On Tuesday, May 15, Mountain View City Council will hold a study session at 5:30 pm to discuss the feasibility of the Latham/Church Street Bike Boulevard. If implemented comprehensively, it would provide a safe and efficient Class III Bike Route connecting the San Antonio Shopping Center area with downtown Mountain View.
As such, the Latham/Church Bike Boulevard would be a vital alternative for people riding bikes given the lack of bicycle facilities on El Camino Real. Furthermore, this project holds tremendous promise in moving the City tangibly closer toward achieving its 2030 General Plan mobility goals, which envision complete streets that “safely accommodate all transportation modes and persons of all abilities.”
But for a Bike Boulevard to truly realize its efficacy, all core elements must be implemented with the aim of reducing vehicle traffic volume and speed—without which, the environment for a bike boulevard cannot be accomplished. This includes traffic diverters, stop sign removal, and speed humps.
As it stands now, the Latham/Church Bike Boulevard and its central elements—like the diverters to reduce vehicle traffic volume, and stop sign removals that permit bicycle right-of-way—are in doubt, particularly following negative public comments and the Council Transportation Committee’s (CTC) suggestions to allow neighbors vote on the traffic calming elements.
To support implementation of staff’s comprehensive recommendations, we need folks to weigh-in against the outsized interests of motorists, who have placed the prospects of this prioritized bike project potentially on the chopping block.
Our Ask: Attend tonight’s 5:30 pm study session at City Hall (Council Chambers, 500 Castro St.), and kindly request Councilmembers to proceed with staff’s full recommendations to design the bike boulevard improvements on Latham/Church Street, including traffic diverters & stop sign removals. IF untenable, request Council to consider demonstration treatments before moving to permanent installation of bike boulevard elements.
If you can’t attend the study session, email Mountain View City Council at: firstname.lastname@example.org and cc: Nate.Baird@mountainview.gov; bcc: Ben@bikesiliconvalley.org
Talking points and sample email to Council below:
- Request City Council proceed with staff’s recommended bicycle boulevard improvements on Latham/Church street because they would create a safe, low-stress alternative route and encourage more people biking in Mountain View.
- Urge City Council to support staff’s traffic calming proposals, which include two traffic diverters at Ortega Avenue and Shoreline Boulevard intended to reduce vehicle traffic to 1,500; this daily volume is ideal for a true bike boulevard.
- Thank City Council for prioritizing Latham/Church Street as a safe, alternative route for people biking.
- This project supports the City’s 2030 General Plan – Mobility Goal 1) “safely accommodate all transportation modes and persons of all abilities”; 4) Develop a “comprehensive bicycle network that comfortably accommodates bicyclists of all ages and skill levels.”
- Request additional alternative: to consider demonstration treatments before moving to permanent installation of bike boulevard elements.
- Feel free to interject your own experience and why you care about this issue.
Dear Mayor and Council,
Thank you for prioritizing the Latham/Church Street corridor for people biking. In light of Council’s study session on the feasibility of this project, I urge Councilmembers to proceed with staff’s recommended bike boulevard improvements and include all elements, such as traffic diverters, stop sign removal, and speed humps.
The comprehensive implementation of these elements will have the overall impact of reducing vehicle traffic volume and speed, which is essential for creating a true bike boulevard.
Without a doubt, striking the right balance between all roadway users is daunting, but in order to realize the mobility goals envisioned in the 2030 General Plan to “accommodate all transportation modes”—bold commitment to this planning principle must be equally prioritized, as it would among more dominant modes of mobility.
Therefore, proceeding with staff’s comprehensive recommendations for the Latham/Church Street Bike Boulevard rather than accepting modest improvements will help rebalance the needs and safety of active transportation users.
Have questions about traffic diverters? Check out our Fact Sheet below
Prepared by SVBC Advocacy Intern Jay van Biljouw
Fact Sheet: Traffic Diverters
A traffic diverter is a physical installation used to adjust the flow of vehicle traffic, primarily on local/residential streets. As the name suggests, they are used to divert car traffic onto higher volume streets in order to make the road safer for bicycle and pedestrian travel, while still allowing access for emergency vehicles. Along with other traffic calming measures, diverters are proven to significantly reduce car volumes and speeds. They are ideally placed on roads with traffic volumes between 1,500 to 3,000 vehicles per day, along with being part of a comprehensive strategy for a complete bicycle boulevard.
Why traffic diverters are beneficial:
- Reduces shortcut and cut through traffic. Diverters redirect traffic away from residential streets and onto thoroughfares.
- Reduces traffic speed while also narrowing the road, which reduces crossing distances for people walking
- Gives people on bikes a calm route with fewer vehicles: While diverters filter out larger vehicle traffic, they do allow people biking and walking to pass through.
- Traffic diverters are inexpensive and easily implemented: Planters, cones or signs can be used as traffic diverters. These are effective yet can be removed by the city very quickly and without much expense.
- Provides opportunities for landscaping, stormwater management, and other community features such as benches and message boards.