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Council balks at proposed bike rules

Original post made on Sep 7, 2017

Mountain View City Council members roundly criticized a package of changes to city laws Tuesday night that would have imposed strong restrictions on bicyclists.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, September 7, 2017, 1:55 PM

Comments (35)

5 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Sep 7, 2017 at 2:28 pm

Reminds me of a few years ago when the city atty proposed revamping the pet ordinances.


31 people like this
Posted by Pets and Bikes
a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2017 at 2:40 pm

I agree. The observation that the staff input came from people who never ride bikes is spot on. Also, I bet it was just one single staff member who made all those
changes.

I mean come on. There is no flow direction of traffic on a sidewalk. A 5mph speed limit
is a reasonable limitation, but it makes zero difference which direction the bike travels. Absolutely stupidity that any experience at all would have illuminated. Making a rule for the sake of making a rule. Do these people/person even drive?


73 people like this
Posted by Maher
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Sep 7, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Even though I am a former bicycle rider, I have to say that the arrogant and risky cyclists' behaviors I've witnessed in MV neighborhoods makes me wish for stricter laws and enforced laws for riders. I no longer ride due to age.
So many cyclists run stop signs routinely it seems, and wander outside the cycle lanes. And if I honk at them when I have a no stop sign right of way or try to warn them to stay in their lanes, they cop an attitude and flip me off. So I really am fed up with their outrageous "privileged" Yahoo/Google sense of entitlement.
This city council vote is another sign that MV has become a COMPANY TOWN with all the horrid consequences of that dynamic.
These cyclists need to be reined in and taught how to behave on our city streets.


9 people like this
Posted by reader
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 7, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Yes, remember the proposal that cats be licensed?

Where do they find these staff people? It sure does sound like the rules are proposed by people who spend very little time on a bicycle.

One has to wonder if city staff studied the city ordinances of bike-friendly communities such as Davis, etc. I'd think there are lots of great examples to consider.


19 people like this
Posted by Oh come now
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2017 at 3:05 pm

"This city council vote is another sign that MV has become a COMPANY TOWN"

That is a false narrative, exaggerated, IMO, to try and prove a pet peeve the poster may have. A "Company Town" means the company owns the grocery store, the house you live in, the hardware store, the hotel...that is the definition of a company town. MV is no where near being a Company Town.
I don't think the poster can stand by that statement if the correct definition of Company Town is applied.


19 people like this
Posted by Tim Oey
a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2017 at 3:09 pm

Glad Mountain View has a reasonable city council. The new bike ordinances as proposed were outrageously bad. Hopefully Mountain View staff will now listen and work with the Mountain View BPAC to come up with workable and sensible recommendations for revising Mtn View bicycle ordinances.


28 people like this
Posted by A Talking Cat
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 7, 2017 at 3:10 pm

A Talking Cat is a registered user.

We need safer roadways and lanes for bicyclists, not more restrictions! We should make it effortless to choose to ride a bike ANYWHERE, even at the expense of slight inconveniences for car drivers.

Look at NYC; studies have shown that it's twice as fast to get around the city on a bike than in a car. Or check out the netherlands, where bike usage has grown 11% and deadly bike accidents have decreased 21%: Web Link

This is CALIFORNIA! We always have beautiful weather and we care about the environment. The fact that we have like, half a bike lane in Mountain View is laughable.


39 people like this
Posted by Tim Oey
a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2017 at 3:23 pm

Regarding Maher's comment "cyclists run stop signs routinely"

1) It is much safer for cyclists if they do not come to a full stop at stop signs, thus the law in Idaho that allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields. This law is under consideration in California as well. It is also more energy efficient and makes bicycling more attractive.
2) It very much depends on the circumstance. Did the bicyclist really need to come to a full and complete foot down stop? Or did the bicyclist blow thru the stop sign without looking and with no possibility of coming to a full stop if needed? How many car drivers do you see who come to complete stops at stop signs? Most drivers I observe do roll thru them at about a bicyclist's speed...

Regarding "wander outside the cycle lanes" it also depends on the situation.
1) Was there glass or other debris in the lane that the cyclist needed to avoid?
2) Was their a defect in the pavement that could have caught the bicyclists tire? (I see lots of these between the gutter pan and the pavement that cause me to go out of the bike lane)
3) Was the bike lane correctly lined to include a 3-4' wide door zone so cyclists can avoid car doors opening into the bike lane (this is another frequent cause for me to leave the bicycle lane).

Please note that bicyclists have the full right to leave the bicycle lane for the above reasons and any other hazards they need to avoid in the bike lane. Many motorists cannot see the reasons why bicyclists may need to bicycle outside the bicycle lane -- they are too far away and moving too fast. Bicyclists are very focused on where they need to be to stay safe.


25 people like this
Posted by Darin
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Darin is a registered user.

Did the proposed bike rules really try to prohibit cyclists on downtown Castro Street and on San Antonio Road north of El Camino Real?

According to California law, cyclists can be prohibited from using freeways and similar limited-access roads, but can use all other public roads. Whoever prepared the proposed bike rules should have understood at least that.


136 people like this
Posted by About Time
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2017 at 3:56 pm

Time all cities got up to date on bike rules but please make them all the same, no point in each city having different laws.

I would like to see more emphasis on bikes being seen and heard. How about making it compulsory to wear reflective vests, using lights and all bikes having bells.


75 people like this
Posted by Another Victory for the MV Bike Mafia
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2017 at 4:03 pm

It seems the Council are the ones out of touch here. I wonder when the lat time anyone of them has tried to walk with family members on the Permanete or Stevens Creek Trail. Cyclist in MV are among the most disrespectful and dangerous I have seen in the Bay area. I have witnessed accidents and far more near misses. The Stevens Creek Trail and the newer Permanete Creek Trail are not places for pedestrians or joggers, and now sidewalks are not safe either as they are frequented by cyclist who have little or no skill at riding, or worse, no regard for anyone other than themselves. Allowing bikes on sidewalks is a recipe for disaster and you can count on costly lawsuits to the City.


22 people like this
Posted by Daily Trail User 15 years +
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2017 at 4:21 pm

@Another Victory for the MV Bike Mafia and I have vastly different views of what we see on the trail as well as differing tolerance levels for cyclists. I've been walking the trail for over 20 years and with the exception of commute times, I find the overwhelming majority of cyclists on the trail to be lawful and courteous. Even during the commute, most are still very nice and safe, but yes, that's when I also see the loons. I also see more of the loon types in cars though. We're safer walking on the SCT than we are driving to Shoreline...statistically speaking.


99 people like this
Posted by Look to the data
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2017 at 4:31 pm

The majority of national current safety data available suggest that bikes should "seldom", and "only in unique situations" be permitted on sidewalks. But hey, we can just ignore safety data and continue to watch people get hurt because a few cyclist talked our city council into believe "it's fine, let us ride wherever and however we want to, it's all good".


2 people like this
Posted by Council balks at proposed bike rules
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 7, 2017 at 4:41 pm

Good. It would make a mess of things.


83 people like this
Posted by Common Sense Too
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 7, 2017 at 5:28 pm

Common Sense Too is a registered user.

To me there are two vastly different categories of bicyclists:
- Those on racing bikes who use them as a primary mode of transportation
- Those on big/slow bikes who are out for an afternoon stroll
I am the latter. I just want to get some fresh air and take a leisurely 3 mile ride from my house to downtown MV. To think that there is discussion of enacting a law that prevents me from enjoying a nice sunny day ride on my bike down Castro Street is outrageous!
And I'd like to go on the sidewalks when the cars driving by me are going so fast that I get scared. If I do - I'm not going much faster than those who are walking, and I pull to the side if there's a big group of pedestrians.
Don't the police have better things to do than to confiscate bikes from people who do the above items, or lock their bike to something other than a sanctioned bike rack?
Stop! Just stop!


3 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 7, 2017 at 6:49 pm

[Post removed due to promoting a website]


9 people like this
Posted by Juan
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Sep 7, 2017 at 7:58 pm

Juan is a registered user.

This is a terrible proposal and basically a war on bikes. Imagine a proposal to ban cars (only bikes allowed) on Shoreline north of El Camino and on California St. How would you car owners appreciate that?

We need to encourage MORE people to bike, that means adding bike lanes, not restricting use of bikes. For starters, we should move the Caltrain tracks underground between San Antonio and Mountain View stations and build a bike path on top.


9 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 7, 2017 at 8:03 pm

My kids bike to school regularly for short stretches on the sidewalk between Showers and Jordan or between Ortega and Distel along El Camino. It's the safest route to get to LAHS from our neighborhood. If anything I wish the city/county would widen the sidewalks and remove some of the obstacles that those stretches to make it safer for multi-use. It's either that or make a real route to school.


1 person likes this
Posted by Oh Maher
a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2017 at 9:28 pm

Bike lanes aren't binding on bicycles. They can ride in the roadway. You shouldn't honk at people on bikes anyway because it's much louder outside of your car. What is a no stop sign right of way? What do you mean by honking at a bike in the road because you have
no stop sign? Are you going the speed limit? Are you realizing that a bike only goes
so fast and so if you speed along the road you may have to slow to the speed limit
to avoid striking a bike crossing the roadway ahead of you?


10 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Sep 7, 2017 at 11:11 pm

Please NO riding against traffic by bikes, if you ever witness an accident by a left turning car against a bicyclist you know what I am talking about. It is not safe, plus doesn't the California vehicle code include biking rules, so why is the city of Mtn View trying to reinvent these rules.


8 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2017 at 11:15 pm

This is all about sharing the roads and sidewalks... and community in general. Drive/ride/walk in a safe and predictable manner. Side walks are primarily for walking so if a cyclist is on the sidewalk, that's fine but go at walking speed. If you are walking across a street, don't dilly dally staring at your phone. Pay attention and briskly walk across the street especially when jaywalking and cars are driving towards you. If you are driving, put the cell phone away, don't drive your Prius 35 mph in the left lane on 101, don't hit your brakes every 3 seconds and look at least 4+ cars in front of you and always scan for traffic (cars, motorcycles, cyclists and pedestrians) around you. If you are a slow cyclist, don't block traffic (unless for a specific purpose), obey the traffic laws including stopping at stop signs. If you are a fast cyclist don't buzz people on the multi-use trails. Just be respectful of others. It's really not that hard. If you are a Google bus driver, learn how to drive and don't stop wherever you feel like it.

To quote our President Trump, "I think there’s blame on both (all) sides, and I have no doubt about it." Ha ha ha ha.


7 people like this
Posted by Jes' Sayin'
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2017 at 11:27 pm

Castro is way too dangerous for bicycles. If you want to allow them there, take away the restaurant dining areas adjacent to the road and give them a bike lane.


9 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2017 at 11:46 pm

@Jes' Sayin' - Castro is not necessarily unsafe for cyclists. If a cyclist is riding in a predictable manner, looking out for pedestrians and not blocking traffic, what's dangerous about it? And when I say not blocking traffic, I mean in an unreasonable manner, ie 3+ cars stacked up behind them or for more than 20 seconds in which they should pull over.


6 people like this
Posted by Hippie Liberal
a resident of Gemello
on Sep 8, 2017 at 2:11 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


3 people like this
Posted by Loney Conservative
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2017 at 5:10 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


21 people like this
Posted by Proud Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Proud Taxpayer is a registered user.

What is needed on Castro is a way to prevent all the double parking. Uber, Lyft, and those services that pick up food from restaurants are constantly blocking traffic downtown.


14 people like this
Posted by Darin
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Darin is a registered user.

@Jes' Sayin'

Whether or not you or anyone else considers Castro Street "way too dangerous for bicycles", California law gives cyclists the right to use it. It is not a freeway or other limited-access road, so cyclists cannot be prohibited from using it.


5 people like this
Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 8, 2017 at 2:58 pm

SRB is a registered user.

@Darin nowhere did the City propose to ban bikes on Castro Street. Some changes were proposed for biking on Castro's sidewalks which, I believe, is currently prohibited -there are posted signs along Castro-


14 people like this
Posted by Alex M
a resident of Willowgate
on Sep 10, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Alex M is a registered user.

Not only to bicycles run stop signs routinely, they also run stop LIGHTS routinely (there are only lights, not signs, where I live) and drive the wrong way down Moffett. If anything, we need at least as strict law enforcement on bikers who (whether due to incompetence or stupidity I don't know), are unwilling or unable to abide by the rules of the road. Confiscate the bike on the second offense.


Like this comment
Posted by Darin
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Darin is a registered user.

@SRB

I'm just going on what was written in the article, specifically:

"Among the most contentious changes, the update ... would have prohibited riding bikes along downtown Castro Street as well as on San Antonio Road north of El Camino Real."


3 people like this
Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 11, 2017 at 2:50 pm

SRB is a registered user.

@Darin

The article seems indeed unclear but the proposed bike ordinance changes were related to sidewalks not roadways.


3 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 12, 2017 at 9:58 am

True is a registered user.

The proposed language allowing MVPD to seize property when there are infractions is outrageous.

MVPD would not seize your car for an illegal U-turn. They have no justification for seizing a bicycle for what amounts to far less dangerous infractions.


3 people like this
Posted by Dread Pirate Roberts
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 12, 2017 at 5:37 pm

Dread Pirate Roberts is a registered user.

The notion of limiting cyclists on Castro and San Antonio is ridiculous on its face. However, cyclists should not be allowed on sidewalks and should not be allowed to ride against the flow of traffic for basic safety reasons. Cyclists should have all the rights and responsibilities of a car or motorcycle driver. No more, no less. This should not be that complex, but our fair city manages to turn even relatively simple issues into a Charlie Foxtrot.


6 people like this
Posted by That MV guy
a resident of Jackson Park
on Sep 12, 2017 at 6:51 pm

That MV guy is a registered user.

5-6 years ago the city was pro-bike, with rental rides and "bike boulevards" being established among other things. When did they decide to go anti-bike with all these silly rules? Who's fault is this?


Want me to stay off the sidewalk? Then put a bike lane on Moffett blvd between Central Expressway and Middlefield. With cars parked on the sides there isn't enough room for bikes and cars, yet bikes use this route often since it is so close to the train & light rail stations. The law says cars must pass no closer than 3 feet away, yet some zoom by me at less than half that distance!

I ride the sidewalk there to keep from getting killed by inattentive drivers fiddling with their phones, and I see plenty of them every day. That's more than good enough reason.



Bike lanes marked on ALL of the designated bike routes would be helpful too.




Can't ride my bike downtown!(?). No way.

I've a better idea. Downtown would be 1000% nicer if bikes were allowed and cars were barred. Make D.T. a friendly auto-free place where people crossing the streets aren't dodging fanatic drivers looking for a precious and hard-to-find parking spots on weekends. The reduction of all that car pollution spewing out around so many pedestrians would be a blessing too. Let's block Castro at the tracks as suggested.


8 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 13, 2017 at 10:42 pm

Gary is a registered user.

With car lanes so dangerous, one can appreciate the desire to make better use of sidewalks. But mostly, sidewalks are like boots. They are made for walkin. And riding horses. Maybe some square dancing. But that is it. Not every tattooed skateboarder or pot-smoking rollerblader is going to mesh with the little old ladies and gentlemen just trying to fetch the newspaper from the sidewalk or walk the dog off the main drag.


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