Google's Bridge Plan Troubles Mountain View

Google is in the traffic planning business in Mountain View, where the tech giant's plans to construct two bridges connecting its campuses is irking local politicians.

By Chris Roberts
|  Thursday, Jul 7, 2011  |  Updated 2:02 PM PDT
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Google's Bridge Plan Troubles Mountain View

Google's offers to build bridges in Mountain View is not thrilling politicians there.

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Cue the Simon and Garfunkel references.

Google's plans to construct bridges over Stevens Creek in Mountain View -- which would connect the technology giant's current headquarters with a new 42-acre campus at Moffett Field, recently leased from NASA -- is irritating members of the Mountain View City Council, who say that the pair of two-lane roads, with sidewalks and bicycle paths but plenty of automobile traffic, would have too heavy of an environmental impact, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

"This is, in the name of public transit, just adding a lot of cars on the trail where we haven't had them before," said council member Ronit Bryant, according to the newspaper. "My gut feeling is extremely negative on this."

The bridges would be 180 feet and 175 feet long, respectively. Where the bridges would intersect with the Stevens Creek Trail, a popular outdoors destination, Google proposes either lowering the trail or creating crossings with the roads. Neither solution pleases Mountain View city leaders much.

Hosting Google's new campus would bring the city about $700,000 annually in revenue -- and even that may not be worth it. "I've got some real issues," said Mayor Jac Siegel.

Nonetheless, the Friends of Stevens Creek Trail had praise for Google's project overall, which will increase access to the trail, and reduce traffic in the area overall by providing more transit options. No matter what happens, it won't be for some time: environmental documents won't be available for public viewing until October.

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