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Dangerous city streets could get squeezed

Original post made on Oct 14, 2015

In a meeting centered on traffic, the Mountain View City Council on Tuesday night signaled support for a series of road-safety upgrades that would add new bike paths and crossings while scaling down the number of lanes for motorists.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 2:40 PM

Comments (78)

93 people like this
Posted by TT
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 14, 2015 at 3:10 pm

As a cyclist who drives Im opposed to a reduction in traffic lanes but in favor of making things safer for cyclists.

I'd prefer partitioned bike lanes and narrower traffic lanes (tends to slow traffic especially when the occasional zig-zag around landscape islands are included) to any net reduction in traffic lanes.

While I enjoy riding to work occasionally and for recreation I recognize that most MV residents need to commute by car. I'm opposed to any plan who's goal is to force people out of their cars. A fantasy that simply isn't practical for most


84 people like this
Posted by doesn't add up
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 14, 2015 at 3:45 pm

I'm confused as to how the City can build more offices and apartments, and reduce traffic flows on our major arteries. Two lanes on California will be gridlock, especially as there are no viable public transit options.

Many people want increased housing options, and many people want to see traffic safety improvements, but this plan seems like a lose-lose.


41 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 14, 2015 at 4:10 pm

High-speed multi-lane highways have no place in residential neighborhoods. These streets need to be safe for children. In recent years, pedestrians have been hit even when standing on the sidewalk because car speeds are too high. I applaud the city for taking steps to reduce car speeds on residential streets.


18 people like this
Posted by Lane Closure
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 14, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Please do not close 1/2 the lanes down on California Ave. Automobiles will just detour around it and make El Camino even more congested. (See VTA BRT bus lane) We car drivers own the roads and will fight any street closures, no matter how reasonable!

Bicyclists and pedestrians should just drive if they are scared. Why should we be inconvenienced?


19 people like this
Posted by @Old Mountain View
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 14, 2015 at 6:14 pm

"Bicyclists and pedestrians should just drive if they are scared."

If people like you could drive properly, they wouldn't need to be scared. But I guess that's too much to ask, isn't it?

"We car drivers own the roads and will fight any street closures, no matter how reasonable!"

Speak for yourself, chum.


17 people like this
Posted by Ed
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 14, 2015 at 7:22 pm

Right on! Safe bike lanes should give lots of would-be bicyclists less reason to drive California Street between downtown and San Antonio.


27 people like this
Posted by BikeWalkDriveBus
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 14, 2015 at 7:41 pm

Great to finally see some action in this direction from our city council ! I would be supportive of these projects. The way our main thoroughfares are configured now, walking and/or cycling is just not safe.

Our infrastructure needs to support the activities we want people to engage in. Most reasonable folks will come around.


46 people like this
Posted by Too many people
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 14, 2015 at 8:22 pm

Maybe if we stopped building so much new housing our streets wouldn't be so dangerous. Too many people makes for dangerous roads no matter how they are commuting. Are the streets of New York or San Francisco safe?


35 people like this
Posted by Which One?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 14, 2015 at 9:38 pm

When Mountain View does it research it finds "... that taking away lanes would indeed mean a longer travel time for motorists."

But when VTA pays for "research" to take away lanes on El Camino mean travel time is not impacted.

So who is lying? The smart money is on VTA.


14 people like this
Posted by Voluntary Fair Driving Program?
a resident of another community
on Oct 14, 2015 at 9:47 pm

I'm surprised the City Council didn't suggest a voluntary "Fair Driving Program" where drivers would sign a pledge to voluntary limit their speed to 20-25mph on Shoreline and California. After all, isn't a similar voluntary program for landlords supposed to work wonders for rents in Mountain View?

Sarcasm aside, it's great that the plan is phased and focused first on intersections -where most accidents occur-. Phasing will also give the City time to better assess traffic on California and Shoreline. Traffic on Shoreline could change dramatically should VTA shuts down some lanes on El Camino and if the City closes the Caltrain Castro crossing.


12 people like this
Posted by SweatE
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 15, 2015 at 2:33 am

Why is the city going pro-bicycle in this era of the never-ending summer? A few less cars buzzing around Mountain View is not going to save us from a future of 90 degree winter weather. Who can ride a bike around in this heat?


25 people like this
Posted by Steve Ly
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2015 at 8:28 am

So the City wants to make it more inconvenient for motorists to use side streets. But removing existing traffic lanes on El Camino and replacing them with dedicated bus lanes will encourage drivers to divert onto local side streets. We're already seeing local side streets being made car-unfriendly and we can expect that more traffic on local side streets will irritate residents who will pressure the city into erecting traffic barriers which will force the traffic back onto a 2-lane El Camino which will no longer be able to adequately handle the traffic. Thus, if a lane is removed from El Camino, congestion will increase as cities take measures to discourage alternative routes.

So before messing with El Camino, let's monitor and evaluate the impact of the reconfigured California Avenue, Escuela Avenue and Shoreline Boulevard.


19 people like this
Posted by wickie
a resident of Willowgate
on Oct 15, 2015 at 8:56 am

I commute by bike and I use Escuela on my way to work at 6 AM. It is safe at that hour, but not during rush hour. California is very dangerous for bikes and I don't go that way at any time.

I encoyurage people to ride their bikes, if at all feasible. For local trips during rush hour, you get there in about the same amount of time and exercise time is "free". Plus it is better for your health, society, the environment, and your outlook on life. Just compare the posts by cyclists here with the drivers, especially the Lane Closure person above :-) Cheers, all!


20 people like this
Posted by MTC
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 15, 2015 at 9:48 am

I encourage people to stop vilifying drivers, or bike riders, as a class. It's divisive and certainly not conducive to building bridges of constructive communication and outreach. Education, sans pontification, can often lead to conciliation.


18 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 15, 2015 at 10:08 am

Riding along with the Great Streets group several years ago (with former council members Bryant and Abe-Koga) Voice, March 3, 2013 [ Web Link ] it was clear that this Escuela Ave. area is congested and unsafe for both the bike riders and pedestrians that live here. This is the area of the City with the least cars per family. This is an area with a lot of 'school kids walking and riding'.
When I talked to both a motorcycle traffic policemen, and the crossing guard in front of the school, I got the same story: even with traffic ticket enforcement, Escuela had many scofflaw drivers! I support the effort to make Escuela a safe "school" street. Heck - there has been a public school there since prior to 1880! (thanks Library, MV History Room)


39 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2015 at 10:10 am

This is a terrible idea. Boulder, Colorado tried to do the same thing recently and it was a complete disaster. The changes resulted in constant traffic jams with minimal increase in bicycle ridership. It was so bad that the city rescinded the changes and restored the previous configuration of vehicle lanes.


33 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 15, 2015 at 10:34 am

<sarcasm> I am glad that the city council is moving forward with their plan to remake Mountain View into Gridlock City. If their plan moves forward, hopefully businesses and residents will move away and the city can enter the next phase, transitioning from Gridlock City to Rundown Hasbeen City. </sarcasm>


38 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2015 at 10:55 am

I drive and bike around Mountain View a lot. I do agree that some drivers are a terror to pedestrians and cyclists, but removing lanes isn't the answer, it will only aggravate these people, since more traffic makes for more frustration. What I'd like to see is enforcement of red light running, and not yielding to vehicles which have right of way.

I agree that California and Escuela are dangerous, and this plan should help cyclists and pedestrians, but perhaps there are other possibilities which don't back up traffic either.

Shoreline only has two dangerous parts; going over the 101 and Central bridges. Bikes have to merge through busy traffic trying to get onto them when going uphill, and through people getting onto shoreline when going down the hill. Maybe it's possible to re-organize this to have a more protected bike lane without sacrificing a lane of traffic. Shoreline is already horrible in the mornings due to all the traffic going over 101.


35 people like this
Posted by Federico
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Oct 15, 2015 at 2:23 pm

Mountain View's Cuty Council Members must be living on another planet. These proposals make no sense whatsoever. They need to plan for increased traffic. Proposing fewer traffic lanes is a mindless approach.


39 people like this
Posted by AC
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2015 at 2:26 pm

AC is a registered user.

As a commuting cyclist, I've never found Shoreline to be unsafe. A cyclist needs to obey traffic laws the same as an automobile.

Shoreline is a freeway artery to US-101, and traffic is getting worse. It needs to be widened, not shrunk.

And yes, more pathways for cyclists and pedestrians are needed; but make them part of new development. The existing roads have to serve several different kinds of traffic, and I have not heard any proposal which improves it for one without penalizing the other.

And finally: yes. More building means more traffic of every type. Auto, cyclist, and pedestrian. In other words, I don't think we can shrink what we have. We have to improve what we build.

$0.02


18 people like this
Posted by NoMoreDeathbyCars
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 15, 2015 at 2:27 pm

As someone who is tired of seeing people die on CA St., as well as hearing all the near misses, I'm glad this is finally is a priority. I wish they would close all the lanes and make it just for bikes and pedestrians!

My brother is a traffic planner in Portland and this is his response to the change:

On MV's changes to those roads, those are all great steps. We utilize those measures here, road diets w/reduced travel lanes, separated bike lanes (not paths like the article quoted) and relocated parking lanes (or removal of parking altogether). All proven methods. Gotta incorporate curb extensions too!!! If you want to make a difference... testify that you want your city to become a "Vision Zero" city (no traffic related deaths) & suggest that your city implement "safe route to schools programs". Tell them to look it up on Portland Bureau of Transportation web-site.


22 people like this
Posted by AC
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2015 at 2:30 pm

AC is a registered user.

My apologies, I just saw wickie's post.

The roads are not unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians.
The cars are not unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians.

Gridlock traffic is unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians.

Shrinking arterial roads drives auto traffic to the side roads which are currently safe for cyclists and pedestrians.

We can't get rid of auto traffic. With rising cost of living, expect more autos to commute into Mountain View. And commuting out of Mountain View, all the people who are paying to live somewhere that is a reasonable commute to workplaces elsewhere.

The increase of accidents and fatalities appears tied to the increase in traffic.

Address that, and everyone wins.


15 people like this
Posted by AC
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2015 at 2:33 pm

AC is a registered user.

@NoMoreDeathbyCars

Sorry. I'm from the Portland area. Portland has a great public transit system (Tri-Met), consistently best or top 5 in the country. The ideas that work there won't work here.

Besides, Portland is subdivided into areas "The Rose Quarter, The Pearl, etc" where traffic and accident statistics differ greatly.

We're addressing a Silicon Valley traffic problem here, and perhaps we should stay focused on that.


25 people like this
Posted by OldMV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2015 at 2:43 pm

The city already has ruined good streets like Phyllis and Cuesta (between Miramonte and Springer) by squeezing them from 4 lanes to two. And now they want to do the same to more to California and Shoreline, which are perfectly safe commuter roads except for idiots? Just what the heck does the City Council think it's doing? First then increase traffic and parking problems with wanton, irresponsible overbuilding of apartments. Next, they gum up traffic even more by ruining Shoreline and California? As for Escuela, I can't comment other than to say that it is a mess and I avoid it.


6 people like this
Posted by Susan
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 15, 2015 at 2:49 pm

What I don't understand is how, for years, regarding the issue of Caltrain and the Castro/Central Expressway and Rengstorff/Central Expressway and the request for potential grade separation was always answered with "we really want to direct traffic to San Antonio and Shoreline anyway" (to the extent that there was even discussion of closing Rengstorff at the train tracks all together). How does that work if your are going to further reduce the ability of Shoreline (and California, which is the main connection artery between Shoreline and San Anton) to carry additional car traffic?


22 people like this
Posted by glenn Meier
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 15, 2015 at 2:52 pm

If your going to make a bike boulevard on Latham, why would you then take a lane away from California which runs parallel to Latham and only a block south. Insane! Let's use a little common sense.


9 people like this
Posted by NoMoreDeathbyCars
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 15, 2015 at 2:57 pm

@AC- I'm sorry but my brother has been here many times and has seen the traffic mess we face. He has worked in many cities and as a professional planner, knows that those same changes would work here.
Mtn View,( like SF) will make it painful to drive around Mtn View, forcing people to walk, bike or take public transportation. Why do you think they are trying out the Google shuttles?
We want our streets to be safe for our kids to bike and walk to school- this means keeping idiots who drive 50mph down CA St.away from these streets.


10 people like this
Posted by Think first
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 15, 2015 at 3:00 pm

This topic was sure to spark a conversation and I am glad it did. The council often comes up with these quite frankly dumb ideas that vilifies one group while rewarding another. If we continue to have business thrive here and building high density housing, this will only make our already terrible traffic worse. More gridlock is not safe for bicycles. Also fun fact from MVPD, 80% of vehicle vs bicycle accidents are the bicyclist's fault. I experience this almost every morning driving through downtown to drop off my kids at school. I know the city want this happy feeling of everybody biking through parks in bliss. The reality is we have families, work, functions to go to and not all of us can ride to work or school. I saw an idea at one of the Thursday night live events that they wanted bikes and pedestrians to ride/walk the park like center median of Shoreline. I told them that is more dangerous than it is currently, this means everybody has to cross traffic and then are stuck in the median unprotected in the event of a auto accident. Come up with safer bike lanes, educate bicyclist's to actually follow the rules of the road and traffic laws, and cite bad or dangerous drivers. Don't vilify drivers while potential damaging ability to attract residents and businesses. Think about it, why put a company here if nobody can get to you, might as well go to Menlo Park or Sunnyvale.


19 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Slater
on Oct 15, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Programs like this are what the city gets when the voters elect single issue candidates.


13 people like this
Posted by PH
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Oct 15, 2015 at 3:52 pm

I'm planning on leaving this area and only coming back if I'm forced to. Cities like Mountain View have let the situations such as housing, roads and population get way out of hand. These problems can be fixed but it will be very expensive to do it right. In the mean time we have groups of different interests arguing their points and many of them don't seem to want to compromise at all. It is sad that we have become such a rude, self centered society that has forgotten how to get along and can't seem to get the results from our government that will insure better living down the road. I've been here for almost forty years and this area has become very undesirable to live in. Those who aren't lucky enough to be able to leave this mess will need to learn to come together on important issues and force those who have the ability to remedy the issues to get it right as well as making it work. Lots of these problems can be alleviated by common sense and courteous behavior towards others. Fight with the politicians, not each other and force them to face your displeasure and your problems.


18 people like this
Posted by Local resident
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 15, 2015 at 4:09 pm

VTA HEAR MY PLEA!!!

Synchronizing the traffic lights would go a long way towards reducing the amount of travel time between point A and point B. Stopping at every light when driving Shoreline, California, and El Camino is extremely frustrating and time consuming. It doesn't have to be like that. The traffic flow should and would be smoother. This is Silicon Valley!


10 people like this
Posted by if bikers want to ride
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 15, 2015 at 4:28 pm

Have the drive there bikes to a park or somewhere like shoreline park. A lot safer than the streets of Mt. View. or any city.

Why would any parent let there kids rid to school is beyond logic. IMPO.


5 people like this
Posted by @Monta Loma
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 15, 2015 at 4:31 pm

"Why would any parent let there kids rid to school is beyond logic."

1) Plenty of kids ride their bikes to school without any problem.

2) You really to go back to elementary school and start over.


11 people like this
Posted by @Local resident
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 15, 2015 at 4:42 pm

Regarding your request for timed lights... They are timed. Stop exceeding the speed limit and you might enjoy them.


17 people like this
Posted by MV has reached the limits of logic and physics
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2015 at 5:15 pm


MV has indeed reached its limit of logic and physics.

With majority renters and minority home-owners,
MV is not likely to be good for home-owners.

The renters will vote for more bicycle lanes and
rental apartment developments. The home-owners will
have no voice in keeping this town livable.

In two years, MV will be crowded with high-rise
office buildings and high-rise apartments everywhere.
Traffic lanes on major streets will be converted to
bicycle lanes and parking lots.

MV needs to use some common sense to stop the
out-of-control development of offices. The city's
infrastructure will never be able to accommodate
this much development.


11 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2015 at 5:27 pm

Renters want a livable city too. The rift you're describing isn't between renters and homeowners, but rather existing residents who want no change, and new people coming into the area who would like to live here. Those new people will have to be renters for the most part, as the inventory of housing for sale is stagnant. There are as many renters yelling for rent control and no more development as home owners about no more development.

As those existing and potential renters want more apartments, the land under your depreciating house will become increasingly valuable. You can sell your house for a huge profit, and move somewhere where the renters do not have a majority. We're in a growing area in a wealthy part of a wealthy country, it's a good place to own a house. Its value opens up the rest of the world to you, since almost the entire planet is a cheaper place to live compared to here.


21 people like this
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 15, 2015 at 6:04 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

To everyone who thinks this is a bad idea: Do these names mean anything to you: Erik Onorato, William Ware, Joshua Baker?

Three years ago these three men were killed by people driving cars above the speed limit while walking or standing on Shoreline Blvd and California St. That's what these lane reconfigurations are about: safety.

It's not about whether or not there or other routes for people ride bikes on. Or whether you feel safe riding them. It's about making changes so that people aren't speeding at 40mph and putting people's lives at risk in crosswalks, on sidewalks and in bike lanes.

The city's report shows dangerous levels of speeding on all these streets: speeds in excess of 40mph are not unusual. If you get hit by a driver going 40 mph your chances of survival are only 20%. Reduce that speed to 30mph and your chance of surviving increases to 60%. Furthermore, at lower speeds the stopping distance is reduced so you may not even get hit. Here's the chart that was in the city's report: Web Link

Driver convenience is not as important than the lives of people who walk, bike and live on these streets, which include the city's densest residential neighborhood. I know I wouldn't want people driving 40mph on my street, where kids walk and play. Why should families on these streets have it any different?


3 people like this
Posted by MTC
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 15, 2015 at 6:22 pm

Relevant to the discussion: San Francisco 2.0, a documentary airing on HBO. Worth the 41 minutes of your time to watch. MV is a microcosm of SF.

Web Link



Snipped from a WSJ article about the documentary:

Web Link

"Ms. Pelosi, whose previous films have focused mostly on politics, turned her camera on her native San Francisco to expose the impact tech has had on the city. The documentary, set to debut on Sept. 28 on HBO (whose popular series “Silicon Valley” offers a different take on the tech industry), is peppered with references to companies such as Google Inc., Apple Inc., Twitter Inc. and Airbnb Inc.

“This is an invasion, an IT invasion,” Ms. Pelosi, the youngest daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, narrates in the opening of the film to old black-and-white movie images of people fleeing San Francisco. “And it may be too late to stop them.”

There are plenty of villains in her tale: the luxury real estate agent, the banker, the angel investor, the techies. The wealth they represent contributes to a growing gap between rich and poor, she argues. Ms. Pelosi contrasts homelessness with gentrification, evictions with new property development and unemployment with work perks like free food and game rooms."

...

"The conversation then turned to the people missing from the film. “I’ll be the first to admit openly, tech CEOs didn’t want to have anything to do with me,” Ms. Pelosi said. She said she reached out to companies including Google, Facebook Inc., Apple and Airbnb. “They’re having their ‘Midnight in Paris’ moment – life is beautiful.” "


15 people like this
Posted by one 7-story and three 5-story with 605 apartments
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2015 at 6:52 pm

Hmm... looks like cutting traffic lane on california avenue
will make the decision to approve 605 apartment units
near California / San Antonio Rd intersection even
more jaw-dropping!!!! Has MV lost all sense of logic?
Please visit Web Link .

On San Antonio road, where traffic is already a mess due to
San Antonio Phase-1 and looks overwhelmingly dense with 330 apartments....
... and San Antonio Phase-2 high-density coming up...

MV is happy to add another 605 units across the street in 4 buildings
at 400 San Antonio Rd (near California Ave intersection):
3 5-story buildings
1 7-story building.
"The goal is to convert San Antonio Road into a
commercial hotspot".

Anyone think about physical limitations such as road
infrastructure and traffic issues?
All this on San Antonio Road!!!!
Something is not right about what is going on in MV.

Reducing lanes on California Ave adds to the disaster.
Home owners need to take on a petition to halt this
disaster on San Antonio Road.

MV is the destination city for developers.
Not for home owners.


14 people like this
Posted by NoMoreDeathByCars
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 15, 2015 at 7:29 pm

Janet Lafleur- thank you! I watched as Joshua Baker took his last breath...right in front of my front gate. I hope no one ever has to experience that.
The bottom line is I don't give a shit if it's going to take you three more minutes to get to the gym, or to work, or wherever the hell you're driving 50 mph to go to. I don't want any more death on our streets because of speed, texting and general rudeness.

You are exactly right, "driver convenience is NOT more important than the lives of people who walk, bike and live on these streets". That is why my brother recommended that we demand "Vision Zero, no traffic related deaths". Demand it!


14 people like this
Posted by A better way to make MV bicycle and pedestrian friendly
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2015 at 9:50 pm



The most common sense way to protect bicyclists and pedestrians
is by reducing automobile traffic on the roads.

To reduce automobile traffic on the roads ---
MV needs common sense to understand that MV does not
have the infrastructure to absorb office-development
any further.

The choking traffic in MV is the result of two much
office development. The argument that balancing with
housing will reduce traffic is devoid of any logic.
MV is a small town with limited roads. No amount of
pulling wool over the eyes will help.



13 people like this
Posted by California Street Resident
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 15, 2015 at 10:15 pm

Thank you City Council members for moving in the right direction to reduce traffic lanes, increase bike paths, and expand sidewalks on Escuela, California, and Shoreline to protect the safety of MV residents in these neighborhoods. As a resident on California Street, I witness the careless, selfish, brainless drivers (many who have commented above opposing this plan) that drive down Shoreline, California, and Escuela at very high speeds with no concern for the personal safety of the residents that actually live in these neighborhoods. The residents of this neighborhood should not be afraid of their lives to step out onto their street and walk to the park/library/school because of selfish drivers that want to save 1 whole minute getting from point A to point B. Many thanks to Nelson Nygaard for such a fantastic job reaching out to our neighborhood, hearing our concerns, and translating them into well-designed proposals to improve mobility in our neighborhoods. City staff, thank you for all of your hard work on this effort and hearing our concerns. I'm very pleased with the outcome of this study, and I look forward to seeing the improvements in my neighborhood.


10 people like this
Posted by California St. and Phase-2 San Antonio Shopping Center Project
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2015 at 8:47 am


There is no question that the pedestrian and bicyclist safety
must be the top-most priority. But MV is working counter to
that requirement by approving out-of-proportion development.

The California st. lane reduction will be at odds with
the Phase-2 San Antonio Shopping center project approved
by MV in 2014 and the colossal project is marching on.

Please visit (Phase-2 project is on California St. & San Antonio Rd.):
"Web Link" Web Link .

Be sure to visit the Phase-2 project plan here:
"laserfiche.mountainview.gov/WebLink/0/doc/82319/Electronic.aspx"
laserfiche.mountainview.gov/WebLink/0/doc/82319/Electronic.aspx
This link is also embedded on the MV city's project page above.

It is not physically possible to develop 5 to 8+ story offices
and apartments on California St./San Antonio Rd and then
choke the traffic on California St. The parking garage alone in
Phase-2 will have capacity for 4000 cars (not including the phase-1
garage).

MV city planning is not coherent. It is being done in bits and
pieces. Interaction between all projects and the traffic impacts
must be evaluated on an ongoing basis. It is very disappointing
to see this haphazard city planning by MV, the city that loves
to declare itself the heart of Silicon Valley.

In summary California St. will be a total mess when Phase-2 is
completed.


15 people like this
Posted by Tony
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 16, 2015 at 9:23 am

This PC garbage is going to wreck us. The City Council is operating with it's own agenda and lacks the skill to understand the impact of this decision in the long term. They're pandering to their friends and will ruin this city. Why are they still in power? This decision will have long term ramifications that someone should explain to them. Sadly, I'm sure someone has.

We'll just have to undo this when the next Council comes into power and their focus is getting the roads bigger because their friends told them too. And all that money will burn. Congratulations.


3 people like this
Posted by NoMoreDeathByCars
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 16, 2015 at 11:25 am

Why not leave CA St. two lanes where there are more businesses and higher density apts., then bring it down to one lane where it is more residential? This way those who are hell bent on getting to wherever they need to around the San Antonio corridor, can get there faster. Those of us who live in the residential areas would also feel better about being out and about without risking our lives.


23 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Slater
on Oct 16, 2015 at 12:56 pm

One important part of this discussion has gone missing from this blog, and that is who is going to pay for this bold new venture? To be sure, the whole community will benefit in some measure from this project, but those areas adjacent to it will benefit the most. Just how strongly would those folks feel it there were an overlay tax district formed, encompassing the project? Those who live or work in that tax district would be accountable for say 25% of the projects costs, over and above their usual community share, as they would be the primary day-to-day beneficiaries. The percentage can be debated, but the concept is worthy of consideration. This concept has been alive and well in MV for some time now. For example, the residents of the Cuesta Park area held strong proprietary feelings about the "Pumpkin Patch" property development as well as the proposed History Museum for Cuesta Annex. They very much believed that their proximity to these two projects gave them a greater voice in the discussion than those who lived in other areas of the community. The "we are all equal, but some of us are more equal" concept.

Very much in line with the tenor of this weeks Democrat candidate debate, where each promises lots of "free stuff" if you vote for them, is Council going to make the Mountain View 1% foot the bill? Who are MV's !%?

One last observation addresses the sharing of our "Complete Streets". The latest trend is toward "softening" the rules that bicyclists must be held to, when using our public roads. I would like to see everyone who uses the public roads licensed. The license, and test requirement to get one, would ensure that all sharing the road understand the rules, their rights and responsibilities.

Mountain View is an anomaly among other cities in our country. We are very affluent and if you leave the area and travel, this will become quickly apparent. However affluent MV may be now, we will one day run out of other peoples money to spend, and programs like this will be seen as frivolous.



5 people like this
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 16, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@NoMoreDeathByCars The lane reconfiguration plan only covers California Street from Showers Dr to Bryant St (one block from Castro St), so not in front of San Antonio Shopping Center. People live in apartments and houses along the whole corridor except for one side of that first block near Showers (where Target is).


3 people like this
Posted by @Bob
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 16, 2015 at 1:42 pm

The costs to start then maintain a lic'g program for bikes would be large and ongoing forever, with such minimal benefit, that it won't be done.
All kids riding to school must be lic'd? tested? fees paid? Lic renewed?, everyone has to pay and pay each and every year, and why exactly?...gov't bloat loves this tax and bloat idea.


14 people like this
Posted by MV has become unsafe for bicyclists and pedestrians due to over-development
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2015 at 2:34 pm


Traffic congestion is unbearable in the already unlivable
MV. The streets of MV are no longer safe for pedestrians
and bicyclists.

Clearly MV has stretched itself beyond reason by allowing
development of too many office buildings.

Now we have housing imbalance... but you can't keep building
1000's of apartments in a city that already has 58% renters.
(Web Link)
Web Link .

Solution -- stop building offices.
Cities such as San Jose, Cupertino, Santa Clara are in great shape
to build offices and balance the office development with the needed
rentals.

To do the right thing (i.e., no more office developments), MV needs
visionaries with insight and common sense.


12 people like this
Posted by Think first
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 16, 2015 at 9:27 pm

Well I am happy to see that some people in this city still have some sense. First and foremost, pedestrians need to stop staring at their phones while walking into an intersection and bicycles need to obey the rules of the road. I live at a corner with a stop sign. 98% of bicycles don't even slow or look, no joke! Then if you go your turn in a car they get pissed and flip you off because they have the right of way. THIS is why it is dangerous to bike here or anywhere if you have a sense of entitlement. the root of the problem, other than poor behavior, falls on the shoulders of our city. We have people in office that don't have a clue. They are expanding high density housing without infrastructure. Planning now out sources all permitting reviews for those that don't know.

I am seriously concerned that these idiots are going to try and turn our once nice city into San Francisco and all of the violence, crime and lack of safety will follow. Also as a person that has run a business in Mountain View for many years, I am very concerned with the ability of clients to even get to me if this mindless development continues. You can make bigger building but they aren't making any more land! I was talking to a Google friend and they said that google has attempted to pay to widen roads, the city shuts them down. They even wanted to build a bridge over the bay to 880, at their expense, that got shut down as well.

Business/common sense 101, you can't increase business and housing development without INCREASING infrastructure, NOT decreasing!!


20 people like this
Posted by Cherie Walkowiak
a resident of Jackson Park
on Oct 16, 2015 at 11:26 pm

I almost got hit last night at Shoreline Boulevard and Wright Ave by a car flying down the hill from Central Expressway. I was about to make a left turn on my bike to go over Central Expressway. He ran the red light, missing me by feet. It's spooky to think I could have been killed by that car last night if I had been seconds slower through the intersection.

I did everything "right." I had my lights on - two in front and two in back, for extra caution. I was wearing a light-colored shirt. I had my helmet on, but it wouldn't have helped. He was going so fast I would not have survived a collision.

As someone whose main mode of transportation is my bike, I am SO glad the city is looking at how to slow cars down on this stretch of road. Providing safe places for all transportation users to get around is about giving people the freedom of choice.


12 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Oct 16, 2015 at 11:33 pm

Council can see that MV residents strongly oppose VTA's proposed El Camino lane reduction. Unfortunately, that "call" belongs to VTA.

So now we're going to do it to ourselves? Increase traffic, but reduce lanes? And in the wake of a BRT report that says more traffic will be diverted to alternate city routes?

C'mon council, stop complicating the lives of city residents. Even the cyclist in the first response recognizes the inherent problems with these proposals.

I'm all for increasing bike safety. But let's creatively do it without reducing lanes and increasing congestion.

PS - I'm fine with speed reductions if warranted.


11 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Oct 16, 2015 at 11:50 pm

Here's something that would ease congestion and increase safety: grade separations for trains at Rengstorff and Castro.

Why not start devoting some energy to that project instead of piecemeal construction additions and lane reductions.


21 people like this
Posted by Good move
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2015 at 12:22 am

I'm glad that MV council is moving ahead to fix California Ave. The only automobiles that will be inconvenienced are the ones using that road as a speedway between Shoreline and San Antonio.

Those fools can simply use STATE HIGHWAY 82 a few blocks over. There are fewer pedestrians to run over and less opportunities to cut off and yell at cyclists that dare to travel at the speed limit.

Don't like El Camino? Then go get on Central EXPRESSWAY a few blocks the other direction!

Sorry, but you selfish drivers have treated California Ave as an expressway rather than a residential street. So, you lose it just like taking a toy away from a badly behaving child.

Grow up!


6 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2015 at 12:32 pm

How about requiring the city manager and city planners must live within the city, use our schools, etc. Do they live in MV now?
How about it we elect these two posts to 5 or 7 year terms? Currently, they are anonymous to us. When can their planning decisions be opening evaluated by the public in a way that can change our course?


6 people like this
Posted by scared and sad
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 17, 2015 at 12:38 pm

Mountain View has become too crowded to be safe or pleasant for walking or biking anywhere in it now. Seems like it is far too late to have not addressed this and done something about it years ago. As a city, Mountain View is a sad and scary picture of a early 21th century city with high tech companies and the home of Google and others. I think other places would be surprised that the home of Google looks like this and is this dangerous and tense, and is designed (or evolved) into its current state. Very sad. Very regrettable. Is this really a place to live a good long happy life anymore?


9 people like this
Posted by Residents must make time to save what is left of MV's livability
a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Traffic congestion is unbearable in the already unlivable
MV. The streets of MV are no longer safe for pedestrians
and bicyclists.

Clearly MV has stretched itself beyond reason by allowing
development of too many office buildings.

Now we have housing imbalance... but you can't keep building
1000's of apartments in a city that already has 58% renters.

Solution -- stop building offices.
Cities such as San Jose, Cupertino, Santa Clara are in great shape
to build offices and balance the office development with the needed
rentals. These cities know where to draw the line. They don't give a
nod for countless 4 to 8 story offices and apartments without having
an understanding of the infrastructure limitations.

To do the right thing (i.e., no more office developments), MV needs
visionaries with insight and common sense.

There is still hope if the residents make the time to make MV
change course. Don't let the developers run over the city. For
good growth to prevail, residents must speak up and stop
profit-at-any-cost, livability-be-damned, monstrous development.


8 people like this
Posted by Dedicated bus lane...?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2015 at 5:55 pm

Here's a crazy idea. What a lane of California Avenue were a dedicated bus lane? At least then, we could rapidly shuttle people between San Antonio, Rengstorf, and Castro. I think a project like that could have more benefit than the proposed lane on ECR. Light rail would be the best optional but this could be the best bang for the buck.


7 people like this
Posted by No thanks
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2015 at 10:57 pm

A bus lane on California Ave? Not needed. The city has already approved a dedicated bus lane that will bring people quickly from downtown to San Antonio on El Camino.

A lot of pedestrians and cyclists in that area so the bike lanes, median and the rest are great! Thank you MV for again making the right decision.


15 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 18, 2015 at 9:19 am

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

Why do people keep presenting this as a done deal? Council has "signaled" an interest. this is by no means a done deal and if enough continue to object we can only hope that council listens to their constituents.

You need to attend meetings and make your objections heard. Or you'll be stuck with this craziness


13 people like this
Posted by Shoreline West Resident
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 18, 2015 at 9:54 am

Love these findings. Shoreline West is residential with kids and a major school. It needs to confirm with Old Mountain View or Palo Alto.

I see cars traveling at 50 mph on California Ave all the time. Adding a minute or two minutes to the drive across the town on California Ave to increase safety and making it walk able is well worth it.

Please proceed with these plans. I am sure the entire Shoreline West neighborhood will support these plans.


7 people like this
Posted by Amelia
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 18, 2015 at 1:47 pm

I hate visitng towns where everyone drives and if you happen to walk anywhere, everyone looks at you like you are a freak. Mountain View, I hear, was like this many years ago, but because of changes made to cut traffic downtown, it became vibrant and full of foot traffic. I would love to see more people 'nudged' into using thier own feet, bikes, and public transportation to get around.


10 people like this
Posted by pedestrian
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 19, 2015 at 11:55 am

I walk Shoreline West and downtown Mountain View many times a week and many neighborhoods in SF too. I find SF far easier, more pleasant, less scary, and safer to walk in, even near city hall and Chinatown than anywhere in Mountain View. And San Francisco is far from ideal, but it is working hard to make things convenient and safe for all and give priority to pedestrians, bicyclists, handicap, wheelchairs, etc. Palo Alto is also far more pleasant, less frightening, and safer to walk in than Mountain View. Mountain View is designed for those who want to be in cars and get everywhere fast by cars.


16 people like this
Posted by Just one way for city govt
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 19, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Just one way for city govt to get people out of their cars, by making traffic worse, thinking that rather than driving you will ride your bike to your work, which maybe 25 miles or more.

And they think that you will also ride your bike to pickup your groceries which maybe 4 or 5 miles away. And if your used bag rips, or if your yogurt spoils by the time you make it back home, then oh well.


7 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Oct 20, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Our quality of life is deteriorating and this this will not help. It will divert traffic to residential areas and near schools. Stop building massive business buildings. Allow sufficient parking spaces for high density housing.
The crush of congestion is not just on the streets. Wasted time in lines at restaurants and stores cannot be returned.


22 people like this
Posted by Minority rules
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 20, 2015 at 3:22 pm

See the other article "Mountain View Bike Advocates", it's all tied together.
--------
Ah, now it makes sense why Janet Lafleur pushes the "streets are full of dangerous cars" agenda. She's a leader of the MINORITY Biking Coalition. Minority they may be but they are well organized and they are absolutely pushing their MINORITY agenda; pushing for our streets to be narrowed, cars to be removed agenda. Because it suits THEM to ride a bike everywhere.

Let's get real people. We can all sit back and sing kumbayah but the reality is we're not SF and we're not some small quaint European village where it's easy to get around by walking. I couldn't have taken the 5 boys in my car to soccer practice today. I can't get from school to the tutor my daughter needs twice a week with bikes or public transportation. I can't get to the grocery, Target, and the library in the hour after dropping my kids at school before needing to be back to do lunch duty,

[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]
Let's have a dialogue about reality and what we really can do rather than letting some MINORITY group tell us what we should do.

Janet, that said...I actually respect what you're working for, I think we all agree that we can use better and safe bike and pedestrian lanes. But it's a two way street ( hopefully 4-way as much as possible). Need to find solutions that allow for continued increase in both bikes AND cars.


5 people like this
Posted by California St. and Details on Phase-2 San Antonio Shopping Center Project
a resident of another community
on Oct 20, 2015 at 5:19 pm

Residents, pedestrians and bicyclists of California St. and MV:

Re-posting with details because most readers don't seem to recognize
the enormity of the Phase-2 San Antonio Shopping Center. California St.
and San Antonio Road will be parking lots once the phase-2 is completed.
Pl. read this article "More development on the way for The Village at San
Antonio" Web Link .

What is scary is that after the project was approved last year, it is
very likely more floors are being added to every approved building and
MV will promptly give the nod. This is what has happened to most apartment
and office buildings in MV.

Now figure out what is in store for California street.

There is no question that the pedestrian and bicyclist safety
must be the top-most priority. But MV is working counter to
that requirement by approving out-of-proportion development.

The California st. lane reduction will be at odds with
the Phase-2 San Antonio Shopping center project approved
by MV in 2014 (see above)and the colossal project is marching on.

It is not physically possible to develop 5 to 8+ story offices,
multi-screen cinema theater, 200+ room hotel, huge garage,
and 5-story & 7-story apartments on California St./San Antonio Rd
and then choke the traffic on California St. The parking garage alone
in Phase-2 will have capacity for 4000 cars (not including the phase-1
garage).

MV city planning is not coherent. It is being done in bits and
pieces. Interaction between all projects and the traffic impacts
must be evaluated on an ongoing basis. It is very disappointing
to see this haphazard city planning by MV, the city that loves
to declare itself the heart of Silicon Valley.

In summary California St. will be a total mess when Phase-2 is
completed. MV wants San Antonio area to be a "commercial hotspot".
How can California Street remain unaffected? You can't have your
cake and eat it too!


8 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Oct 20, 2015 at 5:51 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

BTW: Boulder just tried this solution ( Boulder actively HATES cars ) and it was a big FAILURE! If you want to slow all traffic down, just take away stoplights and build traffic circles. No more lights or stop signs for bicyclists to blow through, just an immediate collision if they try to blow through a traffic circle. Keep crosswalks at each traffic circle entrance for pedestrians. If you want cheap traffic slowing, just paint diagonal lines groups that have a shorter distance between them the farther you go. That " fools the brain " and involuntarily makes the brain think you are going faster than you are. Or just have the MVPD buy those mobile radar signs that flash your exact speed in yellow when you are obeying the speed law or RED when you are going too fast. Adding a camera and GPS would be a City Council decision.


6 people like this
Posted by CW
a resident of Jackson Park
on Oct 21, 2015 at 11:10 pm

@the_punnisher

Boulder is one small stretch of almost 200 miles of protected bike lanes that have been built all over the country. The Boulder setback is far outnumbered by the success stories of protected bike lanes in other cities such as Austin, New York, San Francisco, Salt Lake... the list goes on.

BTW, I LOVE the idea of traffic circles, especially wherever there are stop signs.


13 people like this
Posted by CW
a resident of Jackson Park
on Oct 21, 2015 at 11:57 pm

@Minority rules

You talk about MINORITY groups as if their needs don't matter. I hope that is not what you are saying.

I'm going to draw a loose parallel. 25 years ago, the American Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed, mandating city engineers design cities so that people in wheelchairs can get around. We now see curb cuts at every intersection, ramps as an alternative to stairs to get to a building and bridge grades that are not too steep for a wheelchair. The people who benefit are a minority with a different set of needs than most. Does their minority status mean their needs don't matter? Quite the contrary. Cities are making things ADA-compliant because their needs do matter, and because it's the right thing to do.

Because of their proximity to cars, especially fast cars, cyclists are very vulnerable to serious injury. They have different needs than drivers or pedestrians who are going to the same places. Do cyclists' needs matter? I sure hope so. That's why cities all over the country are starting to consider these needs and make it safe for cyclists to get to school, work, the movies, the library, or to run nearby errands.

Cyclists are an obvious minority in this car-centric country. Yet cycling is a valid and growing mode of tranposrtation. It's true, cycling is not for everyone. But neither is driving. Slowing cars down is not about removing cars. It's about improving safety. It's about giving people a choice about how they get around. Because it's the right thing to do.

I applaud Mountain View for looking into this.


13 people like this
Posted by Sad News
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 22, 2015 at 1:11 pm

A woman died today. She was just trying to cross the street and a person driving a car killed her.
This is the reality of what is going on out there far too often. Some would rather harp on some pet peeve topics like bikes and how they run lights...such a trivial thing when you look at where the actual dangers are.

She just wanted to cross the street. The holidays will be very hard for her family. This is just one of many this year, and until drivers are reeled back in by the police, it will sadly be repeated.
Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 22, 2015 at 5:53 pm

@Sad News --
"She just wanted to cross the street. The holidays will be very hard for her family. This is just one of many this year, and until drivers are reeled back in by the police, it will sadly be repeated."

Thank you for pointing out this tragic incident today. I was just about to post about it myself after reading about it on Nextdoor. I would respectfully point out, though, that the solution is not just to have police "reel back in" the drivers. Another part of the solution is to design our streets the right way - to calm (yes, even slow down to an extent) auto traffic and provide a disincentive for drivers to speed in the first place.

The stretch of El Monte near El Camino (near the McDonald's) where today's collision occurred is ridiculously over-sized for the traffic that it handles. When you design a road like a drag strip like that (four really wide lanes, nothing to break up the long straight blocks), drivers take their cues and drive fast, and it puts pedestrians - and cyclists - at grave risk.

City staff and City Council - are you paying attention?


7 people like this
Posted by Liz
a resident of another community
on Oct 22, 2015 at 6:01 pm

@Voluntary Fair Driving Program Hahaha! "I'm surprised the City Council didn't suggest a voluntary "Fair Driving Program" where drivers would sign a pledge to voluntary limit their speed to 20-25mph on Shoreline and California"

And while things are voluntary, can we make paying our property taxes voluntary, too?


6 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Oct 24, 2015 at 2:32 am

the_punnisher is a registered user.

CW:

Where did you get your facts about Boulder bike lanes? I'm quoting the news articles on the " squeeze " lane of the traffic experiment. I can tell yu that Boulder WILL cite you in a bike/car collision and it is up to you to PROVE that your car driving was not at fault. At the very north part of Boulder, a Boulder County Sheriff Deputy wrote over 150 tickets to bicyclists in one 8 hour shift for blowing through that stop sign at that U.S. Highway 36 intersection. I now actively avoid going to Boulder. " Ten square miles surrounded by reality " is what most Coloradans think of Boulder, the home of " Mork & Mindy ".


5 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Oct 24, 2015 at 2:48 am

the_punnisher is a registered user.

CW:

Do not use " straw man " arguments to prove your point. When you live in a wheelchair, you can refer to the ADA to prove your point. Since you appear to be a healthy bike loving person, stay away from using the ADA to prove your points.

( Yes, I am wheelchair bound at the moment. )


3 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2015 at 8:38 am

CW's wheelchair analogy would be laughable, if it wasn't so offensive. I hope s/he is fortunate enough to never actually have NO alternative in daily life actually NEED to utilize things like ramps instead of stairs, elevators instead of escalators, parking places with extra space for wheelchair ramp deployment (that one space that isn't occupied by some selfish person's vehicle displaying NO handicapped placard), buttons to open doors of businesses because you cannot pull/push open a door on your own, bathrooms that are actually "accessible", businesses which make shopping in their establishments easier by having wide aisles, and restaurants aren't so tightly packed with tables that it is nearly impossible for a person in a wheelchair to dine anywhere other than a front table, purchasing tickets to concerts or other performances (that's always a super easy process!) I could go on and on....

Be very careful when lumping cyclists and folks with disabilities into the same special class of persons recognized by the ADA...it's not appreciated, and in fact is pretty disgusting.


5 people like this
Posted by CW
a resident of Jackson Park
on Oct 24, 2015 at 11:35 pm

@the-punnisher:
Boulder: Web Link

Inventory of protected bike lanes throughout the US: Web Link

Success Stories:
- 10 Best in 2013: Web Link
- New York: Web Link
- Salt Lake: Web Link

@WOW:
With my "loose parallel," I was not attempting to lump "cyclists and folks with disabilities into the same special class of persons recognized by the ADA." Just pointing out that both groups are minorities, we both have different needs than the majority (not the same needs as each other), that it takes city engineering to accommodate each group, and that both groups should be accommodated based on their distinct needs because it's the right thing to do. Did not mean to offend.


7 people like this
Posted by screw the majority
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 26, 2015 at 12:50 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


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