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It finally makes sense

October 7, 2008

The Los Altos City Council spent September caricaturing itself, first by ensuring that First Street remains inconvenient for bicyclists and then by putting the brakes on a proposed link to the Stevens Creek Trail.

Here is a sampling of quotes from the meetings, helpfully provided by the Town Crier.

Councilman Ron Packard:

“We want to encourage bicycling on the whole Peninsula. On the other hand, do we want to become part of a bigger community?”

Resident David Lambourne:

“It’s hard to support any plan in which a path runs in and out of our city.”

Mayor Val Carpenter, paraphrased:

Mayor Val Carpenter said the project had already eliminated multiple street parking spaces, and that she was loath to remove more for a bike lane, noting that she observed many cyclists using downtown as a launching point for regional travel rather than a family-oriented destination.

Packard again, paraphrased:

City Councilman Ron Packard referenced the city’s Fremont Bridge remodel as a project that sacrificed charm for bicycle friendliness, and suggested that he didn’t want to make the same choice for First Street.

The takeaway from all of this: the City Council finds parking spaces charming, but not bicycle facilities, especially if they somehow connect to places outside of Los Altos.

Yes, Los Altos has a proud history of treating bicyclists like they were Gypsies. Perhaps that is what the Town Crier was getting at.

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