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Police set to ramp up traffic enforcement

Original post made on Nov 30, 2017

The Mountain View Police Department is gearing up for a big traffic safety push after receiving $115,000 in grant money.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, November 30, 2017, 10:01 AM

Comments (36)

20 people like this
Posted by Whismanian
a resident of Whisman Station
on Nov 30, 2017 at 2:32 pm

If Google relocated to let's say another state, we wouldn't have this issue. I wouldn't have to take Highway 85 to get to work when I could take Middlefield in the morning thanks to Google. Why they pick our little town of all the place in this country, i'll never know. What's wrong with Las Vegas, Nevada? Move there with the Raiders and ruin that city as you've done with ours.


10 people like this
Posted by MVFlyer
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 30, 2017 at 2:39 pm

My personal fave--pushing the button for the flashing lights embedded in the road, and a voice comes on saying "cross with caution, cars may not stop". Why not make it illegal to zoom through when pedestrians are in the crosswalk? Oh wait, it already is... (but I'm guessing many drivers don't know this--they think it's only illegal where there are signs sticking up in the middle of the road)


37 people like this
Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 30, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Yeah, why would a tech company like Google locate in Silicon Valley, of all places? Their presence is totally at odds with the fifty-year history of the region as the nexus of the U.S. computer industry.


29 people like this
Posted by Finally
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 30, 2017 at 3:00 pm


In the span of twelve months, I was struck from behind - in broad daylight - while at a complete stop behind two other vehicles. I have NO idea why the drivers of the vehicles that struck me drove straight into the rear of my car. -- distracted drivers?!? One vehicle was traveling in excess of 35 mph when it struck me. Something is really, REALLY wrong when you fear for your safety while sitting completely stopped in your vehicle on city streets.

I have communicated my frustration to the police and to city council. (I could go on about the red light runners, as they scare the snot out of me, too...but so far I haven't been stuck by one of those jerks.)

More enforcement PLEASE!


43 people like this
Posted by Mark
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 30, 2017 at 3:04 pm

Biggest issue I see is that people just cross when they want to along Castro street, rather than use the pedestrian. Cops give tickets to drivers who do not stop for pedestrians, what about the people who cross without using the proper crosswalk? I've seen police cars/cops on Castro street and people just cross the street willy nilly and the cops are just standing there talking and laughing.


24 people like this
Posted by Doug
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 30, 2017 at 3:04 pm

I disagree with the following position:

Police officials have argued in recent years that ticketing may not be the best use of resources, simply because it doesn't have a big influence on roadway behavior beyond those who take the direct financial hit.

Are there studies that back this statement up?

In my (admittedly anecdotal) experience, enforcement influences driver behavior beyond just those who receive the fines. An officer in the middle of a traffic stop, pulled over to side of road with lights flashing, is much more visible than one who is passively patrolling. And the officer's intent to enforce laws by writing tickets is obvious. If people see police actively writing tickets in the same area on a day to day basis, they're eventually going to limit bad behavior in that location.


94 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 30, 2017 at 3:14 pm

They would have plenty of extra money if they just enforced existing parking laws against all the RVs. It would help clean up all the blight that comes with them too. Been here more than 20 years it just gets worse every year. Now we have unstoppable beating deaths downtown in front of everyone , people shooting guns downtown, gang bangers beating people on Sundays in the open at a park, more traffic and pollution than ever. Way to go Mt View, glad my exorbant property taxes are doing good.... does anyone in our local government actually care about the city anymore?


23 people like this
Posted by Former Violator
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 30, 2017 at 3:53 pm

We better see significant uptick in enforcement of existing laws, rather than frittering away the money on meetings, consultants, study groups, etc etc. Years ago, I was ticketed for a rolling stop at a stop sign, and have since always come to a full stop. Hit traffic offenders in the pocketbook. At present, I see little enforcement, and police cars don't even come to full stops at stop signs or when turning right on a red.


11 people like this
Posted by David B. Karpf, MD
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 30, 2017 at 4:04 pm

Dear "Finally",

My condolences for your two rear-end MVAs in 12 months while stopped at a light. Distracted drivers, like those who hit you, are a danger to us all. BTW, That's the reason why most MC riders legally split lanes at lights, because there are studies documenting that NOT being stopped behind a car significantly reduces the chance that one will be rear-ended, resulting in injury (including paralysis) or death for the rider. So all drivers should chill when they see a bike getting to front at a red light, and not get upset or try to block their passage - we're all just trying to stay alive out there!


3 people like this
Posted by Frank
a resident of another community
on Nov 30, 2017 at 4:16 pm

> Why they pick our little town of all the place in this country, i'll never know.

Come on, Whismanian, you know the answer - Google's founders are Stanford grads, and Silicon Valley is the place to be for tech. Silicon Graphics' huge campus became available, and...the rest is history.

San Francisco is now the playground of the tech elite with big white buses running on the half hour. Vegas is too blingy for the tech nerds.


132 people like this
Posted by Old Mountain Viewan
a resident of Jackson Park
on Nov 30, 2017 at 4:20 pm

I agree that people in vehicles have to be hyper aware, but I DO see bicyclists acting like idiots taking big chances when they are on the road. Just yesterday I saw a family of 5-6 people, ON Castro Street right after the railroad tracks, all on bikes, completely blocking the car lane, I am not saying they do not belong on the road but be sensible, don't go straight down Castro Street with a whole family blocking the road to cars. Turn right after the tracks and go around away from the main congestion. There are no easy answers, but since Google established here, housing is a joke, they now want to practically build their own City. Housing sure but for their employees. Why isn't a Motorhome parking lot built so those stupid motor homes can park, those motorhomes are mostly out of town'ers working here.
They City is OVER building. Two of the only parking lots left in downtown on Castro, one is being torn down to build a hotel, and oh yes, they will have parking but for hotel guests and what about the workers that have to work in the hotel. Nice planning for our City government.


22 people like this
Posted by Monta Loma
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 30, 2017 at 4:28 pm

From the article, regarding bike collisions: "Eleven of the incidents were determined to be the fault of the driver and 11 the fault of the bicyclist..."

There it is, in numbers.

I'd like to see the police target unsafe behavior equally, by both drivers and bicyclists. As a driver, I see idiotic behavior and risk-taking by both groups.

I agree with "former violator" that actual enforcement is a more effective way of changing behavior.


12 people like this
Posted by Scarlet
a resident of Jackson Park
on Nov 30, 2017 at 4:38 pm

This issue comes up over and over yet changes made to protect pedestrians and bicyclists are minimal. 3 years ago I quit going for morning walks on the Stevens Creek bike trail after I was nearly hit by a car while crossing Moffett Blvd at Central Avenue -- it was the 6th time in 2 years that I was almost hit. I've written to the city on numerous occasions. Nothing has changed. The city is not pro-active, and even worse the city is often non-reactive.


203 people like this
Posted by Alex M
a resident of Willowgate
on Nov 30, 2017 at 6:02 pm

"...bike-related collisions have gone up from 27 in 2013 to 58 in 2016..."

I'm not surprised. Around where I live (Moffett Blvd stretch), there are no stop signs, there are traffic signals. Hardly a day goes by that I don't see a bicyclist blowing through a red light. What, are they too much in a hurry to stop? Or too lazy to put one foot on the ground? Or just too stupid to be on the road? One bicyclist was riding the wrong way down Moffett, straight at me; I honked at him and he flipped me his middle finger. Astounding arrogance.

And the ironic thing is, if I collided with one of these idiots due to THEIR carelessness, it would likely be ME getting the citation.

I'm fully capable of following the rules of the road when I'm riding my bike. It boggles my mind that other bicyclists are somehow incapable of doing so.


53 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Nov 30, 2017 at 6:20 pm

I am cynical about this. It looks like another effort to balance the budget on the backs of the traffic violation accused.
Bikes should not be close to cars traveling at 35 to 50 mph. They should be completely separated.


19 people like this
Posted by MVWoman
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Dec 1, 2017 at 12:15 am

PLEASE ticket the cars that refuse to recognize the red light on a left turn, and just blow right through it. One of the worst intersections for this is when cars are on the end of 237 (before it turns into Grant Road) and turning left onto El Camino. I always wait to go through that intersection, when heading onto 237, because undoubtedly at least four to five cars will run that left turn light and drive right in front of me. I think Mountain View could balance the budged with violations on that intersection alone.

And I agree with the above posters that a police car with flashing lights would go a long way to caution idiotic drivers who cannot tell red from green.


8 people like this
Posted by Cuesta area cut through Drivers
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 1, 2017 at 9:30 am

The cars cutting from Cuesta to Barbara, Hans or ECR around the Bubb school
are ALWAYS speeding (Gretel and Bonita especially) and roll through the right hand turns quickly, not yielding to pedestrians who must be on high alert.
My kids and I have almost been hit 3 times in the past 2 school years as we try to walk in. At night, when it's now dark and people are walking their pets, they speed down the same streets, back towards Cuesta. People have put up "Please slow down" signs and I've even heard stories of the neighbors chasing down some of these idiots. I'm not sure if the latter is true, but if it's come to that, the need for a police presence is clear. HELP!


1 person likes this
Posted by Dave
a resident of another community
on Dec 1, 2017 at 9:34 am

To Doug and others who question efforts other than enforcement. Multiple studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and others show that enforcement and education (in its broadest sense)together have the best chance of changing driver behavior amongst the masses, not just the individual. For instance, a technique called High Visibility Enforcement whereby there is concurrent targeted increased enforcement along with publicizing both the enforcement and the problem being addressed lead to higher rates of positive, long-term change than either enforcement or education alone.

While some people may see a car pulled over getting a ticket, they have no idea whether it is for a DUI, a red light run or a burned out tail light. But when the police publicize DUI checkpoints or saturation patrols or cell phone enforcements, a much greater portion of the public will already be aware of both the problem and the enforcement.

We need both enforcement and education, separately and together.


31 people like this
Posted by Matt
a resident of The Crossings
on Dec 1, 2017 at 1:36 pm

Nine out of ten cars blow through the stop sign and crosswalk at the intersection of Beacon and Sondgroth everyday. A Palo Alto Fire Department SUV does it as well. Numerous conversations, calls and reports filed have produced no effective response from MVPD, only the standard punch line, "we're really busy" or the sound of crickets.. Even appeals to Palo Alto regarding the fire department SUV produces no change. Talk about a sense of entitlement and being above the law.

Same with issues of pedestrian safety. Cars are constantly parked protruding over sidewalks and into and blocking disabled ramps all around the city, yet again nine out of ten calls produce no results response from MVPD. The one time an officer did respond, he indicated there was more than enough room for a person in a wheelchair to get by despite the car clearly protruding into the ramp. Never mind how such parking creates blind spots for both drivers and the disabled. Go out any morning and night and you'll find plenty of examples. The situation makes the City Council's push for walkability appear as a joke if there's no enforcement.

BTW, a lot of the grant money will be applied to overtime to just enrich the palace guards even more. It's not like they are going to hire anyone new to enforce the laws.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 1, 2017 at 9:05 pm

Please watch what happens at school drop off zones as well. My car has been hit multiple times for major damage in front of my own house, around the corner from a school drop off zone. Every morning it's pure chaos, and hurried drivers come very close to hitting pedestrians daily.


3 people like this
Posted by zap
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2017 at 11:50 pm

Elementary schools are ground zero for illegal U turns. Enough so that anything the PD says about safety is really just lip service.


9 people like this
Posted by Make it rain!!!
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2017 at 5:29 am

I can't wait to see cops ticketing all the speeders and red light runners.
Target the popular short cut roads. That's where they punch the accelerator to try and save time, risking the lives of our neighbors and children. Thank goodness for this!


38 people like this
Posted by Frustrated
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 3, 2017 at 10:46 am

I totally agree with those people saying more police presence is needed enforcing traffic law. I just don't see the police anymore.

There was one patrol car that used to park on Barbara trying to catch speeders on Miramonte 15+ years ago. It was much appreciated. Now, most cars go 45 miles or more on Miramonte and huge increase in traffic. Miramonte is getting to be like a speedway. Center divide with trees and shrubs will help. Most cars really slow down when they hit Los Altos border because their enforcement is more visible. Please enforce speeding laws.

We are very fed up with how this city is going.


6 people like this
Posted by DC
a resident of North Whisman
on Dec 3, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Wow an increase in bike accident! Well maybe it because of the change in bike traffic. The past it was commuters 7 Am or 5 PM. Look at all the bikes on the road now all day 8-4 PM. The colorful yellow bikes are all over town too and seem to be increasing the riding range of not only Mtn View. Since it is dark out too, Do you also see how many bike do not have any lights on?


3 people like this
Posted by Jeremy Hoffman
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Dec 4, 2017 at 6:49 pm

Jeremy Hoffman is a registered user.

Re: "Member", who wrote

> They would have plenty of extra money if they just enforced existing parking laws against all the RVs. It would help clean up all the blight that comes with them too. Been here more than 20 years it just gets worse every year.

I'm sure you didn't intend for your comment to sound as heartless as it did. Do you think that more and more people are living in RVs in Mountain View just to spite you? We have a massive regional housing shortage and a jobs-housing imbalance in Mountain View and neighboring cities. Our "lucky" neighbors face rents going up 5-15% every year. Our "unlucky" neighbors are priced out of their homes, and some of them end up living on the street.

Most of us feel some compassion for the plight of our fellow Californians, and try to figure out how to improve housing affordability, rather than trying to figure out ways to make their hard life even worse so they'd just go away and be somebody else's problem.


15 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 4, 2017 at 11:31 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

@ Jeremy how is it "compassionate" to encourage people to live in an area that is increasingly, and exponentially, out of their price range?


Like this comment
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 5, 2017 at 2:55 am

@mvresident2003

After seeing so many peers leave the area they grew up in because of how outrageous the housing costs have become due to lack of new house construction, comments like yours are heartless and selfish.


1 person likes this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Dec 5, 2017 at 2:41 pm

How about some hands free cellphone and HOV lane enforcement? These tickets are big money makers for the government ranging from $238.00 to $490.00.


11 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 5, 2017 at 2:56 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

It’s not heartless or selfish, it’s reality. But using your reasoning then, will you PT for me to stay here when I retire? I won’t be able to afford it on my own, already made plans to move somewhere more affordable but since you’re so compassionate will you help me stay here?


Like this comment
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 5, 2017 at 2:56 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

Should read *pay* for me to stay here.


4 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 5, 2017 at 4:31 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


10 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 5, 2017 at 6:03 pm

Shame is a registered user.

Sigh, fine, moderators:

mvresident2003, building enough housing to support everyone isn't paying you to live here, you silly billy.


9 people like this
Posted by property tax payer
a resident of another community
on Dec 6, 2017 at 10:23 am

property tax payer is a registered user.

just wrote a check, for several thousand dollars, to pay the first installment of our property taxes. Looked out the window and what do I see? 7 or 8 RV's staring back at me. Some have been parked for over 7 days. Some were parked when the street cleaner came. I want our city government and law officials to treat us all equally. If I have to move my car every 72 hours, so do RV owners. I am being discriminated against.


6 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 6, 2017 at 11:22 am

Shame is a registered user.

I have some excellent news for you, @property tax payer. If we build enough houses for everyone to live here, there won't be any more RVs on the streets AND your property taxes will go down.


2 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 6, 2017 at 1:21 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

The City Council has been talking about 'building enough housing' for the last 10 years. As I have stated in other threads, this is not possible because the Council insists on approving more and more office projects that eat up all the new housing and THEN some!

I am glad to see however that the police are deciding to beef up traffic enforcement. I agree with many of the comments that hope the enforcement will be equal across the board. The few times I have seen the police enforcing traffic laws, the vast majority of the time it is against cars. I would like to see more enforcement of the traffic laws for bikes and pedestrians also. One squad car or motorcycle unit stationed at W.Dana and Franklin could write over 80 tickets a day just for bikes blowing through the stop signs. Most cyclists don't even slow down ( perhaps because stop signs don't apply to bicycles?).

The police do a fairly good job with drunk driving enforcement, but I would like to see more police on duty downtown on the weekends and not just on Castro street. Drunk drivers ( and pedestrians for that matter) seem to be getting more prevalent. Less than a week ago, my neighbor's parked car was rear ended (and probably totaled) by a hit and run drunk driver. Fortunately she (the drunk driver) did not get far because her car was in pretty bad shape too and the police were able to get to her quickly afterward. However my greater concern is that there are several small children that live on or near our street, and thanks to all the new offices downtown, traffic has picked up quite a bit, so increased enforcement; and awareness by drivers that there is more enforcement, will hopefully make the streets safer for the kids and other drivers and cyclists alike.


Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


11 people like this
Posted by property tax payer
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 6, 2017 at 4:46 pm

property tax payer is a registered user.

@Shame - there isn't enough room to build enough housing for everyone who wants to live in Mountain View. Developers don't want to build housing for lower income families - they want high rents and home sales $. That is the way capitalism works.

Additionally, the only way my property taxes will go down is if the city council and law officials allow RV's to continue to park on our streets and turn our neighborhoods into eyesores where no one wants to buy.

Nuff said.


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