Webcast: Building a bike-friendly city | News | Palo Alto Online |


Webcast: Building a bike-friendly city


On this week's Behind the Headlines, Robert Neff, chair of the Palo Alto Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee, joins Weekly Editor Jocelyn Dong and reporter Gennady Sheyner to discuss the city's push to make local streets more bicycle-friendly.

Watch this week's webcast here.

Webcasts are posted every Friday afternoon on PaloAltoOnline.com, as well as on Palo Alto Online's YouTube channel, youtube.com/paweekly.

Check out previous weeks' episodes:

Behind the Headlines: Housing the homeless; Big East Palo Alto developments

Behind the Headlines: Rep. Anna Eshoo

Behind the Headlines: Sex ed controversy

Behind the Headlines: A vision for Palo Alto's parks

Behind the Headlines: City Hall Roundup

Behind the Headlines: FPPC Investigation, Bounty Hunters in East Palo Alto

Behind the Headlines: Restaurants under pressure

Behind the Headlines: Inside social-emotional education

Behind the Headlines: Diversity's champions

Behind the Headlines: Breaking down the budget gap

Behind the Headlines: The new City Council; School technology and privacy

Behind the Headlines: Uproar over land-use plan

Behind the Headlines: Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff

Behind the Headlines: Seeking sanctuary from domestic violence

Behind the Headlines: Public Immigration Forum

Behind the Headlines: Office for Civil Rights agreement

Behind the Headlines: Best and worst films of 2016

Behind the Headlines: Year in review

Behind the Headlines: Carmageddon

Behind the Headlines: Harvard report on special education

Behind the Headlines: Palo Alto trees -- dead or alive?

Behind the Headlines: Board of Education election analysis

Behind the Headlines: City Council election analysis

Behind the Headlines: Bullying case tests district's policies

Behind the Headlines: the debate over weighted grade-point averages

Behind the Headlines: Palo Alto politics, East Palo Alto evictions

Behind The Headlines: Campaign finance, Airbnb conflicts

Behind the Headlines: The Donkeys of Barron Park

Behind the Headlines: Election special

Behind The Headlines: Retail news, housing controversies

Behind the Headlines: Remembering 9/11

Behind The Headlines: Palo Alto's master plan for public art

Behind the Headline: The Evolving El Camino Real

Behind The Headlines: Housing Crisis, November Election

Behind The Headlines: Stemming the Flow -- Flood Protection

Behind The Headlines: Muslim in America -- Reaction to rhetoric

Behind The Headlines: Locals to Impact Olympics

Behind The Headlines: Race, Policing and Reconciliation

Behind the Headlines: Reporters' Roundtable

Behind The Headlines: Innovator in Education

Behind The Headlines: Spectacular fireworks

Behind The Headlines: Elementary math, Castilleja expansion

Behind the Headlines: Saving Buena Vista

Behind The Headlines: Brock Turner uproar and election recap

Behind The Headlines: Palo Alto students speak out

Behind The Headlines: DA's fatal police shooting report & Cash flows into the Assembly race

Behind the Headlines: Teacher Compensation in Palo Alto

Behind The Headlines: To the rescue -- Disaster volunteers prepare

Behind The Headlines: Size Matters -- Student-to-teacher ratios in Palo Alto

Behind the Headlines: Transportation: problems and solutions

Behind the Headlines: Taxi struggles and Eichler disputes

Behind The Headlines: Palo Alto considers full-day kindergarten

Behind The Headlines: State Assembly District 24 -- A look at the candidates

Behind The Headlines: College Terrace challenge Stanford toxic study

Behind the Headlines: Inside the Brock Turner case

Behind the Headlines: Tackling Palo Alto's housing and traffic problems

Behind the Headlines: Dr. Steven Adelsheim on youth mental health

Behind the Headlines: Renaming movement, Addison Donation, Office Cap

Behind the Headlines: "State of the City" with Mayor Pat Burt

Behind the Headlines: Bridging the gap - Understanding Palo Alto's Chinese community

Behind the Headlines: Growing up Undocumented

Behind the Headlines: Talking Sustainability with Gil Friend

Behind the Headlines: Secondary dwelling units, New school proposal

Behind the Headlines: Stanford University and Sexual Assault, Prepping for the Super Bowl

Behind the Headlines: Development at Stanford Research Park; police and the mentally ill

Behind the Headlines: Divisive mayoral election; fatal police shooting

Behind the Headlines: The year's best and worst movies

Behind the Headlines: 2015 Year in Review

Behind the Headlines: Inside Palo Alto's Emergency Center

Behind the Headlines: Undisclosed new-school proposal; groundwater pumping

Behind the Headlines: Buena Vista owner sues City; New plans for public-safety center

Behind the Headlines: Palo Alto Fire Department changes

Behind the Headlines: Midtown bicycle paths; Transgender youth

Behind the Headlines: New school proposed for Palo Alto

Behind the Headlines: Tension within governing boards

Behind the Headlines: Affordable housing; Transportation initiatives

Behind the Headlines: Paly teacher investigation

Behind the Headlines: Stanford students' activism against sexual assault

Behind the Headlines: Preserving retail; capping office development

Behind the Headlines: Transportation tax; Fiber to the Premise

Behind the Headlines: Fall Arts Preview

Behind the Headlines: Police conduct on campuses; new parkland

Behind the Headlines: Minimum wage; airplane noise


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— Palo Alto Weekly staff

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10 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 6, 2017 at 11:20 am

Great interview. A big thank you to Robert and his committee for their work on making Palo Alto safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. We always see the worst of the city at those choke points where the bike lanes end and speeding cars blast their horns at you as you just try to get home safely (like San Antonio Road across Hwy 101 or Middlefield Road & San Antonio or Charleston & El Camino). Hopefully some those projects that Robert talks about will make our streets safer and smoother for everyone in a timely manner.

7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 6, 2017 at 11:35 am

There are some very difficult intersections for bikes particularly at times where school commutes mean that there are often 10, 20 or more bikes waiting for a light to change. The ones that come to mind are Churchill/Alma, Bryant/Oregan, Meadow/Middlefield and Loma Verde/Middlefield. At each of these, it would be a good idea to have separate bike traffic light in the sequence and also more waiting space for the bikes away from motorized vehicle waiting queues. A flock of bikes waiting causes all the other vehicles to be surrounded by bikes that are much too close (under the legal 3') and quite often the cars can't move until all the bikes have cleared the intersection and by that time only one car per green gets by.

Just my observations.

15 people like this
Posted by Danielle
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 6, 2017 at 11:56 am

Most of Palo Alto is very dangerous for bicyclists.
This is due to distracted drivers (texting, etc) as well as residents driving on international licenses, who have NEVER taken an on-the-road driving test, only a cursory written test in their home country!

Supposedly CA does not honor international licenses, but that seems to apply only to car RENTALS, not car SALES!
Car dealers don't care who they sell to, and they are selling big cars to inexperienced drivers who don't know the rules of the road, causing them to hit bicyclists as well as other cars!

I personally have been hit twice by inexperienced foreign drivers while riding my bike home from my job at Stanford.
The PAPD officers on both occasions informed me at the hospital that the driver was driving on an international license-- yet made no arrests! The drivers were cited, in both cases, and had to appear in court, as well as but me a new bike both times and pay my very expensive Stanford Hospital bills as well as physical therapy, punitive fines, reimbursement for missed work and pain and suffering.

Still, this did not help me heal any faster! Isn't there more that Palo Alto and the state can do? I am too terrified to bike ride to work any longer!

Posted by Bunyip
a resident of Adobe-Meadow

on May 6, 2017 at 2:42 pm

Due to violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are only visible to registered users who are logged in. Use the links at the top of the page to Register or Login.

6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on May 7, 2017 at 8:08 am

Palo Alto is one of the safest places to ride a bike. It has been that way for a long time. Those who call this place dangerous must have never lived somewhere like Los Angeles.

The city has thrown our tax dollars down the drain trying to build bicycle infrastructure in an effort to change people's behavior & choice of transportation. It is more about environmentalism than it is about safety.
The TMA has a stated goal of reducing car traffic, which flies in the face of reality as the population skyrockets.
So instead, they create artificial choke points which cause needless congestion. Its like placing an immovable object in the path of an unstoppable force. Completely illogical road engineering. You need look no further than what has been done to N. California between Alma and Middlefield. I have yet to see anyone ride through the hideous, useless two-way bike lane on the left. We really ought to campaign for the entire mess, along with the bollards, to be removed.
Just the other day, a cyclist was trying to ride legally on the right side of the road there, but he had no room to share the road with cars because they made the road so narrow for no good reason. He had to pull over behind parked cars that were taking up the right side of the road so cars could get through.
Dangerous behavior is caused by congestion.
We can accommodate bicyclists, but we shouldn't become hostile towards cars (the vast majority of traffic) in order to do so.
Drivers here are generally courteous. It is a myth that all car drivers are vicious killers while all cyclists are innocent and somehow morally superior for riding bicycles.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Greater Miranda

on Aug 20, 2017 at 8:34 am

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