Google donates $1 million to MV bike projects

As the city looks for ways to manage Google's commuter traffic, the internet giant announced Tuesday that it will be giving the city $350,000 a year for three years to go toward bike infrastructure projects.

"I'm here today to provide you with a letter of commitment from Google for a three-year funding process," said Google real estate director John Igoe at Tuesday's City Council meeting, as the council prepared to look at the city budget. He said the funding is to be used at the city's discretion for bicycle safety related projects.

On Tuesday City Council members also expressed interest in keeping bike and pedestrian mobility as a top priority for the city for a second year in a row, and may soon approve the creation of a new job at City Hall, a bike and pedestrian "czar" who will oversee the city's many new efforts to be bike and pedestrian friendly. On Tuesday council members expressed interest in adding another such project, safer bike paths along Shoreline Boulevard from El Camino Real to Wright Avenue.

As part of a proposed reduction in car trips for Google if it intends to grow in Mountain View, Google and the city officials want to significantly increase the number of commuters on bicycles, but the benefits may extend to residents all over the city.

It's been a year since Google made its first donation of $500,000 towards bike improvements in the city. It paid $160,000 towards a new bike master plan for the city, $50,000 for new bike racks that will be installed downtown in the next few months, and $75,000 to add flashing lights to three crosswalks on Shoreline Boulevard near downtown, a project the City Council will be asked to approve on May 13, said Jacqueline Solomon, assistant public works director. Commuters and residents will also benefit from an extension of the Permanente Creek Trail to Middlefield Road that is in the works; Google paid $150,000 toward it last year.

To be paid for with some of Google's Shoreline Fund property taxes, a new "cycle track" bike path is also in the works for Stierlin Road and North Shoreline Boulevard, to create a direct route for commuters from the downtown train station, likely crossing a new bike and pedestrian bridge over Highway 101.


Posted by parent, a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 30, 2014 at 1:54 pm

We could really use a safer bicycle route from the San Antonio Road Caltrain station to North Bayshore. How about some help with that, Google? The part of Mountain View between Shoreline and San Antonio is really neglected by the city with regard to bicycling safety.

Posted by Parent2, a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 30, 2014 at 2:08 pm

@parent, Google just gave the people who can actually make that happen 1M dollars. Why are you asking Google for more, ask the recipient of the 1M dollars. Its their job, not Google's, but the funding by Google is a great and welcomed gift.

Posted by BlahBlah, a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 30, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Wish Google would move to the East coast, along with their huge buses, traffic congestion and inept wireless internet system in this city. Oh, and the increase in rents making landlords here greedier than they already are.

Posted by Biking to work, a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 30, 2014 at 2:22 pm

This is a great gift to Mountain View. Maybe it's already been posited, and maybe I'll get shouted down, but what about using some of the money to look into a Park & (bike) Ride somewhere off 101 (Moffatt?) commuters would park their cars and take a bike to their offices.

As for Google, if they did go somewhere else, some other tech giant would move into the space, pushing up housing prices and causing traffic problems. Since Google works hard to be a good neighbor, I for one am not sorry that they're here!

And no, I don't work there!!

Posted by Rockin, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 30, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Thanks Google!

Posted by Hmm, a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 30, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Why doesn't google help in programming the city lights to have better traffic flow? Oh, the goal is to get everyone out of there cars and onto bikes. So we can have massive bike traffic. Then what, back to square 1.

Posted by Waverly Park Neighbor, a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 30, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Thank you Google. I am happy that we have such an iconic company here in Mountain View and it's great to see them step up big on important issues like this. And I don't work there either!!

Posted by James, a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 30, 2014 at 2:36 pm

I think Stevens Creek trail is getting too dangerous during commute times. There are people flying down the trail. I recently got a 29er and it's pretty fast, but there are folks passing me like i'm standing. There's going to be a serious accident one day.

Posted by Rick, a resident of Willowgate
on Apr 30, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Thanks Google!

Posted by Steve, a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2014 at 3:22 pm

From a 'Voice' article dated 4 Apr, councilman Inks suggested the council had 'taken a bribe' from a developer by requiring them to pay extra fees for approval. That was technically closer to extortion... THIS is bribe!
Assuming it was actually Google's idea. If it was suggested privately by the city, then it's still extortion.
Either way, it's Google buying off the city.

Posted by green and raised, a resident of Castro City
on Apr 30, 2014 at 3:44 pm

I would hope that the city would understand that when bike paths are painted green then they can be seen from far away. There are also pedestrian zones that could be slightly raised so that cars pay attention more often.

Posted by PEG, a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 30, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Thanks Google!
Now maybe the city will educate bicycle riders
I can't tell you how many times I have had to
quickly get out of a bicyclist way only to be
flipped off because I'm in their way.

Posted by PEG2, a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 30, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Thanks Google!
Now maybe the city will educate car drivers
I can't tell you how many times I have had to
quickly get out of a driver's way only to be
flipped off because I'm in their way.

Let's save this tired meme for another thread.

Posted by Sweet, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 30, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Thanks, Google! I still hate that your buses take up prime parking all over the city (like parking parallel across 12 shady spots at Cuesta Park) and that your Google Express shoppers practically run me down with their carts zooming around Nob Hill. However, you do much for this city in return. The evolution of Mountain View has some folks uptight, even though growth/expansion was inevitable. The quiet little city that I have lived in for 20+ years is gone as I knew it, but the new Mountain View is pretty fantastic too!

Posted by Sparty , a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2014 at 7:02 pm

I'm still waiting for someone to take up the challenge-- go out and get vidoe of as many cars running stop signs and red lights as there are bikes.

By pointing out that "they do it to" you've proven you'd be EXACTLY the kind of employee a boss wants. Joe, you were late twice last week." "But Bo-o-ss-ssss Jimmy was late too-ooo-ooo"

Posted by Adam, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 30, 2014 at 8:33 pm

Yet another illconceived, finger in the dike move from Googletoons.
Just like the WiFi and cartoon sized busses that take up one of only two lanes on Shoreline all day long even while they are empty.
Get qualified input from places with proven successful solutions,analize it,develop a sould plan and excecute it.
This is not rocket science people.

Posted by Desmond, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 30, 2014 at 10:06 pm

I commute via bike to North Bayshore, and the slowest part of that trip is crossing Central Expy and the railway. If a train is present, the traffic light sequence resets priority to Central Expy and the numerous bikes/pedestrians can wait for 10 minutes. That's not an exaggeration!

A bike/pedestrian friendly bridge or underpass between Castro and Moffett would connect the Castro downtown area to Moffett for pedestrians, which I'm sure the businesses there would love. I bet it would also encourage more North Bayshore employees to bike.

Posted by Gardener, a resident of Rex Manor
on May 1, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Gardener is a registered user.

Great! Everybody wins when more people can feel safe riding bicycles to work, shop, eat, and play.

Let's hope the City Council can figure out how to use the money most efficiently, like connecting the Permanente Creek Trail to somewhere more useful (please) and improving infrastructure for crossing 101, Central, and El Camino.

Posted by Bike commuter, a resident of Shoreline West
on May 1, 2014 at 6:05 pm


Since I *do* stop at red lights and stay off the sidewalk, a better analogy would be this:

Me: I see you fired Fred for repeatedly being late, but Tim is late far more frequently. Why does he get a pass?

Boss: Tim drives a Lexus. I drive a Lexus. You do the math.

When all you provide is anecdotes, demanding better evidence from the other side is pointless.

Posted by Linda Curtis, a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 1, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Green bike lanes really help visibility, as do broad yellow strips painted in crosswalks to make them very visible. "In-road-way warning lights," in addition to the yellow stripes, are best for pedestrians, as the lights only come on when someone is actually crossing. But I have seen bikes crash down when they try to go over crosswalks that are even slightly raised, so keeping them level works best.

Best, of course, for bikes, would be separate bike ways, with amenities along them, like picnic tables and drinking fountains and restrooms. The best part of this for them, of course, is not having to risk life or limb by having to trust any motor vehicle drivers.

Maybe there could be a fast lane and a slower lane, in each direction, on these bike ways, to address the observation James made above. And they could pass over and/or under major streets & freeways with overpasses and/or well lit tunnels made just for them.

Posted by Very long time MV resident, a resident of North Whisman
on May 2, 2014 at 2:01 pm

So Google is donating $1M ($350k/year for 3 years?) to Mountain View. How kind. How generous.

What about the millions of dollars owed by Google to the State of California for not paying taxes on fuel purchased at Moffett Field.

What about the millions of dollars owed to the County of Santa Clara for not paying taxes on the planes (8?) parked at the Moffett Federal Airfield? According to the NBC Investigations team, only 1 plane is used for NASA research. Why are all the other aircraft (including a Boeing 767, Boeing 757, and multiple Gulfstream corporate jets) exempt from taxes?

Yes, Google, thank you for your generous contribution to your neighborhood.

Posted by Jackson Park Resident, a resident of Jackson Park
on May 10, 2014 at 7:59 am

Why are Google bikes being left unattended at Jackson Park?

Why do bicyclist feel that they can stop and eat their dinner on your property when Jackson Park is less than 60 feet away?

Why do bicyclist feel they don't have to stop at the intersection of Stierlin and Central avenue?

Posted by Since you asked, a resident of The Crossings
on May 12, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Why are Google bikes being left unattended at Jackson Park?
Answer: Gnomes have been in the area. Set trap cameras for confirmation. Either that or they were stole

Why do bicyclist feel that they can stop and eat their dinner on your property when Jackson Park is less than 60 feet away?
Answer: Some people are simply victims of their own magnetism. Be proud of your popularity, don't run from it. You're destined for greatness!

Why do bicyclist feel they don't have to stop at the intersection of Stierlin and Central avenue?
Didn't you get the flier with the secret reason? Mine came later than others did, but you should get yours soon(nd it is SUCH a cool secret reason. You're going to love it)

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