Tomorrow night, February 4, at 5:30 pm, the Mountain View City Council will study options for the El Camino Real Precise Plan. Through public outreach and previous planning commission meetings, we know that an alternative called the focused strategy is preferred over the uniform strategy by many in the community. For the most part, we like this option, too: it promotes dense activity centers placed at pedestrian crossings along the length of El Camino Real. In these activity centers pedestrian activity, mixed use development, and community gathering will be given priority. What we don’t like so much about the focused strategy is the false choice it posits, planning for a bicycle boulevard along Church/Latham Street (a parallel route) instead of future bike lanes on El Camino. Both facilities – the bike boulevard and the El Camino bike lanes – would be great additions to Mountain View’s streetscape. Since the Church/Latham bike boulevard is already included in the focused strategy, let me explain why we’re asking for El Camino bike lanes (preferably enhanced bike lanes) to be included in the plan as well:
El Camino Real has the potential to be an excellent bike route through Mountain View. It reaches both Sunnyvale and Palo Alto, serves many local and regional businesses, and has been identified for revitalization through the Grand Boulevard Initiative and Mountain View’s own El Camino Precise Plan process.
A bicycle boulevard on Church/Latham would compliment ECR bike lanes. It is not either/or: this is a false choice.
Bikes are good for business: research has shown that people on bikes are more likely to stop and shop at businesses other than their original destination. People in cars are more likely to drive to one business and leave when done.
With planned increases in housing, alternative modes of transportation are imperative to avoid even worse auto traffic on El Camino Real and other Mountain View roadways.
People are already riding bikes on El Camino Real: they need to get to work or they choose to travel by bike and their destination is there. Bicycle facilities will make their journey less intimidating.
If you can’t make the meeting, consider writing to the City Council and Staff:
City Council Members
- Mayor Chris Clark: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vice Mayor John McAlister: email@example.com
- Margaret Abe-Koga: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ronit Bryant: email@example.com
- John Inks: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mike Kasperzak: email@example.com
- Jac Siegel: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Anderson, Planning Department
Installing bike lanes on El Camino Real is one of the major accomplishments that will help us see 10% of trips taken by bike by 2025. Help us make a good idea a reality!