Shoreline Blvd. + California St. Road Diets

What is a road diet? It’s the reduction in the number of car lanes on a street, done with an aim to improve multimodal access, safety, and make the street more livable. California Street and Shoreline Boulevard are two possible candidates for road diets, as their traffic counts do not warrant the existing number of lanes. The excess car space encourages drivers to speed well above the posted speed limit of 35mph, which intimidates pedestrians, bicyclists, and persons who live along the street.

Before + After

Edgewater Dr. in Orlando, FL Before Road Diet

Similar to what California Street looks like today, this is what Edgewater Dr. in Orlando Florida looked like before the road diet. Source: Complete Streets

Road Diet After

The same street after a road diet. Notice the wide, attractive, bike lanes, better sidewalks, lighting, and new center turn lane.

On California Street, the street would have 2 car lanes, a center turn lane, and improved bike lanes, along with new sidewalk curb extensions and additional crosswalks. New street trees and pedestrian scale streetlights could further enhance the aesthetic and make California Street more of a place than just through-way.

California Street Section

Street section showing what California Street looks like today, and with the proposed “road diet.” Note new center turn lane and wider, buffered, bike lanes.

California Street and Escuela Ave Intersection with Road Diet

Birds-eye view of what California Street and Escuela Ave could look like with a road diet, wider, green-painted bike lanes, sidewalk curb extensions, and bike left turn boxes. Escuela Ave is shown with bike lanes as well.

Most of Shoreline Boulevard and its connecting street, Miramonte Avenue, are 4 lanes with the exception of a 6 lane stretch between El Camino Real and Central Expresway. A product of 1960’s growth, the road sliced through an older neighborhood, demolishing dozens of homes. While crosswalks and landscaping were included in the original project, the existing 6 lanes are excessive and this particular section of Shoreline has been identified as a road diet candidate in Mountain View’s Draft Pedestrian Master Plan.

Unlike the California Street road diet which would reduce the number of lanes from 4 to 3, the Shoreline Boulevard road diet would reduce the number of lanes from 6 to 4. The reduction in lanes would reduce speeding and noise while making the street easier to cross. The extra space could accommodate safer bike lanes, rain gardens, and sidewalk curb extensions.