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Mountain View pushes for tighter traffic rules on North Bayshore tech employers

Original post made on Dec 10, 2021

Looking to control future traffic woes caused by massive growth in North Bayshore, Mountain View City Council members approved a new plan Tuesday that puts even tighter restrictions on tech employers.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 9, 2021, 7:55 PM

Comments (17)

Posted by Yonatan
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 10, 2021 at 1:57 pm

Yonatan is a registered user.

Such a Bay Area thing: Stop services and make life harder for the people in and around the city in the cause of the environment and then refuse to address any of the root causes of why people might be forced to drive everywhere.
Maybe if it wasn't going to take 3 decades to build all of the housing that is scheduled in North Bayshore, I would be more understanding.
But as is, this town is turning into a playground of the hyper-rich and the retirees.

Posted by Rob Huebner
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Dec 10, 2021 at 2:48 pm

Rob Huebner is a registered user.

All the ‘dissuading’ of car use in the world will do exactly nothing until people actually have alternatives. Realigning a few roads is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Forget laying down more asphalt and put all that money into public transit and bike infrastructure improvements. The best car-free cities on earth are that way because the public transit is so good that people actually want to take it. There is no other way, and to pretend otherwise is just a thinly-veiled attempt to distract from this atrocity of planning, if you can even call it that. I’ve personally sat for hours just trying to get home, moving literally inches in minutes on Shoreline due to Amphitheater traffic. The calamity isn’t coming, it’s already here.

Posted by Johnny Yuma
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 10, 2021 at 4:08 pm

Johnny Yuma is a registered user.

After all of the growth and expansion that has been promoted and supported by Mountain View, now the city is going to turn up the heat on Google and Microsoft reduce traffic congestion? Push them and they’re liable to move to Texas…

Posted by LongResident
a resident of another community
on Dec 10, 2021 at 5:35 pm

LongResident is a registered user.

Build all the new apartments and these residents need to get to work. They take Shoreline and Rengstorff up to 101... but less than half are headed into Google offices within the city. Why do you think 101 is so busy even with new lanes?

Posted by Michael Menning
a resident of another community
on Dec 10, 2021 at 9:31 pm

Michael Menning is a registered user.

Put a 20%-of-profit penalty on every company with a high average-vehicle miles-per-employee-per-week and a 20 % of-profit-reward on every company with a low average-vehicle-miles-per-employee-per-week. You will be surprised how rapidly companies will become innovative. Besides implementing a four day work week, encouraging car pools and public transportation, and hiring people who can walk or bike to work...... working-from-home ( near by or distant ) will suddenly be very attractive to the employers. They will even be able to spend on implementing working-from-home if it results in a financial reward. If high tech workers can move out of the area and work-from-home with their existing employer, then more local homes will become available for the hands-on workers that need to remain nearby. Other benefits ??? Well, there's reduced traffic, fewer accidents, lower insurance, fewer roadway maintenance costs, retention of the suburb atmosphere, nicer homes for remote high tech workers, the ability of work-from-home employees to change jobs without upsetting family life, affordable homes for hands-on workers,.... the list goes on. The downside is that current housing prices would fall. (Is that really a downside ? ) For those who argue that a work-from-home atmosphere isn't doable, if you examine the benefits it is worth putting in the effort to make it work. Yes, it will take adjustment. Oversight and mentoring of remote employees is a skill that will need to be learned. Social life needs to shift from the work location to the home location. You will need to make Zoom a part of your daily life. Eventually remote employees will grow to like living on a big lot where individual homes are not separated from the neighbor's by redwood fences. It will take adjustment, but in the end it solves a lot of major problems. Technology has given us a way to distribute the population that was previously unavailable. We need to take advantage of it.

Posted by Seth Neumann
a resident of Waverly Park
on Dec 10, 2021 at 9:52 pm

Seth Neumann is a registered user.

well the answer is not to build offices! We can not build our way out of our housing shortage: we need to attack the demand side by not creating any more good jobs here and encouraging companies to leave and take their jobs with them. When are those 5,000 Tesloids going to move to Austin anyway? (According to the WaPo Austin is the least affordable city in the country outside of California). If we remove good jobs, then demand for housing will fall and get closer to balance. No more new jobs until housing prices such that a young couple who don't work in tech can afford to buy a home!

Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Dec 10, 2021 at 10:46 pm

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

Seth, I've seen you post this before, but you never back it up with any reasoning. Why can't we build our way out of our housing shortage?

Posted by MidtownMadness
a resident of another community
on Dec 11, 2021 at 12:21 pm

MidtownMadness is a registered user.

"City officials are expecting [traffic] to come back with a vengeance once the city's high-density vision for the area is completed".

Why? High density layouts are far better for traffic than low density. Do you want many people living near jobs and amenities (making car commutes shorter and walking/biking more practical) or many people distributed far away from jobs/amenities (making car trips longer and walking/biking impractical, so all trips become car trips)?

Instead of fining people who are just trying to get to work, or complaining about tech companies creating good local jobs, let's try actually building enough (dense) housing to meet the demand from all those people and put it near where the jobs are.

Posted by Juan
a resident of another community
on Dec 11, 2021 at 1:15 pm

Juan is a registered user.

Charging people $5 to $13 to drive to Shoreline Lake is not tenable. The MV City Council needs to go back to the drawing board with that one.

Posted by That MV guy
a resident of North Whisman
on Dec 11, 2021 at 3:04 pm

That MV guy is a registered user.

It's already a huge traffic mess out there. They will need to add another exit/entrance from the freeway someday between Rengstorff and Shoreline. And just wait for a concert day when the roads already backed up and creeping along.

I don't own a car and I find getting around very difficult. Public transportation is severely lacking and Uber-type rides too expensive. Good luck with getting high tech workers out of their cars.

This massive build-up should never have happened.

Posted by Bob123
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Dec 11, 2021 at 3:36 pm

Bob123 is a registered user.

Instead of treating tech employees like locust and acting like a deer in the headlights - local government officials could do their jobs, embrace the new tax revenues that these companies bring in, and build out new infrastructure.

I am sure tech employees hate being stuck in traffic, but what are the alternatives? The VTA, which goes from Cal train, to nowhere useful, at 10 miles per hour, and has the 2nd to last farebox recovery ratio *IN THE WORLD* (revenues cover 10% of the cost to run the system). Web Link

But no... It is too hard for government officials to do their jobs. Instead, they do nothing, complain, and try to mask their incompetence by blaming others.

Posted by LongResident
a resident of another community
on Dec 11, 2021 at 3:50 pm

LongResident is a registered user.

We can't build our way out of the housing imbalance because there is no limit or cap on the amount of new office space being added. Take this Vallco project in Cupertino. It's going to add 2400 units, half subsidized BMR. Sounds good. But it's also going to add 10,000 jobs in the same fiasco.

There is some ultimate limit on the number of jobs, but the biggest problem is they are shifting locations. The jobs density in cities like San Francisco and the Downtown part of San Jose is not increasing as much as the jobs density in Sunnyvale and Mountain View. So when old office parks are torn down in San Jose the jobs move here.....

Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Dec 11, 2021 at 5:10 pm

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

I had, perhaps wrongly, assumed that Seth meant we cannot build our way out of the housing crisis (by building housing.) It seemed unreasonable to assume otherwise.

LongResident, please don't be roode and try to answer the specific things that people are taking about rather than distracting with misleading statistics, as you usually do.

Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 12, 2021 at 10:40 am

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

Good for the Mountain View City Council for taking action to control future traffic woes caused by massive job and housing growth.

Sadly, it's necessary to force the techies to eat the same dog food that they want to foist on long-term residents, so they understand the downsides of their advocacy. Enacting "solutions" that force people to take transit, walk or bike around the city are nothing but cruel unless adequate, affordable public transit alternatives exist.

“Councilwoman Lisa Matichak said this is hardly what she had envisioned for North Bayshore, which was meant to be car-light and focused so heavily on alternative forms of transportation that it would lead to the free flow of cars.” Keywords: ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF TRANSPORTATION

“[Congestion pricing] raises a whole host of questions, including whether low-income service workers should be exempt; whether it would have a chilling effect on hiring restaurant and retail workers; ” Converting free public parking to paid parking raises the same questions. If we want to punish driving per se, congestion pricing seems more fair. Let's be honest: those who don't own cars but rely on Uber and Amazon delivery contribute to the problem too. The traffic congestion problems are CAUSED by the insistence of massive job growth in MV. Seems fair that those on the "jobs" side of the equation to pay for the solution. I'd rather that Google pay instead of it's workers, though.

“All the ‘dissuading’ of car use in the world will do exactly nothing until people actually have alternatives.” @Rob Huebner nailed it. “The best car-free cities on earth are that way because the public transit is so good that people actually want to take it. There is no other way ...” Nailed it again.

“Public transportation is severely lacking and Uber-type rides too expensive. Good luck with getting high tech workers out of their cars.” Agreed. Thx, @That MV guy

Hate cars? Please fight for better transportation alternatives in MV. Many of us would love to live car-free if only we could.

Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Dec 12, 2021 at 11:01 am

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

Leslie, I think you need to look inward on your motivations and anger you hold towards your neighbors. It's present in every one of your posts, a disdain, and sometimes even hatred, for a certain segment of your fellow Mountain View residents.

Certainly, someone in your family that cares about must have reached out to you and asked you to slow down. Please listen to them.

Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 13, 2021 at 11:52 am

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

Randy, I don't believe a MAJORITY of residents approve of the changes that are being FORCED UPON us. I received one vaguely worded postcard back in April to solicit feedback re R3 rezoning. No additional public meetings have been scheduled since that time. Web Link

R3 rezoning is a STEALTH PROJECT for which the majority of residents are not even aware!!!

In March, Google announced massive Bay Area expansion plans. “Google's East Whisman and North Bayshore include a combined total of nearly 9,000 homes in [MV] alone.” Web Link

In April, “The city of [MV] is looking to revamp its residential zoning … with an eye toward increased density that could lead to the construction of 9,000 new homes.” Web Link

Coincidence? I think not.

“Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga said she wanted to see the development of ownership housing in the form of stacked-flat construction, yet there's little guarantee that developers won't just use the density boost to build new rental units instead. She said she is not interested in incentivizing ... high-cost luxury apartments. Abe-Koga also underscored that the R3 zoning changes are drastic, and that there hasn't been enough public outreach.”

I am not opposed to housing, as long as urban planning is performed to ensure the results are positive. Supporters of density seem to grow livid when one raises any concern about the impact on local schools, water supply, traffic congestion, or parking.

The article provides evidence that concerns about traffic congestion are not just a lame NIMBY excuse to prevent more housing. I don't understand why my call for TRANSPORTATION SOLUTIONS upsets you so.

Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Dec 13, 2021 at 12:26 pm

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

Leslie, please stop shouting in every one of your posts.

Do you think the people of the city of Mountain View should be allowed to choose which people are allowed to live here?

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