Update

The city's design for Castro Street between El Camino and Miramonte is moving forward, and it includes the protected bike lanes Safe Mountain View advocated for!  City Council gave the project its final approval on April 29, 2016 as a consent calendar item.  Construction is due to begin the first day of summer vacation, 2017, and most of it should wrap up before school resumes in the fall.

Stay tuned for details on a celebratory ride down the new protected bike lanes possibly in August or September, 2017.

Background

Three middle school students were struck by motorists in front of Graham Middle School in 2012. In response, Mountain View staff came up with a new road design meant to slow cars down, allocate space for cyclists, and enhance pedestrian safety.

This is a good thing.  Castro Street between Miramonte and El Camino is not safe for students trying to walk or bike to school amidst the frenzied school drop-off traffic.  It is a four-lane road.  The posted speed limit is 30 mph.  This speed is enough to induce serious injury in the case of a collision, but cars often go much faster (like on any wide road).  To top it off, there are currently no bike lanes.

Staff's design will address all these issues.

Overall Design

Here is the city's overall design:

Design Elements

The project includes a 9-ft bike lane with a striped buffer, rubber curbs, and parking to protect cyclists from moving vehicles.  The city is modeling the bike lanes after the 4th Street parking-protected bike lane in San Jose, CA, located next to San Jose State University.

4th Street in San Jose photo courtesy of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition

4th Street in San Jose

photo courtesy of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition

 

Some corners will include corner refuge islands, kind of like we see in Protected intersections.  These give cyclists some protection from turning cars.

 
 

 

Crosswalks will have bulb-outs to make the crossing distance shorter.  The bike lane will wrap behind the bulb-out so cyclists are not forced into moving traffic.

Mountain View Senior Center

Mountain View Senior Center

 

 

Mid-block crossings will have blinky lights to make pedestrian crossings obvious.

 

 

Median refuge islands will provide a place in the middle of the street to wait for a break in traffic.

 

 

 

The city will lower the speed limit to 25 mph, and to 15 mph in the school zone.

 

Other improvements include:

  • eliminating a lane from each side of the street to make room for the wide bike lanes
  • eliminating the free right turn for cars at Miramonte, creating a safe space for cyclists to turn right

All this will turn a hazardous route to school into a safe one!

We are very pleased with this project.  It's big.  It's bold.  It will vastly imrove student safety.  Our hope is that once it's built, people who walk and bicycle here will discover how wonderful protected bike lanes and complete street are, and that residents will start wanting them in other parts of the city.  We hope you'll join us in supporting this safe route for Graham Students so that it moves forward, and in celebrating the project once it is complete.

Show Your Support:

If you would like to join a discussion on the topic, go to our Google Group and click "Subscribe to this group."  This is a low-volume, short-term discussion list where we post updates and folks discuss anything related to the project.  We will retire the list once the road improvements have been constructed and we've gone on a celebratory ride.

Celebrate with Us

Stay tuned for details on our celebratory ride.  Sign up on our Google Group to be notified once we set a date.