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California Avenue Underpass

Original post made by Lynne, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 15, 2008

The Sign says walk Bike but so many don't they either don't seem to be able to read the sign or don't see the danger of them riding through the underpass.
I have seen so many near misses with this underpass I walk away wondering why is this sign not enforced.
If they put someone their early morning and late afternoon to hand out fines for not walking the revenue would easily pay for the wages of the person they put their and then some.
When parents have to hold on to their children and tell them to walk by the wall so as to make sure they are not knocked over that is sad it is obvious that the solution they have at the moment is not working.

Comments (11)

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Posted by sally
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 15, 2008 at 11:37 am



The problem is that the sign does not have code violation citation on it.

Bike riders in Palo Alto are above mundane consideration like stop signs and pedestrian safety, it a snob thing, you would not understand.

The only good news is that because of the seats the male riders are not producing offspring so the problem with have a Darwinian solution over time


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 15, 2008 at 11:38 am

"....why is this sign not enforced." Who are "they?" If you mean the PA Police Department, this is very very low priority for our short staffed Traffic Officers. No one other than a sworn Officer can hand out tickets.

But you are right, if a sign says walk your bike that's what you should do. I recommend the sign be removed altogether since it obviously can't be enforced.


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Posted by sally
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 15, 2008 at 3:31 pm

If all the cyclists walked through that tunnel, it would be even more congested. Everyone just needs to keep to the right and single file when possible. Hopefully Caltrain will widen the tunnel soon to ease the congestion.


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Posted by paul
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 15, 2008 at 6:58 pm



I have noticed broken glass in the underpass recently, a danger to dogs and bikes


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Posted by Pedestrian
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 15, 2008 at 8:17 pm

Don't use the tunnel, but it sounds like another case of PA cyclist's the rules don't apply to me mentality. It sounds like arrogance if a cyclist is on his bike where people are walking and the cyclist expects the walkers to get out of the way. One of these days, they will get their come uppance.


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Posted by Not in my lifetime
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 16, 2008 at 9:02 am

Sally says: "Hopefully Caltrain will widen the tunnel soon to ease the congestion." You must be kidding, do you know how much that will cost? If the Homer tunnel cost $7. Million several years ago, any widening of the California Avenue tunnel will cost $10+ Million in to-days dollars.




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Posted by Lets Be Free
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 17, 2008 at 1:28 pm

What a bunch of wieners ! Have you ever checked out the Bike Boulevard and all the joggers, pedestrians, that use the street rather than the sidewalk? Or the Loma Verde Creek bridge where everyone uses the BIKE bridge rather than the pedestrian bridge? Let's just all get along and applaud those that use our feet or pedals rather than gas to get around. And hey you cars, stop encouraging us to run stop signs already!


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Posted by Lets all walk our bikes at the Cal. Underpass!
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2008 at 8:45 am


There is a sign at the California Underpass that says Walk Bikes. There should not be a need for police patrol. That sign is for all bikers. Pedestrians also read that sign and expect that they can stroll through the underpass not fearing that a bike might get in their way. I have seen older people, mothers with strollers, and some bikers walking their bikes. Bikers should all be more courteous and respectful of the signs and the pedestrians. If you do not agree with the sign take it to the city, give valid reasons for bikers to bike through the underpass and have the sign changed. So what are those valid reasons to bike through?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by I walk through that tunnel
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2008 at 10:22 am

I've never had a problem with bikes being riden through that tunnel when I am walking through. I think people on this board are just being anal about arbitary rules. They cant ride through fast the barriers prevent that, so what's the "real" issue.


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Posted by lynne33
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2008 at 10:31 am

The fact that I have seen near misses when I use it twice a day what is wrong with walking your bike and when you are yelled at to get out of my way and see mothers holding onto their children before they start to walk to make sure a rider is not coming through come on.
Bike people seem to think that signs do not apply to them.
As for the police giving out fines you know that this person wages would be paid for in a short time, if only put there early morning or late afternoon.
The sign should read California Avenue underpass enter at your own risk if you walk.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by R Wray
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 9, 2008 at 2:07 pm

I think the sign is just a formality for city insurance so that the city can cover itself in case there's an accident--say if a biker hits a barrier. I routinely ride through with no problems. But I would eliminate the barriers--they are dangerous and an unnecessary impediment to bikers and pedestrians (especially those with bike trailers or strollers). Responsible bikers don't run down pedestrians, and barriers don't stop irresponsible ones.


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