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Old 12-08-08, 01:11 PM   #1
murphstahoe
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Los Altos Hills installs illegal NO BIKES stencil on El Monte

Words failed me on this one but I summoned the courage to rant a bit.

http://holierthanyou.blogspot.com/20...on-notice.html
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Old 12-08-08, 01:30 PM   #2
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Wow. That makes me want to ride up El Monte.

What's the fine for riding your bike on a public (non-freeway) roadway?
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Old 12-08-08, 01:40 PM   #3
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Wow. That makes me want to ride up El Monte.

What's the fine for riding your bike on a public (non-freeway) roadway?
That's an interesting question. If the prohibition is illegal, under what statute can they enforce it?

"No Bikes on El Monte, Sir"

"OK, write me a ticket"

"umm..."

"Oh, I see, you pulled me over because I broke an imaginary law"

"OK, now I'm arresting you for verbally assaulting an officer of the law!"
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Old 12-08-08, 01:46 PM   #4
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That's outrageous. Assuming you're supposed to ride through foothill college instead, I believe the new "detour" is significantly more dangerous for cyclists than riding on El Monte. Here's a comparison:

Stick to El Monte road: There is no bike lane for 0.4 miles. Just take the lane and any cars can pass when safe. There is an all-way stop on one end and a traffic light on the other end of this stretch so cars shouldn't be traveling too fast.

For the new detour: Pass the entrance to a parking lot where cars unaccustomed to looking for cyclists could be making turns into or out of. Merge onto the Foothill College loop road and turn right. There is no bike lane here and I have seen cars absolutely blasting down this road at well above 30mph as it's coming right off a downhill stretch. Pass another entrance to the parking lot where more potential conflict with cars exists. Continue (still with no bike lane) to the light and turn left.

Also I'm curious about what bikes going westbound are supposed to do. The Foothill loop road is one way, surely bikes aren't supposed to ride around the whole thing?

Google Maps of the no bike zone
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Old 12-08-08, 01:47 PM   #5
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Maybe it's my criminal justice degree speaking, but I'm guessing it wasn't the police that painted the road.

It's unlikely that a cop would catch you, but if they did I'm sure there's some statute about ignoring a traffic control device they could put on you.

It would be more interesting if after getting the ticket, you continued to just walk your bike in the middle of the road. Is the rule for possessing a bike, or riding one? There is no "NO PEDESTRIANS" stencil yet...
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Old 12-08-08, 02:11 PM   #6
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This sort of Ĉrap infuriates me. Cars heading eastbound for 280 come flying down the road. Looks like the google satellite image is pre bike lane that runs along the parking lot.
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Old 12-08-08, 02:16 PM   #7
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I just emailed it to Mr. Roadshow at the Mercury News, see if he has anything to say about it.
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Old 12-08-08, 02:24 PM   #8
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I don't think that's enforceable. For one, there doesn't seem to have been an ordinance passed, just a direction to the roads department to paint a sign. For two, even if the council had passed an ordinance, I doubt it would have the authority to limit the types of vehicles on public roads.
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Old 12-08-08, 02:31 PM   #9
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If it was a Council decision then it must be public, right? After browsing through the recent City Council meeting minutes (the latest Nov meeting minutes are not yet posted), I found only one reference that might be relevant.

In a discussion regarding a recent speed limit study being challenged in court (in May) and the possible raising of speed limits (see pp 4-5 of the August 28, 2008 City Council meeting minutes (PDF):

Quote:
Council Discussion:
Councilmember Jones spoke to his concerns about raising speed limits...he questioned the wisdom in increasing speed limits on several of the streets, including El Monte Road.
Then a comment by a resident, who also happens to be the Pathways Committee Chair:

Quote:
Ginger Summit, resident, commented that the #1 complaint of residents that she has talked to in the course of canvassing neighborhoods, has been the excessive speed of cars and bicyclists on Town roads.
Perhaps the Council's compromise was "we'll raise the speed limit, but keep those d@mn speeding cyclists off the road"

stan
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Old 12-08-08, 02:38 PM   #10
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I'm sure if the city engineering/public works department gets enough complaints, they will take down the signs. Here is their contact info:
http://www.losaltoshills.ca.gov/contact/staff.html
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Old 12-08-08, 04:51 PM   #11
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I would speak with Mr Chiu.... However he (the City of LAH) is a potential client reviewing a proposal I submitted to him last week. He seems like a reasonable guy, at least from our conversations. Damn.... Compromise of interest for sure. I'll let you guys take this on, and will be spectating from the sidelines. However, I will chose to ignore the striping/signage, and continue to ride on El Monte.
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Old 12-08-08, 05:45 PM   #12
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This will almost certainly change - well it pretty much has to, the stencil is illegal. I think it's good to shove it down their throats as a message to them, and Saratoga, and Woodside, and Portola Valley, etc... not to pull these stunts. You don't need to be a constitutional scholar to make the town council in a small town. Shoving it down their throats to me should include LTTE in the PA Daily news and Los Altos Town Crier.

Some years back Walnut Creek had the temerity to put up "BICYCLES MUST USE SIDEWALKS" on several streets. The EBBC got that changed, of course Walnut Creek being Walnut Creek they were still "looking out for us" and put up signs that say "BICYCLES MAY USE SIDEWALKS", because while the first sign was illegal, without the second sign - riding on the sidewalk itself is illegal. And to me the current signage implies to me that the city council in Walnut Creek prefers cyclists to be on the sidewalks.
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Old 12-08-08, 07:57 PM   #13
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I just emailed it to Mr. Roadshow at the Mercury News, see if he has anything to say about it.
I had a reply, he is checking into it now.
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Old 12-08-08, 08:16 PM   #14
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There are many, better alternatives from foothills expressway to altamont/moody. Personally, I would rather avoid any 280 on or off ramp traffic.

There are some nice little climbs from bicycle outfitters - west loyola, mora etc to drop you onto the top of magdalena, and then through the stonebrook quarry to pink horse ranch and the moody/altamont intersection.

Further down foothill, turn at main street to get to robleda etc. Purissima to la barranca, up past the convent to altamont.

It's all about the safe scenic route for me, not the shortest distance.
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Old 12-08-08, 08:24 PM   #15
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I'm going to paint a sign at the end of my street demanding a $50 toll for each car that passes.
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Old 12-08-08, 09:47 PM   #16
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Can we paint "this is illegal" on the ground and paint an arrow pointing to it?

.... or at least organize an all-day group ride up and down El Monte?
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Old 12-08-08, 09:56 PM   #17
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just pour some chemical paint stripper over the "no"
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Old 12-08-08, 10:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
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There are many, better alternatives from foothills expressway to altamont/moody. Personally, I would rather avoid any 280 on or off ramp traffic.

There are some nice little climbs from bicycle outfitters - west loyola, mora etc to drop you onto the top of magdalena, and then through the stonebrook quarry to pink horse ranch and the moody/altamont intersection.

Further down foothill, turn at main street to get to robleda etc. Purissima to la barranca, up past the convent to altamont.

It's all about the safe scenic route for me, not the shortest distance.
After I descend down Moody, and want to get to work - in Sunnyvale, I really don't want to go back up Elena...
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Old 12-08-08, 10:04 PM   #19
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Can we paint "this is illegal" on the ground and paint an arrow pointing to it?

.... or at least organize
an all-day group ride up and down El Monte?
That would be hilarious! Sign me up. I have some vacation days to use.
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Old 12-08-08, 10:05 PM   #20
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just pour some chemical paint stripper over the "no"
Nah, pour it over the "bikes". Replace with "cars".

He who holds the white paint makes the rules!
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Old 12-08-08, 10:20 PM   #21
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It says no bikes ... but what about unicycles?
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Old 12-08-08, 10:31 PM   #22
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just pour some chemical paint stripper over the "no"
Black spray paint.
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Old 12-08-08, 11:00 PM   #23
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Hrm. Yeah, all that does is make me want to take a nice ride up El Monte this weekend.
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Old 12-08-08, 11:33 PM   #24
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They may a type of spray paint that is specifically for painting over markings on asphalt. You can probably find it at stores like Grainger.
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Old 12-08-08, 11:36 PM   #25
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Given that it's clearly illegal, wouldn't it be better to make them remove it in shame?
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