.

There is far more space in Cupertino, San Jose, etc.
These cities can handle more office space developments
and balance these with apartment developments. Let
those cities grow because they have the room to grow.

MV is becoming the most congested city and it is taking
down the neighboring cities along with it. MV is a
concrete jungle. Time to stop the frenzy and do some
introspection and change course.

No amount of band-aid solutions can alleviate the
congestion caused by development-at-any-cost mindset.


3 people like this
Posted by No On Moratorium
a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 28, 2015 at 6:13 pm

" Moratorium in all developments is sorely needed. For example....
San Antonio shopping center phase 1 and phase 2 are over-the-top
developments. They are out of place. "


What's the basis for this statement other than a purely subjective preference. Why are they put of place?

"MV is becoming the most congested city and it is taking
down the neighboring cities along with it. MV is a
concrete jungle. "

Again, a subjective preference. How about some evidence comparing us to other cities. MV has added several parks. Has congestion increased more in MV than other cities. The surveys show that are freeways are the least congested freeways in the Bay Area. Some arterial streets are congested during morning and evening rush hours but that is mostly from outside traffic. This has little impact on MV residents


18 people like this
Posted by Survey Says
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 28, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Web Link

The Top 50 CONGESTED Locations Report, compiled by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), most recent data for this report compiled in 2013.

#28 101 S AM 7:05-11:05 from CA-237 to San Antonio Road
#33 101 N PM 3:35-7:30 from North of CA-237 to San Antonio Road
#37 280 S PM 4:05-7:05 from Page Mill Road to Magdalena Avenue

Web Link


19 people like this
Posted by Survey Says
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 28, 2015 at 7:25 pm

Quotes from a WSJ article published April 27, 2015
Web Link

Tech Expansion Overruns Cities in California’s Silicon Valley

.....

"Room to grow is evaporating in Silicon Valley as technology giants’ appetites for expansion are running up against residents weary of clogged streets and cramped classrooms brought about by the boom of recent years.

Some communities are already saying they have reached their limits of development, while others signal that day is near, raising questions about the ability of the tech sector to keep expanding in what has long been its home base."
....

"While some city officials say they could be flexible about the 2.2 million-square-feet cap, much more would be a nonstarter without changes to the city’s infrastructure.

There are commuters “backing up on to our city streets that are causing tremendous inconveniences for our residents,” said Randy Tsuda, Mountain View’s director of community development. “It’s now compromising general livability.”

“Silicon Valley is really straining to deal with traffic and transportation,” he said." ...


20 people like this
Posted by Survey Says
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 28, 2015 at 7:47 pm

In Mountain View's Parks & Open Space Plan dated 2014, stated that the goal is 3.00 acres of park space per 1,000 residents (excluding North Bay Shore) and at the time of the report there was 2.58 acres per 1,000 residents. Think that's improved since 2014?

The city has been actively looking to purchase parcels that can be used as park space, and at the time the report was published needed 30.85 acres of space to meet it's goal for the number of residents in Mountain View (over 76,000 residents).

A LOT of work still needs to meet the goals of set in this report

Read the report: Dated 9/24/14

Web Link


5 people like this
Posted by Larry Cohn
a resident of another community
on Jul 28, 2015 at 10:13 pm

My idea is so simple, I'm surprised it wasn't done years ago. There would be no unsightly elevated train or monorail and no taking away traffic lanes on surface streets.

The idea is a subway running under either El Camino Real or Alma Street/Central Expressway. It would begin at the Palo Alto Caltrain station and proceed as far south as feasible, underneath either El Camino Real or Alma/Central Expressway.

One problem is that no one seems to know what the Caltrain right-of-way will look like when HSR cuts its swath through the peninsula, nor does anyone seem to know what impact HSR will have on Caltrain service and train frequency if the right-of-way is shared with HSR.

With the vast corporate wealth in Silicon Valley, some thought should be given to making such a project a private undertaking, as it is largely the employees of these Silicon Valley corporations that comprise the bulk of the area's commute traffic. I will remind everyone that until 1980, the service now known as Caltrain was run by Southern Pacific, a private railroad now known as Union Pacific.


5 people like this
Posted by No to Moratorium
a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 28, 2015 at 10:27 pm

At survey says. You prove my point. We are nowhere near the top of the worst traffic areas. We list 1 exclusive rd In SCC and part of another road in the top 20 near Alameda county. Not including shoreline we have met the park goal. We have added at least 4 parks in the last decade.

It's nice to quote sources, but facts in and of themselves do not make an inference.


17 people like this
Posted by Survey Says
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 29, 2015 at 8:00 am

@ No to Moratorium,

Among other things you claimed,

" The surveys show that are freeways are the *LEAST congested freeways in the Bay Area. Some arterial streets are congested during morning and evening rush hours but that is mostly from outside traffic. This has little impact on MV residents"

My sourced comments disprove your claims, point by point. (*emphasis, mine)




"Not including shoreline we have met the park goal."

Please provide a link to the source documentation that proves your claim that 3.0 acres of park space per 1,000 Mountain View residents (not including North Bayshore) presently exists. The report I cited was current as of 9/24/14. You might want to read it.


Citing sources is good practice.


18 people like this
Posted by Survey Says
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 29, 2015 at 8:09 am

This claim is particularly egregious:

@No to Moratorium: claims, "Some arterial streets are congested during morning and evening rush hours but that is mostly from outside traffic. This has little impact on MV residents"

Randy Tsuda, Mountain View's director of community development quoted in WSJ article April 2015

There are commuters "backing up on to our city streets that are causing tremendous inconveniences for our residents. It's now compromising general livability."


Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by No to Moratorium
a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 29, 2015 at 8:58 am

@ survey says.

Your traffic survey shows just the opposite. As I stated, we are nowhere near the top of the most congested roads listed. Your sourced comments are silly. People ( even Mr Tsuda) can claim whatever they want , but it doesn't make it true. The empirical traffic survey suggests otherwise.


I mistyped my previous claim. Counting shoreline park , Which the city lists as 750 acres, we have clearly met the city's arbitrary goal of 3 acres per 1000 people. That's why you quoted it as an exclusion. Granted shoreline is a regional park , but it is still used by residents.


16 people like this
Posted by Survey Says
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 29, 2015 at 9:57 am

@No to Moratorium:

Your original claim: "The surveys show that are freeways are *THE LEAST CONGESTED freeways in the Bay Area. Some arterial streets are congested during morning and evening rush hours but that is mostly from outside traffic. This has little impact on MV residents"

Now you claim:

"Your traffic survey shows just the opposite. *AS I STATED, we are nowhere near the top of the most congested roads *LISTED." -> (*emphasis, mine)


-> What? Let me help you understand the distinction top v least, in case you are being deliberately obtuse...

The MTC list (link provided upthread) is of the of the TOP 50 CONGESTED LOCATIONS, not the LEAST congested locations. Being in the middle or lower middle of the pack of the TOP 50 CONGESTED LOCATIONS is absolutely NOT the same thing as being the least congested locations (but I am pretty sure you are aware of this fact.) ONLY the TOP CONGESTED locations IN THE ENTIRE EIGHT COUNTIES OF THE BAY AREA made the list to begin with.




@No to Moratorium: "People ( even Mr Tsuda) can claim whatever they want , but it doesn't make it true. The empirical traffic survey suggests otherwise."

-> Good to know you so easily dismiss Mr. Tsuda's learned opinion that, "There are commuters "backing up on to our city streets that are causing tremendous inconveniences for our residents. It's now compromising general livability."

Please cite your source (link) with the empirical data the disproves his opinion, so we can all be enlightened. Also, you might want to forward this data (and link) to Mr. Tsuda, so he can be enlightened as well. (email addy can be found here Web Link)




@No to Moratorium: "I mistyped my previous claim. Counting shoreline park , Which the city lists as 750 acres, we have clearly met the city's arbitrary goal of 3 acres per 1000 people. That's why you quoted it as an exclusion. Granted shoreline is a regional park , but it is still used by residents."

-> I did not "omit" North Bayshore from my acreage count. I followed the report itself, which specifically, DOES NOT COUNT North Bayshore towards the 3.00 acres per 1,000 residents. If you read the report, you would know this and understand why.




13 people like this
Posted by Survey Says
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 29, 2015 at 10:34 am

This is how the city arrived at it's "arbitrary" goal of 3 acres per 1,000 residents. I'm sure those who spent so much time and effort researching and preparing the detailed report appreciate your dismissing their 3 acres per 1,000 residents as "arbitrary".



Typical.



Snipped from page 115 of the report...

"The Plan’s standard of 3 acres per 1,000 persons is adopted from the City’s Park Land Dedication Ordinance. This Ordinance requires developers to dedicate (or pay an equivalent fee in lieu of land dedication, as discussed in Chapter 1—Funding Sources), at least 3 acres of park land for each 1,000 persons who will live in any new housing project.

The City’s Park Land Dedication Ordinance, in turn, adopted the 3-acres-per-1,000- persons standard from the Quimby Act. The Quimby Act (Government Code Section 66477) is the State law that enables communities to require the dedication of park land or in-lieu fees to offset the impacts of new residential development. The Act states that the required dedication or fee cannot exceed the amount necessary to provide 3 acres of park area per 1,000 persons residing within the new residential development.

Although the Quimby Act and, therefore, the open space standard, only applies to newly developed residential projects, for the purposes of this Plan, the standard will be used to help evaluate open space needs throughout the City. While it would be ideal to meet the standard, this may not be realistic in a city as developed as Mountain View. Instead, the standard is used in this Plan to help measure open space needs, but equal consideration is given to the other criteria, which evaluate location and accessibility.

A recent sampling of nearby Bay Area communities indicates the standards currently in use by these communities:

Campbell 3 acres per 1,000
Cupertino 3 acres per 1,000
Gilroy 5 acres per 1,000
Palo Alto 5 acres per 1,000
Redwood City 3 acres per 1,000
San Jose 3.5 acres per 1,000
Santa Clara 3 acres per 1,000
Sunnyvale 5 acres per 1,000


...more...


3 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 29, 2015 at 11:35 am

Man, look at these well researched looong comments made only to make a point to an anonymous poster/posters on an online msg board.
It begs the question....how much free time do you people have?!?!
I'll read your answers later. I've got stuff to do.


4 people like this
Posted by No on Moratorium
a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 29, 2015 at 12:18 pm

So because you source something that is an opinion it must be true because you sourced it???. The top 50 survey included only freeways and excludes street in Mtn View but you still make a point about MV traffic being so bad. Only one SCC freeway area made the top 20. All freeways are included so a top 50 is pretty much the entire sample size. Whats missing?

Again you quote the Quimby act as if it is authoritative. Whats the basis for the ratio? Is it market based or based on voter preferences? Why not cite a serious study that determines the optimal ratio of park space. Try to think for yourself rather than quoting stuff and then arguing it must be authoritative.

"I did not "omit" North Bayshore from my acreage count. I followed the report itself, which specifically, DOES NOT COUNT North Bayshore towards the 3.00 acres per 1,000 residents. If you read the report, you would know this and understand why."

This is silly. By quoting the report which omits shorline park you tacitly omit it in making you point. As i stated if you include the shorline park area MV more than meets the 3 acre requirement. Based on a 75000 pop we would need only 225 acres. The city web site lists shoreline park at 750 acres.


17 people like this
Posted by Survey Says
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 29, 2015 at 1:32 pm

@No on Moratorium: "The top 50 survey included only freeways and excludes street in Mtn View but you still make a point about MV traffic being so bad."

-> I didn't make the point about Mountain View traffic being so bad, Mountain View's director of community development, Randy Tsuda, did in the WSJ article when he stated the following, "There are commuters "backing up on to our city streets that are causing tremendous inconveniences for our residents. It's now compromising general livability." ... (BTW, readers here are still waiting for you to cite your source (link) with the empirical data that disproves Mr. Tsuda's opinion, so we can all be enlightened.)



@No on Moratorium: "Only one SCC freeway area made the top 20. All freeways are included so a top 50 is pretty much the entire sample size. Whats missing?"

-> You might want to look at the TOP 50 CONGESTED **LOCATION** chart I linked here. (Hint, we're talking about specific locations on freeways, not the freeways in general, but I am pretty sure you already knew that.) Web Link


-> FYI, Mountain View's population was estimated by the census bureau as 77,846 in 2013. Do you think the population has gone down since then? Web Link




@No on Moratorium: "So because you source something that is an opinion it must be true because you sourced it???. "

-> I'm happy to let my comments stand. People are free to hit the links I provided upthread, review the documents & form their own opinions as to the validity of the source material, and decide how much (if any) weight to provide that source material when forming opinions. Meanwhile, you have YET to provide anything OTHER than your opinion, supported by, uh, nothing other than your opinion. Feel free to provide links to those surveys and whatever other studies you have to help support your OPINIONS, or not.

People here are smart enough to figure out what's going on.


3 people like this
Posted by Limit Development in Mountain View to Alleviate Congestion
a resident of another community
on Jul 29, 2015 at 2:25 pm


I drive through Mountain View often. I am a firm believer
in data, data, data... to support what I say below.

The data is there for anyone to see if we keep our eyes
and minds open. If you drive through MV and shop there,
you have already experienced all the congestion data
you will ever need.

Never before have I seen the development frenzy I have
been witnessing in Mountain View. So, let me reiterate
my comments again. Neither Cupertino nor San Jose is
this congested because they have the infrastructure
and the room to grow.

Mountain View is congested already... Adding Monorail will
remove any aesthetics in this already aesthetics-challenged city.

Moratorium on all developments is sorely / urgently needed.

For example....
San Antonio shopping center phase 1 and phase 2 are over-the-top
developments. They are out of place. That did not stop MV from
going ahead because MV wants all the revenue from these developments.

After approving over-the-top development of offices, MV then argues
that it needs to develop apartment buildings under the guise of
office-housing balance. MV knows the fallacy and the fantasy behind
this balance argument.

The fact that MV is causing all the unbearable traffic congestion
doesn't seem to bother MV at all.

MV must do the following in San Antonio area and El Camino
and everywhere else in the city:
1. Stop developing office buildings.
2. Stop building apartment complexes everywhere.
3. Start adding more parks to improve livability.

There is far more space in Cupertino, San Jose, etc.
These cities can handle more office space developments
and balance these with apartment developments. Let
those cities grow because they have the room to grow.

MV is becoming the most congested city and it is taking
down the neighboring cities along with it. MV is a
concrete jungle. Time to stop the frenzy and do some
introspection and change course.

No amount of band-aid solutions can alleviate the
congestion caused by development-at-any-cost mindset.


3 people like this
Posted by No on Moratorium
a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 29, 2015 at 4:37 pm



Survey says "People here are smart enough to figure out what's going on."

That's the only smart thing you have stated so far. BTW, What difference does it make if I round off the pop to 75k. It doesn't change my point about the park ratio being met. It's a minor detail that is irrelevant t to my point.

Again you expect your facts to form an inference. It's not the sourcing that is the problem. It's the fact that you think everything you source is correct. I assume if you quoted President Obama you would argue what he is saying is true. .


12 people like this
Posted by Survey Says
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 29, 2015 at 5:01 pm

@No on Moratorium:

Still waiting for you to provide the links to support your claims that:

a) "The surveys show that are freeways are the least congested freeways in the Bay Area."

and

b) "Some arterial streets are congested during morning and evening rush hours but that is mostly from outside traffic. This has little impact on MV residents"

...until then all I see here is your wholly unsupported opinion.


BTW, the devil is always in the details. tic-toc.




3 people like this
Posted by No on Moratorium
a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 29, 2015 at 8:53 pm

lets get back to the basic issue. I questioned the following statements

" Moratorium in all developments is sorely needed. For example....
San Antonio shopping center phase 1 and phase 2 are over-the-top
developments. They are out of place. "

"MV is becoming the most congested city and it is taking
down the neighboring cities along with it. MV is a
concrete jungle. "


Where is the evidence to support these claims. There is none because these are purely subjective preferences. I did reference the survey about freeway congestion, which of course supports my contention about our area being relatively free of congestion when compared to all other freeways in the area. The list of 50 most congested could be reversed and listed as the 50 least congested since the sample size equals 50 in the survey. I claimed we have added parks. Since 2006 I can think of mariposa, del medio , evandale, wyandotte. Does this counter the claim that we're becoming a concrete jungle. No because the holder of this opinion perceives things differently. People who believe we are becoming more congested do not base their subjective opinion on our relative ranking among other cities because they have no evidence from other cities. They base their opinion solely on how they feel about traffic. Everyone complains about traffic. Its like complaining bout the weather


The clock can tic toc all you want but you have failed to support the claims made by those that call for a moratorium



6 people like this
Posted by Scott
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 29, 2015 at 9:45 pm

[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


The worst part about Prop 13 is that it exempts old people from feeling the financial pain of the policies they've supported. Second worst part is that I'm subsidizing their kid's inheritance. I pay $1500/mo in property taxes. The only thing more insane is that my house has gone up in value by $200k in just 4 months.

You can't stop growth. Pissing in the wind just gets everybody else wet.

-----

Anyway, I approve of what another commenter said. Having a trial bus route would be fantastic. Current bus routes in Mountain View are garbage. I can walk the ~2 miles to downtown faster than my public transit options can take me there.

We need options that go directly from populated area A to desirable destination B. Directly. For the cost of building a monorail, we could have a bussing system that goes from each major MTV community to downtown/caltrain and it'd be funded until the sun explodes.


11 people like this
Posted by Survey Says
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 29, 2015 at 10:19 pm

@No on Moratorium: "The clock can tic toc all you want but you have failed to support the claims made by those that call for a moratorium ."



No one's pulling the will over your eyes.

Tic toc.


3 people like this
Posted by No on Moratorium
a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 30, 2015 at 8:51 am


"The clock can tic toc all you want but you have failed to support the claims made by those that call for a moratorium"

I guess I made my point. There is no objective basis to call for a moratorium


21 people like this
Posted by Survey Says
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 30, 2015 at 9:14 am

@No on Moratorium: "The clock can tic toc all you want but you have failed to support the claims made by those that call for a moratorium"

-> Um, please go back and carefully re-read my posts up thread. You might find that those posts were not made in "support the claims made by those that call for a moratorium" they were made in response to these - now proven - ridiculously unsupportable comments below. (SURPRISE! One can find the comments below ridiculously unsupportable and not necessarily believe that there should be a building moratorium. Try taking your blinders off.)

"The surveys show that are freeways are the least congested freeways in the Bay Area. Some arterial streets are congested during morning and evening rush hours but that is mostly from outside traffic. This has little impact on MV residents"


-> Feel free to cite your source - links - with the empirical data that supports your above claims...anytime now.


3 people like this
Posted by No onMoratorium
a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 30, 2015 at 1:50 pm

Apparently survey says is not informed about freeway congestion in the Bay Area. Note carefully the comment about Santa Clara county. There are several articles that support this one. Let's see if survey says can tell us the worst congested freeway in SCC. Hint. It's not near MV.



Tuesday, February 03, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Bay Area traffic may be hard to deal with at times, but a new study by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission suggests drivers in the region are at an advantage. That's because they know ahead of time how long their commute will take.

According to the MTC, freeway commute times in the Bay Area are more predictable than in any other major U.S. metro area. Why? Officials credit the Bay Area's consistently good weather, the largest network of carpool lanes outside of Los Angeles and metering lights.

The study reveals the Bay Area has the third worst traffic congestion compared to the other biggest metropolitan areas in the nation. We trail Los Angeles and Houston.

Santa Clara County is lucky because it has the lowest average commute times compared to the other eight Bay Area counties. Drivers spend just over 20 minutes getting to work.

As far as cities go, the longest drives are in Contra Costa County.

Commutes in Brentwood, Oakley, and Antioch are more than 40 minutes. Hayward in Alameda County is 27.2 minutes.


3 people like this
Posted by Spletz
a resident of another community
on Jul 30, 2015 at 2:48 pm

The state (DMV) should offer incentives for people who shed their car! Instead, insurance companies offer discounts to those with multiple cars - no enticement for single car owners. It's ridiculous that there is no agency offering inducements to car owners for getting one more car off the road.


3 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jul 30, 2015 at 3:44 pm

On Tuesday I took the day off and drove around Mountain View where I encounted light traffic no heavy traffic jams or nightmare conditions. In fact some of the streets were quiet but later on before rush it got busy but nothing to scream about.

I agree traffic is bad is when I get off work or when everyone files out of their offices or job sites.


14 people like this
Posted by Survey Says
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 30, 2015 at 5:04 pm

@No onMoratorium: "The surveys show that are freeways are the least congested freeways in the Bay Area. Some arterial streets are congested during morning and evening rush hours but that is mostly from outside traffic. This has little impact on MV residents" ...

-> snipped from the posted article (link here Web Link ) " Santa Clara County is lucky because it has the lowest average commute times compared to the other eight Bay Area counties. Drivers spend just over 20 minutes getting to work."

-> What leads you to believe that commute time always equates to congestion? Did you even bother to review THE TOP 50 CONGESTED LOCATIONS REPORT, compiled by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), most recent data for this report compiled in 2013. This report gives REAL DATA on actual congestion locations and number of vehicle hours of delay DAILY. Link here Web Link

#28 101 S AM 7:05-11:05 from CA-237 to San Antonio Road Daily vehicle hours of delay = 1,300
#33 101 N PM 3:35-7:30 from North of CA-237 to San Antonio Road Daily vehicle hours of delay = 1,150
#37 280 S PM 4:05-7:05 from Page Mill Road to Magdalena Avenue Daily vehicle hours of delay = 960


Hmmm... explaining why Santa Clara County residents have shorts commute times, yet as above MTC chart illustrates, SCC highways still have locations which are in THE TOP 50 CONGESTED LOCATIONS in all of the 8 bay area counties. Go figure.

Web Link

"Of the nine Bay Area counties, workers living in Santa Clara County have the lowest average commute times. In particular, workers living in job-rich communities such as Mountain View, Menlo Park, Santa Clara and Palo Alto have some of the shortest commutes, spending just over 20 minutes getting to work. At the other end of the spectrum, workers living in Brentwood, Antioch and Oakley spend the most time commuting to work. Commutes from these three cities in eastern Contra Costa County average nearly 40 minutes."



7 people like this
Posted by Plenty of space to build offices in Santa Clara, Cuperto and San Jose
a resident of another community
on Jul 30, 2015 at 7:52 pm



Driving around Santa Clara, Cupertino and San Jose,
it is evident that there is plenty of space to build
offices in these cities.

These cities have lot of room to develop apartments to
satisfy the office-housing balance.

Why is the MV city council not recognizing that MV is
not suitable for monstrous development of offices and
apartments? Traffic congestion is bad enough already.
Need some introspection to stop the development-at-any-cost
mentality.

Those who like San Francisco style congestion, have the
option to live there. Turning MV into a concrete jungle
is not a good option in the long run.

Name-calling and shooing away legitimate reasoning is no
way to have a discussion.


5 people like this
Posted by prop 13 and relatively-recent / first-time buyers
a resident of another community
on Jul 30, 2015 at 8:12 pm


If relatively-recent / first-time buyers don't like prop-13, let us put
it on the ballot to make modifications to it.

Perhaps prop-13 should only apply to the original owner and surviving
spouse but not to the descendants.

In conjunction with the above option or alternatively....
Bring the base price to 1990 or 1995 level for properties that
are enjoying pre-1990 prices when the comps are substantially
higher such as 50% and above.
Focus on the concept above instead of arguing about 1990 vs other
cut-off dates, 50% vs other-percentages... Details can be worked out...

I agree that it is not fair that someone is enjoying 1930, 1940... 1990, etc. prices via generations of inheritance. This is indeed absurdly
unfair to the first time buyers dealing with eye-popping silicon
valley housing prices. Their eye-popping property taxes are subsidizing
rock-bottom low-assessments (and consequently rock-bottom property
taxes) supported by prop-13.


3 people like this
Posted by Senior Senior
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 30, 2015 at 8:58 pm

Google is currently providing a free shuttle service (16-18 seats) and all stops are within Mountain View. My understanding is that after two-years, it will be up to MV as to whether they want to take over with fares, etc. I rode the route recently mid-day with a few friends--just for the experience and the bus remained almost empty. I'm wondering if it is more used at different hours Anyone know??


3 people like this
Posted by Surveys says I don't know
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 30, 2015 at 10:41 pm

Obviously, survey says fails to undrstand the point about sample size. The fact that SCC has only one congested freeway in the top 20 implies that are freeways are less congested than the other counties. Without knowing the full sample size listing the top 50 is meaningless. And yes commute time does correlate with congestion over time.


17 people like this
Posted by Survey Says
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 30, 2015 at 11:08 pm

Moniker changing in the same thread is a no-no here in the Town Square forums.

"“By 2009, we were looking for ways to not only reduce our data collection costs but to get more detailed information from all the region’s freeways at the same time, ...The MTC report states that data collection was done as follows, “We eventually contracted with a company called INRIX that collects traffic data not just from traffic cameras and roadway sensors but also from automakers’ in-vehicle GPS systems, fleet operators’ vehicle-location devices, mobile providers and other sources to deliver a nearly constant, 24-hour stream of information.”

Read the reports and educate yourself, I'm done here.


27 people like this
Posted by Survey Says
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 30, 2015 at 11:22 pm

The fact that SCC has only one congested freeway in the top 20 implies that are freeways are less congested than the other counties. Without knowing the full sample size listing the top 50 is meaningless.

What don't you understand about the data collection...every freeway in the eight bay area counties were included in the data collection, only THE TOP 50 CONGESTED LOCATIONS out of ALL of the segments of ALL of those freeways were included in the report. You can noodle around on the website and see congestion time on different segments of whatever freeway at whatever time of day if you would bother to look.

Lazy & ignorant isn't worth my time.

Peace out.


3 people like this
Posted by no on Moratorium
a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 31, 2015 at 1:47 pm

"What don't you understand about the data collection...every freeway in the eight bay area counties were included in the data collection, only THE TOP 50 CONGESTED LOCATIONS out of ALL of the segments of ALL of those freeways were included in the report"

So whats the total sample size survey says. Is it 2 million or maybe 100. Not all freeways are the same length so how did MTC divide each freeway into equal segments? In any case not having a segment in the top 20 might mean something if there were only 100 measured segments. Basically the listing is useless without knowing how many segments are excluded and what their length is. IN any case at best the list shows that freeways near MV are less congested than other freeways in the BAY Area area. Having 3 in the top 50 is better than most other areas.

That's why the MTC study on commute time is more important. No matter how much people complain, their commute times are less so it difficult to argue our area is congested more than other Bay area cities.

So you and others have failed to convince me that MV is a concrete jungle or is overbuilt with out of place buildings. What you have is personal subjective preferences on things you dont like . So What.

You failed to note all of the recent parks built in MV and that MV has met their park ratio if you include shoreline park area.






4 people like this
Posted by MV Roads are highly congested
a resident of another community
on Jul 31, 2015 at 2:07 pm



Forget the freeways leading into MV. Splitting hairs about
whether they are congested or not is just a distraction.

The real issue is roads in MV are congested... San Antonio road,
El Camino Real, Grant Road, etc. etc. MV is solely responsible
for the deterioration of the San Antonio Rd and El Camino Real
intersection.

Development-at-any-cost is detrimental now and forever.
I wish there is a way for neighboring cities to require that
MV make amends for all the traffic congestion that MV is
spilling into its neighboring cities and the intersections
such as San Antonio Road and El Camino Real.

Also apartment developments in MV do not have any aesthetic appeal.
MV can afford to ensure high aesthetic quality... but MV
seems to ignore aesthetics when it comes to new developments.

Again, those who love San Francisco style congestion, they
have the option to move there. Making MV into a concrete
jungle of congestion is unacceptable.
Also, Cupertino, Santa Clara and San Jose have plenty of room
to grow... so all new developments (offices and apartments) are
quite welcome there.


8 people like this
Posted by Burford Furman
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 31, 2015 at 2:43 pm

I applaud the 'out-of-the-box' thinking expressed by Lenny Siegel and John McAlister in their Guest Opinion piece, 'Getting people where they need to go', that appeared in the July 24, 2015 Mountain View Voice. Students at San José State University have come to the same conclusion and are designing a solar powered automated transit system that squarely addresses the needs and desires expressed in the authors' letter and goes beyond them, being sustainably powered, networkable, and using off-line stations for non-stop origin to destination travel. For example, see: Web Link, and Web Link

Mountain View and Bay Area residents have the great opportunity to find out more about international efforts to develop automated transit by visiting the Pod Car City 9 Conference, which will take place November 4-6, 2015 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts: Web Link. The students from San José State University will have working models of their solar powered automated transit system at the conference.


3 people like this
Posted by Wayne Amacher
a resident of another community
on Aug 1, 2015 at 11:59 am

Wow! This is a breath of fresh air. See Web Link. for what I have previously written on the subject.


5 people like this
Posted by Wayne Amacher
a resident of another community
on Aug 1, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Let's try the link this way. Don't know why it didn't work above. Web Link or try brt.wamacher.com/2030-story.pdf.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of North Bayshore

on Sep 24, 2017 at 5:10 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


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