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Vehicle collisions on the rise in Mountain View

Original post made on Jul 6, 2018

Mountain View saw a big increase in vehicle collisions last year, with some of the city's busiest intersections proving to be ground zero for the highest number of crashes, according to data released by the city last month.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 6, 2018, 10:26 AM

Comments (36)

Posted by A Talking Cat
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 6, 2018 at 11:16 am

A Talking Cat is a registered user.

THANK YOU for not calling these "traffic accidents"! As Lt. Jaeger says, nearly all of these were avoidable, if people were obeying traffic safety laws or didn't allow themselves to be distracted.

Though let's be honest, our dumb animal brains can't be trusted to behave perfectly, especially when in charge of several tons of metal traveling at high speeds. It's just another reminder to be very careful out there. Even more so if you're walking or on a bicycle, where the risk of death is crazy high compared to the safety of a metal cage on wheels!

Posted by I just don’t see it
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 6, 2018 at 12:56 pm

I think these numbers might even be lower because when I was struck by another driver the police told us to exchange information and never came out. I know the other driver didn’t report it to the insurance company so how would any of this data be correct?

Another thing I don’t see is the amount of enforcement during the early morning commute and evening commute. Growing up in Mountain View I would see a lot more cops pulling no people over. Now it is non-exsistant. You just don’t see it unless it is one of those “enforcement Campaigns.” I be curious if Redwood City has the same issue since they’ve done and continue to enforce a lot. No one dares drive fast down Farm Hill Boulevard anymore.

So can the Mountain View cops and not just the motorcycle guys to enforce and enforce and then enforce some more. I don’t need to hear about it on Facebook or at some event where the cops are talking about. Let’s see it and get these drivers to slow down.

Posted by Cell Phones
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2018 at 1:39 pm

Guaranteed. If you're not discussing how to get drivers off their phones, you're not taking the issue of traffic accidents seriously.

Posted by Jeff
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 6, 2018 at 2:38 pm

Any time when traffic is heavy you can watch 3 or 4 or even 5 drivers at a time (yep, 5) running red left-turn signals at El Camino and Grant/237, especially turning left from El Camino to Grant. This means that people are actually entering the intersection several seconds after the red light, and needless to say they are going damn fast. Enforcement might not be the prescription for overall traffic calming, but good grief, these people are especially dangerous and their behavior is conspicuous to the point of arrogance. Haven't seen enforcement at this intersection in several years, since a motorcycle patrolman was flagging down drivers who rolled through a right turn on the red light from 237 to El Camino. There could have been five cops there to deal with the frequency of that happening.

No doubt traffic enforcement is a PITA -- but please!

Posted by Grant and El Camino
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 6, 2018 at 2:43 pm

I cross thru this intersection several times a day and have never seen any enforcement. The most problematic issue of this intersection is that unlike other signal lights, when one light goes from yellow to red, there is a pause until another signal turns green, here there is no pause. Not only that but southbound grant seems to always block the intersection for people going eastbound ECR. As a "good driver" I would like to see more Traffic Officers driving around. Skip posting photos of coffee with a cop on the MVPD instagram page and start posting pictures of speeders and red light runners getting tickets! Instant Justice!

Posted by In agreement
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Jeff, I could not agree with you more. The number of people going thru red lights in this area is shocking. I have driven in major cities all over the country and I have never seen so many people driving thru red lights. I moved here from Orlando and during the time I lived there, the City installed red light cameras at all or most of the intersections and the decrease in accidents was reported to be 40% and the revenue to the City was huge and well spent on City programs. I think it's a solution well worth considering. Stay safe!

Posted by kskyflyer2
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Jul 6, 2018 at 3:07 pm

kskyflyer2 is a registered user.

Well I think at all 4 way stop lights that all the lights should turn red first to make everyone stop, then turn green so that way maybe it will stop people from running red lights.

Posted by Second That
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 6, 2018 at 4:14 pm

I second this - As a "good driver" I would like to see more Traffic Officers driving around. Skip posting photos of coffee with a cop on the MVPD instagram page and start posting pictures of speeders and red light runners getting tickets! Instant Justice!

Get off the Social Media we are awesome kick and address the problems at hand. Put down that cup of coffee and get after those bad drivers.

Posted by Dude
a resident of another community
on Jul 6, 2018 at 4:21 pm


In an ideal world maybe, but in real life not so much. There is already a delay between when the other light turns red and the oncoming traffic turns green and people still run the reds.

A law that isn't enforced basically isn't a law.

They know exactly where the problem intersections are, they know what the busy days/times are, so I find it odd that they can't target enforcement for those times.

Posted by parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 6, 2018 at 8:00 pm

The easiest way to become a better driver is TURN YOUR PHONE OFF when you drive. Put it in your purse or in your pocket or somewhere else where you cannot touch it at all. If the police could strictly enforce this one traffic law effectively, our streets would instantly become 10 times safer. Ticket all the scofflaws with no warnings.

Posted by Stop handing out cash
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 7, 2018 at 7:28 am

More cops on grant and El Camino please! The beggars on every median during high traffic doesn't help with anyone's safety. Drivers handing out cash to the local bums is not helping. Community services takes donations and provides services to all of our community members in need.

Posted by Autonomize me, Cap'n
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2018 at 8:23 am

I really want to know the accident rate of human drivers compared to the Waymos I've seen driving around.

Posted by TooMuchTraffic
a resident of another community
on Jul 7, 2018 at 9:32 am

Residents along Middlefield in Palo Alto photographed and kept a record of accidents on 4 blocks of Middlefield near downtown for 30 days. We then compared our numbers to those of accidents in the CHP database. Our conclusion - slightly less than half of all accidents get reported.

Then we wanted to know, if the police are called and show up at the accident scene, does that mean the accident will be reported? The answer is no. We sent our then-chief photos showing the officer on scene and details of the accident and asked if it had been documented/reported. His answer was no.

We will not really know how bad our accident rates are unless we insist on better tracking and reporting.

FYI - Anyone can request accident data from the CHP for specific intersections and date ranges. They provide you a PDF with details about time, type of accident (t-bone, rear-end, etc.) injuries, etc.

Posted by dt
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 7, 2018 at 10:17 pm

If you have seen the new construction at Castro and El Camino and how two lanes suddenly merge into one with no clear markings ----- no wonder it is a major crash site. They should at least mark the lanes. I always dread that intersection when I want to cross El camino heading north on Castro.

Posted by MV Renter Who Loves MV
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2018 at 10:50 pm

MV Renter Who Loves MV is a registered user.

Never thought I would suggest this, but we need a red light camera at El Camino and Grant Road. Mountain View police dept apparently has no interest in enforcing traffic laws. So get a camera to do it.

Posted by Sophie mutter
a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 7, 2018 at 10:56 pm

Sophie mutter is a registered user.

With more and more population in Mountain View, more and more cars on the existing roads, more traffic accidents are guaranteed. Enforcement may be helpful to reduce the collisions on the busiest roads

Posted by Matt
a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2018 at 1:26 pm

roads too small for pop growth.

influx of new drivers with less familarity with driving in area

influx of bad new drivers in 90,000 cars with poorer visibility over previous generations as well as 'safety aids' that provide confidence boosts.

Big shocker... area's toast, sad but true. Be careful on the road!

Posted by Villa and Castro
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 9, 2018 at 10:22 am

I work near the intersection of Villa and Castro and it is ugly as hell on busy nights... it is only a matter of time before an impatient motorist wipes out those crowds of pedestrians. I regularly see frustrated motorists gunning their engines to send an FU to the pedestrians who block their way, and alcohol on Friday and Saturday nights adds intensity.

Posted by C K
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 9, 2018 at 1:18 pm

I moved from Fremont to Mountain View 4 months ago and I was shocked how common it is to see drivers running red lights, skipping stop signs, not yielding to pedestrians and doing illegal right-turn without stopping. Living next to a busy intersection, I am also sad that I can hear drivers shouting profanities at each other/pedestrians and honking excessively all the time :( Sitting next to the window i could also count upwards of 5-10 drivers texting or looking at their phone while driving in a short period of time.

Scary place to live and commute.

Posted by Work in Fremont
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2018 at 1:42 pm

It's actually worse in Fremont now, plus they have the psycho speeders and just last week I saw a pack of freestyle motorcyclists doing stunt tricks. Unbelievable.

I stopped complaining about MV drivers when I started to see the daily mayhem Fremont roads dish up, and the farther up 880 you go, the worse the drivers get.

Posted by reader
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 9, 2018 at 7:08 pm

I live near Grant/El Camino/237 and in 25 years have never seen a motorcycle cop or patrol car monitoring this intersection. What I have seen is plenty of red-light runners, cars trying to get that left turn and stuck in the middle of the intersection, and everything else described above. We're told the "cameras" mounted on the light poles up and down Grant Road are to monitor traffic and control the signals, which makes no sense if we are still sitting at a red light with no one else around. Why aren't we using cameras to ticket speeders and red-light runners? I saw that in Switzerland 30 years ago, is there a reason that hasn't caught on here?

Posted by Local Woman
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 10, 2018 at 1:59 am

Might be a good idea for there to be some traffic slowing provisions as you exit the highway and reach the lights at El Camino and Grant Road. Perhaps some bumps in the road starting a while back could help slow cars down and stop drivers from going through red lights at least in that direction.

Posted by Games from the 101/85 users
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2018 at 5:34 am

Traffic as you approach ECR from west bound 237 is exacerbated by small ego drivers insistent on trying to stay ahead of the guy behind them. They'll slow way down but remain in the lane, not exiting until the very last second. The combination of people doing that at the 101 exit as well as the 85 exit results in bogging down traffic as you come into MV. Note to these drivers: Move over and get passed. It's gonna happen with it better next time though.

Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2018 at 7:20 am

Some people should not drive at all. It is easy to see people with little control in their lives acting aggressively when they get behind the wheel.
Perhaps large employers could stagger hours to relieve congestion or allow more workers to work from remote or satellite locations.

Posted by Concerned
a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2018 at 11:49 am

The whole Bay Area doesn’t have the infrastructure to support the rising population. Housing units and companies adding more employees keep getting approved without a thought as to how people can get from point A to point B.

Also as pedestrians we are only allowed to enter the intersection when the walk sign is on. If it is flashing or solid hand you are not supposed to enter into the intersection. People just cross as long as the light is green or turning yellow not allowing drivers to turn left or right.

We are living in a society of Silicon Valley engineers who believe rules are for suckers and have no regard for human life. They just say oh it was an accident.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Jul 10, 2018 at 12:50 pm

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

Posted by shoreline
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 11, 2018 at 3:29 pm

I have lived in Mt View 25 years and right from the start i noticed that lack of Right Turning lanes at Shoreline & Middlefield is an issue. People Don't always know what to do there and its bad intersection for people running red lights. I try to avoid this intersection.

Posted by Me
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2018 at 4:13 pm

if a light has a countdown timer you can cross while flashing, as long as you are able to complete the crossing in time.

Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 11, 2018 at 4:42 pm

According to California Vehicle Code section 21456, the flashing pedestrian light and the countdown timer mean:

A flashing “DON’T WALK” or “WAIT” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol with a “countdown” signal indicating the time remaining for a pedestrian to cross the roadway means a pedestrian facing the signal may start to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal but must complete the crossing prior to the display of the steady “DON’T WALK” or “WAIT” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol when the “countdown” ends.

Prior to last year, the vehicle code had no mention of countdown timers, so many people were confused. The above text is the current law, so stop blasting your horn at pedestrians!

Posted by MV_driver
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 11, 2018 at 5:43 pm

MV_driver is a registered user.

@ Games from the 101/85 users

do you know how close the entry ramp and exit ramp are with the exits you mentioned? the car in front of you might have to slow down to allow incoming car(s) to enter the freeway, and merge onto the exit within a short distance.

use your peripheral vision and evaluate the entire situation, not just the car in front of you. and i am sure not all the drivers in front of you is out to slow you down thinking they are playing a game with you. your license should be re-considered if you think driving is a game.

Posted by PJ
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 13, 2018 at 12:12 pm

I grew up in Los Altos and have lived in Mountain View for 25 years now and am constantly shocked at how terrible the traffic has become. What I found interesting about this article in the actual paper (not online) is that the article about the increase in collisions was on the left front page and on the right front page was an article about the City Council approving the building of a multi-story office building at the corner of California and San Antonio road instead of a school as originally planned. How many more multi-story buildings can the city support? My condo community sits next to a 2 story apartment complex that will be replaced with a multi-story apartment complex with one parking space for each unit - how realistic is that? I think the Council needs to coordinate traffic planning with new construction planning and rearrange their priorities or the city will become unlivable.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 15, 2018 at 9:39 pm

The driving style here is a reflection of people's attitude, which has been grating on me for a while. I've lived all over the world in my life, enough to see the differences between people and cultures.

The Bay Area has this attitude of "my time is more important than yours, out of my way". It happens while driving, it happens in line at the movies, it happens at the farmer's market. People are rushing everywhere, it's exhausting.

Part of that is that we simply don't have enough infrastructure for everyone here - and I mean movie theaters, super markets, shops, restaurants, so we always have lines. Another reason is that we are zoned in this silly way where everyone lives in one place, works in another, and we all commute down the same congested corridors, this breeds stress. We have an aversion to mixed development. We also have an underclass who commutes in from hours away to work low paying jobs, which high paying people depend on, and that's not easy on the psyche either.

Chill out, people. Take it a little easier. And next time someone proposes a new store, or shop or bus stop in your neighborhood, don't fight against it.

Posted by commuter
a resident of Whisman Station
on Aug 20, 2018 at 11:05 am

The left turn onto E Middlefield Rd from the offramp/road from 237 West is constantly plagued by people trying to make left turns from the middle lane which is clearly marked on the street with a straight arrow. I don't know why people think they can make a left turn from there but please make it clearer because me and my coworkers have all had near-accident experiences multiple times over the past year from this intersection.

Posted by Joe Musgraves
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 20, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Too many people + too many cars = increased chances for accidents.

Other factors....being in a hurry & a larger number of newer drivers on the road.

Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 23, 2018 at 4:02 pm


Yes, YOU!

Put the phone down.

Posted by Almost Hit By Red Light Running Car At ElCamino & 237
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2018 at 2:28 pm

Almost Hit By Red Light Running Car At ElCamino & 237 is a registered user.

Was almost hit this afternoon by a car speeding through from Grant Rd to 237 well after the light had changed - so fortunate I slowly moved forward on El Camino after the lights had turned green & I could stop promptly - I will try and avoid this intersection - was frightening thinking how close came to being in a crash. Hope there are red light cameras capturing footage and number plates of those running the lights.

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