News

Bike plan lists 170 ways to make cycling safer in Mountain View

It became evident during a City Council meeting Tuesday that the life-and-death issue of bike and pedestrian safety is getting significant attention in Mountain View.

Thanks to advocacy from local cyclists and generous funding from Google, the city appears set to embark on a huge number of projects, from small to large, to make bicycling safer and more attractive all over the city.

Possibilities revealed in a study session Tuesday include flashing signals to alert drivers to the presence of cyclists, trail extensions, wider sidewalks, new bike routes around schools and lengthy buffered bike lanes for Moffett Boulevard, Rengstorff Avenue, North Whisman Road and Miramonte Avenue, as well as Castro Street in front of Graham Middle school, among others.

"Very few things you will do will have to do with life-and-death issues," resident Patrick Moore told the Council. "These are life-and-death issues. These determine whether someone is struck and killed or not, whether a grandfather gets to see his grandchildren or not."

A city consultant revealed that over 170 potential projects have been identified, including numerous "spot" improvements that could close gaps on otherwise safe bike routes. The draft of the Google-funded Bicycle Transportation Plan will return to the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee this spring and could be approved by the City Council in early 2016.

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Community concern for bike and pedestrian safety was apparent later in the evening as well. Moore dedicated a minute of his allotted speaking time to a moment of silence for Robert Schwehr, the 68-year old Los Altos man who was struck and killed Feb 16. Schwehr was walking in the crosswalk on Charleston Road at Independence Avenue, and his daughter said was probably headed to REI to find a fishing pole for his granddaughter.

"Can we make this person the last person to die in Mountain View this year?" Moore said.

Former council candidate Greg Unangst said he identified with Schwehr, who still had "a lot to live for."

It was "broad daylight, perfect weather and the driver was unimpaired," Unangst said. "How did this happen? What I would suggest is that we launch a 'vision zero' program in the city," making a goal to have zero pedestrian fatalities in the city.

"The city should analyze, 'Why did that person driving make a mistake?' Let's not let this tragic incident slide into history and we forget about it," he said.

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According to 2011-13 census data, 6.5 percent of Mountain View's population commutes by bicycle, compared to 1.9 percent throughout the county, 3.7 percent in San Francisco and 9.10 percent in Palo Alto.

The city reported that, generally speaking, 60 percent of the population is interested in bicycling but only under safer conditions. Only 33 percent say they will never ride a bicycle while only 8 percent is confident about cycling on city streets. The numbers came from a study done by the city of Portland.

Google promised many millions of dollars in funding for a regional bike network -- "if you accept our building plans" for a large new campus, Google's Jeral Poskey told the council Tuesday.

"What we've learned is you can have a wonderful network with many miles (of bike paths) and all it takes is a few dangerous intersections to turn people off from cycling," Poskey said of the company's famously bike-friendly headquarters in Mountain View. Google has work underway to build a large "green loop" -- a path for cyclists and pedestrians around North Bayshore, identified in the city's new precise plan for the area. Google has also funded numerous other bike projects, from bike racks downtown to an extension of the Permanente Creek Trail

Google's new campus in North Bayshore that could come with a huge number of bike-related benefits throughout the city. The largest is a completely new bike-pedestrian bridge across 101, near Rengstorff Avenue and Charleston Road. "We've identified Rengstorff is just as dangerous as Shoreline for bicycling across Highway 101," Poskey said.

He mentioned another benefit: "We want to increase safety and education among our schoolchildren (with) safe routes to school," and offered to give free bike helmets to all school children.

Poskey mentioned the $2 million from Google that could go towards a bike boulevard on Latham and Church streets, a narrow two-lane street that runs parallel to El Camino Real where bicycles contend with cut-through car traffic and parked cars. Car traffic diverters have been proposed for the street to make it what was termed a "low stress" route for cyclists, but some expressed skepticism that it could ever be as "low stress" a route as Palo Alto's bike boulevards, because of the number of parked cars and busy neighborhoods along the route.

"We do have signs that say we have a Bike Boulevard," on Montecito Avenue, said council member Pat Showalter, an area she said the city defines as a low stress environment. "I personally would not have considered that low stress," she said.

Council member Lenny Siegel, a regular cyclist, had a long list of problems he's observed while riding around town over the years, a significant number of which he says could be fixed by spending very little money, such as prohibiting cars from parking at narrow street sections where cyclists are forced to ride around parked cars and into traffic. He said there's a need for a standard way to make left turns at stoplights safer for bicyclists and the need to fix non-functioning stoplight sensors installed in the ground for bikes, forcing cyclists to get off their bikes and hit crosswalk buttons.

Siegel called for widening the Stevens Creek Trail where possible, so cyclists can have their own passing lanes. "Yesterday I avoided a child on a tricycle who was on the wrong side (of the trail)," he said. With the number of bike commuters racing down the trail, "it's an accident waiting to happen."

More information on the bike transportation plan can be found on a website the city has dedicated to the effort: bikemountainview.com

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Bike plan lists 170 ways to make cycling safer in Mountain View

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Wed, Mar 4, 2015, 1:52 pm

It became evident during a City Council meeting Tuesday that the life-and-death issue of bike and pedestrian safety is getting significant attention in Mountain View.

Thanks to advocacy from local cyclists and generous funding from Google, the city appears set to embark on a huge number of projects, from small to large, to make bicycling safer and more attractive all over the city.

Possibilities revealed in a study session Tuesday include flashing signals to alert drivers to the presence of cyclists, trail extensions, wider sidewalks, new bike routes around schools and lengthy buffered bike lanes for Moffett Boulevard, Rengstorff Avenue, North Whisman Road and Miramonte Avenue, as well as Castro Street in front of Graham Middle school, among others.

"Very few things you will do will have to do with life-and-death issues," resident Patrick Moore told the Council. "These are life-and-death issues. These determine whether someone is struck and killed or not, whether a grandfather gets to see his grandchildren or not."

A city consultant revealed that over 170 potential projects have been identified, including numerous "spot" improvements that could close gaps on otherwise safe bike routes. The draft of the Google-funded Bicycle Transportation Plan will return to the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee this spring and could be approved by the City Council in early 2016.

Community concern for bike and pedestrian safety was apparent later in the evening as well. Moore dedicated a minute of his allotted speaking time to a moment of silence for Robert Schwehr, the 68-year old Los Altos man who was struck and killed Feb 16. Schwehr was walking in the crosswalk on Charleston Road at Independence Avenue, and his daughter said was probably headed to REI to find a fishing pole for his granddaughter.

"Can we make this person the last person to die in Mountain View this year?" Moore said.

Former council candidate Greg Unangst said he identified with Schwehr, who still had "a lot to live for."

It was "broad daylight, perfect weather and the driver was unimpaired," Unangst said. "How did this happen? What I would suggest is that we launch a 'vision zero' program in the city," making a goal to have zero pedestrian fatalities in the city.

"The city should analyze, 'Why did that person driving make a mistake?' Let's not let this tragic incident slide into history and we forget about it," he said.

According to 2011-13 census data, 6.5 percent of Mountain View's population commutes by bicycle, compared to 1.9 percent throughout the county, 3.7 percent in San Francisco and 9.10 percent in Palo Alto.

The city reported that, generally speaking, 60 percent of the population is interested in bicycling but only under safer conditions. Only 33 percent say they will never ride a bicycle while only 8 percent is confident about cycling on city streets. The numbers came from a study done by the city of Portland.

Google promised many millions of dollars in funding for a regional bike network -- "if you accept our building plans" for a large new campus, Google's Jeral Poskey told the council Tuesday.

"What we've learned is you can have a wonderful network with many miles (of bike paths) and all it takes is a few dangerous intersections to turn people off from cycling," Poskey said of the company's famously bike-friendly headquarters in Mountain View. Google has work underway to build a large "green loop" -- a path for cyclists and pedestrians around North Bayshore, identified in the city's new precise plan for the area. Google has also funded numerous other bike projects, from bike racks downtown to an extension of the Permanente Creek Trail

Google's new campus in North Bayshore that could come with a huge number of bike-related benefits throughout the city. The largest is a completely new bike-pedestrian bridge across 101, near Rengstorff Avenue and Charleston Road. "We've identified Rengstorff is just as dangerous as Shoreline for bicycling across Highway 101," Poskey said.

He mentioned another benefit: "We want to increase safety and education among our schoolchildren (with) safe routes to school," and offered to give free bike helmets to all school children.

Poskey mentioned the $2 million from Google that could go towards a bike boulevard on Latham and Church streets, a narrow two-lane street that runs parallel to El Camino Real where bicycles contend with cut-through car traffic and parked cars. Car traffic diverters have been proposed for the street to make it what was termed a "low stress" route for cyclists, but some expressed skepticism that it could ever be as "low stress" a route as Palo Alto's bike boulevards, because of the number of parked cars and busy neighborhoods along the route.

"We do have signs that say we have a Bike Boulevard," on Montecito Avenue, said council member Pat Showalter, an area she said the city defines as a low stress environment. "I personally would not have considered that low stress," she said.

Council member Lenny Siegel, a regular cyclist, had a long list of problems he's observed while riding around town over the years, a significant number of which he says could be fixed by spending very little money, such as prohibiting cars from parking at narrow street sections where cyclists are forced to ride around parked cars and into traffic. He said there's a need for a standard way to make left turns at stoplights safer for bicyclists and the need to fix non-functioning stoplight sensors installed in the ground for bikes, forcing cyclists to get off their bikes and hit crosswalk buttons.

Siegel called for widening the Stevens Creek Trail where possible, so cyclists can have their own passing lanes. "Yesterday I avoided a child on a tricycle who was on the wrong side (of the trail)," he said. With the number of bike commuters racing down the trail, "it's an accident waiting to happen."

More information on the bike transportation plan can be found on a website the city has dedicated to the effort: bikemountainview.com

Comments

James
Whisman Station
on Mar 4, 2015 at 2:27 pm
James, Whisman Station
on Mar 4, 2015 at 2:27 pm
12 people like this

I stopped cycling to work on the trail because it's too dangerous, and I really don't like taking my kids on the trail. It was great for many years, but now it's not worth the risk.


Where is the safe bike route?
Jackson Park
on Mar 4, 2015 at 2:28 pm
Where is the safe bike route?, Jackson Park
on Mar 4, 2015 at 2:28 pm
6 people like this

A city consultant revealed that over 170 potential projects have been identified, including numerous "spot" improvements that could close gaps on otherwise safe bike routes.

Does Mountain View have a bike route that can be called safe? Even on Steven's Creek trail, pedestrians with strollers pose a threat to cyclists!


James Thurber
Old Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2015 at 2:35 pm
James Thurber, Old Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2015 at 2:35 pm
3 people like this

Gosh, I had no idea that bicycling was so dangerous. I wonder if it's more dangerous than driving? I haven't owned a car in well over a year preferring to pedal my way about and occasionally take the bus. But if bicycling is really dangerous perhaps I should reconsider!


parent
Old Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2015 at 2:43 pm
parent, Old Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2015 at 2:43 pm
11 people like this

Safety is going to vary a lot based on your size and skill level. A road that is safe for an adult may not be so safe for a child, especially during the morning rush hour when children are biking to school.


Andria F
Rex Manor
on Mar 4, 2015 at 2:45 pm
Andria F, Rex Manor
on Mar 4, 2015 at 2:45 pm
38 people like this

Instead of installing more lights to help the evil car driver see the lawless dummies, how about we teach bicyclists to follow the rules of the road and stop at stop signs and signal lights. I can't count the number of them I have had to slam on the breaks for because they decided they had the right of way so they wouldn't have to slow down.


Stop the Trolls
Cuernavaca
on Mar 4, 2015 at 3:06 pm
Stop the Trolls, Cuernavaca
on Mar 4, 2015 at 3:06 pm
19 people like this

@Andria F: Given the attitude you show here, you should be the LAST person that should be allowed to be out on the roads.

Ever heard of "defensive driving," by chance?


Robert
Slater
on Mar 4, 2015 at 3:54 pm
Robert, Slater
on Mar 4, 2015 at 3:54 pm
24 people like this

@ Andria F: I concur with your sentiment. How many of those 170 ways of making bicycling safer involve mandatory bicyclist safety training, demonstrated knowledge of the proper rules of the road, bicycle inspection for proper lighting and reflectors, etc? Bicyclists like to portray themselves as hapless victims, modern day David's against the four wheeled Goliaths. Sharing the road also involves sharing the responsibility for following all the rules. In Mountain View it appears that bicyclists get a pass from our PD. How many tickets have been issued to bicyclists this past year?


Grant Park
Waverly Park
on Mar 4, 2015 at 4:00 pm
Grant Park, Waverly Park
on Mar 4, 2015 at 4:00 pm
7 people like this

One simple way to ensure bikes and cars stqy in their lanes is to put a "vibration" strip on the street indicating the bike lane versus just painting a stripe. I've noticed many bikers riding double or triple (even singly sometimes) out side of the bike lane and probably as many cars with one wheel over the white strip and into the bike lane. This wouldn't cost much and could easily be done to current and future bike lanes. I guarantee that when you move onto or across the vibration strip whether on a bike or in a car, you'll know it and take corrective action.


mel
Monta Loma
on Mar 4, 2015 at 4:06 pm
mel, Monta Loma
on Mar 4, 2015 at 4:06 pm
10 people like this

law requiring reflective strips on each and every bike AN D RIDER 30 min before sunset and until 30 min after sunrise -- AND LARGE REFLECTIVE STRIPs ON JACKETS AND SHIRTS AND PERMANENT ON THE BIKES


and what about helmuts for everyone!!!!!!!


and unfortunately a few tickets will be required for bikers who do not obey the traffic laws --- like stopping at a stop sign when you are riding in the street


OldMV
Old Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2015 at 4:08 pm
OldMV, Old Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2015 at 4:08 pm
19 people like this

It is all well and good for MV to propose this, but the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. MV already has serious and growing vehicular traffic problems on its major streets. The last thing we need is the pro-bicycle lobby making foolish changes to major streets that just jam up traffic even more. All proposed changes should be accompanied by "vehicular traffic impact" statements. Also, Mountain View must tell bicyclists bluntly that our roads were built for cars and trucks and that bicycles are guests on our roads and do not have equal access. Bikes and cars don't mix well. They are a lethal brew, especially when either bicyclists or drivers are irresponsible. I stopped riding years ago after I realized that, even on weekends, it was just too dangerous to justify. I now spin daily at a local health club.


IT's obvious
Monta Loma
on Mar 4, 2015 at 4:43 pm
IT's obvious, Monta Loma
on Mar 4, 2015 at 4:43 pm
24 people like this

That the majority want their independence by using their own cars.

Totally agree with OldMV and the others against this minority biker groups. Cars will never go away, they are only getting better with natural gas, hybrids, and electric and driver less cars, so cars are not going away anytime soon. The less bikers out there the better, the less accidents.

How many of the attendants where actually from MT. View?


I see both sides
Cuesta Park
on Mar 4, 2015 at 4:57 pm
I see both sides, Cuesta Park
on Mar 4, 2015 at 4:57 pm
14 people like this

You are right that cars are never going away, but neither are bikes...for lots of very good reasons!

You are right that many bikers need safety training, but so do drivers. When was the last time you took a drivers test at DMV...20, 40, 50 years ago? Both sides need to pay closer attention!

There is no reason that we cannot make Mtn View a safer bike town. It is SO sad that OLDMV is now spinning at a local health club instead of riding.


Just Curious
Cuernavaca
on Mar 4, 2015 at 5:03 pm
Just Curious, Cuernavaca
on Mar 4, 2015 at 5:03 pm
23 people like this

Has anyone ever seen a bicyclist come to a stop at a stop sign in a residential neighborhood? (Particularly if no cars are around)?

The next one I see will be my first.


parent
Old Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2015 at 5:05 pm
parent, Old Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2015 at 5:05 pm
31 people like this

I don't see car drivers coming to a complete stop in residential neighborhoods either. I wonder where the bicyclists learned their traffic manners?


anon
Bailey Park
on Mar 4, 2015 at 5:25 pm
anon, Bailey Park
on Mar 4, 2015 at 5:25 pm
17 people like this

What about pedestrians? I have given up walking along Stevens Creek Trail. I am tired of walking in the dirt because of cyclists screaming (and I do mean screaming) "ON YOUR LEFT" constantly. Shouldn't there be a speed limit along there? These cyclists are going too fast for the conditions - pedestrians and runners! Why am I penalized and have to stay off the path creek trail because of the same cyclists who run traffic lights and ride on sidewalks?

I don't put it down to cyclists vs pedestrians vs cars. I put this all down to selfish behavior of people that have grown up with no manners. Share the road, means share. Saying please and thank you would help too!

It's a lawless, self-serving society now and I fear for the future!


Shirley
Old Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2015 at 6:15 pm
Shirley, Old Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2015 at 6:15 pm
14 people like this

They always talk about bike and pedestrian safety together, but a person riding a bike doesn't make him a pedestrian. I was almost ran over by two teenage bikers when I was walking on the pedestrian sidewalk to the post office. I just think it's dangerous for pedestrians that bikers can ride their bikes on pedestrian sidewalk.


True
Blossom Valley
on Mar 4, 2015 at 6:17 pm
True, Blossom Valley
on Mar 4, 2015 at 6:17 pm
23 people like this

Traffic is sometimes bad (because of fantastic job growth that benefits the community) - Mountain View residents complain.

People who normally might drive to work decide to bike or combine public transit and bike - Mountain View residents complain.

Google offers to pay for many improvements to bike safety and improvements to critical bike/vehicle interaction areas. - Mountain View residents complain.

No pleasing some of you.

Rather than complain, perhaps the energy used to do so could be directed at something...I dunno...productive? Like discussing the merits of the proposal.

...and OldMV, (much explained by that handle) ...the CA vehicle code stands in stark opposition to your assertion that bikes shouldn't share the road with cars. CVC 21200 CVC 21202, CVC 21650, CVC 21650.1 CVC 21202 (a)(3), CVC 21656


Maria
Shoreline West
on Mar 4, 2015 at 7:28 pm
Maria, Shoreline West
on Mar 4, 2015 at 7:28 pm
12 people like this

We just had a cyclist hit in front of our house yesterday morning (California St. and Pettis). It was a bad accident, man was tangled up with his bike and was unconscious when the fire dept finally arrived.

2-3 yrs ago we had a pedestrian die on our corner, crossing CA St. at night. Not sure how many more deaths and accidents it will take before someone gets serious about slowing down the traffic in some areas. CA St. has become like Central Expressway except that we have no barriers between us and the street. It has gotten much worse in the 11 years we've lived here.


John
Rex Manor
on Mar 4, 2015 at 10:17 pm
John, Rex Manor
on Mar 4, 2015 at 10:17 pm
9 people like this

I understand the sentiment and completely agree that bicyclists need to follow the rules of the road as well -- that they should be penalized for not. However, when it is an accident between a driver/car and bicyclist/bicycle it is usually the bicyclist/bicycle that loses due to the sheer size of the car. I have yet to hear of a driver in a car being killed by a collision with a cyclist (or pedestrian) for that matter.


Grateful biker
Old Mountain View
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:50 am
Grateful biker, Old Mountain View
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:50 am
12 people like this

I began biking for recreational/health reasons on the SC Trail over 20 years ago when I think I was just about the only biker then. I'd start near my home in downtown and enter the trail at the Landels School entry and bike out beyond the golf course. Due to several near misses caused by rude bikers - going too fast, biking with no hands on the handle bars, texting while biking, coffee cup in one hand - the list goes on, I now put my bike in my pickup and drive out to the trail at La Avendia and bike back and forth from there. I have a bell (which few others use) when I pass people and a mirror allowing me to see bikers approaching from the rear who refuse to alert me - or pedestrians of their presence. I suspect it will take a death - yes, a death - on the trail (a head on with a turning walker or a head on the 101 underpass) to have the city take serious action to make the trail what it once was - a safe place to bike. In short, Google et. al has ruined the trail for other sane bikers and pedestrians.


Grateful biker
Old Mountain View
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:50 am
Grateful biker, Old Mountain View
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:50 am
5 people like this

I began biking for recreational/health reasons on the SC Trail over 20 years ago when I think I was just about the only biker then. I'd start near my home in downtown and enter the trail at the Landels School entry and bike out beyond the golf course. Due to several near misses caused by rude bikers - going too fast, biking with no hands on the handle bars, texting while biking, coffee cup in one hand - the list goes on, I now put my bike in my pickup and drive out to the trail at La Avendia and bike back and forth from there. I have a bell (which few others use) when I pass people and a mirror allowing me to see bikers approaching from the rear who refuse to alert me - or pedestrians of their presence. I suspect it will take a death - yes, a death - on the trail (a head on with a turning walker or a head on the 101 underpass) to have the city take serious action to make the trail what it once was - a safe place to bike. In short, Google et. al has ruined the trail for other sane bikers and pedestrians.


Grateful biker
Old Mountain View
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:50 am
Grateful biker, Old Mountain View
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:50 am
5 people like this

I began biking for recreational/health reasons on the SC Trail over 20 years ago when I think I was just about the only biker then. I'd start near my home in downtown and enter the trail at the Landels School entry and bike out beyond the golf course. Due to several near misses caused by rude bikers - going too fast, biking with no hands on the handle bars, texting while biking, coffee cup in one hand - the list goes on, I now put my bike in my pickup and drive out to the trail at La Avendia and bike back and forth from there. I have a bell (which few others use) when I pass people and a mirror allowing me to see bikers approaching from the rear who refuse to alert me - or pedestrians of their presence. I suspect it will take a death - yes, a death - on the trail (a head on with a turning walker or a head on the 101 underpass) to have the city take serious action to make the trail what it once was - a safe place to bike. In short, Google et. al has ruined the trail for other sane bikers and pedestrians.


Grateful biker
Old Mountain View
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:50 am
Grateful biker, Old Mountain View
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:50 am
5 people like this

I began biking for recreational/health reasons on the SC Trail over 20 years ago when I think I was just about the only biker then. I'd start near my home in downtown and enter the trail at the Landels School entry and bike out beyond the golf course. Due to several near misses caused by rude bikers - going too fast, biking with no hands on the handle bars, texting while biking, coffee cup in one hand - the list goes on, I now put my bike in my pickup and drive out to the trail at La Avendia and bike back and forth from there. I have a bell (which few others use) when I pass people and a mirror allowing me to see bikers approaching from the rear who refuse to alert me - or pedestrians of their presence. I suspect it will take a death - yes, a death - on the trail (a head on with a turning walker or a head on the 101 underpass) to have the city take serious action to make the trail what it once was - a safe place to bike. In short, Google et. al has ruined the trail for other sane bikers and pedestrians.


Grateful biker
Old Mountain View
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:50 am
Grateful biker, Old Mountain View
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:50 am
4 people like this

I began biking for recreational/health reasons on the SC Trail over 20 years ago when I think I was just about the only biker then. I'd start near my home in downtown and enter the trail at the Landels School entry and bike out beyond the golf course. Due to several near misses caused by rude bikers - going too fast, biking with no hands on the handle bars, texting while biking, coffee cup in one hand - the list goes on, I now put my bike in my pickup and drive out to the trail at La Avendia and bike back and forth from there. I have a bell (which few others use) when I pass people and a mirror allowing me to see bikers approaching from the rear who refuse to alert me - or pedestrians of their presence. I suspect it will take a death - yes, a death - on the trail (a head on with a turning walker or a head on the 101 underpass) to have the city take serious action to make the trail what it once was - a safe place to bike. In short, Google et. al has ruined the trail for other sane bikers and pedestrians.


BvP
another community
on Mar 5, 2015 at 8:50 am
BvP, another community
on Mar 5, 2015 at 8:50 am
17 people like this

Just Curious wrote: "Has anyone ever seen a bicyclist come to a stop at a stop sign in a residential neighborhood? (Particularly if no cars are around)?

The next one I see will be my first."

You must be blind or flat out lying. I come to a full stop, not even roll through, FULL STOP at every stop sign, whether cars are present or not. It's ridiculous to imagine that I'm the ONLY one that does. I rode for a small professional domestic team 20+ years ago and I still enjoy a good bit of speed, but not where I have to share the road and certainly not in a residential neighborhood. I see people stop all the time while I'm in my yard or walking about. Open your eyes and stop BS'ing.

Why don't you people realize there are jerks on bikes AND in cars. Don't be either. It's not hard to share the road.


Scott Lamb
Registered user
Monta Loma
on Mar 5, 2015 at 8:51 am
Scott Lamb, Monta Loma
Registered user
on Mar 5, 2015 at 8:51 am
16 people like this

anon: Many bicyclists say "on your left" each time because the signs tell them to ("announce yourself before you pass") and because some pedestrians weave unpredictably over both sides of the trail as they walk. The bicyclists just want you to know they're coming so you don't accidentally walk into their path. If you're already walking in a predictable, straight line on one side of the trail, you are my favorite pedestrian ever. You don't need to get off the trail into the dirt.


cautious driver
Old Mountain View
on Mar 5, 2015 at 10:21 am
cautious driver, Old Mountain View
on Mar 5, 2015 at 10:21 am
11 people like this

@Robert - You wrote:

"How many of those 170 ways of making bicycling safer involve mandatory bicyclist safety training, demonstrated knowledge of the proper rules of the road, bicycle inspection for proper lighting and reflectors, etc? Bicyclists like to portray themselves as hapless victims, modern day David's against the four wheeled Goliaths. Sharing the road also involves sharing the responsibility for following all the rules. In Mountain View it appears that bicyclists get a pass from our PD. How many tickets have been issued to bicyclists this past year?"

I couldn't agree more. One of the biggest threats to bicyclists is irresponsible behavior by many of them. I see it every day, on the streets and on the trail. Saying that drivers run stop signs, etc., does not excuse it. As a driver, I am very, very careful around cyclists. They are vulnerable, unpredictable, and often heedless of their own safety.

You can't defend the idea that cyclists should have the right to run stop signs, cut across traffic, and pass unsafely, while motorists are forced to assume all responsibility for cyclists' safety. Yes, I'd like to see MVPD write some tickets. A radar trap on Stevens Creek trail once a month might be a good idea, too.


Kiley Riffell
another community
on Mar 5, 2015 at 1:38 pm
Kiley Riffell, another community
on Mar 5, 2015 at 1:38 pm
13 people like this

We appreciate the council taking a moment of silence in honor of my father.


mike
Monta Loma
on Mar 5, 2015 at 2:25 pm
mike, Monta Loma
on Mar 5, 2015 at 2:25 pm
7 people like this

Ironic that we are discussing this in Mountain View - the city with the best cycling infrastructure in the area. I think that building infrastructure is far better than expecting law enforcement to handle the thousands of transgressions that occur everywhere. Imagine a radar gun enforced speed limit on the Stevens Creek trail - maybe speed bumps would be better?


Robert
Slater
on Mar 5, 2015 at 8:21 pm
Robert, Slater
on Mar 5, 2015 at 8:21 pm
7 people like this

It is just after 8:00 PM, dark and I just returned home. There was a bicyclist going down Middlefield Road with no lights, just the required reflectors on the pedals. What really caught me attention was that it was a Google bike. Does Google place restrictions on their bikes to only day time use? I have not seen a Google bike with lights, has any one else?


Googler
North Bayshore
on Mar 5, 2015 at 9:13 pm
Googler, North Bayshore
on Mar 5, 2015 at 9:13 pm
15 people like this

If you see a Google bike on Middlefield any time of the day or night, it's stolen.


PA Resident
another community
on Mar 5, 2015 at 9:23 pm
PA Resident, another community
on Mar 5, 2015 at 9:23 pm
7 people like this

I was walking on Stevens Creek with a friend a couple of Sundays ago. We had to walk single file because of the number of bikes speeding along the trail.

This was no joy for us, we had no conversation and had to keep getting out of the way of bikes who were not doing single file and expected us to get out of their way.

Bikes and pedestrians do not mix. Keep them separate, please.


PA Resident
another community
on Mar 5, 2015 at 9:36 pm
PA Resident, another community
on Mar 5, 2015 at 9:36 pm
7 people like this

And another thing. Helmets only prevent injury after an accident. It is much better to prevent accidents from happening. The best safety items for bikes are lights, bells, and reflective vests.

Please use bells, not shout as that just ends up as noise. A bicycle bell is distinctive. It says "I am a bicycle bell on a bike and I want you to know I am here". A voice disappears in other sounds.


Grant Park
Waverly Park
on Mar 6, 2015 at 9:10 am
Grant Park, Waverly Park
on Mar 6, 2015 at 9:10 am
7 people like this

Many good comments, but few good suggestions. How about a long range plan that includes separate "bike paths" when new development happens for starters. Staying in a new section of housing in Amersfoort Holland, we enjoyed riding bikes all throughout the development (many miles) put in by the developer as part of the housing project. These paths folllowed alongside roads but also cut across the property at many places allowing bike access shortcuts to homes and businesses. They also connected with roads at crosswalks at roundabouts and stop lights. Coould this not be possible for futture MV business developments such as Google's new headquarters and others? For example,how about into the NASA Research Park!


Residemt
Old Mountain View
on Mar 6, 2015 at 10:25 am
Residemt, Old Mountain View
on Mar 6, 2015 at 10:25 am
9 people like this

I'm a resident of Mountain View of almost twenty years, and I drive and cycle for transportation. Having done both around here for such a long time, my impression is that while we can certainly increase safety by fixing some hazardous areas, the most important change would be to somehow teach drivers to look for cyclists, and for cyclists to learn that they're not actually in a car and could die when being hit by one, and bike accordingly.

While cycling, I have been hit twice. Once, going straight on Calderon at Dana, a car came up from behind and turned right into me. The second time, on Shoreline just before Charleston, a car tried to pass stopped traffic on the right and knocked me off my bike onto the sidewalk. In both cases, those drivers were oblivious to my existence, despite cycling in broad daylight. I actually think it's safer at night due to the bright lights and several red blinkers I have on me and the bike.

While driving, I've had quite a number of cases where a cyclist cuts in front of me, the most dangerous so far being at Calderon and Dana. I was turning left onto Calderon from Dana, and a bike came down the hill, went around my right and cut across to turn left, almost getting hit by an oncoming car. I've also seen quite a few of red light runners, shockingly, even at intersections like El Camino and Shoreline...with a baby trailer! Really?!

Take a chill pill cyclists and drivers, look out for each other, and missing that green light that's about to turn red won't delay you that much.


Vision Zero
Bailey Park
on Mar 6, 2015 at 11:02 am
Vision Zero, Bailey Park
on Mar 6, 2015 at 11:02 am
5 people like this

Vision Zero sounds like a lack of vision which is exactly what we DON'T want.


True
Blossom Valley
on Mar 6, 2015 at 6:22 pm
True, Blossom Valley
on Mar 6, 2015 at 6:22 pm
3 people like this

....but it is pretty descriptive of the City Council and those who put them in office..


PEG
North Whisman
on Mar 6, 2015 at 6:53 pm
PEG, North Whisman
on Mar 6, 2015 at 6:53 pm
5 people like this

I don't feel safe walking on the sidewalk in my neighborhood or downtown. The reason -- bicyclists that think it is ok to ride on the sidewalks - both adults and children. They ride up on you and give you a dirty look or a finger signal or even tell you to get out of their way. Sidewalks are for pedestrians and not for bicycles period!!


bicyclist/ped/parent
Rex Manor
on Mar 7, 2015 at 8:13 am
bicyclist/ped/parent, Rex Manor
on Mar 7, 2015 at 8:13 am
9 people like this

Some thoughts:

1. The deaths in Mountain View were pedestrians.

2. People who drive are responsible for preventing injury and crashes. Indifference to other people's lives seems to permeate the comments here.

3. For people who don't like the idea of Vision Zero 0 exactly how many deaths are acceptable in MV?

4. people who bicycle on sidewalks do so because the streets are dangerous - and made more dangerous by drivers that complain about people cycling on the street. (sounds like the the same people)

5. People biking or walking are not driving (at the moment) - meaning that they are not contributing to traffic congestion.


OldMV
Old Mountain View
on Mar 7, 2015 at 5:15 pm
OldMV, Old Mountain View
on Mar 7, 2015 at 5:15 pm
12 people like this

Politically-correct "traffic planners" advising our politically correct City Council MUST realize the following. Bicycles, because of their speed and stupidly aggressive riders, are totally unsuited for sharing trails or sidewalks with pedestrians. Bicycles, because of their speed, their vulnerability, and their stupid/aggressive riders, are totally incompatible with vehicular traffic on MV streets. MV must find a way to get bicycles off of our streets, our sidewalks, and our trails and let them play their stupid and aggressive games with each other out of sight and danger to pedestrians and street vehicles. Since this is impossible on major traffic arteries, I can't see much future for MV as its traffic problems escalate out of control due to overcrowding.


David Harkness
Shoreline West
on Mar 7, 2015 at 5:39 pm
David Harkness, Shoreline West
on Mar 7, 2015 at 5:39 pm
11 people like this

When I was working in Palo Alto I commuted by bike, and the PA section was far safer than MV. I don't know how I managed to avoid being hit given how unsafe California Street is, but I fully follow the California vehicle code which is a good start.

Here's my take as a cyclist. Both drivers and cyclists can be unsafe and break the law. Neither justifies the other. However, while an unsafe cyclist endangers pedestrians and pisses off drivers, unsafe drivers actually threaten the lives of all three classes. Thus separating cars from the other two where possible will save lives.

Adding safety infrastructure will make cycling safer which will allow more people to cycle. This has several benefits:

* It saves lives and reduces everyone's stress.
* It takes some cars off the road.
* It takes bikes off the sidewalks and trails.
* Drivers get more used to bikes.
* Young/inexperienced bikers get to see better role models.

This could be a win-win-win if we all work together instead of trying to blame one group. There are bad actors in each group, and they aren't going away. We can either gripe and do nothing as many of the comments here or work on a plan to make MV a safer community for all.


Stop the Trolls
Cuernavaca
on Mar 7, 2015 at 6:18 pm
Stop the Trolls, Cuernavaca
on Mar 7, 2015 at 6:18 pm
7 people like this

Am I the only person here who thinks that OldMV's comments here make no sense at all?


True
Blossom Valley
on Mar 8, 2015 at 4:38 pm
True, Blossom Valley
on Mar 8, 2015 at 4:38 pm
7 people like this

@Stop the Trolls,

No.

He needs to consult the CA vehicle code before his next unhinged rant. Then realize that his personal vexation over bikes on his roadways matters not.


The All Seeing Eye
Bailey Park
on Mar 9, 2015 at 2:37 pm
The All Seeing Eye, Bailey Park
on Mar 9, 2015 at 2:37 pm
6 people like this

OldMV is just the latest "Old Ben": Based on his comments, a chronic MV hater and all around grumpy gus. He said he was moving away, so had to change his name.
Ideology is his game, and logic and law have no impact on the ideology.
I like to imagine him in many of the non-moving cars I pass when I'm on my bike and smile when I imagine what he must be thinking ;)


Winona
Shoreline West
on Mar 11, 2015 at 1:06 pm
Winona, Shoreline West
on Mar 11, 2015 at 1:06 pm
3 people like this

Hey MV Homies, you're all invited to my FREE Intro to Urban Bicycling Workshop. In ONE hour, get tips, gain confidence and start riding. Class is currently full, but you're welcome anyways. We'll fit you in! Info: Web Link

Extra! Blue bike curious? FREE optional Bike Share ride for first 10 people in door. Bring your helmet if you're riding.

This date doesn't work? Many more of these classes coming up. Check out: Web Link


anthodyd
St. Francis Acres
on Mar 12, 2015 at 6:21 pm
anthodyd, St. Francis Acres
on Mar 12, 2015 at 6:21 pm
3 people like this

I enjoy the Stevens Creek Trail, and along the way, I discovered where a minor addition to guiding signs could be made. There is one small sign on the pathway directing bikes to a shortcut to downtown by way of Mercy Street/Dana . I found that there was no indication of the SCT access from Mercy Street or Dana, however.
When approached from Mercy/McCarty, there is no indication of the SCT, where a simple sign would serve to direct one over the sidewalk to the trailhead hidden behind shrubbery. The Dana street access looks very anonymous, just a long, grimy walkway over a rounded curb.
These two sites would easily benefit from two directional signs, and possibly other advisory signs spotted along Castro Street and Calderon. Thank you for your consideration.


The sign I'd like to see
Blossom Valley
on Mar 13, 2015 at 10:50 am
The sign I'd like to see, Blossom Valley
on Mar 13, 2015 at 10:50 am
11 people like this

"We painted the yellow lines down the middle of the trail for a reason. Keep Right!"


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