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Bikers and Girl Scouts pack Woodside council meeting over big bus ban

Original post made on Jun 28, 2023

Roughly 100 people, for an against an ordinance limiting buses and trucks over 35 feet on Kings Mountain Road, made their voices heard during a June 27 meeting.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 28, 2023, 11:56 AM

Comments (11)

Posted by WP
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 28, 2023 at 2:13 pm

WP is a registered user.

Packs of bikers bikers on King's Mountain and throughout Woodside, Portola Valley and the Peninsula ride in aggressive packs and flout traffic rules and common courtesy. I find it richly ironic that the bikers are complaining the occasional bus carry Girl Scouts is going to infringe on the rights of cyclists to blast down King's Mountain throwing caution to the wind. Having said that, Ray Mueller is a savvy politician and I trust him to orchestrate a reasonable tradeoff between the various interests. My sympathies are entirely with the Girl Scouts and I'm happy they showed up in good numbers to learn about democracy and bolster their case!

Posted by been there
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 28, 2023 at 2:15 pm

been there is a registered user.

I do understand the buses that are long are not suited for the tight winding turns on Kings Mountain Road. Being a former bike rider, traveling on Kings Mountain Road is risky and made more dangerous when a long bus is on the road. Fortunately, I never had the teeth-clinching experience dealing with a bus.
The Girl Scouts can avoid the twisty section of Kings Mountain Road with a little preparation and cooperation. Before the climb, enter Huddard Park from Greer Road. The entrance is gated, but it might be worth seeing if they can have access from the bottom of Huddard Park.

Posted by baysider
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 28, 2023 at 3:53 pm

baysider is a registered user.

Mr. Farkhondeh is correct, that this is not an equity issue—it is a geometry issue.

The Girl Scouts and other groups can charter shorter buses if they need to use Kings Mountain Road. Yes, the Girl Scout staff chartered buses that are too long. Fix it - just get shorter ones, probably one extra to distribute the passengers.

Girl Scout staff and management made a mistake. Help them order different ones right now and minimize the risk on the road this summer. The ordinance in appropriate and necessary.

Posted by Stuart
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Jun 28, 2023 at 6:26 pm

Stuart is a registered user.

It's not just about cyclists. It's about all users of KMR encountering long vehicles: trucks, trailers, delivery trucks, and yes buses. A school bus full of kids was involved (caused) an accident two weeks ago which was featured on the evening news:

Web Link

The car barely stopped in time while ending up in the ditch and the bike rear ended the car. From the video neither the car or bike seem to be speeding or tailgating.

Stop making this into something it is not. Vehicles that are too long cannot navigate the turns on KMR and cross into or completely takeover the opposite lane - regularly.

Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 29, 2023 at 10:23 am

pogo is a registered user.

baysider - Such an obvious solution, isn't it?

Yet, the participants prefer to employ absurd, over-the-top hyperbole like claiming Woodside is against the Girl Scouts, that this ordinance was done secretly, their solution is 700 cars (each carrying a single girl scout, of course) going up and down the hill twice a day, or that Woodside should just close down Kings Mountain Road. All of those claims were made on Tuesday night at the meeting.

Uhhhh... NO. HOW ABOUT JUST USING SMALLER BUSES? UPS uses smaller trucks in Woodside and our trash pick up trucks are smaller too. That's the price we pay for living along a steep, narrow, winding road.

Posted by No Easy Solutions
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 30, 2023 at 8:11 am

No Easy Solutions is a registered user.

The ordinance impacts more than just the Girl Scouts. Schools have field trips to Huddart. Why would a school district or fleet operator invest in buses that are no more than 35 feet long just to meet the Woodside ordinance? What if Woodside changes ordinance in the future to no more than 31 feet long?

Before enacting the ordinance, did Woodside look for alternatives? How about:
1. Install blind spot mirrors (this could help motorists and cyclist too)?
2. Partner with San Mateo County Park to improve access via Greer Rd?
3. Examine feasibility to expand KMR from Huddart to Greer Rd?

Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 30, 2023 at 9:43 pm

pogo is a registered user.

Actually, there is a very easy solution: smaller buses.

It will be far cheaper than trying to widen Kings Mountain Road. Have you ever driven that roadway - there isn't a way to make it wider. Besides, widening that roadway would cost MILLIONS.

Lots of companies and organizations use smaller vehicles in our area. For instance, UPS, Amazon, and GreenWaste use smaller trucks because it's simply too narrow and windy. Even moving companies use smaller trucks there.

We love the girl scouts but the parents and organizers should show some consideration for residents who depend on these roadways 24 hours a day, 365 days a year - not just for a few weeks during the summer.

Posted by CyberVoter
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 5, 2023 at 2:24 pm

CyberVoter is a registered user.

"Can't we all get along"? It does not appear that the Almanac is helping to solve this dilemma. There should be three adults in a room to negotiate a solution to the problem. It is clearly solvable if people sit back & "work for the common good".

Get the Girl Scout leader, Woodside staff & County staff in a room & work something out. That is what our taxes pay the staff to do

Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 7, 2023 at 9:02 am

pogo is a registered user.

CyberVoter -

That was done - there was a meeting.

As a result of that meeting, an accommodation was made with the Sheriff's Department providing an escort for these longer buses to protect the safety of those living the area and those (bicycles, cars) using the roadway. Unfortunately, the camp doesn't seem to be satisfied with this generous accommodation.

Next year, the camp needs to get smaller vehicles and comply with the law that is there for everyone's safety and protection.

Posted by CyberVoter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 7, 2023 at 11:23 am

CyberVoter is a registered user.


Thanks for the extra information.You are providing more evidence that the Almanac is NOT providing real value in "Investigative Reporting". Assuming what you post is accurate, it would seem like a reasonable way to solve 2023 & then revisit possible solutions after this year of evaluation.

I highly recommend that the Almanac act as real "Investigative, value-added reporters" & not merely press release repeaters with a personal bias.

Posted by Stuart
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Jul 8, 2023 at 3:59 pm

Stuart is a registered user.


You are a frequent contributor in the comments section and I find you to be interesting. However, your comments and criticisms (above) of the Almanac from July 7th are unfair and incorrect.

The article concludes with a final section headlined:"Girl Scouts meeting with the town last week". The following two paragraphs outline the participants and solutions which have been put in place for 2023.

I agree with you, Pogo, and others that the simplest and logical solution for 2024 is shorter buses.

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