News

Cyclists cheer improved bike lanes

City plans slate of new bike paths

A typical bike lane normally doesn't get much attention, but this bike lane is hardly typical.

A simple green-painted strip separated from the roadway by cement blocks, this new lane along Shoreline Boulevard is being hailed as the first protected bike path in Mountain View. For local bike advocates, this new lane represents the first of what they hope will be a wave of new bike-friendly transformations throughout the city.

Mountain View already boasts an extensive network of bike corridors, with more than 160 miles of bike paths running through the city and the surrounding areas. But that doesn't mean cyclists are always having a joyride while navigating city streets. Even while in bike lanes, cyclists often face a stressful time as they deal with cars zipping by at faster speeds and weaving into the bike lane for a right turn.

Those factors can push people to stay in their cars and leave their bike at home, said Cherie Walkowiak, an organizer with Safe Mountain View.

"Under the current state of bike lanes, most people don't feel that safe," she said. "Transportation is coming to a head we can either build for more and more cars, or we can provide different options for getting around."

Protected bike lanes are touted as one solution to make cycling less stressful through town. Mountain View officials have indicated the improved bike lanes could rapidly expand along the city's major corridors. In a transportation study approved by the council last year, city staff highlighted large sections for potential bike improvements along Shoreline Boulevard, including new protected lanes and intersections and a new bike-pedestrian overpass at Highway 101.

Other areas of town are also being eyed for bike-friendly upgrades. The city's precise plans for North Bayshore, San Antonio and the El Camino Real corridor each call for new protected bikes lanes as well as other cycling improvements.

For many of those proposals, the rubber will hit the road later this year when the council reviews a bike transportation plan update. If approved, that master plan would guide how the city rolls out a slate of new bike infrastructure throughout town.

For now, Walkowiak and other bike enthusiasts are in a celebratory mood over the new bike paths. This Saturday, the Safe Mountain View group is planning an inaugural ride on the new path as part of a Summer Family Bike Ride and Picnic. The ride is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on Aug. 15 at the Stevenson Elementary School playground at the corner of Montecito Avenue and Granada Drive.

More details can be found at [www.safemountainview.org. safemountainview.org

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Comments

5 people like this
Posted by Hazah
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 11, 2015 at 2:19 pm

Is that what that cheering is about? It's a bit loud. How long will it go on for?


23 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 11, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Great...but what about protected lanes and lights for cars? I get just as frightened when those same cyclists who are scared of being hit by a car ride their bikes through red lights and stop signs and then flip you off for not slamming on your breaks for them. How about everyone just obey the rules of the road and we won't have to segregate bikes from cars.

How many millions are we spending to protect these cyclists? Bet this wouldn't need to come out of our tax dollars if cyclists just respected and obeyed the rules of the road or they got ticketed for disobeying the law.


41 people like this
Posted by Not a biker
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 11, 2015 at 2:39 pm

Your car protects you. Quit being silly just to stir the pot. Just be angry at cyclist and enjoy that feeling if that's what makes you feed on, let it keep you warm at night. Enjoy.
The rest of us have evolved beyond that.

-Your FELLOW driver.


14 people like this
Posted by More Bikes
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 11, 2015 at 2:47 pm

This is awesome! Until cars drive themselves, and don't get distracted by text messages and fiddling with the radio, this is the next best thing!


9 people like this
Posted by Me
a resident of Willowgate
on Aug 11, 2015 at 2:55 pm

perhaps the little barriers will help keeping debris (glass) out of the bike line. We can hope.


19 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 11, 2015 at 3:07 pm

@anon, I think the goal is to protect cyclists and pedestrians from being caught up in this sort of thing that happened just this morning:
Web Link

+1 on the stop being silly comment.
Drive safely should go without saying, but it still needs to be said, a lot.


24 people like this
Posted by DoctorData
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 11, 2015 at 4:41 pm

DoctorData is a registered user.

> How many millions are we spending to protect these cyclists?

@anon Here, let me Google the city budget for you:

Web Link

Page 6-12: $60,000 in 2015-16

By comparison, here's how much the city will spend on traffic lights, which presumably we wouldn't need if drivers would just take turns at intersections.

Page 6-13: $379,000 in 2015-16

While we're here, let me also Google a page on logical fallacies, defining "ad hominem" and "straw man":

Web Link


12 people like this
Posted by BOOM!
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 11, 2015 at 4:51 pm

Doctor Data, that was easy eh?
He'll be back to hate on the next improvement though, and the next. It's what he does, who he is. Luckily it's just that easy to swat a slow fly.


20 people like this
Posted by Pot meet kettle
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 11, 2015 at 5:45 pm

Yeah, I never see distracted bike riders. Clearly, they are infalllible.

Carry on with the divisive convo, evidently it's what some here have been pining for.


25 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2015 at 7:12 pm

I drive, ride, and walk and see poor behavior from all three categories of people.

Texting/distracted drivers, cyclists who ignore road laws (most frequently riding on sidewalks and blowing through stop signs), and idiot pedestrians more interested in their smartphones than their own personal safety.

It basically comes down to a culture of self-absorbed entitlement, in the same way that local restaurants are incredibly noisy due to loud conversations.

If you go to Europe or Asia, motor vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians live in greater harmony. Also, their restaurants aren't deafeningly loud. It has little to do with the current generation, but more to do with the specific type of people who live, commute, and work here.

My guess is that we will simply watch accidents and fatalities increase. The self-absorbed entitled ones simply expect others to watch out for their own well-being. They are unable to take personal responsibility of their own safety and that of others. That's entitlement.

And guess what? It's even worse in SF.

Pity.


15 people like this
Posted by Why we need real IDs
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 11, 2015 at 9:53 pm

How about you guys stop posting about whatever it is that is your current beef and just comment on the bike lane proposal ?

A culture of self observed entitlement? Bikes endangering cars? Good grief.

You guys must be a ton of fun to hang out with in real life...


9 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2015 at 10:04 pm

The bike lane looks great, but I have zero interest/need in riding up Shoreline Boulevard.

I'll stick with the Stevens Creek Trail for now since I know there are no cars on that stretch of pavement.

Once there are dozens of these bike lanes in Mountain View, I might consider actively using my bike for in-town riding, much as I did when I was a kid in a nearby South Bay community. But not now.

Too many self-indulgent entitled road users (drivers, cyclists, pedestrians) right now to make my bike riding anything I'd consider in the near future. Just assessing the odds and not liking the cards I'm holding right now.

Cycling as a comfortable transit mode will eventually happen, I'm just not sure if it will occur during my lifetime (at least around here). I'd have no problem riding a bike in Amsterdam or Copenhagen (or even Davis where I went to college).


14 people like this
Posted by Me
a resident of Willowgate
on Aug 11, 2015 at 10:31 pm

I moved to a new office last month, virtually all of my 3 mile commute is slow-traffic and has a bike lane and/or is low speed. I now ride a bike. Previous commutes were either to far, or included high speed traffic with no separation, so I drove.

Need a network of good bike routes before people start considering biking.


5 people like this
Posted by Alma
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 12, 2015 at 9:40 am

If someone could come up with a solution for bikers on Alma at peek traffics time. Backing up traffics for miles because the law says share the road, ridiculous. Such an arrogance no regard for holding up traffic flow.


9 people like this
Posted by Alma Commuter
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 12, 2015 at 12:13 pm

Separated bike lanes on Alma would help get traffic flowing better, but some closed minders always argue against improving bike infrastructure.

Commuting each way every day on Alma by car, I've not seen this "Backed up for miles" because of a bike. I know I'd remember that! Please specify where you think this may be occurring. Between which two streets?


3 people like this
Posted by Alma
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 12, 2015 at 12:27 pm

The Alma biking problems spans from San Antonio Road to University Avenue. It takes one bike to cause a back up. Ever tried changing lanes on Alma?


9 people like this
Posted by Alma Commuter
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 12, 2015 at 1:02 pm

It might have more something to do with the stop lights and the extreme amount of cars. A bike will clear that area in no time so impossible for it to cause miles of backup.
Again, i drive this each and every day. I do not see bikes as being a main culprit in traffic delays during my drive times, morning and evening commute.
I guess we see things differently.


3 people like this
Posted by Alan
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 12, 2015 at 1:20 pm

I know what Alma's talking about 4 o'clock traffic here comes a biker clogging up traffics. It's a nuisance. Bike peddling along while cars are slowed down. Commuter you splitting hairs. Bicycles on Alma can be a pain to drivers.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2015 at 2:01 pm

I cycle a bunch, and these green bike lanes scare me, because I also bike in the rain. They've been painted like this on Alpine road for a while, and when wet, they're very slippery. I stay off them when they're wet, which defeats the purpose. I hope that the paint Mountain View will use is better.


9 people like this
Posted by Alma Commuter
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 12, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Absolutely, they can be, but it is not a systemic problem where their removal will do much of anything to improve traffic flow. I've seen driver-less cars and large trucks cause the same kind of backups. They are temporary, and seriously, most bikes I end up passing on Alma always just catch up at the stop lights because the lines of cars at the stoplights is so long. 3 to 4 cycles to get to a green? There's your major systemic traffic delay.

I'm tired of people scapegoating bikes when the only real problem causing traffic delays on a regular basis is too many cars on the road. No solution will come about if we do not target the right problem. Bikes are not a major cause of area traffic delays, not by a long shot.


3 people like this
Posted by DDD
a resident of Willowgate
on Aug 12, 2015 at 3:17 pm

yeah I too wish bicyclists obeyed all laws, didn't get into accidents, and didn't cause traffic jams like all the perfect drivers we have in the bay area.
"
"Posted by anon
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 11, 2015 at 2:22 pm
Great...but what about protected lanes and lights for cars? I get just as frightened when those same cyclists who are scared of being hit by a car ride their bikes through red lights and stop signs and then flip you off for not slamming on your breaks for them. How about everyone just obey the rules of the road and we won't have to segregate bikes from cars.

How many millions are we spending to protect these cyclists? Bet this wouldn't need to come out of our tax dollars if cyclists just respected and obeyed the rules of the road or they got ticketed for disobeying the law."


5 people like this
Posted by DDD
a resident of Willowgate
on Aug 12, 2015 at 3:21 pm

My point is there are jerks using all kinds of transportation. At least the ones using bicycles are MOST LIKELY going to get themselves killed rather than someone else. While the jerks in 2-ton vehicles...well I hope you can fill in the blank.


5 people like this
Posted by Then it's agreed
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 12, 2015 at 4:03 pm

"At least the ones using bicycles are MOST LIKELY going to get themselves killed rather than someone else"

And yes, car drivers are more likely to kill someone else who is completely innocent, so we should protect against that, with improved bike lanes and pedestrian crossing...Oh, that's what the story was actually about! FULL CIRCLE!


3 people like this
Posted by Pot meet kettle
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 12, 2015 at 5:01 pm

Yup, full circle. Because, you know, bike riders (and pedestrians) are clearly infallible.

-> "Your way of life is destructive and bad!"

~> "No, your way of life is destructive and bad!"

ad infinitum.

*yawn*


5 people like this
Posted by Inventing quotes
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 13, 2015 at 9:28 am

No, of course they are not infallible. I think you are the only one claiming that and than inventing quotes that nobody actually said (Then boring yourself with it? OK, whatever)

The big point is my kids should be safe to ride their bikes or walk to and from school and it has become increasingly dangerous for them to do that, so the city just made it a bit safer.
Good program. Keep hating it though. It's clear your minority opinion will not influence any policy, and IMO rightly so.


11 people like this
Posted by Pot meet kettle
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 13, 2015 at 10:11 am

Don't hate the program at all. Very wrong headed presumption. Simply tired of the divisive comments I see posted time and again whenever there is any sort of discussion about bicycles, traffic, traffic congestion, commuting, etc.


9 people like this
Posted by Yeppers
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 13, 2015 at 10:36 am

Yes, it seems whenever there is anything good to report in the way of infrastructure, people always chime in with anecdotal stories apparently to show this group does not deserve these improvements, and then question why it is needed at all.
Simply because something benefits another group of road users and not them, people get their panties in a bunch. Pretty pathetic.
This particular improvement is good for all, even if all cannot grasp that concept.


3 people like this
Posted by More Bikes
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 13, 2015 at 1:28 pm

Cyclists on Alma are pretty rare but I have seen one occasionally. My guess is that they're usually folks that are new to the area and aren't aware that Bryant, just a few streets over, is a much better alternative. If you happen to be next to a cyclist at a light on Alma, suggest Bryant (nicely).


9 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 13, 2015 at 2:36 pm

The problem with Palo Alto's Bryant Street "bicycle boulevard" is that it ends a mile from the Mountain View border and trying to navigate the rest of the way is really difficult. Bicycling from Palo Alto to Los Altos or East Palo Alto is similarly really hard. No wonder you see bicyclists on Alma Street, which (at least when looking at a map) has much easier connections to neighboring cities.


7 people like this
Posted by Nature Boy
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 13, 2015 at 4:36 pm

I like to ride the bay trails from MV into EPA and beyond, over the Dumbo bridge. No cars at all for the trails part and a "separated from cars by a concrete barrier bike lane" on the bridge. With the exception of the bridge part, it's very tranquil at almost any time of day. Did I mention no cars? Very nice.


5 people like this
Posted by More Bikes
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 14, 2015 at 9:43 am

I agree, it is a bummer that Bryant ends at Meadow. I usually cross Alma at Meadow, then head to Mountain View via Wilkie and the Wilkie Bike Bridge which gets you over to California. It is a little convoluted, but not too bad once you learn the route.


5 people like this
Posted by Velobabe
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 14, 2015 at 9:54 am

These kinds of lanes are in use all over SF. They're fabulous - though I agree a bit more hazardous when wet. So I'm excited for this project.

Re: Alma, though not the main point here, unfortunately many people are unaware of the alternative routes (Wilkie, Park Blvd and Bryant) and there is a few blocks where those don't meet well. But that we need to petition Palo Alto for. In the meantime I applaud the MV CC for taking this step to help make the roads safer for ALL (these lanes encourage cyclists to remain in them rather than having to mingle in traffic as well).


3 people like this
Posted by Velobabe
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 14, 2015 at 9:57 am

**are a few blocks**

Darn typos


3 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Aug 14, 2015 at 9:22 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Sigh:

People will not see the equality until people riding bikes get A LICENSE, REGISTRATION ( WITH A LICENSE PLATE TO IDENTIFY THE BIKE OWNER WHO BLOWS OFF A STOP SIGN AND IS LEGALLY IN THE WRONG ) AND INSURANCE TO PAY THE DAMAGES WHEN THE BIKER INJURES OR KILLS A PEDESTRIAN OR DAMAGES ANOTHER VEHICLE ( YES, YOUR BIKE IS A VEHICLE!)

Now that wasn't so hard to understand, was it?

No " straw man " or other arguments, please. When you pay equally, you get treated equally.
That " common sense " isn't common anymore. I paid for a bicycle license in my day. Complete with a little license plate that attached to the bicycle seat! Others were stickers and still had to be paid for. Along with your other vehicle license and coverage of insurance.
My recumbent tricycle still has the city bike license sticker on it. That sticker shows I can legally operate my trike on trails and a bike lane. ( I'm now somewhat handicapped and have balance issues, hence the trike ).


5 people like this
Posted by Barbie
a resident of North Bayshore
on Aug 14, 2015 at 9:59 pm

There is no reason to license or register bicyclists. Only motor vehicles are considered dangerous enough to require licenses, registration and insurance. For non-motorized vehicles, pedestrians, equestrians and bicyclists there is no such requirement and no reason to impose one.


11 people like this
Posted by velobabe
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 15, 2015 at 9:00 am

velobabe is a registered user.

"A LICENSE, REGISTRATION ( WITH A LICENSE PLATE TO IDENTIFY THE BIKE OWNER WHO BLOWS OFF A STOP SIGN AND IS LEGALLY IN THE WRONG ) AND INSURANCE TO PAY THE DAMAGES WHEN THE BIKER INJURES OR KILLS A PEDESTRIAN OR DAMAGES ANOTHER VEHICLE ( YES, YOUR BIKE IS A VEHICLE!) When you pay equally, you get treated equally."

a) I pay all taxes toward transportation and road improvement, no matter what vehicle I use.
b) By your argument, your feet are also a vehicle, where does it stop?
c) If a cyclist disobeys traffic laws in front of a police officer, they will be pulled over and fined (and I HAVE been), due to the inherent speed differential between cyclists and motorized police officers, a "chase" situation, where license plates are especially critical, is unlikely to occur.
d) Pedestrian vs cyclist accidents are so rare, they don't even constitute part of the pedestrian injury/fatality data:

Six most Frequent Sources of Injury Percent

Tripped on an uneven/cracked sidewalk 24
Tripped/fell 17
Hit by a car 12
Wildlife/pets involved 6
Tripped on stone 5
Stepped in a hole 5

HOWEVER, ALL THAT SAID, cyclists at fault in an injury accident are deemed legally liable, and must pay for damages incurred:

Web Link

As a result, let's take PREVENTIVE measures to decrease the incidents of ANY accidents involving cyclists. Again, this bike lane improvement is a GOOD move.


3 people like this
Posted by MVBRod
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Aug 19, 2015 at 8:53 am

MVBRod is a registered user.

They need to start requiring insurance. I'll change my mind when they quit darting out in front of me INTO THE CAR LANE to pass up a slower bicyclist! Let alone disobeying all the other laws/rules of the road. Why do they think that ok?!
SICK OF IT


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