Google's Expansion Will Test Transportation Networks

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By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

MOUNTAIN VIEW — Getting from her home in Palo Alto to a dog park nearby in Mountain View used to take Sarah only five minutes, but now, with increased traffic, that ride has slowed to 20 minutes. 

"It's difficult. I've got a very hyper dog and she just doesn't sit still in the car," she recently said to KCBS Radio. "The more she jumps around, the more frustration gets."

For commuters in the South Bay, who spend hours in their cars, the situation is even worse. 

"We know it's a big issue in the Bay Area that tens of thousands of people are driving in every day because they can't afford to live here," said David Meyer, director of strategic initiatives at Silicon Valley at Home

Mountain View officials have developed a plan for the North Bayshore section — where Google is building offices and housing — that addresses this very issue, Meyer said. 

The actually plan has a really groundbreaking traffic demand management goal," Meyer said, "which is basically the idea that we need to reduce the number of people coming into North Bayshore just by themselves in their cars."

By building homes near the new office space, the plan would enable more people to live where they work. 

It also calls for adding more of the tech shuttles, which have been controversial elsewhere, buses and building biking  and walking paths with a significant investment in transit and infrastructure. 

"Overall, it's very exciting," said Cliff Chambers, who's with the Mountain View Coalition for Sustainable Planning. He appreciated that Google is discouraging drivers by limiting parking at its facilities. "Instead of making this very car-centric, their parking supply is a lot less than what was originally required."

The entire North Bayshore Project is pending approval by the Mountain View City Council. 

Google declined to comment for this series.

"We want to work with the City and community to re-imagine North Bayshore as a welcoming destination, and a place for both Google and the broader Mountain View community," a statement on the company's project website said. 

This is part three of reporter Matt Bigler's special series "G-Town," about Google's attempts to build offices, housing and more in the South Bay. 
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