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Bike collisions on the rise in Mountain View

Original post made on Aug 8, 2016

The number of bicyclist-related collisions along Mountain View's roadways grew during the first half of 2016, according to a new report released by the Mountain View Police Department. The report shows that the city has experienced a steady increase in pedestrian and bike-related collisions since 2012.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, August 8, 2016, 10:03 AM

Comments (51)

Posted by Because we lack traffic law enforcement
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 8, 2016 at 10:50 am

When was the last time you saw Mtn View police doing prolonged traffic enforcement? When was the last time you saw Mtn View cops running radar and waiting for red light runners? Drivers feel completely empowered to speed, roll stop signs and basically do whatever needs to be done in the name of getting in front of another car.

Years ago we used to see radar on Mirramonte very regularly, and around town you could spot the traffic cops looking for law breakers almost daily in may areas. The last time we saw regular enforcement in this area was when they built the new town houses next to St Joseph's. I guess someone paid to have the cop camp out there until the houses were sold. After that he was nowhere to be seen.

ENFORCEMENT will slow the general speed down which will improve driver's reaction times which, in turn, will help reduce accidents, even when the pedestrian or cyclist is at fault.

Slow the drivers and change their expectations of driving as fast as possible all the time and the rest will fall into place. We simply need the cops to start writing tickets every day, not just a few cops assigned to hang out near schools for a few days.

Posted by parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 8, 2016 at 11:55 am

Mountain View car drivers often park in bike lanes, causing bicyclists to swerve around them and/or risk getting wacked by opening car doors. I see this happen all the time along Middlefield Road and California Street. The Stevens Creek Trail is great, but only gets you to a few parts of town. The city needs to design safer on-street bike routes to help bicyclists get to other parts of the city.

Posted by MVBrod
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2016 at 2:38 pm

Also what would be nice is if the bicyclists obeyed the rules/laws also. I constantly see most... well a lot of them running red lights, stop signs and darting out in front of cars, RIDING in the CAR lanes as if they were a car (not just to turn. I am talking for blocks). I can't tell you the amount of times they have darted out in front of me from the bike lane to pass someone up and then act like it's my fault when they come into the lane I'm driving a car in.

Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 8, 2016 at 2:40 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

It's not just the bad drivers out there causing these incidents. More and more cyclists in this town are extremely brazen in flouting the laws of the road. Many have some sort of self-endowed entitlement because they ride a bike. Just yesterday, I was driving down Castro and two cyclists were riding side by side using the entire lane. I am extremely careful of cyclists and pedestrians on Castro, because frankly it is a very hazardous street for all modes of transportation. I give cyclists ample room when I pass them and always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. These two cyclists though were extremely arrogant to think their behavior was acceptable. When I ride, I avoid Castro completely and use Hope St. or View.

Additionally, MVPD really needs to do an outreach to pedestrians downtown and explain that the flashing red hand with the countdown is NOT telling them to hurry up and cross. It is there to inform the pedestrians ALREADY IN THE CROSSWALK how long they have before the light changes. Downtown is in near gridlock at some hours because the pedestrians insist on having the right of way, even when in violation of the law. Add to this the myriad of Uber/Lyft and other drivers that feel it is acceptable to block traffic lanes as long as they have their hazard lights on and it makes for a number of ongoing nuisances. Castro Street does NOT have any loading zones. This means PARK YOUR CAR if you want to load or unload. It's really not that difficult.

Posted by Just another dude
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 8, 2016 at 2:42 pm

I drive my wife to the Mountain View train station along Evelyn Ave. every morning to go to work because she is not comfortable driving around here (BTW - we moved here from the L.A. area years ago and she never had that level of concern about driving there). I'm a cyclist myself but am amazed at the lack of concern over traffic lights, stop signs and overall personal safety of the riders I see out there every day. When biking myself on Evelyn in the bike lane, I've had other riders yell and shake their fists (or other, for now unspecified digital parts of their anatomy) at me for having the audacity to stop at a red light. Combining that with the dangerous driving behavior along that stretch of the road I'm really surprised there haven't been more accidents. And to the point of law enforcement presence in that vicinity, it's virtually non-existent. On the rare occasion that I have seen any officers out there, the behavior of bicyclists and drivers changes pretty dramatically. I think a solution, at least in that location, is pretty obvious but I'm not sure what it's going to take to implement it. And before anybody jumps on me about some perceived disrespect of our local law enforcement, far be it from the case. This just happens to be a fairly obvious (to me) situation that the priorities could be adjusted a bit to prevent some really bad things from happening out there.

Posted by juan olive
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 8, 2016 at 2:49 pm

I am a bike rider myself. Sorry all these accidents are happening, but unfortunately the one BIG mistake I still see bicyclists do is block traffic when a car is wanting to make a right turn. It's not often (1 out of every 5) but it does happen.
Traffic going North on Middlefield, trying to make a right onto Shoreline is impossible when you have one biker in the way and the biker has no intention of going right, he's going straight. I've seen up to 8 cars waiting and waiting. Only because of the biker.
Some bikers move a little over to the left to allow the cars to turn. I'm one of them. Most of this takes place in the early hours when the drivers just want to get to work on time, if not sooner.
Some bikers will say "We have the right". Right to hold up traffic? Why? Just please be courteous and move a little over to your left.

Posted by Bikes AND Pedestrians being hit
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2016 at 2:55 pm

Slow the speeds, increase reaction time, everyone goes home without band-aids or law suits.

+1 for more cops writing tickets. By a factor of 100 I see more cars doing stupid stuff on the road than bikes or pedestrians. That doesn't mean the other groups are angels. More cops writing tickets = more bikes getting tickets as well, but nothing will change until the drivers feel less comfortable about breaking the speed laws and zipping through all their "short cuts". Even if the pedestrian is at fault, a driver going more slowly will be able to better avoid the accident, and THAT'S what it is all about.

Posted by Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 8, 2016 at 2:58 pm

Mark your calendars folks: August 31 is the next Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting. Watch for the agenda on the city website, it will be out August 29.

Rather than spend your time complaining that something should be done via online forum, come to the meeting and be a part of the change.

This is your city, time to take ownership.

Posted by wiserdaily
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 8, 2016 at 3:14 pm

Although many drivers are distracted, selfish or untrained, I'd place the blame on most cyclist and pedestrian accidents on their shoulders. Folks don't seem to care to look while crossing the street and cyclists don't care to follow any rules - stop signs, bike on sidewalks, bike in dark at night, don't ring bells, etc. etc. etc.

Posted by Olivia
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 8, 2016 at 3:20 pm

For the life of me can't understand why bicyclest ride on Alma at peak traffic time. The speed limit is 40 miles, no way can they keep up. Along with the arrogance of, well it's okay the law says I can kinda attitude. Meantime traffics is backed up for miles.

Posted by Just another dude
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 8, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Thanks to Insider for your suggestion about attending the next Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting. No doubt a positive thing but respectfully I don't really see anything on the agenda (copied from their website below) specifically addressing behavioral safety. Looks more like funding and development issues to me.

The general functions of the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee include:

Promote the development and maintenance of the City's bikeway and pedestrian facilities
Promote walking and bicycling as alternative means of transportation
Ensure sensitivity to bicycle and pedestrian issues in the design and implementation of public works projects impacting cyclists and pedestrians
Propose, review and prioritize bicycle and pedestrian projects for annual Transportation Development Act funding

Posted by Just another dude
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 8, 2016 at 3:49 pm

Back to Insider's well stated point: "Rather than spend your time complaining that something should be done via online forum..." If you feel that the lack of law enforcement presence is at least a part of the problem, contact the Mountain View Police Department and let them know as I have done. You can ask for the Watch Commander (as has been suggested by friends of mine who are retired MVPD officers) and will probably be routed to the sergeant in charge of traffic's voicemail (Standard operating procedure) where you can express your concerns. Resource management is part of their lives just as anybody else's but if enough people feel strongly enough about this issue to take that step I have little doubt that some corrective action will be at least considered.

Posted by Just another dude
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 8, 2016 at 4:08 pm

To make it simpler, the MVPD phone number is 650-903-6395. As long as you're just giving them information and not ranting I think they'll appreciate it and likely see it as a way of making their extremely difficult jobs a little easier. It all comes back to, "If you see something - Say something"...but it's probably more effective to say it somebody who can do something about it.

Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Bicyclists break the laws and are careless too-

I've seen this many countless times- 2 days ago I had 1 bicyclist waiting at the left turn lane in front of me on Shoreline (going towards Safeway) turning into Middlefield. When the coast was clear, this bicyclist then suddenly peddled his way from the left turn lane into the crosswalk and crossed the dangerous intersection without having to wait for the light to turn green, and proceeded down Middlefield.

Yesterday, a woman, minding her own business, was illegally and carelessly riding her bike across the crosswalk underneath the bike bridge on the intersection of Moffett and offramp from 85 while cars were speeding through. 2 cars had to stop to let her cross and then when she got to the other side, she fell flat on her face when her front tire hit the curbside. She was on the ground with her hands clasped and praying. The same people in the cars pulled over and were kind enough to check on the poor woman. Not sure if she was under the influence or it was her first time on a bike in a long time.

I find our city to be passionate about 2 things- people with their pets and people with their bicycles. We need to educate these people to be aware that there are laws that need to be followed and rules/etiquette on the road. I'm hoping that we can redesign our roadways to make it safe for casual bicyclists and commuters to feel safe and drivers feel confident that the roads can be shared equally.

Posted by Andrew
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 8, 2016 at 4:58 pm

A few corrections to reader comments:

* The speed limit on Alma is 35mph, not 40mph.
* Drivers wishing to turn right on red in the right turn lane must wait for cyclists who are going straight.
* Cyclists my lawfully take the lane if they feel their normal right of way is unsafe (though they must allow cars to pass if there are more than 5 behind).
* Cyclists may use the sidewalks, except in certain places (such as downtown MV).

Studies have shown that drivers AND cyclists break laws at the same rate. The difference? Drivers are operating 1 ton machines traveling at lethal speeds. If anyone needs education on how to operate their vehicle safely, it should be drivers!

Posted by Just another dude
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 8, 2016 at 5:10 pm

I'm seeing some debate over who's right, who's wrong? Drivers or bicyclists? As a member of both generalized categories at different times, I'd suggest some of both. Blame is not the issue here, solutions are.

Posted by Rules of the Road
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 8, 2016 at 5:40 pm

What are the rules of the road for bicyclists? Do they know? Do I as a driver know? (No.) I see bicyclists, and I know you do, too, who think they're a car so they stop behind a car and right in front of you and then have a much slower start when the light changes or the stop sign allows, thus creating a completely avoiding situation where they could get hurt. Some ride on the sidewalk, causing mischief. I saw one smart man walk his bike across the street in a crosswalk and recall how that used to be the main rule of using streets for biking. What I usually experience are bicyclists waiting on the street side of the curb for the light to change, thus preventing we car drivers from being able to turn right. Do cars dare go around them? I don't, but it's a horrible scene to imagine.

To MVPD: Are there written rules you can share with us?

Hey folks, we have real problems out here between cars, pedestrians, bicyclists, recumbent bikers, motorcycles, and self-driving cars. Taking this one step at a time, what are the rules of the road that bicyclists are supposed to know and abide? Perhaps if we all knew, a few accidents could be avoided.

And let me remind the bicyclists: When there's a collision between you and a car, the car is going to win. So you have to be extra cautious and alert and don't act like you're in a 3,000-lb. vehicle because you're not. Nobody wants to see you injured, and no one wants to live with having accidentally injured you. It may not even be your fault, but you are the one who will get hurt most, so it is your burden to be on high alert and aware. You don't have rear-view mirrors; you don't know what's going on as much as cars do. So please help us car drivers help you stay alive and healthy. Thank you.

Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 8, 2016 at 5:44 pm

True is a registered user.

The rules of the road are contained in the California Vehicle code and available online......sounds like you need to do some reading.

Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 8, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Bottom line is that there is no traffic enforcement anymore in Mountain View or Palo Alto for that matter. Drivers race down Rengstorff at 50 60 mph let alone the speeding cut through so through the neighborhoods. Why no enforcement? For bikes or cars?

Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 8, 2016 at 8:14 pm

Scott Lamb is a registered user.

Rules of the Road:

I hear that you're frustrated with bicyclists who "take the lane" and stop directly behind a car at a stop sign or stop light. Sometimes bicyclists are slower than cars to start and you believe this may be contributing to injuries.

However, "taking the lane" is legal and can be the safest option for several reasons:

* It ensures that the cyclist is visible to cars; cyclists in the rightmost part of the lane are often ignored.
* it avoids the need for the cyclist to merge with the cars soon afterward, for example when the right part of the lane is obstructed by parked cars.
* it allows the cyclist to keep considerable distance from said parked cars and avoid getting "doored" as in the most serious collision mentioned in this article.
* by making it obvious there's insufficient room for a car to pass, it helps avoid situations in which cars illegally and dangerously pass at high speed within three feet.

I'm not aware of this practice causing serious injury. I've never personally seen or heard of such injury, and taking the lane avoids many of the situations described on When biking, I frequently take the lane both while moving and at stops. So I'm the one you're getting annoyed with. I'm also your Monta Loma neighbor. I don't know the name you use around the neighborhood, but now you know mine. Feel free to introduce yourself if you see me at the next ice cream social.

I've certainly seen drivers annoyed when cyclists take the lane. As a cyclist I certainly try to avoid situations in which drivers are annoyed, but when it's a matter of my safety their annoyance is a secondary concern. Some people will be annoyed anyway no matter what I do. They seem annoyed that cyclists exist; this is their problem to solve, not mine. Cyclists aren't going away.

I also hear that you're frustrated with cyclists waiting to go straight right at the rightmost part of the lane, preventing cars from turning right. We're running out of options then for cyclists. Yes, this can prevent cars from turning right. Sometimes when I'm the cyclist in that situation and I see a car behind me, I'll move my bike to the left to allow them to pass. But then I can end up between two lanes of cars, with not everyone in the right lane turning right. So I might not feel safe doing that and instead may just wait for the light. Please think of this situation just as you would when there's a car or truck going straight in a narrow right/straight combo lane. You just have to wait your turn, whether the vehicle in front of you is a car or a bike, and getting frustrated will only raise your blood pressure to no advantage.

I hear that you appreciate that some cyclists become pedestrians whenever crossing a busy street. That's their right, too, and in some cases is smart. But cycling is not just a leisure activity in Mountain View; it's also a way of getting around every day and going at that pace may not be practical. This approach is also sometimes not the safest; the process of going from being a cyclist to being a pedestrian and back has its own dangers. Cyclists have the right to use the road as cars do. I and others take full advantage of this and expect drivers to act lawfully and respectfully as we do so.

Most cyclists are pretty good at understanding drivers' views because almost all of us drive as well as bike. I'd love to see more drivers take the time to understand the cyclists' perspective. I'd encourage you to read and try cycling around town yourself. I'd even lend you a bike to do so.

Posted by @ Scott
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 8, 2016 at 9:54 pm

Howdy neighbor. I haven't commented but I think those that take the lane and know the rules that come with taking the lane, like you do, are *not* the problem. My husband is one and it comes naturally to him whereas riding "where cars go" terrifies me even when it's safest.

Thank you for your informative post. I think it's what a lot of the above commenters needed, myself included, to understand where everyone is coming from.

Posted by Just another chick
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 9, 2016 at 7:02 am

Thank you Scott for your comments and as the above you are likely not the problem.

However your own comment "it's also a way of getting around every dayit's also a way of getting around every day and going at that pace may not be practical" speaks volumes to the issue and what is causing drivers frustration. They're just trying to get to work, by virtue of our size, like it or not we are a car-centric community. It is not plausible for a MAJORITY to bike to work. We are taking kids to school, car-pooling, coming from too far.

It's scary that such a small minority is causing such issues and costs to the greater population. Getting back to your comment "it's also a way of getting around every day and going at that pace may not be practical". Imagine if we were speaking about pedestrians wanting equal access to our roads, they have rights too, so it's ok for us to just all step back and say hey, their "rights" trump our greater need in general to function and get people to and from work?

Look, I get that you want to bike to work. It's great for the environment and it's great exercise. But don't try to tell me your "rights" are better than the cars that the majority use and the majority of our entire society need to be functional. Get better lanes, get better paths but do yourself and the biking coalition a favor and give the cars their roads.

And yes, I'll be at the Advisory meeting, two sides need to be heard.

However I want also to add that while taking the lane may be the "smart" thing for you as a cyclist

Posted by Richard
a resident of Whisman Station
on Aug 9, 2016 at 8:49 am

@ Just another chick

Cyclists have the same "rights" and rules to the roads as cars, you seem to think that one has more or fewer than the other; unless i'm completely misunderstanding your point that saddens me. Sure, cars are in the majority but they are therefore burdened with greater responsibility on roads through sheer numbers (and mass). On the other hand I don't know how many cyclist vs. cyclist/pedestrian accidents there are but thankfully they're of the order of just brushing oneself off; perhaps this data ought to be volunteered to the coalition to help plan and increase safety on bike routes and junctions in addition to shared use ways?

I don't quite understand your comment about pedestrians, are you suggesting a desire to walk down the middle of a lane on Shoreline for example, or just preferential access along Castro downtown so as to get to one of the many office buildings efficiently from the CalTrain (after commuting and their many errands also)?

Posted by Bottom line of agreement
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 9, 2016 at 8:59 am

If you read the above comments, pretty much everyone is asking for more traffic law enforcement. They want to see cops every day in different areas doing prolonged radar and red light runner stake-outs. We would like to KNOW that when we speed, tailgate or run red lights, we are in grave risk of a ticket.

PLEASE HELP MVPD! The citizens cannot do this themselves.

Posted by I-Got-mine
a resident of North Whisman
on Aug 9, 2016 at 9:56 am

In Boulder County,CO, a sheriffs deputy wrote over 150 tickets in an 8 hour shift when bicyclists blew off a stop sign in a U.S. Highway 36 intersection where cars are allowed 55MPH as a speed limit.

Bicyclists: your " rights " can get you killed. What is needed is a bit of compromise for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists TO FOLLOW THE LAW.

I was a cyclist actually going to summer school USING THE EL CAMINO REAL to get to Santa Clara 40 years ago! I walked my bike through some intersections and used the " stick shift " gear changer to speed up to close to traffic speed then.

Now, when I visit, I have seen many more " I'm entitled to my rights " bicyclists. The same applies to motorists and sadly to pedestrians as well. To everyone: Your "rights" also mean RESPONSIBILITY when claiming them. From a physics standpoint, a MOTORIST will always " win " when a collision occurs.

Posted by Driving Bicyclist
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2016 at 10:22 am

Gee, that's fascinating. Now on with our daily lives in the present time...on your left Punisher.

Posted by Ticket them all
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2016 at 10:27 am

Just start doing it REGULARLY.
The cops need to be out there with the sole intention of writing tickets to all the self centered ego driven jerks on the road. Yes, it will mean you have to slow down and drive the speed limits. Yes, it will mean your days of rolling through stop signs are over. Yes, you'll be paying for increased car insurance. Yes.

Posted by MVBrod
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2016 at 11:17 am

If "Cyclists have the same "rights" and rules to the roads as cars" then they should have to carry insurance!!! I really don't see why they are not required to.

Posted by Go on...
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2016 at 11:42 am

Please explain your position further after identifying what the reasons are to have car drivers carry insurance. You might figure it out for yourself. Unless you're motivated by spite, then it'll do no good at all; you'll remain spiteful no matter what rational reasons are presented.

Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 9, 2016 at 12:55 pm

I agree basically with "Bottom line of agreement" and "Ticket them all," we have good regulations on the books -- if only they were enforced!

Here's why they're not. This comes up perennially when neighborhood groups talk to MVPD. Enforcement is prohibitively expensive. Devoting full-time officers to staking out intersections for speeders, red-light runners, and other assorted arrogants (whatever type of vehicle they're using) is hard to justify unless the fine collections pay for it, which isn't the reality in most cases despite what you may think. Personnel priority goes instead mainly to things like major crimes and accident scenes. Local police dept's tend to run occasional, random, high-profile traffic stings, but it's not frequent enough to affect steady behavior.

A pity, because I've seen local intersections where traffic-law enforcement could rake in violators wholesale, just as in the Colorado case reported above.

Posted by I-Got-mine
a resident of North Whisman
on Aug 9, 2016 at 2:31 pm

The Colorado example stated above was due to a few who flagrantly violated the laws. The group of bicyclist thought " safety in numbers " would work. Not this time!
The CITY of Boulder, CO actually HATES to see private cars on their streets; if a pedestrian or cyclist has an accident with a car, Boulder required the MOTORIST to PROVE TO THE COURT that they are not responsible for the accident. You see this prejudice all over Boulder.

Note please that a County Sheriff Deputy made those tickets at the ONE stop sign right next to the city limits in an 8 hour shift.

What makes this apply to me is that I actually got a ticket for a " California Stop " on Castro shortly after becoming an adult. Now that intersection is a roundabout.

Yes, the MVPD needs a traffic enforcement unit. How to pay for it? How about REGISTRATION, LICENSE AND INSURANCE just like other vehicles have to have when using public freeways that require money for law enforcement and care for those roads AND trails used.


That worked before everyone turned PC and " this horrible tax on cyclists " was law. Licenses would make sure that everyone is on the same page when talking about the LAWS ON THE BOOKS when you are operating a vehicle ( YES, a bicycle is a vehicle! ) on public highways. Treating everyone equally will force LEOs to treat everyone equally.

That would be a start. Everyone uses roads, everyone pays for them.

Posted by Hahahahahahaha
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2016 at 2:44 pm

Yes, a DVM and insurance system just for bikes, school kids included! I'm SURE that'll be cost effective. How many thousands of new pensioned government employees will it take to run it? Doesn't matter right!?

Please post fully baked costs for all agencies involved prior to half baked solutions.

Posted by I slow agressive driverson purpose
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2016 at 2:51 pm

Are you zipping around town, changing lanes and tailgating to try and get through? Are you exceeding the 25 mph speed limit in residential areas trying to avoid an otherwise congested road? Then you may be well acquainted with my rear bumper. As soon as I see these fools I
take any legal action I can to ensure I become a block to them. When I walk I'll sometimes cross the street at stop signs even if I don't have to. I walk slowly too.

There, I said it out loud. Citizens can make a difference where the cops have failed, and yes, the cops have failed. Join me in slowing the pace down.

Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Aug 9, 2016 at 2:51 pm

Unless and until there is concrete separation between the modes of transport, as in Amsterdam or New York City, there will be collisions. We should anticipate no less when two ton cars fly by bicycles at 50 mph on the Expressways and streets.
Perhaps a dedicated lane for bicyclists along the train rails would provide the degree of separation necessary to minimize collisions. Laws can be changed to accommodate the need. There would be no fear of opening car doors and turning traffic.

Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 9, 2016 at 2:53 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

Castro and California is not a roundabout. It's just a poorly designed intersection with a large round island in the middle, containing tall vegetation that constitutes a traffic hazard. A roundabout generally is not controlled by a traffic signal and vehicles entering always yield to those in the roundabout. It would be a better intersection if they turned it into a proper roundabout.

Web Link

Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Aug 9, 2016 at 3:58 pm

I don't think this is particularly unique to Mountain View as I hear the same thing in San Francisco and all over the Bay Area.

The laws for bikes were basically written for when there were a lot less bikes on the road and a lot less vehicular traffic on the road.

It is about time some of these laws were rewritten for modern road usage. We need to have sets of lights that are specific for bikes (not pedestrians) as well as pedestrian lights. Bikes are not pedestrians and should stop at red lights and not move when a light says walk unless the rider dismounts. Bikes move a lot faster than pedestrians and having them prevented from crossing with a walk signal would make a difference to all road users safety.

Likewise, they need lights, high visibility vests and bells. Quite often a bike coming out of shadows in both bright daylight as well as dark and dusk, is almost invisible.

There are certain streets, like Alma in Palo Alto, El Camino and Middlefield, where bikes should be banned. The fact that there is no law to remove them from certain streets needs to be changed for everyones safety.

Bikes must obey the same laws as other vehicles. They must not travel in the opposite direction to traffic. They must not bunch or even ride 2 abreast. The fact that they are allowed to do these things causes dangerous conditions for other road users.

There should also be certain places where signs telling bikes to dismount and follow pedestrian rules such as on bridges, underpasses and other narrow stretches.

Stevens Creek path is a nightmare for pedestrians with all the bikes. It is impossible to stroll this path particularly with young children because of all the bikes. Is this a pedestrian path or a bike path? It should not be both.

Ideally, bike lines should be completely separate from motorized traffic and pedestrians.

Posted by LAHS student
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Aug 9, 2016 at 5:23 pm

I've seen FOUR cars hit kids biking to school. All around los altos high school. The cars just asked if they were ok, then left.

Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 9, 2016 at 6:06 pm

Scott Lamb is a registered user.

Just another chick:

I hear that you and others, like the cyclists I mention, are trying to get around every day. I hear that some people have kids to take to school. (I take my son to daycare in a bike trailer, by the way. But I understand why people wouldn't want to risk cycling with their kids given the Mountain View drivers.) I hear that people car-pool (great) and that they may be coming from too far. Also understandable. And certainly there are people who are physically unable to bike.

You lose me, though, when you talk about a few causing such issues and costs. What issues and costs?

* A slowdown? I think this is not an equal comparison. I was talking about it being impractical for a cyclist to become a pedestrian at every major intersection. That probably means waiting for a five-minute light cycle at every intersection, maybe adding half an hour to their trip. You're talking about waiting a few seconds for a cyclist to come up to speed or traveling through a residential street at 15 mph instead of 25 mph. Keep in mind that if you're coming from far away, most of your trip is probably on major highways (101, 85, 237) where cyclists are forbidden or on roads (Central, Middlefield, Camino) that cyclists avoid or where they generally stick to the bike lanes. For the remainder of your trip, with the congestion in Mountain View these days, you're probably going at cycling speed anyway. That's especially true when you mention taking kids to school. I'll be biking through that slow school traffic starting next week, and I know from experience it's not a bicycle holding up the line. I think it's more about people driving and waiting in line to drop off their kid right out front of the school because the district boundaries put kids too far away and because people are afraid or unwilling to get out of their cars and walk or bike.

* The safety concerns we're discussing? I don't feel that cyclists and pedestrians are endangering drivers—quite the reverse.

* The cost of building bicycle infrastructure? We spend a tiny fraction of the road budget on this and it's money well spent in terms of easing congestion. There's also less recurring cost because routine road damage from vehicle trips is proportional to the CUBE of the axle weight of the vehicle. Bicycles essentially never damage roads. It's the heavy trucks we should be concerned about.

If you want to get to work more quickly, if you want there to be less obstructions in your path, I think the most effective approach is to make it more practical for your fellow commuters to cycle rather than drive.

Posted by I-Got-mine
a resident of North Whisman
on Aug 10, 2016 at 5:31 pm

Licensing bicyclists and their bikes: an easier way to report a theft of any bikes. BTW,Cars and Bicycles are just transportation TOOLS. The OPERATOR of these tools are at fault, they are just TOOLS themselves.

Licensing bicycle drivers: Everyone knows their responsibilities. No more teaching by comments in the Town Square section. This also should get more MVPD cops to treat bicycle operators in the same way they hand out tickets to ALL VEHICLE OPERATORS. I showed an example of equal enforcement of the laws.The best way to NOT get a ticket; ONE FOOT ON THE GROUND when lights or a STOP SIGN controls an intersection.

If you are a vehicle operator, you may have insurance when riding your bike. Or you can get a rider on your insurance policy. This insurance requirement is for people who blow off stop signs and red lights. These people on bicycles may blow off one too many stop signs and this will make next of kin pay for damages to the 18 wheeler who was just following the traffic laws.

I want the MVPD enforce the LAWS EQUALLY. That makes License, Registration and Proof of insurance for ALL VEHICLE OPERATORS involved in an accident. The vehicles involved had to have lights, brakes and a signaling device working properly. The operator should know the hand signals to inform other operator on the road of what they intend to do.

TREAT EVERYBODY EQUALLY UNDER THE LAWS FOR OPERATING EVERY VEHICLE USING OUR ROADS. No more finger pointing ( including the one finger salute ) and sympathy for ANY lawbreaker on our roads.

Posted by Me
a resident of Willowgate
on Aug 10, 2016 at 5:46 pm

Not sure how licwnsing bicycle riders would achieve cvc compliance. The bulk of licensed vehicle drivers doesn't know the traffic rules very well, as we can see in traffic all the time. Virtually all adult bike riders probably have a drivers license anyway.

Posted by pvrez
a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2016 at 7:04 pm

slow down, look twice and use common sense. i know the third one is the most challenging for many, but give it a try!

Posted by reader
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 11, 2016 at 8:50 am

The tone of all gives me a feeling of never wanting to associate with many of the people who comment here. There is a lack of concern for community, for neighborhood, and lack of respect for others. There is little desire to understand and there is just a too high level of frustration, anger, a sense of justice and the desire for law and order. Law and order seems to apply more to control the others that are destroying and impeding our ways of life and what we want to do now and get done. Is this really the way people of Mountain View and Silicon Valley are in their hearts? To you who wrote these things, are you really this way? It is too sad and just not a community at all. Instead, it is a bunch of individuals trying to get their own and enforce what they already believe.

Posted by @Common Sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 11, 2016 at 9:07 am

Why little enforcement of traffic laws?

It's not so much economic, but rather that the influential citizens of Mountain View are also the ones that speed and don't come to a complete stop at intersections. How many times have you heard a friend or neighbor complain that THEY were pulled over:

"Hey, sure I rolled through a stop sign, but it was clear! I am a VERY SAFE driver!"

This leads to, "Why can't the police be out solving REAL CRIME? I am a TAXPAYER here!"

We could have very safe streets by installing red light cameras at key intersections. We could also install speeding ticket cameras. Why don't we do that? Because the same people that complain about OTHERS that break traffic laws will now be assured of receiving traffic citations. Probably on a regular basis!

Posted by Cyclist with insurance
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 11, 2016 at 10:50 am

I don't need anyone to "give me my rights on the road" of "treat me with respect" only after I behave as THEY dictate I should. Haha. Really?! hahaha.

My legal rights are already well established and I will not be dissuaded from exercising them as long people will remain safe.
Of course my own personal safety drives the final decision, but just in case, I have insurance to protect me from all the maniacal drivers fueled by anger and spite out there. Lawyers too. See you on the road, 37 years now with zero accidents or crashes.

Posted by @ I-Got-mine
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2016 at 12:16 pm

We don't need to wait to start making the roads safer. Why not start enforcement now?
Are you proposing we should wait until the massive re-write of the vehicle code you're calling for, as well as the need for massive bureaucratic expansion for pensioned workers to support it long term to begin enforcement? We can start now by enforcing the current laws and targeting ALL offenders. No excuses or delays needed.

It's a shame the drivers will be most affected, but hey, they ARE the largest group of offenders by far, causing the most death and injury by far of any user group.
Lets not wait on enforcement, lets get started NOW!!!! The largest offending, most dangerous users on the road are ripe for the picking.

Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 11, 2016 at 2:36 pm

Scott Lamb is a registered user.


Sadly, I think your observation of comments here is a reflection of how many people actually act while on the roads. In particular, I see a lot of the frustration and anger you mentioned.

I see drivers who are angry at all kinds of things:

* Lights that go yellow or red before they reach the front of the line
* Anyone—other drivers, cyclists, self-driving cars, buses—who don't immediately get out of their way when the light becomes green
* Anyone moving slowly on the road
* Emergency vehicles

I know they're angry because they floor it immediately after passing such obstructions, run yellow or red lights, hold down the horn honking, tail-gate aggressively, yell, change lanes as tightly as they can around the perceived obstacle, etc.

I think this is the root cause of these injuries. There are a lot of drivers who are constantly just short of boiling over with road rage, who think that it's everyone else's duty to stay out of their way as they get to their destinations as fast as physically possible on an empty road. And there are a lot of people who are angry at what they do in response. I suspect many people are both reacting angrily to situations and reacting angrily again to others who act exactly as they do.

What makes this road rage go away? It sounds like you don't think police enforcement is the answer. I don't know what is. I'd love for such people get on a bike to see the perspective of those who are more vulnerable to this recklessness. But I don't really see that happening.

Posted by Darin
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2016 at 3:32 pm

Darin is a registered user.


I now have a class C driver license (e.g., for regular passenger vehicles). I used to have a class B driver license (e.g., for small commercial vehicles). I'm familiar with the requirements for a class A driver license (e.g., for large tractor-trailer trucks).

You definitely do not want everyone treated equally under the laws. Treating every bicycle like it's a car makes as much sense as treating every car like it's a large tractor-trailer truck.

Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 11, 2016 at 4:00 pm

True is a registered user.

Ahh, another year, another bicycle related article on Voice. And like clockwork the unhinged rantings of the anti-cycling nutters follows. You are nothing if not predictable.

It seems that the overwhelming driver (LOL) for these screeds is entitlement.

Look....I'm sorry that it took you 50 seconds instead of 45 to get from Miramonte to El Camino on Castro Street. Can I make it up to you? Though I do hope you don't holler similar epithets at school buses, big-rigs and old ladies in Buicks when they sometimes accelerate a bit slower than you. Just a'll get better mileage and save a lot of money over the course of a year if you actually drive the speed limit and don't accelerate as if you are on the 1st lap of the Monaco Grand Prix.

And I'm sympathetic. Commuting by car sucks. I do so by car more often than not. But on the days where I'm doing so by bike you really need to understand that while I'm doing something positive for the environment and my health (while having much more fun than driving) its not meant as an indictment of your dietary or lifestyle choices. I'm not judging....really.

Ok, if I'm honest, when you flick a cigarette butt out the window I'm judging....A LOT.

Since the last time we went through this I have been clipped by the side view mirror of a young lady driving a Range Rover who was staring at her cell phone.

I narrowly avoided being hit by another in a Tahoe(who was driving at night with her headlights off as well.....also staring at her phone)...apologies to the property owner who's Camelia bush I damaged when I took that as an option to a face plant on the front of a Chevy.

Quick note to the dude in the bright blue Tesla P90D...beautiful car, really. But could you wait to demonstrate to your buddy how you can change the display to the James Bond Submarine from "The Spy Who Loved Me" Web Link until such a time as you are not driving downtown on Castro St? By the way, how much damage did it do to your wheel when you ran into the curbing because you weren't paying attention? Was it expensive? Hope so.

I've narrowly avoided being drilled by parents who failed to yield to oncomming traffic while driving their kids to Graham.

I've been cursed at more times than I can favorites are the ones seasoned with pejoratives that call my sexuality into question.

I've had a Venti starbucks and a 22oz can of Coors light thrown at me.

...and 99% of the time I follow traffic laws on my bike. The exception usually when a signaled intersection doesn't have a functional in-pavement traffic detection switches.

Yeah...some cyclists don't obey all the laws all the time....I used to be one of them. I'm very assertive, but ride legally now.

I cannot recall the last time I went for a ride when I DIDN'T see one of my fellow Mountain View residents driving while screwing around with their cell phone, tablet and even LAPTOPS (WTF?), while digging around in their purse looking for god knows what, while putting on makeup, fixing their hair or using an electric razor in their rear-view mirror.....and just an observation...y'all pick your noses A LOT and your window tint isn't dark enough to mask it.

Look, all kidding aside, we all break traffic laws from time to time. We all have lapses in our attention while on the road. However, among the three primary occupants of our motorways (motor vehicles, cyclists & pedestrians) only one has the ability, if a mistake is made, to extinguish the life of either of the other two. Slow down. Put the cellphone away.

.....and get your finger out of your nose....that's just gross.

Posted by Sam
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 11, 2016 at 7:44 pm

I witness an elderly woman riding a bike in the middle lane on ElCamino Real at Rengstorff at 6:30 PM.
You tell me who would have been at fault if a car hit her.

Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 11, 2016 at 7:50 pm

True is a registered user.

Hit her from behind? According to the California vehicle code and decades of legal precedent, you.

Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 11, 2016 at 9:28 pm

True is a registered user.

Sam is trying to play "gotcha" here.

If the lady were in the middle of the right hand lane, she's operating in a perfectly legal manner. It is incumbent upon drivers to safely overtake while giving the cyclist a minimum of three feet of clearance on all sides according to (CVC Sec 21760)

If she is temporarily occupying the center or left lane while merging to the left to gain access to the left hand turn lane, she's operating in a perfectly legal manner. It is incumbent upon drivers to safely overtake while giving the cyclist a minimum of three feet of clearance on all sides according to (CVC Sec 21202)

If she is just tooling along in the center of three lanes in the center of block (ie, not merging across and not having just turned onto ECR from a side street) and is at a speed appreciably below that of the speed of traffic she is impeding. In that case she is in violation of (CVC Sec 21202) and could possibly be cited for doing so.

However, if she is able to maintain a speed equivalent to that of the posted speed limit or at the speed of the cars around her but beneath the posted limit she would be perfectly legal to ride in any damned lane she pleases. If you were to overtake (which would require you to exceed the posted speed limit) you would be required under (CVC Sec 21760)to do so while giving the cyclist a minimum of three feet of clearance on all sides....but you could still be cited for speeding.

Regardless.....if you strike any road user, be it auto, bus, commercial vehicle or bicycle from're at fault Sam.

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