Town Square

Safer stoplights OK'd

Original post made on May 16, 2013

Two busy intersections should soon be much safer after the City Council unanimously voted to replace a pair of aging stoplights on Middlefield Road and California Street Tuesday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 16, 2013, 1:05 PM


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Posted by enough
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 16, 2013 at 2:13 pm

2 stoplights. $607,000? Are you kidding me? Clearly the city has too much money. I wonder how much those speed humps are? or those silly roundabouts with 4 signs,irrigated and electrified that get ripped out when the sewer needs to be replaced. We have some silly people that we elected.

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Slater
on May 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm

East Middlefield Way ? I don't think there is such a street. Now there is an East Middlefield Road, and it does cross Whisman Road, but you won't find either listed on the 2011 Chamber of Commerce map index. Where are the fact checkers

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Posted by James
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 16, 2013 at 2:52 pm

I hope they are replacing the light on North Whisman where I was hit by a car on my bike a few years ago.

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Posted by capta
a resident of Castro City
on May 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm

$607,000? I'll replace the two lights for a 24-pack of Heineken.

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Posted by Wow
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 16, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Wow, that much to fix this and it's really not much of a fix. Is this the cost of Union contractors doing the job? If it is, I know 10 people that would do the job for 1/2 the price.

No wonder the Government is always begging for more money.

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Posted by Tired of the wait
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 16, 2013 at 3:24 pm

They could save some money if they used the stoplight at Grant Road and Bryant Ave. It has a protected left turn light from southbound Grant Road onto Bryant, but there are hardly any pedestrians crossing to warrant it (Mtn View high students cross Bryant well before they get to Grant Road). Residents in that neighborhood would be glad see a general green light that would allow cars can turn left after yielding to oncoming traffic.

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Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 16, 2013 at 3:34 pm

The folks writing most of the posts above (especially 'Wow') have no idea how cities actually operate when they do projects like this. Cities do not have in-house specialists who can replace traffic signals, put in new fiber optic cables, etc like this will involve. They put out a contract for private firms to bid on competitively. The cost reported in the article is just the cost of doing work like this... if Google or Intuit wanted to do similar work on their campuses it would cost about the same. Now if you don't think changes are needed to the signals or crosswalks, that's a different thing. But the next time a pedestrian or bicyclist is injured or killed in an accident at one of these outdated intersections, ask their families and friends whether it would have been worth it to spend $600k to invest in safety improvements.

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Posted by moreon
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 16, 2013 at 4:36 pm

$600K for 2 stoplights is ridiculous. That's the cost of 4 or 5 city employees before benefits. So, maybe it's a good deal I guess:) Google can spend whatever they want. Google is a public company making $3.5 billion dollars per quarter. The city of Mountain View doesn't make 3.5 billion dollars per quarter. Spend it or lose it. That's how city, state, federal budgeting works. Stop the waste. Good job on the smoking and plastic bags though:)

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Posted by cheaper solution
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 16, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Instead of installing these expensive new left turn lanes, just ban left turns at these intersections. Drivers can go around the block to turn left. San Francisco bans left turns at many dangerous intersections and it seems to work well.

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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 17, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Remember when the city installed the arrow signal light at Bryant and Grant, remember the lines of cars backed up. Cars backed up with inpatient drivers cutting off oncoming cars.

Oh yes ban left turns, have drivers make U turns or back out of driveways. Most people hate S.F. due to the amount of no turns.

How about ban no right turns on red.

Yes prices go up, you can't expect to get everything cheap when even the price of dog food goes up.

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Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on May 18, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Curb and median work is also included in the dollar figure cited. While the lights themselves may not be too expensive, the controllers to operate them are quite pricey. They have very high reliability and fail-safe standards that they must meet.

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Posted by Will
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2013 at 11:35 am

Re 'Cheaper solution', whether or not using right turns to substitute for banned left turns works in SF, it obviously won't work here: Try making a left from Whisman northbound onto Middlefield N/E-bound by right turns -- it turns out to be a 1.7 mile detour. The south to east movement is not so bad but I don't think the locals would appreciate flooding commute traffic into a residential area/school zone.