Help make Google campus more accessible for Caltrain, bikes

The City of Mountain View is studying ways to make the North Bayshore area – home of Google,  Intuit, LinkedIn, and Microsoft’s Silicon Valley offices –  easier to get to the Caltrain station, by shuttle and by bicycle.

One of the reasons that Google relies so heavily on the Google buses is that it takes nearly 30 minutes by shuttle to get from Mountain View Caltrain to Google’s headquarters, even though it is less than 3 miles and 10 minutes without traffic.  Making the connection by bike saves time at the gym – but the freeway-style Shoreline ramps discourage all but the fearless and hardy.

On Monday, February 10, the City of Mountain View is kicking off a study of ways to improve the connections, with a workshop at the Adobe Building, across the street from Mountain View Caltrain at 157 Moffett Blvd. from 6:30 to 8:30pm.   The meeting will be an “open house” format, so you can stop by at any time.

For more information, see the city’s project website at ShorelineCorridor.com.

 

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11 Responses to Help make Google campus more accessible for Caltrain, bikes

  1. jd says:

    Finally! Mountain View has so much potential to be a great cycle-friendly city but it just hasn’t been developed. One of the secrets to a successful implementation of such a vision will be at least one (but ideally a couple) bicycle bridge over 101 as riding over any road with freeway exit and entrance ramps (Shoreline, San Antonio, etc.)will always be difficult, if not impossible, to make safe for cyclists. Also, Central Expressway is a huge barrier to creating livable cities, so this road needs to have its speed limit slowed down and cross-streets given much more priority when it comes to signal timing. Right now, you have to wait *forever* to cross that beast and it’s clear that the flow of the almighty automobile trumps all else. The road was a horrible intrusion into what otherwise would have been many very livable communities, and like the Embarcadero Freeway in SF, the community will be much better off when it’s “torn down” (in this case, just turned into a regular surface street .. with BRT down one lane).

  2. Scott Lamb says:

    jd, Mountain View already has one bicycle bridge over 101 (the Permanente Creek Trail). And another under it (the Stevens Creek Trail). I love both, and they’re well-used. They can always be improved, though:

    * The Permanente Creek Trail should go much further south. It was recently extended to Rock St. I’d love for it to go to Central Expressway and over.

    * The Stevens Creek Trail should have a trail entrance at Charleston. The dirt path up a steep hillside there is not so great. Alternatively, getting from Google’s main campus to the La Avenida trail entrance means crossing Shoreline at Movies where opposing traffic always ignores bicyclists and turns left across their path.

  3. Mark Sandler says:

    Hrm, why would one take a shoreline blvd to get to MS/Intuit/Google from caltrain station. The shortest and nicest way is to take Stevens Creek Trail, whose entrance is less than 3 minutes away from Caltrain station and deposits bikers right on the back of each of the respective campuses.

    Also, it would encourage many more people to bike, if there was a city bike station near-by all these campuses.

    That being said, more biking paths are always welcome!

    • Adina Levin says:

      Shoreline can be shorter depending on where you’re going. The trails are nicer, but if you’re trying to get to work on time, efficiency may beat beauty. Also as a woman, I avoid trails after dark. Multiple safe choices would be best.

      • Scott Lamb says:

        Good point about the trails after dark. My wife feels the same way. Even if you’re not concerned about crime, Stevens Creek Trail in particular just doesn’t feel comfortable after dark to me either. The foliage that is so nice during the day makes the path feel like a narrow, dangerous tunnel at night. Even a really bright bike light doesn’t quite take that feeling away.

        It would be great to have another route that’s officially open and safe at night.

    • Charlie says:

      Stevens creek trail kinda sucks to ride on. It’s used by too many people for purposes other than transport so you’re stuck going slow. Also, they insist on painting the lines with paint that gets slippery when wet, and the bridges seem to have more than their share of wipeouts. Roads are much faster for transport purposes. No joggers with headphones running down the middle of the road ;)

  4. Biren Roy says:

    If I’m not mistaken, the Stevens Creek Trail includes an underpass beneath 101 that is not open year-round. It’s also somewhat inconvenient if you live west of downtown Mountain View, since you have to cross Castro and a bunch of other little intersections. It is a beautiful ride, though.

  5. I love the Stevens Creek Trail and the Permanente Creek Trail, but improving the Shoreline crossing is still a great idea. The way the bike lane crosses the onramps right now is pretty terrifying. It’s almost as scary as a pedestrian.

  6. Tristan Lawrence says:

    I have been riding the Stevens Creek Trail daily for more than five years, and I can only recall a single day when the 101 underpass was closed. So it does happen but it is certainly not a regular thing.

    I agree with Scott’s post above; extending the Permanente Creek Trail south would help a lot. Even just extending it to Middlefield would make it quite a bit more useful, although of course further would be better!

    I am not sure where the Central Expressway hate is coming from; I find it a very nice road to ride on, with wide shoulders, no on-street parking and relatively few intersections. I appreciate and support Caltrain, but if I look at things strictly from a bicycling perspective, the Caltrain tracks are a much more significant impediment than Central Expressway.

    There does seem to be a lot of room for creative ways to get people from Caltrain to the various parts of North Bayshore. I am looking forward to seeing what possibilities the city will be working on.

  7. Mark Doliner says:

    “The Stevens Creek Trail should have a trail entrance at Charleston.”
    Yes! I strongly agree with this.

    Also the trail is official closed at night [1], which means bikes must take Shoreline with auto traffic, which is certainly more dangerous than riding on the trail at night.

    [1] “The trail is open from dawn to dusk” http://www.mountainview.gov/city_hall/comm_services/shoreline_regional_wildlife_area/wildlife_habitats/stevens_creek_trail.asp

  8. John Clarke says:

    You are mistaken – I’ve never seen the SCT / 101 underpass closed, though it’s theoretically possible; there’s a pretty big margin between the walkway and the creek bottom. You may be thinking of the Adobe Creek underpass in Palo Alto: http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/news/displaynews.asp?NewsID=2463&TargetID=146

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