The Bay Area Now Has Two Protected Intersections!

Protected Intersection in Berkeley, CA.  Photo: Melanie Curry and Stretsblog California

Protected Intersection in Berkeley, CA.  Photo: Melanie Curry and Stretsblog California

Protected Intersection in San Francisco, CA.  Photo: The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, sfbike.org

Protected Intersection in San Francisco, CA.  Photo: The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, sfbike.org

December 2016 brings two protected intersections to the San Francisco Bay Area.  One is in Berkeley at Hopkins and The Alameda, the other in San Francisco at Ninth and Division.

Protected intersections are a revolutionary (for the United States) way to make intersections safer for cycling.  They improve sight lines between drivers and cyclists, shorten the crossing distance and give cyclists a safe space to wait for a red light to turn green.

Two South Bay Cities are also currently designing protected intersections.  Palo Alto is planning to build one at El Camino and Embarcadero, and Mountain View will build one at Shoreline Boulevard and Middlefield Road as part of upgrades to make way for a center-running bus lane on Shoreline.

The Bay Area seems to be following a national trend.  The US now has 12 protected intersections, up from 4 last year.  As huge protected intersection fans, we are happy to see this design gaining in popularity.

Council Approves Crosswalk for Mistral and Castro Elementary Schools

by Cherie Walkowiak

At Mountain View's City Council meeting on September 20th , council members unanimously approved Staff's recommendation for a raised crosswalk on Escuela Avenue in front of Mistral and Castro Elementary Schools.  This is part of a community benefit package being offered by Anton Development who is building a big apartment complex at 394 Ortega Avenue.

The developers originally offered to install bike lanes and bulb outs on Escuela Avenue as well, to make it safer for kids to get to school on this very busy street.  Council approved staff recommendation to drop the bike lanes and bulb outs from Anton's community benefit package.  Instead, the remaining funds will be given to the city to fund a project, possibly bike lanes on Escuela or something in the San Antonio area, at a future date.  Though most council members would like to see bike lanes here, some are concerned the current design isn't safe enough for elementary school kids.  They don't like how the bike lane on the west side of Escuela would be in the door zone.  McAlister said he'd prefer to see protected bike lanes.  Other council members are concerned about the parking loss bike lanes would cause, and would like staff to look for a solution that addresses safety and parking needs.

Some council members were emphatic that staff bring this back to council with further analysis.  We hope they'll allocate money for the analysis during next year's Capital Improvement Program, or CIP, where staff designates which projects the city will fund.  That process begins in the spring.  Fingers crossed!

Action Alert: Support Bike Lanes on Escuela

On Tuesday, September 20th, Mountain View City Council will be voting on whether Anton Development should install bike lanes on Escuela Avenue from Latham Street to California Avenue.

This road is currently too dangerous for most people to feel comfortable riding on.  Installing bike lanes will make it possible for students to bike to Mistral and Castro elementary schools, both located on this block of Escuela Ave.  However, it will require the removal of 17 parking spaces...

On Your Bike for the Summer Bike Ride with Safe Mountain View

Saturday the 27th August 2016, was Safe Mountain View’s 2nd Annual Summer Bike Ride and Picnic. Families from Mountain View and the surrounds met at Bubb Park in the morning for a casual ride around the streets of the city. Over 90 people were in attendance including the Mountain View Whisman School District’s Superintendent Ayindé Rudolph who loves to ride his bike, riding to the district office daily.

The bike ride began at Bubb Park with bike buses of 6-8 people riding together from the back streets of the Bubb neighborhood through to Castro Street. The ride highlighted one of the upcoming projects Safe Mountain View helped shape, the Graham Middle School protected bike lanes. Riding on Castro Street past the school creates a sense of awareness to the participating families and how the protected bike lanes will increase the safety for children riding to school...

Cherie Presents Cycletopia at SV Bike Summit 2016

Cherie Walkowiak presents Cycletopia

Cherie Walkowiak presents Cycletopia

by John Scarboro

August 11th at the Silicon Valley Bike Summit 2016 Cherie Walkowiak gave an excellent talk about Cycletopia- the pop-up protected bike lane project she organized in Mountain View.  Her warm and well received talk educated people on protected bike lanes, working with City Hall and putting together large projects with many organizational partners and sponsors.  She told people of how Cycletopia was good for gaining support and gathering input and was designed to be fun for all.  She received many oohs and ahs from the crowd of seasoned biking advocates as they saw pictures from the two Cycletopia events.  Cherie also touched on the challenges of finding a place, space and funding. and how she overcame those challenges with a great team of folks from Safe Mountain View, Great Streets Mountain View and the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.  There were several follow up questions and the pop up protected bike lane boxes, made for Cycletopia, featured in, and got good reviews in a later presentation on a similar project in Palo Alto.

Way to go Cherie!

You can see her presentation slides here.  

 

Cake and Candidates 2016

Cupcakes by Sara

Cupcakes by Sara

Safe Mountain View combined fun and civic engagement with our 2016 Cake with the Candidates Forum.  We were honored to celebrate Safe Mountain View’s 3rd birthday with our supporters and talk with 5 of Mountain View’s City Council Candidates.  It is early in the Mountain View election season and it was good to hear the candidates’ enthusiasm about making Mountain View a better, safer place for residents to get around without needing a car.

First up was Lucas Ramirez who prefaced his discussion with the fact that housing affordability was his main issue.  He then discussed his experience bike commuting, his understanding of the way the city operates and how he’d address several issues with safer streets.  He told us how he and his grandfather collected signatures from their neighbors to apply  for traffic calming on their street- an arduous process he’d like to improve. Unfortunately, traffic calming was denied because, even though a majority of residents wanted a safer street, and people were speeding down the street, not enough were speeding enough.  Find out more about Lucas’ campaign here: https://www.ramirezforcouncil.com

Margaret Abe-Koga was next up.  As a former City Council member for two terms, she was on the Council when the General Plan and latest Precise Plans were adopted, including many designs for safer streets, including protected bike lanes and complete streets.  A Peninsula native, Margaret has a long  history in public service. She would like to continue to help the city carry out the improvements she helped shape in the General Plan.  She likes the Shoreline Corridor plans for protected bike lanes and bridge for walking and cycling over 101 at Terra Bella.  Find out more about Margaret at her web site: http://www.mak4council.com

Lisa Matichak was our third candidate of the afternoon.  Lisa is a 17 year resident of Mountain View who became involved in improving Mountain View when she helped form the Wagon Wheel Neighborhood Association in 2008.  She is a strong advocate of people getting involved and making their voices heard about issues in their community.  In addition to her community work, Lisa has been a member of the Mountain View Environmental Planning Commission since 2010.  Find out more about Lisa on her web site: http://www.lisaforcouncil.com

Chris Clark is running as an incumbent.  He is completing his first 4-year term on Mountain View’s city council.  He spoke about his  focus on bike and pedestrian issues.  When he ran for city council four years ago, his campaign focused on  biking and walking.  He would like to prioritize bicycle and pedestrian transportation over car-centric design.  He likes european roadway designs.  He sees Mountain View as a conservative city but would like to continue to work on improving the street designs and transportation for the next 4 years.  Chris’ 2016 web site will be www.electchrisclark.com, in the mean time you may contact him at Chris@electchrisclark.com.

Thida Cornes was our final candidate of the day.  She is a founding member of Great Streets Mountain View; a group that has often partnered with Safe Mountain View on advocacy and education projects from letter writing to Cycletopia and our annual Summer Family Bike Ride.  She thinks that the city should be proactive in improving infrastructure for people who walk and bike.  As a Parks and Recreation Commissioner she led the effort to institute safe routes to parks, and has worked on ensuring  trail improvements.  As a Great Streets member she has advocated for improvements on California, Escuela and Shoreline and collaborated on work for other improvements.  See Thida’s campaign web site at www.thidacornes.com.  

Unfortunately, incumbent John McAlister was unable to join us for the event.  You can see John’s web page here: http://www.johnmcalister.org  

Thank you to all the candidates and community members who participated.  Thank you for your involvement in making the city a better place!

By John Scarboro

Get to Know your City Council Candidates July 9th

It's an election year, and four of Mountain View's city council seats are up for grabs in November.  To ensure Mountain View continues to build progressive road designs, it's critical we elect council members that support them.

City Council Members are THE decision makers when it comes to road designs and land use.  To ensure we have a wise decision-making body, it's important to know who you are voting for.  The best way to get to know them is through a conversation.  Lucky for you, we plan to have a public conversation with the candidates, and you are invited to participate!

On Saturday, July 9th from 1 to 4pm, we will hold an event called Cake With the Candidates.  Why cake?  It's Safe Mountain View's third birthday this year, and we'll be celebrating by indulging in birthday cake while getting to know our city council candidates.  RSVP if you'd like to join us!

Who are the city council candidates this year?  Two are incumbents.  One is a former city council member, and two are active community leaders.  So far, here is the docket:

Come learn about their priorities and begin thinking about who you will vote for in November.

Space is limited, so please RSVP if you plan to come.

Protected Bike Lanes for Graham School Delayed a Year

We were SO excited about the protected bike lanes designed and approved to be built for Graham Middle School students this summer.  We were planning a huge celebratory bike ride at the end of the summer to try out the facilities en masse.

Alas, the festivities will have to wait a year.  The construction has been delayed.

According to a staff memo on May 24th, only one construction company bid to build the project, but the grant funding required at least two bids.  The city is required to open up the bidding process again, but it's too late for the project to be built this summer.  We'll just have to hold our excitement for another year.

We will still ride down Castro Street in front of Graham School for our annual Summer Family Bike Ride and Picnic this year on August 27th at 10am, but rather than a huge celebration, it will be the first installment of a before and after tour.  This year we'll get the "before" pictures, showing how this road needs a change.  Next year we will ride it again for the "after" tour, and see what a difference a bike lane can make.

Please ride with us!  Be part of the movement for kid-safe road designs.  There will be a raffle and free Baskin Robbins ice cream.  : )

RSVP

Protected Bike Lanes are Coming to Castro Street!

Mountain View's inspritation: 4th Street, bordering San Jost State University

Mountain View's inspritation: 4th Street, bordering San Jost State University

Mountain View is going to build a protected bike lane on Castro Street from El Camino to Miramonte this summer.  This will make it much safer for students to get to Graham Middle School.

On March 29th, Mountain View City Council gave their final approval of the project. Construction is due to begin the first day of summer.

Stay tuned for an innaugural ride date in late summer or early fall.