Town Square

Post a New Topic

Opinion: Traffic Study — a rhyme for our time

Original post made on Nov 1, 2019

The future belongs to an incredible notion
That tons of traffic must proceed in slow motion!
As drivers learn the new math -- a unique equation:
Quadruple the cars equals road minimization.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 1, 2019, 6:30 AM

Comments (71)

39 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 1, 2019 at 9:44 am

Online Name is a registered user.

"And if Silicon Valley's the center of high tech innovation,
Why aren't more traffic signals set for high tech synchronization?"

Because the former city manager awarded the light synchronization contract to the former transportation manager who failed to synch the Paly/ Town & Country lights for more than 5 years, forcing us sto waste time and fuel waiting for the stupid light on weekends, at midnight and during summer vacations?

"Wide turns, narrow streets, force cars toward the middle into the oncoming lane;"

And force the through traffic to back up to allow in turning traffic. Just check out Middlefield at Santa Rita in front of the old Jordan.

Thank you for calling out the absurdities forced on us by our free-spending illogical city officials and City Council. This piece should be required reading for the new traffic guy.


22 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 1, 2019 at 9:51 am

Bravo to the poet!


4 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 10:07 am

Amusing, but, I don't get the problem some people have with the green paint. It solves an important problem in showing both cars and bicyclists where the bicycles are expected to be. It started with Park Blvd near Page Mill. When a 12-year-old kid was killed in 2012, and a lawsuit was filed, consideration began of how to make it safer.

Web Link

"The $17 million claim states that "a substantial factor that contributed to this incident is the City of Palo Alto's negligent design, construction, maintenance, signing, operation and control of the roadways."


21 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 10:58 am

@Anon,
The problem is that doing something badly is not lessening Palo Alto's negligent design construction etc of the roadways.

Go drive around the block from Arastradero (El Camino to Foothill direction) turning right on Coulomb, until you see a bike coming in that new little lane they've hidden behind the parked cars designed to get a bicyclist killed. Of course go when there aren't crossing guards for school. Be patient, it might be awhile. But be careful, the bike could well be in your blind spot.

Speaking of negligent design. The traffic people like to tell you that anything they put in, no matter how MISapplied to the situation, is somehow standard and they believe this protects them from being charged with negligent design and control of the roadways.


2 people like this
Posted by Sigh
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2019 at 1:03 pm

TL; TC; DR


5 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 1:42 pm

Posted by Sense, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

>> until you see a bike coming in that new little lane they've hidden behind the parked cars designed to get a bicyclist killed. Of course go when there aren't crossing guards for school. Be patient, it might be awhile. But be careful, the bike could well be in your blind spot.

I guess the only good bicycle is one that is in the garage and not being ridden. Because, some motorists complain bitterly about bike lanes adjacent to auto lanes and prefer the "separate" kind of design you are talking about. Some bike lanes are between sidewalks and diagonal car parking, for example, where some motorists prefer the lanes.


11 people like this
Posted by Let's drive with care.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 1, 2019 at 1:48 pm

Let's drive with care. is a registered user.

I think it is a good thing to moderate our driving speeds to appropriate levels on in-town routes where we share space with thousands of pedestrians and bicyclists. Had drivers been doing that, these projects would not have been necessary. Before the project, 85th percentile speeds on Charleston Road in the School Zone (posted 25MPH) was 38MPH (which means that many people were driving much faster than that). Speed kills. A woman was killed on the road the summer before last. I remember the sickening thud. I heard the crash from inside my home a little more than a block away.

The percentage of local kids biking and walking to school has gone from about 17% to more than 50% over the last ten or so years. More adults are biking and walking too. These fellow citizens need a safe place on the street. We had sixty years of engineering streets exclusively for cars. That led to the predictable result-- forcing people to encase themselves in steel for "safety", leading to even more cars and more risk for people who walk and bike. Cars took over, literally driving people who walk and bike off the street. I thank the city for trying to right that wrong.

I find that when I drive at the posted speed, I have no difficulty navigating the modified routes at all. I find that the light timing works perfectly for me when I drive the speed limit. Try it. You might find that you will have to stop at fewer red lights when you drive at the posted speed.

Let's each take responsibility for complying with the law. It feels more comfortable to drive at a safe speed while we contribute to making the road safer for everyone.


23 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:41 pm

@Anon,
"I guess the only good bicycle is one that is in the garage and not being ridden. "

Oh, stop the histrionics. Wanting the City to use good design for safety is not the same as being against bikes.

Go drive that segment. Better yet, have someone park in those spaces before you do, and have a friend circling on a bike there. First of all, I haven't seen many bikes there anymore, but of those I've seen, the majority are up on the sidewalk instead. An unsuspecting kid will blast through a green light no realizing their lane is completely hidden to the car turning right who probably just looked for bikes where the lane usually is.

I support separated bike lanes, but the bikes can't be treated like an afterthought, they have to be given full vehicle status, with signaling where appropriate. I would much rather have seen the City create a fully separate bike throughway, with signaling, than this mess, if they were going to take away lanes on Arastradero.

Regardless, this situation sets unsuspecting cars and bicyclists on a collision course in what is the most common of all accidents, the right hook. It probably couldn't have been better designed to create a right hook accident and kill a cyclist.

I'd like bicyclists to be able to use the expensive things the City is doing to increase safety and ridership, not be a death waiting to happen, probably of a child.

City Council: window dressing doesn't let you off the hook for negligent design.


4 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:53 pm

Posted by Sense, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

>> Oh, stop the histrionics. Wanting the City to use good design for safety is not the same as being against bikes.

Think "safe harbor" vs, "damned if you do, damned if you don't". There is a lot of disagreement regarding what "good design for safety" is. I think it generally is safer if I ride out in traffic in the middle of the lane when traffic is slow and I can ride at the same speed as traffic. So do a lot of other bicyclists. But, many inexperienced bicyclists, and, some motorists, disagree with me/us. If you want us out of sight behind parked cars, you have to look before you turn. Every time.

But, as "Let's drive with care" observes, all these problems are eased if people drive 25mph instead of 40mph, as they are supposed to do in residential districts all over the state. (And have been for at least the last 50 years.)


20 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2019 at 8:16 am

@Anon
"If you want us out of sight behind parked cars, you have to look before you turn."

Who wants you out of sight behind parked cars? I don't want you out of sight behind parked cars. Did you read what I wrote? I'm complaining that the idiot planners put the bikes where they CAN'T be seen by people looking carefully (over their right shoulder to the point that it's hard to navigate oncoming obstacles), that's quite different than people not looking. Sheesh.

The City moved the bike lane on Arastradero right before Coulomb out of sight, behind parked cars, probably so they could get away with that really extreme bump out and not kill too many cyclists while they were wrecking people's cars.

Rather than just give cyclists a much wider safer bike lane, they decided they liked the extreme bump out so much, they would just put the bike lane down a deep narrow groove (that street sweeping can't clean) on the other side of a curb on the other side of parked cars. Most of the bikes I've seen there have been riding on the sidewalk now.

GO DRIVE THE INTERSECTION a bunch of time, especially when there's traffic on Arastradero that nearly rear-ends you when you stop to make that extreme right turn, but no crossing guard. They've made the turn so extreme, you have to go so slowly that a bike from much further back than you can see when you start the turn can come up and hit you (right-hooking the bike).

Plus, even knowing the lane is there on the other side of the parked cars, it's still really hard to know where the lane is, and much of it is now in the car's blind spot anyway. I usually try to have someone in the passenger seat watch the lane so I can pay attention to the obstacle course in front of me while I turn, but it's even hard for the passenger, especially if cars are parked there.

Go get someone to park in those spaces on Arastradero right before Coulomb, have some experienced cyclist blasting through at unexpected intervals, and ride around the block a bunch of times making that right turn.

This is the dumbest design, almost like they asked themselves how do they get away with murdering some unsuspecting kid on a bike. The only reason it hasn't happened is that except for school hours when there is a crossing guard there, there are almost no bikes (and those that do ride there, most seem to take the sidewalk now).

When they made the road single-laned, they had an opportunity to make wider bike lanes and sidewalks. Or, they could have made a separated -- but clearly visible -- bike bahn alongside the car road with appropriate signaling so that the bikes and cars were equal vehicles. But hiding the bike lane in a short section as a narrow deep groove behind parked cars and a curb, gives young bikers a sense of safety when in fact any driver turning right that didn't know the neighborhood and the stupidity of City planners would not know the path was there.

This is one block away from the idiotic islands they put up in front of Juana Briones school. They wanted to make an extreme turn to slow down drivers, but they made it so extreme, people kept running into the island and damaging their cars/ knocking down the signs. Eventually, after more than a year of damaging vehicles and making things not one iota safer, they moved it back so people could actually make the turn, but cars still move in a way because of that island that IMHO is more dangerous to walkers on the sidewalk than previously (if you understand physics, which clearly the city planners do not). All this to solve a problem that didn't exist so the City could claim they were improving things for bikers. I hope some future personal injury attorney reads this and gets the intersection at Arastradero and Coulomb fixed before some kid gets killed.


6 people like this
Posted by Stuart Berman
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 2, 2019 at 11:35 am

Stuart Berman is a registered user.

It's interesting that none of the commenters is brave enough to post using their name. The first lesson of a civil society is lost on Palo Alto.


8 people like this
Posted by Stuart Berman
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 2, 2019 at 11:38 am

Stuart Berman is a registered user.

Over the past hundred years the public roads have been ceded to cars and trucks. It is time that pedestrians and bike riders be allotted their equal rights to this space. To my reading this ode is an apology to the tyranny of the auto.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2019 at 12:06 pm

Posted by Sense, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

>> @Anon
>> "If you want us out of sight behind parked cars, you have to look before you turn."

>> Who wants you out of sight behind parked cars? I don't want you out of sight behind parked cars. Did you read what I wrote? I'm complaining that the idiot planners put the bikes where they CAN'T be seen by people looking carefully (over their right shoulder to the point that it's hard to navigate oncoming obstacles), that's quite different than people not looking. Sheesh.

Take it easy. -Motorists- have often asked bicycle lanes to be configured as the "protected" type, which is exactly what the new Arastradero configuration is. This setup has been used various places and you can google pictures on images dot google dot com. Here is an actual -study- of what people say they want: Web Link

Many experienced cyclists don't particularly like this configuration, but, inexperienced cyclists and motorists prefer it.

>> The City moved the bike lane on Arastradero right before Coulomb out of sight, behind parked cars, probably so they could get away with that really extreme bump out and not kill too many cyclists while they were wrecking people's cars.

(Bike lanes in this configuration often collect a lot of broken glass and nails, too.) However, many motorists prefer them. See survey.

BTW, I really don't get why some drivers, such as yourself, hate bulbouts so much. They are increasingly popular, so, please try to get used to them. The purpose is enhanced pedestrian safety. Early studies showed enhanced safety: Web Link . I don't know if they have been studied more recently and what the results are, but, I've never wrecked my car, and, in pedestrian mode, I like them.

The biggest annoyance wrt crosswalks, bulbouts, etc., that I have faced, is, all the people standing there, looking expectantly at cars-- so, I slow down, almost stop, waiting to see if they step into the crosswalk, and, voila', they look at the next car. -Uber-. There has to be a better way.


7 people like this
Posted by Driving Skill
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2019 at 5:38 pm

I drive that segment every single day with no difficulty at all. Maybe the problem is driving skill.

Yesterday I drove Middlefield behind a man who drove from East Meadow to Safeway with his passenger-side wheels about a foot into the bike lane. He clearly had no clue where his fenders were. He turned into the parking lot without signaling. Lucky for him I was paying attention and maintaining a safe distance from his car. I was able to accommodate his turn despite his incompetent handling of his vehicle.

I think drivers should have to take a test periodically to maintain their license. Vehicle code changes over time and people's abilities change over time.

Driving is a privilege and an awesome responsibility. It is not a right.


13 people like this
Posted by Driver
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 2, 2019 at 6:38 pm

@ Driving Skills

Today I was driving Middlefield from San Antonio to Loma Verde. Traffic was quite heavy and at Charleston I was stopped about 4 cars back from the light. I was overtaken on the inside by a man on a bike. He weaved in front of the car in front of me to get into the space between cars stopped at the light then went through the red light in front of the car at the front. He then sped up to go ahead to Meadow. I overtook him in the bike lane before reaching Meadow where once again I was stopped at a red light and once again he wove into the middle between cars and passed me on the left before going to the right in front of the car in front of me which was first at light. He jumped the red light as there was no traffic to prevent him doing so.

This guy had a death wish and acted like an irresponsible motor cycle lane splitting. I hope he got to his destination safely.

Adults on bikes are role models for young bike riders. They need to act responsibly and perhaps there should be a test for those adults who want to ride bikes on city streets.


10 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2019 at 7:18 pm

" -Motorists- have often asked bicycle lanes to be configured as the "protected" type, which is exactly what the new Arastradero configuration is. This setup has been used various places and you can google pictures on images dot google dot com. Here is an actual -study- of what people say they want: Web Link
Many experienced cyclists don't particularly like this configuration, but, inexperienced cyclists and motorists prefer it."

As always, the devil is in the details. The article you linked to simply states that motorists and bikes prefer some protection from each other. It says nothing about people preferring unusual configurations in which the bike lane is removed in a way that it's not even clear it's there.

I have just pointed out that I would have been happy if they'd used the space they took away on Arastradero to make a kind of bike-bahn, in which the bikes were equal vehicles with the cars. That would require signaling for the bike-bahn, too. But it would be way safer. But that's a completely different situation than hiding the bike lane off somewhere and having it emerge in an unexpected place, in an arrangement that is exactly like the one that causes the most car-driver collisions.

It's like you're touting how people prefer to have the equipment sterilized when they get their ears pierced, then dismissing the patient's complaints about the outcome because you sterilized the chain saw.

@Driving skill,
"I drive that segment every single day with no difficulty at all. Maybe the problem is driving skill." No, it's not. You are completely missing the point.

The fact that you haven't killed someone there is completely beside the point. And so is driving skill. Safety design isn't safe if it depends on everyone and every condition being perfect. That situation is unsafe because the bike lines are integrated everywhere around town, but far away (not the same as "protected") and HIDDEN there. The bikes are given the sense that they are protected, while the cars are given no sense that there is a bike lane there at all. This is a perfect setup for a right hook. Our planners seem to think, not only there, that none of these intersections will never have drivers who don't know about all these stupid and unsafe differences.

The only reason that hasn't resulted yet in a serious accident or death is because except for school traffic, when there is a crossing guard at that intersection, there are almost no bikes on that stretch, and those I have seen are almost always riding on the sidewalk, not in the hidden gully they created.

@Anon, Hiding behind surveys that don't apply in this situation is just coming across as dishonest. This is a dangerous intersection because of bad design. I personally think the lives of our kids are worth more than hiding behind general surveys and handwaving about "protected spaces" to justify the danger.


5 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2019 at 9:05 am

"hiding the bike lane off somewhere and having it emerge in an unexpected place, in an arrangement that is exactly like the one that causes the most car-driver collisions."

I would additionally point out that this configuration is ONLY on a short stretch of the road on one side. The other side of the whole road AND the rest of Arastradero on the same side have the typical bike lanes (except at the intersection where they disappear as usual in this town). The fact that this "separation" is unusual, hidden, and inconsistent with the rest of the road, AND that it is set up to make the bike feel safe to be exactly in a situation in which cars will have difficulty seeing them coming in the time it takes to make the turn, assuming they even know the lane is there, is what makes it dangerous.
No wonder so many bikes take to the sidewalk there, though the intersection then still remains dangerous for them. The cars have been slowed, but cars and bikes are much more likely to collide if there at the same time.

Like the badly placed stop sign in front of Juana Briones before, the road furniture is also done badly at several places. This is obviously the case as so many people have hit those, the furniture itself no longer has any visible warning paint and the new structures are damaged, so cars are even less likely to see the ones jutting out. There have been numerous accidents witnessed by residents along the road between cars and the road furniture, some in which the cars had to be towed away.

Additionally, since the changes, my car has nearly be rear-ended by cars on Arastradero when I try to basically stop as necessary to make that turn without a right-turn space there anymore. Because the situation is so unusual, I still have to check for bikes in the road just in case, AND try to find the hidden bikeway in my car's blind spot the whole time, AND navigate the new obstacle course in front. Again, I the City is deaf to logic and actual experience, this is here for the future litigators who will surely be involved when some poor kid on a bicycle gets killed here by breaking their neck running into a car making that slow turn.

This intersection has been made into a right hook machine, that only hasn't happened because people who live here are already so careful about bikes, the fact that bikes get confused and take the sidewalk so often, and the fact that there just aren't that many bikes or cars to come into conflict when there isn't a crossing guard.

The intersection should be fixed. If the City has no plans to make a separated bikeway along the entire road, with appropriate signaling for all vehicles, then they should restore the hopefully much wider and safer bike path there.



2 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2019 at 9:07 am

"except at the intersection where they disappear as usual in this town"

By interesection, I was referring to El Camino and Arastradero.


4 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2019 at 9:11 am

But the dangerous intersection, again, is the right turn from Arastradero onto Coulomb, with the hidden bike groove on the other side of parking.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2019 at 9:26 am

Posted by Sense, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

>> But the dangerous intersection, again, is the right turn from Arastradero onto Coulomb, with the hidden bike groove on the other side of parking.

You know what? As I have commented on several times, I don't particularly like this "protected" configuration because it lacks visibility and isn't convenient for experienced bicycle riders. I was only responding to your statement that this configuration was something randomly cooked up by the City. It isn't. I've seen these since the 1970's, actually, and you can Google any number of pictures of existing installations you want. My point was only that inexperienced cyclists and motorists say they like it, and, it has been used for decades.

IOW, instead of ad hominems against city staff, just point out why the design is poor. Facts. Logic.


10 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2019 at 10:20 am

@Anon,
"I've seen these since the 1970's"

Please point out the specific ones you know of in Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, or Menlo Park so we can discuss them. I haven't personally seen a single one like this used in the broader Bay Area. But I'm open to discussing how just because someone else does something in a different situation somewhere in Timbuktu it's not an excuse for handwaving away specifically dangerous aspects of this one.

Please note that the conditions need to be the same. One of the bigger problems here is that our transportation department seems to be combing traffic design manuals for things they can MISAPPLY by disregarding important specific conditions. Again, with the goal of seeming like they are doing something in order to justify more unsafe overdevelopment. For example, the "bike box" on Donald at Arastradero, typically those are placed where there is intersection visibility, which in that case is completely lacking. That isn't the only way that feature was misapplied, but this doesn't stop planners from fending off complaints by saying, just as you are, that bike boxes are used other places, so there is no need for them to consider copious feedback about dangers from this misapplied one.

The fact is, the city staff is using that very same excuse to add poorly designed and unsafe road features all over town. They do NOT respond to facts and experience, so I do not retract my judgments based on their poor design and their even less sensible or intelligent response to complaints, accidents, and observations.

You are welcome to ignore that, and keep this discussion about the dangerous road conditions the staff are creating, instead of trying to derail it with the typical distractions of how people express themselves. If you'd like to have a conversation about that, please make another thread, and we'll talk about the emotional, negative, and non-fact-based ways City staff have talked about and responded to residents, too.


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2019 at 5:53 pm

>>The fact is, the city staff is using that very same excuse to add poorly designed and unsafe road features all over town. They do NOT respond to facts and experience, so I do not retract my judgments based on their poor design and their even less sensible or intelligent response to complaints, accidents, and observations.

Here is an actual study based on real observations across 5 cities:

Web Link._


7 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2019 at 8:59 pm

@Anon,
You still haven't answered my question. Talking about "protected bike lanes" means nothing here. The link you provided doesn't talk about that, only about "protected lanes". I've told you I'm in favor of protected bike lanes done right, and gave a specific example. I'm not in favor of lanes that couldn't have been designed better to cause an accident that kills a cyclist some day.

You said you've seen a lot of lanes like the ridiculously dangerous hidden groove they put in that short section before Coulomb on Arastradero. So I asked you to point out specific ones in our town or surrounding towns.

Could you just point out two or three? Again, just protected lanes is not the issue, it's that exact dangerous configuration. Although I think it's silly to justify something by saying somebody else does it so it must be okay, you said you've seen these exact configurations since the 1970's, so I'd like you to point out the ones in this area, because I haven't seen this ever.

Please point out where else in Palo Alto or surrounding communities that this exact kind of setup has been implemented, with the features that I have been describing that create the danger.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2019 at 9:06 am

@Sense:

In case you are interested in studying the issue, here is a recent article from Forbes:

Web Link


10 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 4, 2019 at 10:31 am

There are not enough bike riders, nor will there be, to justify the percentage of our tax money the PACC has alloted to their coddling.

Even developer loving Mountain View doesn't have the draconian anti-car attitude embraced by Palo Alto.

Let's see some city management actions that support the people who live here. If you must virtue signal, put up some "nuclear-free zone" signs and be done with it.


20 people like this
Posted by Yes! More cars now!
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 4, 2019 at 1:25 pm

We need to quit coddling these bike riders and get them moved into traffic. All school kids, commuters, short in town trips, they should ALL be made in a car.
I'm an virtue signalling effin genius.


10 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2019 at 1:38 pm

Posted by Rick, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

>> There are not enough bike riders, nor will there be, to justify

Sounds like you must have data to make such an assertion. How many bike riders are there in Palo Alto? How many would it take to justify spending tax money on them? For example, it certainly looks like there are lots and lots of bike riders in the Gunn/Fletcher/Briones area before and after school. I wonder what traffic would look like if none of these kids rode bikes and got dropped off by parents? Oh wait, we perform that experiment every time there is a really bad wind/rain storm in the winter. The result of the experiment? A massive amount of traffic on heavy rain days. Thus, it does appear that the bikes are reducing auto traffic delays. But, since you have data contradicting that, let's see it.


17 people like this
Posted by Virtuous Insulter
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 4, 2019 at 1:50 pm

@Anon, rational thoughts and expectations of data to back up someone's baseless rant is virtue signalling, or is it being a social justice warrior? I just can't keep my angry INCEL catch phrases straight. LOL ;)


8 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 4, 2019 at 4:06 pm

Get real folks. The children are not using the inter-city bike routes, nor the cross-city bike routes. You want neighborhood to school bike lanes, I'm all for them. You want to conflate all bicycle infrastructure? Apply for a city planning job - that's what they are doing. Neighbors stopped the unsafe Ross Road bike boulevard and the City has yet to go back and remove the objectionable and dangerous road furniture that had already been installed.


20 people like this
Posted by MVresident2003
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 4, 2019 at 4:23 pm

MVresident2003 is a registered user.

Tell you what @Stuart Berman. Soon as cyclists are required to have insurance, registration and tags then let’s chat about sharing equally the roads.


40 people like this
Posted by Spot the guy
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 4, 2019 at 4:35 pm

MVRez2k3: The laws about road use are already on the books. They are, in fact, the law.
Why should obeying existing laws depend on someone's imaginary ideas of how they think the world should be?


6 people like this
Posted by MVresident2003
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 4, 2019 at 4:38 pm

MVresident2003 is a registered user.

If the rights of the “vehicle” is changing then let’s change the laws. You can’t seriously be asking for complete exemption?


20 people like this
Posted by Spot the guy
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 4, 2019 at 4:49 pm

"If the rights of the “vehicle” is changing then let’s change the laws."

Yah, and in the mean time we'll just obey the current laws.

Since proof of one's conviction is evident in their action, or inaction.
Are you actively working towards changing the laws or just making msg board comments expecting others to start changing the laws that do or do not suite you?

I'm thinking it's the latter but waiting to be pleasantly surprised you the link to your org or petition. GO!


7 people like this
Posted by MVresident2003
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 4, 2019 at 6:11 pm

MVresident2003 is a registered user.

Nah, I have other initiatives I’m working on but doesn’t hurt to plant the seed...also helps when posters like you help keep it going, so thanks!”


4 people like this
Posted by Robert Neff
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 4, 2019 at 10:17 pm

That protected lane / right turn on Arastradero at Coulombe is modeled after a "protected intersection". See here: Web Link The big bulb out is part of the plan. Perhaps the lanes on Coulombe should be wider.

San Jose put in parking protected bike lanes in downtown in 2018. It is part of their "Better Bikeways" program. There is one on 3rd street near Santa Clara.


16 people like this
Posted by Booya
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 5, 2019 at 4:36 am

MVResident, Oh I know, your imagination is a wonderful thing. Don't ever stop!


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2019 at 11:06 am

Posted by MVresident2003, a resident of Mountain View

>> Tell you what @Stuart Berman. Soon as cyclists are required to have insurance, registration and tags then let’s chat about sharing equally the roads.

If you are referring to the kids riding to school-- their parents are taxpayers already. If you are referring to commuters from other cities: let's compare the marginal cost to the city/taxpayers of someone entering and crossing the city via bicycle vs auto. Autos have been subsidized by the general public since forever. When automobile drivers are paying the full cost to society of automobile usage, then, "let's chat".

In the meantime, looked at strictly from the engineering point of view, bicycles are a very cost-effective low-resource means to transport people in the .5-3.0 mile range.


3 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2019 at 4:27 pm

“ I was only responding to your statement that this configuration was something randomly cooked up by the City. It isn't. I've seen these since the 1970's,”

@Anon
You made a claim that sounds just like what the traffic people claimed in order to avoid hearing how dangerous they’ve made that spot - someone else does it, therefore it must be safe.

But I have now asked you to cite any examples in our town or nearby towns and you haven’t provided a single example. You provide general links about separate d roadways, which is not what I asked

That little stretch of hidden bike lane at Arastradero and Coulomb is so dangerous in part because the rest of the bike lane up and down Arastradero is what you would expect. This little badly conceived section is hidden, and contrary to your claim, there seems to be no precedent for this in our area.

Once again, I welcome your sharing examples of roadways done like this to prove me wrong. And yes, if they are equivalent in bad design I will look up accident records. But I have never seen one in decades of living here, and if you can’t provide an example, that increases the concern that our traffic people are excusing bad design by claiming someone somewhere but just not here does it so we don’t have to consider specific ways this is dangerous.


16 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 5, 2019 at 9:21 pm

[Post removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by Smiling during commute time?!?!
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 6, 2019 at 5:35 am

I destroy the traffic monster with my bike. It wants to hold me and keep me still, but on Excalibur I'm just a passing blur on the right side.

I am free.


12 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 6, 2019 at 6:30 am

Then Josh Mello had a great vision
Let's put bollards up in front of Jordan
And suffocate each critical juncture
So traffic flow can't even function
We'll force everyone to be green
SOV's will suffer torment
A road diet is just what we need
Drive a car, and ye shall repent
A bike boulevard, isn't it grand
Just let all commuters be damned
It doesn't take much of a brain
Stop complaining and just take the train

[Portion removed.]


10 people like this
Posted by My observations differ
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 6, 2019 at 9:35 am

I haven't seen anything close to the scenarios some of the more dramatic here have described.
I'm quite happy with most of the traffic updates. Sometimes (rush hours) too many cars flooding onto the roads clog things up, but that's everywhere and every town around here, even the freeways that lack any improvements except for addition more lanes.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2019 at 9:50 am

Posted by Sense, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

>> “ I was only responding to your statement that this configuration was something randomly cooked up by the City. It isn't. I've seen these since the 1970's,”

And I have. I said "since the 1970's". I did not say thatI saw them -in Palo Alto- or "a nearby town". I avoid giving personal information,. Read the references I posted; you can see places where various configurations have been tried over many decades.

>> @Anon
>> You made a claim that sounds just like what the traffic people claimed in order to avoid hearing how dangerous they’ve made that spot - someone else does it, therefore it must be safe.

I actually said I prefer the bike lanes adjacent to the roadway. I cited a couple of reports in which occasional cyclists, and motorists, said -they- preferred the "protected" configuration.

OBTW, you don't like the term "protected" but, that happens to be how the reports refer to that configuration. It is a term.

Referring back to the reports-- many people, including motorists, like that configuration. I don't, especially when bike traffic in the reverse direction is encouraged, because motorists have to worry about low-visibility bikes at high speed going in both directions. Again, I never said -I- prefer that configuration, but, if you read the reports, you will see lots of places using the "protected" bike lane configuration. Or, just google the images.

>> That little stretch of hidden bike lane at Arastradero and Coulomb is so dangerous in part because the rest of the bike lane up and down Arastradero is what you would expect. This little badly conceived section is hidden, and contrary to your claim, there seems to be no precedent for this in our area.

This isn't about -me-. Read the reports. I don't particularly like the configuration, but, it has been used in other places. "Our traffic people" did not invent it.

>> Once again, I welcome your sharing examples of roadways done like this to prove me wrong.

Read the reports. They exist in other places. I don't understand why you are looping on this point. If you want to argue against the configuration on safety grounds-- fine. Maybe you can dig up some safety statistics.

>> And yes, if they are equivalent in bad design I will look up accident records.

Go for it. Read the reports. Look at Google maps and images and match the locations with accident reports.

>> But I have never seen one in decades of living here, and if you can’t provide an example, that increases the concern that our traffic people are excusing bad design by claiming someone somewhere but just not here does it so we don’t have to consider specific ways this is dangerous.

I guess you are looking for some reason to discredit "our traffic people". In my experience, they do some things I like, and others I dislike. So what? "They" didn't do anything about the section of Park between Cal Ave and Page Mill and a kid was killed. Then "they" did something. They are trying to make Arastradero safer. Maybe it will work, maybe it won't. On Arastradero, I drive 25 and try not to hit anything myself.


10 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 6, 2019 at 10:17 am

Online Name is a registered user.

"I guess you are looking for some reason to discredit "our traffic people""

As the original poet and Resident Of Midtown make clear in their poems, you don't have to look very far for reasons to discredit them since we experience the fruits of their labor every day. What's UNreasonable is elected officials denying we have traffic problems and the awarding of lucrative contracts to former officials on their way out the door to do what they failed to do on the job!


1 person likes this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2019 at 12:03 pm

Posted by Online Name, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland

>> you don't have to look very far for reasons to discredit them since we experience the fruits of their labor every day.

I drive Arastradero/Charleston often enough, and, I like the effect of the "street furniture". It has reduced speeding and weaving. Rush hour throughput/capacity at the ECR and Foothill Expressway bottlenecks has been maintained. [Although the perpetual flip/flop regarding right turns on Miranda/Foothill has continued. For some reason, people who want to turn right on Miranda from Arastradero next to Gunn always seem to feel -entitled- to turn right ASAP. Although, following Mr. Rogers, everyone is special, personally, I don't see why they are -more- special than anyone else on the road. ;-) ]


7 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 6, 2019 at 12:25 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

I laugh at the opinion above - "The tyranny of cars - Berman". Without cars there would be a reduced California. And if half of you are in that pocket then you are probably retired and do not have to get to work anymore.


5 people like this
Posted by again
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 6, 2019 at 12:40 pm

So funny that people simply cannot think mixed use.
Cars best for some trips
Bike best for some trips
Walking best for some trips

Get it? No, really, do you REALLY get that???


11 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 6, 2019 at 3:39 pm

PA online erased my rhyme
You would think we were living in a different time.
The rhyme held the truth,
nothing too uncouth
Erasing content so caviler

Because of this we will get four more years


3 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2019 at 5:15 pm

"Read the reports. They exist in other places. "
"I guess you are looking for some reason to discredit "our traffic people""

Um, No. Read what I wrote and stop trying to deflect. This is about SAFETY. About making sure I don't just let some unsuspecting kid break their neck by letting people handwave about stuff that has nothing to do with a dangerous condition at hand.

The reports you provided only talk about GENERIC "protected" bike lanes, I see NOTHING like this, mostly NOTHING specific, and NOTHING to justify the danger that was introduced there at Arastradero and Coulomb. It's as if I'm pointing out a specific drowning risk because of an unsafe condition and you're telling me that people everywhere prefer to go swimming. Or put their flowers in water.

I have NEVER seen this particular UNSAFE, DANGEROUS setup ANYWHERE, and you keep claiming you have but can't name ONE. Not here in the Bay Area, nowhere.

I have driven in pretty much every large metro area in the nation (and many smaller ones), as well as ridden my bike in many kinds of traffic conditions, and I have never seen this particularly dangerous setup. This is not about "protected" versus "not protected" it is about the way this particular short section was badly designed.

When I say "this is a drowning hazard" stop saying over and over again "but people love to swim" or "people swim everywhere" -- you're not addressing what's dangerous -- this particular design is DANGEROUS.

This has nothing to do with -- what was your hangup? -- embarrassing? discrediting? the traffic people. Wasn't that what caused Kevin Skelly to violate students' civil rights left and right? Hangups about "embarrassment" while families were concerned with their children's education and safety? Anyone who works for the City who cares so much about how their backside looks that they won't consider changing something they made so DANGEROUS should not be working here anymore.


3 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2019 at 5:24 pm

" actually said I prefer the bike lanes adjacent to the roadway."

Again, This is not about someone's "preferences", and it's not about "protected" versus "unprotected" or "adjacent" versus not.

The links you provide and lengthy blathering about "preferences" and "protected lanes" only further demonstrate that you are not even considering the dangerous condition of concern at Arastradero and Coulomb.

At least be concerned that it's causing so many people to take to the sidewalk instead, when there used to be a perfectly good bike lane there that people actually used. A wider bike lane would have been welcome there.


3 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2019 at 5:36 pm

@Anon,
You keep referring to a student killed on Park between Cal Ave and Page Mill. I don't remember this one. I remember a student being injured on Park because the City allowed construction out in the road and let conditions for cyclists remain unsafe without any mitigation, or something to that effect, I think the City was sued over that.

Can you provide a link to that? I found this accident (which I remember) in which a speeding BICYCLE killed a pedestrian on Page Mill.
Web Link

The "flip flop" at Miranda is not because "people who want to turn right on Miranda from Arastradero next to Gunn always seem to feel -entitled-", it is because that is pretty much the way to get to the VA hospital from much of the area, which is for veterans and former staff who live in the area, a serious matter and occasionally a matter of life or death.

As with the dangerous situation at Coulomb and Arastradero, just because you don't get it, doesn't mean concerns of others are "entitled" or any less dangerous.



10 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 6, 2019 at 6:23 pm

I right a rhyme about about ex transportation chief Jaime Rodriguez, saying nothing more then conflict of interest, which is true by the way - He worked (or owned?)for the company that installed the green bike Lanes all over town while mandating installation-. Kinda strange my rhyme gets banned about Rodriguez but not the one about Josh Mellow.

Who is the editor of online content anyway?


13 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 6, 2019 at 6:30 pm

Palo Alto's transportation chief resigns
Jaime Rodriguez set to conclude his tenure next week

... (More)
by Gennady Sheyner / Palo Alto Weekly


60 comments. See comments.


Jaime Rodriguez, Palo Alto's chief transportation officer and the architect of the city's aggressive plan to build a wide network of bike boulevards has resigned after nearly five years at City Hall.

Rodriguez, well known for a fast-talking, hard-charging style, a penchant for obtaining grant funds and a willingness to experiment with at-times controversial road configurations and transportation technologies, will step down on Feb. 6, he told the Weekly. He began serving in his current position in July 2010, after five years in Milpitas.

As chief transportation officer, Rodriguez has been the driving force behind the recent effort by the city to significantly expand its network of bike boulevards and make safety improvements near local schools. He spearheaded in 2012 the creation of Palo Alto's bicycle and pedestrian master plan, an effort that has spurred 24 different bicycle projects.

Last week, the council approved the conceptual plan for the first two of these projects, a bike boulevard around Maybell Avenue and bike improvements on Churchill Avenue, near Palo Alto High School.

Rodriguez was also instrumental in implementing crosswalk improvements on El Camino Real and Stanford Avenue; obtaining grant funds for the ongoing reconstruction of California Avenue; and getting $9.5 million in grant funding for a new bike bridge over Highway 101, which is now subject to a design competition. His local innovations included bike corals and "sharrow" markings on local streets.

While Rodriguez' high ambitions and willingness to experiment have attracted deep praise from the City Council, the qualities have also made him a regular target for public criticism, particularly when it came to controversial projects such as the reduction of lanes at Charleston/Arastradero and on California Avenue. His recent proposals to add sharrows to a portion of Bryant Street in Old Palo Alto and to build an off-road trail cutting through Midtown along Matadero Creek also met a cool reception from area residents, prompting him to back off and revise the plans. With his bike projects advancing, Rodriguez has been forced to defend himself against charges that these improvements are coming at the expense of drivers.

At last week's council meeting, Rodriguez acknowledged that in coming up with the concepts for the new bike boulevards the city doesn't always get it right the first time. He praised the city's process for engaging the public, which allows the city to "throw stuff on the wall" and see what sticks and what needs to be refined.

"At least we give the community an opportunity to consider these options," Rodriguez said.

He also stressed the need to improve signs and create a true network of bike routes stretching to all parts of the city.

"Each one of these projects is a great project, but it's all the projects together that really create a game change for the community," he said. "The fact that we're creating this option for those who know it's out there — that's a big benefit."

City Manager James Keene called Rodriguez "the most creative, innovative traffic engineer I've ever seen." He said the city will try to keep Rodriguez on board on a consulting basis while it's completing its traffic-signalization update. He attributed Rodriguez' departure to a desire to explore other opportunities and praised him for the many projects he had undertaken while at the city.

Rodriguez said that while he doesn't know yet where he will go next, he is considering several options. In addition to his years in the public sector, he is also a partner in a traffic-consulting company, Traffic Patterns, which he founded shortly before coming to Palo Alto.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 6, 2019 at 9:29 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Tonight about 7PM - after dark - I almost ran into people on bicycles who had no lights on their bikes and were not in the bike lanes - two separate occasions. WOW - why no lights? Parents - check your children's bikes to make sure they have proper lights and are told to use those lights. These were teenagers - I think. Maybe an arm light that is at the level of a person driving a car. We do not have enough lighting in some locations and these people are invisible. People in a hurry on their bikes are not paying attention. I am looking for animals on the street - do not want to hit an animal. Do not want to hit a person on a bike. It makes me mad that they are out there in the middle of the street with no lights.


7 people like this
Posted by L...O...L
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 6, 2019 at 9:48 pm

Jaime Rodriguez, “Chief Transportation Officer” acknowledged that in coming up with the concepts for the new bike boulevards the city doesn't always get it right the first time. He praised the city's process for engaging the public, which allows the city to "throw stuff on the wall" and see what sticks and what needs to be refined.

WHEN ARE Y’ALL GOING TO WAKE UP? HTG, you’re letting CAREER POLITICIANS mess around with your tax dollars/infrastructure and just damn basic livelihoods all so they can pander to the latest PC BS or bow down to the developers in their pockets!

WAKE UP


8 people like this
Posted by O...M...G
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 7, 2019 at 4:21 am

I smell anecdotes, personal bias and false narratives.
GO TO SLEEP!


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2019 at 2:07 pm

Posted by Sense, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

>> @Anon,
>> You keep referring to a student killed on Park between Cal Ave and Page Mill. I don't remember this one. I remember a student being injured on Park

I will look for it. A dumb google search results in too many fatalities to sort through quickly. It could very well be that my synapses conflated two different incidents-- mea culpa if I erred.

>> The "flip flop" at Miranda is not because "people who want to turn right on Miranda from Arastradero next to Gunn always seem to feel -entitled-", it is because that is pretty much the way to get to the VA hospital from much of the area, which is for veterans and former staff who live in the area, a serious matter and occasionally a matter of life or death.

Sure, but, that is beside the point. My point is that congestion delays occur at intersections. There is only so much room at intersections and each lane is a queue of one kind or another. Given the width of the intersection, there is no way to optimize every individual's path. The people turning onto Foothill think that they are special; the people turning onto Miranda think that they are special. The traffic engineers know that -everyone- is special. Anything they do that reduces the time it takes me to get from A to B will increase the time it takes someone else to get from C to D.

>> As with the dangerous situation at Coulomb and Arastradero, just because you don't get it, doesn't mean concerns of others are "entitled" or any less dangerous.

I recently went out of my way and added to the congestion there just to drive through it from all angles. Sorry, I don't see why it is particularly dangerous. Bicycles riding down sidewalks are also low visibility. I was headed to Mtn. View and a bicyclist rode straight through a stop sign at a different low-visibility intersection without slowing down. And people wonder why I drive cautiously.


4 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2019 at 2:26 pm

@Anon

You do not see why it would be dangerous for a short section of a bike lane to be basically hidden and out of sight when the entire rest of the street has a visible adjacent bike lane that is exactly like the bike lanes around the rest of town.? You do not see why something this unusual and completely out of sight where a bicycle can be coming up merrily along in somebody’s blind spot as they turn would be a problem? If this is how all of the bike lanes were around town it might be one thing, but if someone doesn’t know that that’s there it’s basically a set up to get a bicyclist killed.

I appreciate that you went and tried it out, but you lost all credibility with me when you keep saying these things that are simply pulled out of a hat. Like that there are examples of this all over the place since the 70s and you can’t give me one single example.

There are going to be people driving along that road that are not familiar with that badly designed situation and are not going to expect it. We already see the results of the city creating streetscape of unrealistic design, all the parts that jut out are damaged and in some cases have seriously damaged peoples cars. We don’t need to wait for some kid on a bike to get killed before we fix this particularly unsafe setup.It’s just one more example of the city putting the appearance of doing something above safety.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2019 at 3:12 pm

Posted by Sense, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

>> @Anon You do not see why it would be dangerous

All the usual alternatives are dangerous for one reason or another. I don't think it is self-evident that the new Coulombe/Atrastradero intersection is -unusually- dangerous. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. I don't know.

>> you lost all credibility with me when you keep saying these things that are simply pulled out of a hat. Like that there are examples of this all over the place since the 70s and you can’t give me one single example.

If I identified exactly where and when, it would be more personal info that I want to post. However, I will go so far as to say that these were done in the time that this document, dated April 1972, was produced: Web Link . See "Roadway alternative 2.4". I happened to live somewhere where some of these alternatives were implemented. You might also find the section 3.8.2.1 "intersections channelized for bicycle traffic" to be enlightening. See figures 3.8.3 and 3.8.9-3.8.14

I stand by my statement that the bike lane design and intersection in question are not unprecedented.

A few of these documents are now online, and, I'm glad, because it is a resource for the history. One thing that I have noted in several of these older documents is that the requirements relating to cyclists who are both experienced and conscientious are different from the requirements for schoolchildren and casual/inexperienced adult bicyclists. That hasn't changed.


7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2019 at 8:16 am

Wow thanks for butchering up my post, moderator. Now you make it look like I was expressing something totally different than what was intended with my little poem (about Josh Mello). Why don't you delete the entire thing if God knows why, you found it offensive.

I understand the need to moderate the comments section but some of the deletions are just absurd and unreasonable.


7 people like this
Posted by I'm Sorry
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 8, 2019 at 8:46 am

I think you're looking for personal satisfaction from your pet issues in the wrong place.


2 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2019 at 2:00 pm

@Anon
"
All the usual alternatives are dangerous for one reason or another. I don't think it is self-evident that the new Coulombe/Atrastradero intersection is -unusually- dangerous. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. I don't know."

Well, I DO know it's dangerous. When you went out and tried it, I'm assuming you went when the crossing guard was NOT there? - a crossing guard solves the problem, if one was there anytime a bike was there I would have no issues with the danger to bikes at least (still have issues with the danger of being rear-ended on Arastradero). How many bikes did you see coming toward you when you turned right, just out of curiosity?

Look, you can't point to a single instance of a hidden short section of bike lane like this that comes out in a way that puts bikes and cars in conflict with each other and could result in a bicyclist being killed if the car does not know about it in advance. This is a bad design, and it's worse because it's so unusual. (It's so unusual because it's a bad design that anyone with some sense could see is an accident waiting to happen.)


5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 8, 2019 at 2:03 pm

They deleted my poem about Jaime Rodriguez altogether. It was not even offensive.

The Meekly has been doing this for years. If it is not inline with their viewpoint, they will edit and or delete the posting, even if it is factual. It is just plain wrong on so many levels.


Like this comment
Posted by Whelp...
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 8, 2019 at 2:16 pm

I find this paper to be far more tolerant of msg board behavior than the other two, MV Voice and The Almanac.

That said, you might have a better understanding of both sides of these board wars if you started posting everything using your real name instead of remaining anonymous.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2019 at 2:57 pm

Posted by Sense, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

>> Well, I DO know it's dangerous.

>> (still have issues with the danger of being rear-ended on Arastradero).

It is too bad we can't resolve this, since, I agree with you somewhat. Maybe even mostly. But, not about this. Arastradero runs through the middle of a residential/school area, with a pedestrian-activated crosswalk light. Any driver has to be prepared to stop at any time and, under the California Basic Speed Law, if they rear-end you because you slowed or stopped for a pedestrian or bicycle or a car stopped in front of you, it is their fault. "Period." You can't not-stop because you think the car behind you might not stop. You can't be responsible if some bonehead behind you thinks they are on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. If you stop for a bicycle or pedestrian, your stop was "necessary for safe operation or in compliance of the law."

>> How many bikes did you see coming toward you when you turned right, just out of curiosity?

Zero. But, I'm very aware of the problem of wrong-way bikes, as I have mentioned in this thread. My preference is for bike lanes to be adjacent to the motor vehicle traffic. But, surveys of both motorists and inexperienced bike riders indicate that they like "protected" configurations.

>> Look, you can't point to a single instance

Just out of curiosity, did you look at the 1972 guidelines document that I posted a link to?


7 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 9, 2019 at 7:56 am

I wonder, why is it the cyclist contagion comes out in droves when anyone mentions a need for registration, insurance and licensing? What wrong with requiring this?

Equal use of the roads should include equal culpability and responsibility shouldn’t it?


2 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2019 at 8:50 am

">> (still have issues with the danger of being rear-ended on Arastradero).

It is too bad we can't resolve this, since, I agree with you somewhat. Maybe even mostly. But, not about this. Arastradero runs through the middle of a residential/school area, with a pedestrian-activated crosswalk light. "

Sure, but there used to be a bike lane adjacent, where cars pull into the right lane just before the curb to turn right. That could have been made wider for cyclists. Cars slowing to turn right got out of the way of oncoming traffic when they slowed. Sure, you can cite what people should do all you want, but sound traffic planning has to be aware of conditions. Setting drivers up to be rear ended isn't a sound thing to do, and I've had more near accidents because of that than I've seen bicyclists use that groove.

I am not surprised that you saw ZERO bicyclists there when you tried it. But you can't really appreciate the problems unless you have someone blithely bicyclist forward and you are turning right over and over again, assuming you don't know that groove is there. It's clearly NOT obvious, the city has to have confusing temporary signs every few feet because no one can figure it out. Yesterday we saw a rare bike approaching the groove while we were driving on Arastradero, and OH! HE TOOK THE SIDEWALK! has become almost a game, hoping we'll see someone actually take the groove.

It's confusing and dangerous. Again, you keep getting around the general idea that people like "protected" configurations -- and I keep telling you that I do, too, if they're done well. This one is not. It's confusing, not easy to figure out for bikes or cars, and has made that intersection MORE dangerous for everyone, not less. I can't blame the bikes for being reluctant to go down into a groove when it's such a nonstandards setup. Out of sight, and just for a very short section of the road, meaning, people are just not going to expect it (evidence of that being the city having to place signs every few feet along it and still practically no one using if if there isn't a crossing guard there, and many still taking to the sidewalk when there is).

I did look at your links, and you still are not getting that talking about a general idea of separation is not applicable to this discussion of the specific dangers of that unusual setup. I could as easily send you tons of links about the dangers of right hooks, which would be more applicable because that setup seems designed to kill a cyclist in a right hook accident.


3 people like this
Posted by Sense
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2019 at 9:03 am

The DMV even says that if an intersections is not marked, but common usage is that it's treated like the intersection is marked, drivers are considered as having followed the rules by continuing to use it that way.

In other words, a big part of safety is obviousness, for lack of a better word. Our City has decided that somehow making things less safe for cars and occupants of cars (including infants and disabled people) is integral to making things more safe for bikes, and it's just not true.

It seems to many of us in town that the planners are simply prioritizing window dressing, to make a big show that they're doing something for the bikes, so they can keep justifying overdevelopment. That intersection is a prime example. It's made the intersection LESS used by bikes, introduced new dangers for cars and bikes, and created a situation that will require a really high level of maintenance for something that's barely used (both to mark it for clarity, keep the groove clean, and to keep fixing the parking jut outs that have been designed to wreck cars that keep getting damaged because cars keep hitting them)

Planners are even themselves observing some of the patently unsafe behavior these new setups are prompting in young cyclists, but the window dressing factor is more important than safety to them, and of course, they don't listen to residents. To future litigators: many people in the neighborhoods have observed this. I can just see the depositions now, and lawyers grilling City staff about their denigrating attitudes towards residents, particularly on that side of town, after some young cyclist breaks their neck at that intersection.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2019 at 9:08 am

I tend to agree that there is a discussion worth having about registration and licenses for adult bikes.

When I see the number of bikes that use our roads for recreation purposes, large groups acting as one vehicle, several bikes being followed up Page Mill by a vehicle that is basically a rolling road block to prevent other vehicles overtaking, signs at the bottom of the hill on Page Mill warning "Event in Progress" but no official sanctioned event, it makes roads very difficult for other road users.

People and children in particular commuting is fine. But somehow the weekend recreational bike brigade are another side to the discussion altogether.


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2019 at 9:19 am

Posted by Curious, a resident of Mountain View

>> a need for registration, insurance and licensing? What wrong with requiring this?

I've lived in a couple of places where registration was required. I've also had my bike partially stripped, and, seen the bikes of family members stripped, and, stolen. The one time I bothered to call police (because it had happened a couple of minutes before discovery) they were like, "ho-hum whatever", even though the thief must have been around the corner.

IOW, if bikes are registered and fees collected, then, I expect a serious police effort to curb bicycle theft as part of it. I think it has to be at least a statewide effort.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 10, 2019 at 4:24 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

People on bikes after dark in dark clothes - I mentioned that to a contractor working in our location and he noted that there are people who are checking out the autos for things to steal - or houses that look vulnerable are out there. Not every one on a bike in dark clothes with no lights is a witless teenager. Be careful out there and check out who is on the road and what they are doing. If they are trying to be invisible then potential problem.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

From Tokyo to Cupertino: Afuri Ramen's first California location debuts tonight
By Elena Kadvany | 2 comments | 3,082 views

Disposing of Disposables
By Sherry Listgarten | 13 comments | 1,327 views

Couples Counseling, Al Pacino Style
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,185 views