Over 200 bike-related injuries in five years

A bicyclist is injured every nine days in Mountain View, on average, according to data compiled this week by the police department. Bicyclists say they want city officials to take note of where injuries happen and find solutions to make bicycling safer.

The city has seen 203 bike-related injuries since September of 2007, according to the data compiled at the request of the Voice. None of the injuries were fatal. By press time, police could not clarify how many of the bike-related injuries involved cars or exactly how many involved hurt bicyclists.

Most of the injuries, 167 of them, occurred at intersections along the city's busiest traffic arteries with speed limits of 35 miles per hour or more. El Camino Real leads the list, with 47 bike-related injuries, followed by Rengstorff Avenue (31 injuries), California Street (27), Shoreline Boulevard (24) and San Antonio Road (14).

"I think that's really important data to pay attention to," said Eugene Cordero, Mountain View resident and meteorology professor at San Jose State University. "As a bicyclist whose primary mode of transportation is a bike, it's very alarming to hear we've had over 200 accidents in the last five years."

"I would encourage the City Council to use that number of 200 injuries and say, we want to reduce that by 75 percent in the next three to five years," Cordero said.

City officials have apparently not regularly considered such data while planning the city's bike infrastructure. It was compiled by police spokesperson Jaime Garrett for this story.

"If there are clusters of injuries it would seem to make sense to figure out why those areas are dangerous and make them safer," said Elly Phillips, who regularly bikes with her 4-year-old son in tow on a trailer bike.

The city's much-loved Stevens Creek Trail does not run near Phillips' home, near El Monte Avenue and El Camino Real, so her top priority is "having bike lanes that are safe."

Fastest, but not safest

Cyclists say the most dangerous streets in Mountain View also happen to be some of the best, most direct routes for cyclists. That's unfortunate because, as Mountain View cyclist and blogger Janet LaFleur points out in her blog, "at 20 mph, 85 percent of pedestrians or cyclists hit by cars will survive. At 40 mph, 85 percent will die."

After last week's story on the state of the city's bike network, cyclists logged on to the Voice's Town Square forum to say they agree that there's still much more work to do. They expressed, among other things, concern about the removal of bike lanes on Calderon Avenue, a lack of bike lanes on El Camino Real and a busy stretch of Middlefield Road near San Antonio Road, and bike boulevards that don't favor bike traffic over car traffic, like Palo Alto's bike boulevards do.

Mountain View has 54 miles of designated bike routes and a bronze rating for bike friendliness from the League of American Bicyclists. But as reported last week, the city's efforts to increase safety for bicyclists are on hold. Bike lanes that run the length of Calderon Avenue and San Antonio Road from California Street to El Camino Real are the only new bike route projects planned, aside from creekside trail extensions that are unfunded and years away. Both bike lane projects are unfunded, estimated to cost $340,000 and $1.3 million respectively.

"I definitely think the city should prioritize improvements for areas where they have the most injury," LaFleur said She also called for "prioritizing routes that involve schools."

LaFleur said it's worthwhile to compare Palo Alto's success in encouraging Gunn High School students to bike with the number of bicyclists at Mountain View High School, as both schools are tucked away at the edge of their respective cities and require riding on similar roads. Over 696 Gunn students reportedly rode their bikes to school on a single day in October last year, while 171 bikes were counted at Mountain View High on August 28 this year, said Assistant Principal Donna Peltz in an email. Gunn had similar numbers over a decade ago, recording 180 students on bikes in 1999.

"I live within a couple tenths of a mile from two schools," LaFleur said. "A lot of the kids who go to those schools have to cross those roads" where cars go over 35 miles per hour. "So almost every parent feels that it's only safe if they drive their kids to school, which results in more traffic."

Low income residents need a boost

After the death of William Ware, a pedestrian at a bus stop who was killed this year by a car speeding down California, resident Jarrett Mullen called for the narrowing California Street from four lanes to three to allow wider bike lanes and to slow traffic.

"If you see cars barreling by at 50 to 60 miles per hour when the speed limit is 35, that has an impact on your well-being," said Mullen, leader of the Rengstorff Great Streets Initiative, which aims to make streets near Rengstorff Park safer and more pleasant for the many residents there without cars. "If you feel unsafe, you are going to feel stressed, you are going to feel marginalized. There is large number of people interested in riding but they don't feel safe, so they don't."

Cordero said he agreed that the Rengstorff area is "pretty under-served." "When you build good bike infrastructure, such as buffered bike lanes, people feel safer," Cordero said. "And ultimately, I think it really improves the community."

San Jose is a good example of a city "systematically" improving its bike network, Cordero said.

"I work in downtown San Jose and the transformation there has been amazing." Cordero said, referring to 6 miles of new "extra-buffer bike lanes" there, including some that create a protected bike lane between parked cars and the curb.

Cordero also points to the Shoreline Boulevard overpass over Highway 101 as another dangerous place for cyclists, and says a brightly-painted bike lane where speeding cars cross paths with cyclists to get on and off the freeway would be a big help.

"I would invite the City Council members to do that ride themselves," Cordero said of that section of Shoreline he uses to get to Gold's Gym, and which numerous Google employees might also bike if it were safer. "Then they might feel more motivated to find a solution. Maybe we should start doing rides around Mountain View with City Council members."

Phillips had similar comments.

"It's like nobody has gone along my route of travel and said, 'How can you get safely down this street?'" Phillips said.

Phillips said one her pet peeves is garbage cans left in bike lanes, which can cause a danger for her and her son when she has to ride around them.

"I feel like the city is focused on cars and not on bicyclists or pedestrians, which is a shame," Phillips said. "I find so many place are easily bike-able, even with a small kid. The distances aren't huge. It's the logistics, like crossing El Camino Real."


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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 13, 2012 at 11:10 am

As a bike commuter I find the inaction of the city employees to any request from the residents of the city for traffic mitigation for cars, pedestrian, bikes bordering on neglect if not incompetence.

Any request to public works gets a "study", or we will look into it, or send a petition around and we'll "study" it so you can send another petition around to study the study. Or some acronym that applies. Anything so the job is put off or not done at all.

Shortcutting, speeding etc are met with a shrug and "what can we do?"

Or the county owns central and you have to sit in traffic on Moffet and Rengstorff and bikes have to squeeze through the mess.

But hey, if your an out of town developer, no problems!

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Posted by Sparty
a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 13, 2012 at 11:37 am

"As a bike commuter I find the inaction of the city employees to any request from the residents of the city for traffic mitigation for cars, pedestrian, bikes bordering on neglect if not incompetence."

As a pedestrian, driver, bike owner, public transit user, park and rider user... I find the the attitude and arrogance of a huge number of cyclists best.

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Posted by commuter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 13, 2012 at 11:50 am

A big reason that bicycles ride carelessly around town is poorly designed bicycle routes. If roads are narrow, bicyclists are afraid to stop at stop signs because there is little room for them to stop without being squeezed by turning cars or run down from behind. Better designed bicycle routes that give bicyclists more room and protection from cars will encourage them to ride more safely.

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Posted by Zeus
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 13, 2012 at 12:25 pm

The scariest situations while driving in Mountain View are bicylists who have no lights when riding at night, bicylists who ride through four way stop sign intersections without coming to a stop, bicylists who think the rules of riding equate to whatever bicylists desire. In short, far too many bicylists are obnoxous, self-serving and arrogant children who do not realize they invariably lose when tangling with powered vehicles.

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Posted by T
a resident of Willowgate
on Sep 13, 2012 at 12:55 pm

I hate cyclists and bike riders. The Arrogance, the choice to only follow the laws that provide advantages to them. Why should bike riders get preferential treatment when they're a extremely small minority of the population that uses the roads. It's ridiculous...

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Posted by Jess B. Safe
a resident of Castro City
on Sep 13, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Funny, I find drivers to be far more arrogant and selfish...daily on both my 30 min commutes. Oh they also seem to regularly kill a lot more people, and tailgate, and speed, and regularly kill people, and refuse to use their turn signals, and regularly kill people, and play games where they just HAVE to be ahead of the other guy, and regularly kill people. Then they will point out some ego issue they have like "I find all cyclists to be arrogant".
Well that's YOUR ego issue. Quit complaining about the irritating fly in the swarm of killer bees. I guess some think if they can point blame at others, they won't have to change their ways.

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Posted by Dad
a resident of Castro City
on Sep 13, 2012 at 1:05 pm

T, replace the term "Cyclists" and "bike riders" with the phrase "Black guy" Your bigotry will then be apparent. My 7 year old daughter is a cyclist. So are most of her friends. I fear for their lives with the hate filled language I hear from some of the comments here.
Its no wonder so many are killed by cars each day with attitudes like that. Arrogant cyclists? Uh huh.

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Posted by back to the subject
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Better question? How many car vs. car accidents in the city of Mountain View during the same period. I'm sure it is much higher. And really if you can't parse out how many of the incidents were car vs bike or car vs pedestrian what good is the number?
I agree that the lack of concern over traffic flow in Mountain View is outrageous. Who puts that many workers (Google) in an area with only three small roads to access it.
And who builds new housing that offers .7 (that's less than one) parking spaces per unit?
Mountain View has lost their mind. They are too busy trying to keep up with Palo Alto to realize we have our own set of problems with a MUCH different make-up of people.

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Slater
on Sep 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm

"T, replace the term "Cyclists" and "bike riders" with the phrase "Black guy" Your bigotry will then be apparent. My 7 year old daughter is a cyclist. So are most of her friends. I fear for their lives with the hate filled language I hear from some of the comments here.

Dear Dad, riding a bike is optional, being black is not. Please don't cheapen a serious social issue by comparing it to riding a bicycle.

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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of another community
on Sep 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Our City Council is too busy placating developers to be concerned about bicyclists and other Developerville (nee Mountain View) residents.

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Posted by Defensive Cyclist
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I don't have the facts, but I too often see cyclists and pedestrians cross streets, driveways, etc. without even looking first. It doesn't matter who has the right of way, you have to figure who will win when there's a connection between you and a car. As a cyclist and motorcyclist, I use the defensive approach and assume I am invisible and make sure I get out of the way. Good advice for others.

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Posted by Bettina
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm

The whole article is irrelevant if you can't tell me how many of those 203 accidents were with cars and bikes. Most accidents cyclist have are do to inattention (for example, hitting a curb or pot hole or riding into an obstacle, ie a piece of wood in the bike lane, answering the cell phone) As far as the disparaging comments towards cyclist, there will always be discourteous cyclist and discourteous drivers. We all need to be a wee bit more civilized to one another.

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Posted by sparty
a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm

How can anyone say with a straight face that cyclists don't feel they are exempt from traffic laws? Do they EVER stop for red lights on sand hill rd?

Any explanation for the "Bicycles must stop" signs Stanford put up on campus? Must be a conspiracy. STANFORD HATES CYCLISTS!!!11!!1

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Posted by Safety first
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm

The roads are a dangerous place, whether you are on a bike or foot or car. With all the modern gadgets, people are to distracted from what they are actually doing and that is getting from point A to B.

To be safe, you need to know what is happening all around you, front, back, left and right. 100% of your concentration needs to go to making sure of your surroundings. If you are unsure of something, make eye contact with the other person, to know what they are about to do.

Bottom line, with the population explosion, accidents will happen at a greater rate.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Sep 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm

AMAZED at the hatred toward bicyclists! Every cyclist is a car not taking up space on the road. Two interesting points from this article: First, if the injury statistics aren't broken out better, they're worthless. Hitting a tree on your bike is a lot different then being run over in the bike lane, for example... Can't wait to see what the injury report looks like after our billion dollar bike share program launches. Second, regarding the bike lanes on Calderon: why would the city spend money to install them, then grind them out, and now want to reinstall them? Pretty frivolous.

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Posted by Jay
a resident of Castro City
on Sep 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm

sparty, do you think drivers feel "exempt" from the law when they drive over the speed limit on 280?
Do jaywalkers feel "exempt"? No I think exempt is the wrong word.
They probably feel ambivalent. I know when I am on 280 above the speed limit, I think,"This is no big deal, I'm being safe"

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Posted by NeHi
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm

I commuted from Mtn. View to Palo Alto almost every day during the '70s and '80 without a problem. When El Camino was "improved" from 2 to 3 lanes I wouldn't ride it.

One thing that has changed over the last 20 years is the number of bicyclists who are willing to trust their lives to the unknown skills and attention of motorists. I learned early on to ride as if I were invisible, knowing that most of the time I was, and had no trouble.

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Posted by Dad
a resident of Castro City
on Sep 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm

@Bob nice try to spin that one but bigotry is bigotry. I did not compare bike riding to the civil rights struggle, I inserted "black guy" to take the veil off people's bigoted statements. When you put in "Black guy" it sounds like REALLY ugly bigotry doesn't it? Bigotry is not dictated on weather its directed at a person who can change what the bigot does not like. Someone could be bigoted against people who wear uniforms(optional), or practice a certain religion(optional). People can even be bigoted about those who use msg boards; thinking they're all closeted cranks festering with anger and using these boards as an outlet

When people say "Cyclists are all rude arrogant lawbreakers. They don't deserve a thing" That is bigotry DEFINED:
"stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own."
I see stubborn and complete intolerance of cyclists by many here.
Their minds are made up and that's that. "All cyclists suck" Right?
Bigotry Bob, Bigotry. Sorry to be the mirror.

I have kids who ride bikes with their friends all over town and I want them to be safe. Some are so blinded by angry ego they will fight against that. Unreal.

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Posted by Sandy
a resident of Gemello
on Sep 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm

@sparty: Sand Hill Road? Stanford? Sounds like your complaints are with Palo Alto cyclists, not MV.

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Posted by Al
a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm

The cops must have stats on car+bike accidents. I was in an accident on my bike where the car was found to be at fault. There was a police report (which the MV cops have), insurance claims, paper trail, etc etc etc.

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Posted by mikey
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 13, 2012 at 6:52 pm

There is no story here without context such as:

How many bike injuries per passenger mile? Is this rate higher than comparable cities?
How many car injuries per passenger mile? Is this rate higher than comparable cities?
How many of the 203 bike injuries have anything to do with anything the city could conceivably control? Does it include the 8 year old who skins her knee in the driveway?

The city is quite right to ignore hyperventilated panic from the kinds of people who can't tell the difference between their kid on a bike and Harriet Tubman. Keep up the good work.

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Posted by Martin
a resident of Castro City
on Sep 13, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Yes, Palo Alto has better bike routes than Mountain View.

Yes, cyclists should respect traffic rules.

No, having to mark a full stop every 30 seconds is not right. Cars don't have to do that because they have fast roads which is great for them but totally unsafe for cyclists.

Mountain View should have bike boulevards like Palo Alto. This is merely about repainting intersections in such that bikes don't have to stop all the time and planting a tree in the middle of the road once a mile so that cars won't use it as their own expressway.

I bet that most drivers complaining about cyclists' arrogance don't even know what bike boulevards are.

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Posted by Dave
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 13, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Simple answer... 2 questions:

1) Does MV need more bike lanes?
2) Do cyclists need to obey rules/etiquette of the road?

Both answers are yes.

I am pro adding more bike routes, but cyclists need to understand that rules of the road are for everyone. They are not optional. They are there for EVERYONEs safety.

As we are talking statistics, most evenings I run Steven's Creek trail... a fantastic facility. I got so annoyed with been buzzed by cyclists, I decided to start keeping track of how many people announce passing. For the past 2 weeks the number is less than 20%.... closer to 10%. I spend over an hour on the trail and it seems that speeding around corners, cycling 2 astride, exceeding 20mph (up to 30mph! Web Link) are common practice. If you would like to see this in effect, get on the trail around 5pm as people leave work. This is a multi use trail, it is not a race track.

A bit of etiquette on and off the trail is called for.

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Posted by Ray Morneau
a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 14, 2012 at 2:00 am

Ray Morneau is a registered user.

Good topic, Mr. DeBolt!
Lots of community interest!
Great comments by many fellow residents!

I'm all for this concept of everybody getting along -
- but, I've got this me-me-me ego, too -
- just like everyone else posting here.

I think we've actually done remarkably well to put down our caveman clubs and calmly wield wicked weighty words like incompetence, arrogance, bigotry, irrelevant, hate ... yes, we are doing quite well.

You've seen me on the streets, I have read Calif. Veh. Code: "21200. (a) A person riding a bicycle or operating a pedicab upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle ...except those provisions which by their very nature can have no application." ... so, bike lanes are a gift, not an entitlement ... a welcomed gift nonetheless ... yes, I wear my bike helmet=)

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Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 14, 2012 at 7:44 am

To those questioning the usefulness of the injury data: Collision and injury data is used by traffic engineers to evaluate whether an intersection or stretch or road is well designed, whether it's a single or multi-vehicle collision. The same should be done for bike and pedestrian related collisions and injuries.

For their bike plan, Palo Alto evaluated this data and used it to form the recommendations. See the maps link on the Palo Alto bike plan web page: Web Link

One other thing: the injury data on higher-speed roads like El Camino and Rengstorff are not necessarily because people are bicycling on those roads. Many injuries occur where smaller, more bike-friendly streets cross these roads. Even with a traffic signal, crossing higher-speed roads is often the most dangerous part of a biking or walking trip. And virtually all trips of more than a half mile in Mountain View involve crossing one of these higher-speed, more dangerous roads.

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Posted by kman
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 14, 2012 at 9:18 am

"If you see cars barreling by at 50 to 60 miles per hour when the speed limit is 35, that has an impact on your well-being, said Mullen"

If that is the case, than the solution is not to narrow the street, but to get police involved.

This is a no brainer, and way cheaper.

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Posted by Old Yeller
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm

@Dave, announcing one's self on the trail has declined much over the years, for me anyways, for 2 main reasons. Of late, its repeatedly gotten me yelled at: "Shut up!", "Enough" and mostly it just fell on deaf ears because they were filled with ear plugs from an mp3 player.

Since there is no law making me announce, I do so only when I feel its needed, taking responsibility for my own safety and expecting others to do the same. There are many times when I need to slow almost to a stop, or announce myself before passing, but the days of doing it all the time are long gone, I feel, for the reason's I gave above.

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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 15, 2012 at 8:39 pm

As the discussion fizzles out into cars versus bikes and bike versus pedestrians and the politicians and city staff sit back and watch and do nothing.

Putting up a sign on a street and calling it a "bike boulevard"
doesn't make it so.

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Posted by Judy
a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 16, 2012 at 12:58 pm

We just had another fatality on Californis St last night. A pedestrian was hit crossing the street at 10:30 pm and I saw him draw his last breath. Two fatalities now within a couple of many more have to die before the city does something about the speeding on CA?

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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm

nothing is going to be done.

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Posted by 100% commuter cyclist
a resident of another community
on Sep 16, 2012 at 3:41 pm

@Judy: What happened with the pedestrian? I can't find anything in the local news about it. I find too often that's true: I'll see or hear about a traffic-related tragedy and then see nothing about it in the news.

Not too long ago I saw within a few weeks of each other a downed cyclist on Foothill between I think Hillview and Arastradero and a horrific vehicle-vehicle crash at the intersection of Foothill and Edith (ambulence and police already present in both cases). I saw no reports in the local papers. I wonder if such non-reporting makes people less aware of just how dangerous daily living can be simply because of cars. Imagine if papers like the Mercury or this one kept a front-page, day-by-day count and summary of collisions.

Another issue that I think is often neglected is that too often pedestrians have to go too far out of the way to get where they are going, and so they jaywalk. Sure, the jaywalking is illegal, but it's also understandable if one has a decent amount of objectivity. Take San Antonio and El Camino right now. A huge swath of the NE sidewalk is closed because of construction. I guess a pedestrian going to Trader Joe's, say, is supposed to walk all the way to the next light on El Camino, cross, then walk all the way back, right? Ridiculous.

I think the problem is that people have largely accepted that we -- walking, breathing animals -- are not as important as two-ton hunks of speeding metal and their occupants. It's accepted that non-motorists are supposed to go about their daily lives in ways profoundly shaped by automobiles. That's utter nonsense. Everything good on this earth protests against the iron rule of the automobile.

I take an extreme view, of course, but I'm glad to see that more normal people are also trying to improve our communities.

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Posted by Judy
a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 16, 2012 at 4:06 pm

A pedestrian was crossing the street at Pettis/California. We were at home and heard the impact and my husband ran out and saw the man lying right in front of our house, non-responsive and bleeding badly. He ran in and told me to call 911. I called and told them a man was down and hurt and they send three police cars, none of them touched the man until the fire dept arrived. I don't know if this is protocol but I feel if they started cpr, the man might have lived.
The driver was there and was calling 911 the same time I was. My husband spoke to him and he was obviously shaken and said the man continued crossing the street even though he saw the car coming at him.
The pedestrian was a very large man and the impact was looks like he landed on the windshield. He was either dragged to the front of my house or fell off the car. I looked like the impact was mostly on his left side from the waist up and his head. While waiting for the fire dept to get there I saw his body convulse a couple of times and then he stopped breathing. They started cpr but he was breathing on his own. His stuff was strewn all over the street and the police were on the site all night and through the morning investigating.
Unfortunately, other than the driver there was no one else on the street which was pretty odd. No one saw what happened. The driver did not seem to be intoxicated but they did a sobriety test on him.
I don't know if this will be shared. I also feel lots of accidents happen and we don't know about them. The last time I called 911 was in May when my drunk neighbor decided to get into his car and attempt to cross California St. He didn't make it and ended crashing into another car. Luckily no one was hurt and the drunk neighbor fled. Two weeks early at my same corner a high school graduate crashed into a car on CA that was making left turn on Pettis (so this was the third time in May that I've called 911 due to an accident on CA St. ) Then we had to poor man at the bus stop who lost his life.
I don't know what the answer is, radar/ speed bumps/ one lane, etc., but something has to be done. I no longer walk on CA, especially with my daughter...and go out of my way to cross at stop signs. No one heeds crosswalks in this city. My brother who is a transportation planner in Portland OR, is amazed at how pedestrians and bicyclists are treated in this city, and so am I.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Castro City
on Sep 17, 2012 at 12:36 am

To Zeus, T, and the other bicycle haters:

I'll come to a full stop at every stop sign when you obey the posted speed limit on every road.

Not "I'll go 10 over because the speed limit shouldn't be 35 on California anyway." Not "I'll go 10 over on 101 because I probably won't get pulled over." Not "I'll go 10 over because there's no one around."

Don't complain about bicycles when you break the law every time you drive to and from work.

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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 17, 2012 at 9:00 am

Some amazingly silly comments. Maybe common sense will prevail. I see poor driving, reckless bicyclists , and stupid pedestrians all the time making poor decisions and not making sure that others see them when driving, riding, or crossing streets. You can't design or legislate against stupid people.

My advice is be defensive and try to protect yourself from others. Its not a guarantee of no accidents but clearly better than the alternative.

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Posted by Capt. Stubing
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm

We need to get ride of bikes, cars, and pedestrians. Let's make roads into waterways and enjoy the love.

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Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I look forward to hearing much more about these accidents. How serious they were, the direct cause, any changes to the roads that might have prevented them, how this compares with accident rates for motorists, etc.

I could guess or extrapolate based on the few accidents I know about, but far better to know from real data.

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Posted by Chick-fil-haay!!!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 17, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Looks like another pedestrian was hit and killed. Time for the city council to get off their duffs and do something.


Press Release #12-5457 Contact : Sean Thompson
(650) 740-6411
Fatal Car Accident
On 09/15/12 at approximately 10:23pm, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle at the intersection of California St. and Pettis Ave. in Mountain View. The pedestrian, who was visiting Mountain View from Illinois, was crossing California St. at Pettis Ave. and was struck by a vehicle traveling west on California St. The pedestrian suffered major injuries and was transported to Stanford Hospital where he was pronounced deceased. The Mountain View Police Department is investigating the collision to determine the cause. The driver of the vehicle was not believed to be under the influence of alcohol and excessive speed was not an issue.

The Mountain View Police Department is seeking the public's assistance and is asking that anyone who may have witnessed the collision to contact the Mountain View Police Department. Investigators can be reached at 650-903-6344.

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Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Today on my way to work driving through Mountain View I witnessed an equal amount of drivers and cyclists breaking the law in as many ways possible. I'll have to say the worst were cyclist going against traffic, cutting over streets, and not stopping at signalled intersections. Many were speeding even faster than the cars. drivers were mostly speeding, rolling through stops, and not signalling. The problem is the people driving these machines don't follow the laws. That will always be the problem.

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Posted by John D
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm

@Observer Where did you see cyclists "speeding" in Mountain View? Very few cyclists ride faster than 25 mph on flat ground, and the downhills (i.e. overpasses) are on 35 mph streets.

I'm not saying they didn't break other laws, but let's get real. They may have been riding faster than cars slowed by traffic or riding faster than you would be comfortable doing, but weren't speeding.

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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Nothing is going to done

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Posted by Bruno
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm

I love riding my bike in Mountain View. Church St. is pretty safe and according to that map it doesn't have many accidents. People will judge you from their cars and people will judge you from the street. They judge others to feel better about themselves. As long as you aren't blowing red lights in front of cars or riding at night without a light, you should be fine.

I have a skateboard too. I was given a lecture at Cuesta this weekend from the park security guard telling me that they are not allowed. I'm 35, fully employed and I've been paying taxes for nearly 20 years. I'm going to ride my board. If people are riding their bikes, skating on roller blades and peddling razor scooters, I just don't see the difference.

Stop hating!

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Posted by Eli
a resident of another community
on Sep 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Articles like this make me feel even better for having left Mountain View.

Just spent a weekend taking a friend around Portland showing a Silicon Valley friend the kinds of practices that are standard fare for progressive U.S. bike master plans that are tripling and quadrupling ridership by making it safe and comfortable for everyone (e.g. start by Googling for 'NACTO'), but stunningly absent from Silicon Valley.

Mountain View would be primo for a network of neighborhood greenways, for example, but it doesn't sound like your planners have any knowledge of such emerging practices.

In Seattle, it's really great that you guys are so far behind the curve, because it's so much easier for us to attract the young techies who want to walk and bike. Even if our weather sucks.

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Posted by Shaking Head
a resident of another community
on Sep 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm

A woman today in a hospital parking lot could have died this morning in Mountain View.
For unknown reasons this woman decided to suddenly stop dead center of the driveway to the parking lot to attend to a text on her cell phone.
While she stood there a car approached and lucky for her the driver saw her and stopped in time. Then waited while she continued messing with her phone. Not once did this woman look up to see if it was safe to be where she was. She just walked on looking at her phone as she continued towards another road she had to cross before getting to her job at the hospital.
Makes a person wonder about hospital workers.... are they fit to care for us when they can't even walk across the street safely?

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Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Sep 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Portland and Seattle have advantages that Mountain View doesn't: they are not in California! They have different state laws and different state transportation departments. Caltrans will not allow most of the new ideas in NACTO. San Jose is pushing the boundaries of what is legally allowed by installing "buffered bike lanes" that are not Caltrans-approved. Perhaps San Jose is big enough to get away with it, but Mountain View is not. If you want more modern bike facilities you need to push Caltrans first, Mountain View second.

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Posted by Bikes2work
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 17, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Shaking Head,

This morning I was waiting (on my bicycle) at a traffic light behind a driver putting mascara on. She still had the stick in her hand as she pulled into the intersection. Everyone is distracted.

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Posted by Helut
a resident of Castro City
on Sep 18, 2012 at 9:45 am

@Shaking Head, While I agree about the fact that everyone is distracted, and I, like everyone else reading this have plenty of anecdotal evidence like yours to discuss. Why, though, would you let the act of this one single "hospital worker" to cause you to question the abilities of ALL in such an enormous group? I assume the person was wearing "greens", or some variant of the standard hospital garb. How do you know that person even cared for patients? Many, MANY people who work at the hosp. and wear the hospital garb don't even deal with patients on that level and some never do.
As soon as we stop pointing fingers and saying "See, pedestrians" or "See, cyclist" or "See, drivers"
Everyone slows down, everyone pays attention, everyone obeys the traffic laws, and everyone goes home safely

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Posted by Shaking Head
a resident of another community
on Sep 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Lady was not in uniform but had her lunch bag with her. Regardless of her job at the hospital she was on her way to work and not paying attention.
Today on the other hand... lots of drivers were wearing lead feet and driving fast in and out of traffic to get to work...
Pleas ALL OF US regardless of our mode of travel should be CONSIDERING OTHERS, PAYING ATTENTION and SLOWING DOWN.
Getting to where we are going should NOT BE a death defying act.
It could be your own life you are saving.

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Posted by responsible cyclist
a resident of another community
on Sep 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Lots of talk about the arrogance and entitlement of cyclists here. Pales in comparison to the entitlement of people who think it is normal and acceptable to move their lazy butts down the road in two tons of steel, blowing out the last fumes of a non-renewable resource and expect everyone to cower and follow laws written for their convenience and desire to move unobstructed, with minimal regard to actual safety concerns.

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Posted by harvardmom
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Well who's going to win when it's between a car and a bicycle? Who will be seriously injured (or dead) and who will live with that guilt the rest of their lives? I really need to know why bicyclists aren't required to follow rules made closer to pedestrians than to cars. Bicycles are not cars, yet you see them in line at traffic lights with cars as if they were. They should be using crosswalks, not car lanes. They should never ride side-by-side, but I see it all the time. It's terrifying to be a car driver when bicyclists are around. I'm sorry, you bicyclists; you're not going to like this. You need to be subordinate when cars are around. Looks like the statistics in this article prove me right.

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Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Sep 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm

The words "statistics" and "prove" should not be used in the same sentence.

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Posted by Her kid is the smart one
a resident of Castro City
on Sep 19, 2012 at 7:01 am

Harvardmom summarizes the biggest problem on the road: a driver who thinks pedestrians and bikes should subordinate. Basically "Me first, I'm in a car, get out of my way"
Sorry mom...I'll just stick to obeying the rules of the road as specified by the vehicle code and not worry what you THINK should e the law.

Also, could you do a simple explanation as to how you came to this conclusion:
"Looks like the statistics in this article prove me right."
There is ZERO mention as to how many of these bike accidents were even car related. A kid running into a curb and crashing is considered a bike accident in this report.
You suuuure want your opinion to be fact don't you? well, it isn't so just be safe and try not to kill anyone today because YOU'VE decided everyone else should just get out of your way.

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Posted by Phil Aaronson
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 19, 2012 at 7:06 am

San Antonio between Central and El Camino needs a bike lane badly, and it needs it now. The construction on San Antonio has added to the mess. The sidewalk is closed on one side in Mountain View, and the crosswalk is closed on the other side just over the border in Los Altos. Kids need a safe route to school, and it's a mess right now.

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Posted by Reality.
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 19, 2012 at 8:49 am

The reality is no one seems to be commenting about the responsibility of the bikers themselves. Everyday I see;

Bikers with no helmets
Bikers with headphones on while riding
Bikers on the sidewalks
Bikers weaving between cars
Bikers not adhering to traffic rules, e.g. running lights, not stopping at stop signs, etc..

So maybe what we need are more bike cops to help [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

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Posted by Question on Map
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 19, 2012 at 9:08 am

@MV-Voice, I'm surprised the map doesn't show any incident South of El Camino or East of 85. Was the data really zero or was the data not provided or not available (since a lot of the streets/roads are shared with other cities)?

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Posted by Real-er Reality
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Sep 19, 2012 at 9:41 am

Reality, the drivers have advise for the cyclists and the cyclists have advice for the drivers. Pedestrians have advice for both.
As you make the point yourself, everyone has advice for the other guy but very few admit that they themselves should alter their behavior.
That my friend is the reality. Just read the messages above.

Every day I see cars speeding and rolling right hand turns in front of pedestrians crossing. Every day I see pedestrians crossing mid block or on the red light, and every day I see cyclists running stops w/out helmets.

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Posted by Dad
a resident of Gemello
on Sep 19, 2012 at 9:50 am

Can we get back to the issue: Making the roads safer for our citizens?
How anyone could have any issues with making the roads safer for kids who ride to school by identifying possible hazards and fixing them is beyond me. Check your egos angry people. There's far too much of it evident here.

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Posted by Kevin
a resident of North Whisman
on Sep 19, 2012 at 11:37 am

We need more patrols to catch the speedy, reckless, and drunk drivers as well as the bicyclist and pedestrians not following traffic rules (bike through stop signs/red lights, jaywalking, etc).

The bottom line is all three groups are responsible for this unsafe situation. Pointing out which group has more responsibility is not useful, there are always people in each of the groups not following the rules and make others dangerous. The city and police department need to catch these people no matter they are drivers, bicyclist, or pedestrians.

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Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm

To "Question on the Map": Mountain View south of El Camino did have collisions reported in the 5 year perios, but none of the intersections in that area had more than one reported collision. When I created the map I only marked intersections with 2 or more collisions.

To "her kid is the smart one": The collision data is compiled from the MVFD. In the case of a kid skinning his or her knee it's unlikely that the MVFD would be called. Also note that the map only includes intersections with two or more collisions, not the random fall in an otherwise safe area.

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Posted by Other Question on Map
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm

@Janet, thanks so much for compiling the map, another question on it though, is there any data worth obtaining from the Los Altos/Palo Alto Police or Fire Department?

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Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm

To Other Question on the Map: Both Palo Alto and Los Altos published collision maps in their recently updated bike & pedestrian plans. The maps were created by Alta Planning + Design, a consulting firm hired by these two cities.

Palo Alto: See pages 4 & 5 in this link: Web Link

Los Altos: See page 65 in this link: Web Link

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Posted by Cyclist & Driver
a resident of another community
on Sep 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm

I ride, drive & live in Mountain View. I find that the signal lights are too quick for safe driving and way too quick for safe riding. There are signals that turn yellow & red before you can drive across the intersection let alone ride a bike across! In addition, many of the signals will not trip for a bicycle.

I've been sending suggestions to the Mt. View trafic website for years, and none of these problems have ever been fixed!! I would bet that Mt. View's dangerous signals are responsible for at least some of these accidents.

And will you PLEASE allow us to write in a neighborhood or at least link to a Mt. View map intead of the Palo Alto map. My neighborhood is unnamed on the Mt. View Map. It's extremely irritating.

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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 19, 2012 at 8:23 pm

"I've been sending suggestions to the Mt. View trafic website for years, and none of these problems have ever been fixed!!"

And they never will get fixed. Nothing will be done.

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Posted by bizworldusa
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 20, 2012 at 6:49 am

Now a days bike accidents are increased.This very bad that 203 bike related injuries.Now a days the bikes with more pickups.So the riders rides the bikes fastly.The bike riders should take more care when driving.

Thank you
Bizworldusa. com

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Posted by Question on Map
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 20, 2012 at 9:42 am

@Janet - Looking at the Los Altos document you sent a link to, it shows some incidents on El Camino and at the El Monte/Springer intersections. Since both streets/intersections are "shared" with Mountain View, should they be counted as Mountain View incidents as well? Also I'm still wondering if each city is not under counting the incidents; for instance, if the LAPD assists in an incident on the Mountain View side of El Camino (as I've seen them do at times); is it appropriately captured somewhere?

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Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm

@Question on the Map: Good questions. The data for the MV map comes from MV Fire Dept. My guess is that the MVFS tracks data on the incidents they are called to handle and that the different cities have some way of determining who handles a call on an intersection at their borders. And I don't know where the Los Altos map data came from.

I would expect that our professional transportation planners would have (or should have) those answers.

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Posted by bikes2work
a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 21, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I've used the 'Ask Mountain View' app to report many problems, and they get fixed promptly. Maybe you should try the app. You can even include a photo.

For instance, they fixed the thermoplastic bike symbol on Showers @ California St so that it now tells bikers where to stop so the signal will be triggered. Some signals are detected by video, so you should wave your arms or turn on your headlight.

They changed the Showers symbol within a week. Thanks Mtn View City workers!

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