Roads, Roads, Roads

We have updates on a number of road work projects in Palo Alto, including:


Ross Road Debacle, includes Louis, Amarillo – Follow up to the June 12 Council Town Hall meeting

My understanding was that road work was to be suspended until staff has further community meetings. Unfortunately, Council is not aware of these community meetings and here is a Staff report dated July 30, 2018 which provides next steps regarding this Neighborhood Traffic Safety and Bicycle Boulevard Projects

The following questions still are unanswered:

  • Will the design of the road to calm traffic continue to use bicyclists to slow down automobiles?
  • Will this cause for auto drivers to use alternative neighborhood streets? How will staff track this?
  • Why were parking spaces removed across/near Ohlone Elementary School?
  • After all the community meetings, engaging and listening to residents in the immediate area, will there be a larger community meeting to provide Council and the residents of a proposal as to what the remedies will be?

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Update on Charleston Arastradero Corridor “upgrades/modifications”

The City Manager reported at the August 20th City Council meeting that the temporary installations of proposed permanent modifications will be removed and may be removed by the time you read this.

Of great concern as pointed out by nearby residents is –

 charleston-arastradero-2.jpg  charleston-arastradero-1.jpg  =  charleston-arastradero-3.jpg.png

Charleston Arastradero Corridor Scope of Work and Funds per Transportation Impact Fee Nexus Study dated 9/21/2017

The “Charleston Arastradero Corridor Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Impact Fee” (PAMC Chapter 16.60) was adopted in 2005. It applies to both residential and non-residential development within onehalf mile of the corridor, beginning at Fabian Way and ending at Miranda Avenue, near Foothill Expressway. The purpose of the impact fee is to provide funding for the Charleston Arastradero Corridor Plan, a streetscape improvement plan intended to address the safety concerns of pedestrians and bicyclists using the corridor. As described in the 2005 nexus study prepared for this impact fee, the improvements include:

  • Reorganization of auto travel lanes throughout the corridor, with removal of auto travel lanes in some locations in favor of bike lanes and landscaped medians;
  • Provision of a bike lane in each direction that is tinted or painted to enhance safety;
  • Lighted (in-pavement, pedestrian-activated) crosswalks in several locations, particularly near schools;
  • Pedestrian bulb-outs and median island refuges for pedestrian safety, along with an irrigated, planted center median interspersed with left-turn pockets;
  • Installation of frontage improvements, including new street lighting to improve pedestrian and bicyclist visibility and safety.

The 2005 nexus study characterized the Charleston Arastradero Corridor Plan as a defined project with a defined timeline, and noted that there was no need for funds after the project had been fully implemented. Thus, it was assumed that the impact fee would terminate after project construction was complete. The City has partially completed the project, and has recently received an updated cost estimate of $11,316,200 for the remaining work.

Funds have been transferred annually to the City’s Capital Improvement Program since the inception of this impact fee fund, for use on improvements in the corridor. The current amount of the fee, as of August 28, 2017, is $1,306 per residential unit and $0.38 per square foot for non-residential development. The current balance in the Charleston-Arastradero Corridor Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Fund, as of June 30, 2016, is $8,708, according to the “Annual Report on Development Impact Fees for Fiscal Year 2016”, as presented to the City Council on February 6, 2017. The City plans to also use other fund sources to complete this project.

What?!!!  $11,316,200 - $8,708 = $11,307,492 needed!

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Update for University Avenue traffic light synchronization

Last year after an accident on the Dumbarton Bridge has caused traffic standstill all the way into Crescent Park causing many homeowners to be barricaded either at home or not able to get to their homes, residents  took action to come up with short to long term solutions to address and resolve traffic congestion and impacts to them. An immediate short term solution is to synchronize the traffic lights along the stretch of University Avenue in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto. This involves three agencies; Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Caltrans.

Good news is a grant from MTC will provide for this synchronization and work has started. This will not stop the problem of traffic congestion and flow on University nor the cut through traffic into the residential neighborhood unless serious regulations, enforcement and compliance are seriously addressed. Of course, it doesn’t help that your Mayor, Liz Kniss, does not acknowledge there is an issue with traffic. Even though she has issued an apology, in her statement to CBS, she said what she learnt is to say it differently

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Road project - San Antonio at East Charleston Rd traffic safety improvements

This project was initiated in response to residents concern of traffic safety and operations of this intersection. The motor vehicle level of service of this signalized intersection is currently D which can be described as approaching unstable flow of traffic and occasionally waiting through more than one signal cycle before proceeding.

Proposed improvements for this intersection aim to improve pedestrian safety-mainly crossing west leg of East Charleston Road with two conflicting southbound right-turn lanes on San Antonio Road.  During field observations it was noted that vehicles in the second right-turn lane do not always yield to pedestrians. This project would also address intersection operations and poor motor vehicle level of service.

Based on the feedback received at the first community meeting in April, staff has developed additional conceptual layouts of potential improvements for this intersection and was shared with the community last night, September 5th, at a public meeting.

Additional Information & Resources

The project managers are –

Rafael Rius [email protected] | 650-329-2442
Ruchika Aggarwal [email protected]  | 650-329-2442

Let Rafael or Ruchika know if you want to be kept updated by providing your email address to them.

For more information


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  • Lydia Kou
    published this page in Home 2018-09-05 21:53:59 -0700