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County embarks on long road to fix congested expressways

Original post made on Jul 18, 2014

Faced with thickening traffic jams throughout its expressway network, Santa Clara County officials are considering a range of long-term projects that would add driving lanes and under- or overpasses to segments of particularly busy roads, including Page Mill Road and Foothill Expressway.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 18, 2014, 12:00 AM

Comments (44)

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Even tho very expensive, building underpasses makes a lot of sense. Stop lights are not a good idea, and there just don't seem to be any other simple solutions.


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Posted by Midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Finish the Willow Road Freeway up to 280!!! That will take a lot of traffic off of Oregon/Page Mill. In the process of fixing this you might also fix the creek.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2014 at 6:43 pm

It is about time this country embarked on roundabouts.

On another note, bike caravans make these a very different traffic problem at weekends than the weekday commuter traffic. Different approaches for bikes and different off peak light sequences with different sequences for weekends and holidays would make a lot of sense.


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Posted by LAH Resident
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jul 19, 2014 at 6:55 pm

I live in the hills above the Page Mill/280 intersection and it's a crying shame what the NIMBYs have been able to do in impeding this project. The Page Mill/280 intersection desperately needs some sort of control. It is incredibly dangerous. As soon as you have more than one lane entering a 4 way stop it just breaks down. Couple that with traffic coming down Page Mill at 50mph and you have an accident waiting to happen. I think as long as the timing doesn't force the sparse LAH traffic to wait too long coming down the hill the lights seem like a solid improvement.

If PA is interested in fixing congestion they need to take a second look at the mostly pointless changes being made to Oregon expressway, which can barely be called an expressway as there are signals almost every block.


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 19, 2014 at 10:12 pm

To LAH resident
The Oregon Expressway is under the jurisdiction of Santa Clara County. It IS a country road and has been since it was built.


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Posted by resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 20, 2014 at 8:43 am

We can't keep paving the city. We need to think outside the box to solve our transportation problems. Where are all these drivers coming from? Can we improve public transportation so they don't need to drive to work every single day? How about building a big parking lot on one of the cow pastures west of Foothill and providing shuttles from there to the business parks in Palo Alto?


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 20, 2014 at 10:53 am

The roads will get so crowded that nobody will drive anymore.

Actually we'll probably come up with a plan where only rich people will be able to drive.

Any improvements tend to just move the traffic problem to the next intersection.

The Page Mill / Alma ramps were built awhile later than 1954. Perhaps 1959.
I wonder which one of the three from Alma onto Oregon has Larry Klein so worried?


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2014 at 12:59 pm

I don't think roundabouts on large scale roads will even work. Highway improvements and transit infrastructure is a good thing.

Non commute rush traffic will improve also.


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Posted by Residentialist
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 20, 2014 at 2:01 pm

NO. An underpass/overpass at Arastradero in front of Gunn High school? The idea of grade separation is lovely, until you realize it means something like the Oregon Alma underpass. There is no such thing as putting an overpass there and maintaining our open-space low-key feel which is already under assault by this development-crazed City Council. Such an overpass will make navigating the area harder for local residents, not easier. The intent, now that developers have made a mess of Palo Alto, is to by pass us and put us irrevocably on the road to a San Jose inner city feel rather than open-space Foothills.

We do NOT need a huge monument to urbanization on Arastradero road. The City Council needs to pull back on packing as many people in this town as possible. Then look at how a serious upgrade of our traffic flow could be achieved through high tech means (like computerized system monitoring and dynamic systems adjustment, etc) -- going to the state commission on unfunded mandates to get them to pay for it, since the ABAG mandates and high-density bonuses are why we are in this mess to begin with. If they won't pay for it, then we have legal cause to just say NO to any future overdevelopment (as we should be now anyway).

To anyone in the County reading this now: if you pursue an overpass/bypass tangle at Foothill and Arastradero, you will anger the same group that rose up over Measure D, that is their neighborhood you will be urbanizing, and they will not take kindly to it since the City is still trying to urbanize and densify Arastradero Road. They had more than 600 signatures that they didn't even have to try that hard to get asking the City not to upzone that property prior to Measure D. The City had a baby seal issue. An overpass/underpass is completely inappropriate for that intersection, and treating the neighborhood like it's something to speed through will be a losing battle. Better to come up with a solution that IMPROVES the environment so people don't see it as something to speed through, and IMPROVES circulation through smart high-tech, dynamic input and adjustment. (If you try to urbanize that area with an overpass, I promise you now, you will rue the day.)


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Posted by Residentialist
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 20, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Speaking of which, what is the email address to which concerned citizens should address their feedback on these proposals?


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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2014 at 2:36 pm

>The roads will get so crowded that nobody will drive anymore.

Please tell me this is sarcasm, I can't tell anymore...


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Garrett, you have obviously never driven in Europe where roundabouts at major route intersections make perfect sense.

Arastradero/Foothill would be an idea spot for a roundabout. Foothill Expressway being the only through road would be unaffected apart from an underpass while the roundabout for all other roads including the Foothill ramps could be slightly raised above grade. With Miranda being part of the roundabout as well as Arastradero and the ramps, the roundabout would work extremely well to move traffic efficiently. There could be peak hour lights if necessary that could be turned off offpeak and a slip road for the NB Foothill right turn onto Arastradero.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm

That riff on Yogi Berra was just the first thing that came to mind on reading this article. The direction I see things going, unfortunately, is like the El Camino proposals to close lanes for everybody unless you take the bus. And auctioning freeway lanes to the highest bidders.

I'd leave the Arastradero/Foothill intersection as is. Drivers who don't like it can change their commute patterns. Occasional motorists like me will learn quickly when not to be on the road unless packing some entertainment and plenty of patience.


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Posted by Residentialist
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 20, 2014 at 4:19 pm

I found it really interesting that anyone is now saying the Foothill/Arastradero intersection is headed to being an F.

I thought (tongue planted firmly in cheek) that the City Planning people promised there would be "NO IMPACT" from every development in the area.... The County people should just go talk to the City Planners, they'll straighten them out... ahem.


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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 20, 2014 at 4:59 pm

I attended a meeting on May 5th where county representatives gave a presentation and study session on Foothill Expressway.

Expressways are defined as "high capacity arterials" that are meant to "aid freeways" and "relieve local city neighborhood streets."

Foothill carries 94,000 vehicles/day and has 2 F intersections (120 second average delay) at El Monte and Page Mill and one E- at San Antonio.

Foothill presentation is at:
Web Link

Lots of good info regarding ALL expressways (including Oregon/Page Mill, Arastradero/Central) at Expressway Plan 2040 Study Web Link

If you want to provide input, there's a survey for ALL expressways at: Web Link

BTW, a lot of the work recently done on Oregon Expressway was to raise the curbs around the center divide to 6 inches. Apparently, resurfacing the expressway raised the surface so that the curbs didn't meet spec. A waste of money IMHO, as well as causing huge traffic jams for months. And those humongous new lights make it look like a freeway.


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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 20, 2014 at 5:05 pm

> Actually we'll probably come up with a plan where only rich people will be able to drive.

That's already happening. There's talk of having the diamond lane be a toll lane for lone drivers. And with SF planning to build 8,000 new homes on Treasure Island: To persuade residents, commuters and visitors to ride transit, residents will have to buy transit passes - and drivers will be charged tolls not only to use the Bay Bridge, but also to enter or leave the island. Web Link


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Posted by boscli
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 20, 2014 at 5:24 pm

We thought we could engage in a 40 year long orgy of development and that traffic would be manageable? Really? Palo Alto made a pact with the devil many years ago by enabling and accommodating the SRP, thus becoming the hub of SV. Each time roads are "upgraded", more traffic is attracted to them. The upgraded Sand Hill Road is just as congested as the old one, accept the traffic volume is higher. I'll bet my last penny that after Oregon is done, whatever they are doing to it, it will suffer the same fate as the new Sand Hill Rd.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2014 at 6:09 pm

I have lived in England, driven in rural, suburban and urban roundabouts. A whole design of streets would be needed, was impressed on how well traffic flow but to put then on expressway in the states will be too much. We don't stop of peds or bikes, we run red lights, and really don't understand the concept of yield.

Watch National Lampoons European Vacation with Chevy Chase, I driven the very same roundabout many times.


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Posted by Former Brit
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2014 at 9:16 am

The roundabouts in the UK work because the drivers are polite and yield the right-of-way willingly. On the East Coast, particularly Boston, the roundabouts did NOT work and caused many, many severe accidents--causing most of them to be removed for safety reasons. However, East Coast ( especially Boston) drivers are famously rude and pushy.

Let's hope California drivers are more polite than East Coast drivers and that the roundabout thing works here. However, Palo Alto scofflaws, with their uninhibited stopsign running and "my destination is more important than yours" attitude, may be the exception.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 21, 2014 at 9:56 am

Right now, the county is renovating Oregon Expressway to make the intersections safer for pedestrians. Are they going to rip all this out to make the expressway faster for cars?

Pro tip: if you want to get to work faster, then move closer to work. Moving farther away will always be slower in the long term. If they spend millions of your tax dollars to add more lanes to popular roads, traffic volumes will always increase to overwhelm the "improvements", but the higher speed, higher volume roads will be much more dangerous to pedestrians.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jul 21, 2014 at 10:27 am

Pedestrian crossings in parts of England are different compared to what is 2 lines painted on a street.


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Posted by boscoli
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 21, 2014 at 10:46 am

Show me one roadway in which improvement didn't attract enough additional traffic to overwhelm and negate the improvement. This would be a waste of money, as is the work on Oregon, which shows no signs of being concluded anytime soon, and which has been causing very bad traffic jams and serious hardship to drivers.


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Posted by Residentialist
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 21, 2014 at 12:16 pm

pat,
Arastradero is not an expressway, it's a residential arterial.

I wonder who suggested the boned-headed idea of an overpass at Foothill in such a low-key residential area to the county? Was it Liz Kniss? If you have to stop somewhere, that intersection is one of the most beautiful places in town. The hills rising just in front of you, without any urban streetscape, are majestic. Probably saves a lot of lives lowering bloodpressure from people who just fought their way out of the mess this Council made of the rest of Palo Alto.

No, sorry, so overpass/underpass situation there. Out Council may have resources to waste on fighting residents on overdevelopment projects they have a particular interest in (as Kniss said about Maybell), but the county does not. The overpass at Oregon, however, desperately needs fixing.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by What about....
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 21, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Is anything going to be done about Alma? Can anything be done about it? It often takes ten to twenty minutes to cross during rush hour.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Interesting
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2014 at 1:19 pm

It is interesting that the Los Altos Hills is objecting to expressway expansion destroying "their area". They are transforming formerly beautiful, bucolic hills into an ostentatious community of monster home suburban sprawl. Their car-dependent lifestyle and insistence on large lots impacts the environment in many ways--especially by GENERATING TRAFFIC CONGESTION.





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Posted by Modern Tech maybe?
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 21, 2014 at 1:33 pm

I keep being baffled with why we continue to put up with mid 20th century control technology. How many coordinated lights do we have on our arterials? None on the Peninsula that I know of. (not quite true, MP has pseudo coordination along ECR downtown).

Roads like Oregon/Page Mill should have integrated light controls so that vehicles travelling on them - at the proper speed - should never have to stop. (or perhaps only at major crossings like ECR or Foothill) This would dramatically improve transit times down these roads, encourage proper driving speed, reduce pollution and more.

But instead, we spend half a year putting in MORE lights on Oregon.


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Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 21, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Bigger roads excuse bigger new developments


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Posted by Midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 21, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Not only lights on Oregon, but tank traps. Check out the new intersection at Ross. Those islands in the middle of the intersection are going to destroy cars. Check it out!


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Posted by David
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Arastradero Rd between Page Mill Rd and Foothill Expy is under sized for the volume of traffic coming to the Stanford Research Park. The stretch between Page Mill Rd and Deer Creek is insanely too narrow. I'm surprised there has not been an auto/bike crash since SCC Roads does not perform any roadside maintenance in this section. The bushes and trees are only trimmed back by FedEx and UPS trucks.

The residents that live between El Camino and Foothills Expressway have been fighting the increasing volume of traffic to the Stanford Research Park. All I can say is, the NIMBY should have known or at least had an idea of the traffic when you bought your house. Widen this section of Arastradero Rd. It is way overdue.


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Posted by Residentialist
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 21, 2014 at 10:33 pm

@David,
Arastradero Road doesn't run between Page Mill and Foothill Expy, neither does it run between Page Mill and Deer Creek. You sound very much like someone who doesn't live here. You seem unaware of the recent history of Arastradero Road at all.

The residents that live between El Camino and Foothills have been trying along with most of the residents of Palo Alto to stop the City Council from giving away the zoning for the short-term profits of a few developers and with long-term consequences to our infrastructure and traffic circulation. But that particular neighborhood happens to be one of the most stable in all of Palo Alto with very little turnover. The vast majority of them were there long before Palo Alto's City Council began trying to turn the town into mini-San Jose.

major traffic problems have come about in about the last 3 years. In case you hadn't noticed, the narrowing of Arastradero Road to one lane each way was a program of the City and not popular among people in the neighborhood. However, it was done because the route is a major school commute corridor and for safety, and is at least appropriate for a residential arterial, it is not an expressway.

From staff report, "The Charleston-Arastradero Road corridor is a major school commute corridor in Palo Alto. From Hoover Elementary and JLS Middle Schools on Charleston, to Gunn High and the new Terman Middle Schools on Arastradero, school commuters of all ages commute along and across these major streets. The predominant land use on both streets is residential and both are classified as residential arterial streets in the 1998-2010 Palo Alto Comprehensive Plan."
Web Link

Any change from that would represent a significant change in land use and inconsistency with the comprehensive plan. This is a low-key residential area, and far more civically active than the residents of Los Altos who opposed the light. One of our town's flagship high schools is right at that intersection, no one is going to let it be turned into an urban speedway overpass situation like at Oregon and Alma. The county may as well decide to put its limited resources into an improvement that will be welcome, such as at Oregon, because again, they will face even more focused opposition than the Maybell rezoning, and the citizens are far more organized than at the Los Altos intersection.

The problem is not the neighbors wanting to maintain consistency with the comprehensive plan or the residential character of their neighborhood. The problem is expecting land use to be driven by Council's overdevelopment mistakes. Kind of like saying, Oops, cut down a tree, may as well cut down the forest. No. There are ways to address the traffic problems, and correct for the overdevelopment without just saying, Oh well, may as well ruin the whole town.

County resources are scarce. That particular idea is just a losing battle and money down the toilet.


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Posted by Residentialist
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 21, 2014 at 10:41 pm

" County officials solicited comments about the scope of the element's environmental-impact report in June and have begun to put together the document."

The area surrounding Gunn is a lot of families, many are away during June. Gennady, please tell us where we can send our comments, particularly about the urbanizing of that intersection by making it an overpass/underpass.
Thanks.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Monroe Park
on Jul 21, 2014 at 11:19 pm

@residentialist

Arastradero does run between Foothill and Page Mill .... Take a look at a map.


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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Jul 22, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Wow, it's hard to believe that residents think there is any solution to the traffic problems at intersections like Foothill and Page Mill. Roundabouts work with low amounts of traffic to reduce waiting time. Timed lights work with low to moderate amounts of traffic in certain cases depending on other neighboring intersections. None of this solutions can deal with the level of traffic experienced at these high use intersections. I grew up in Los Altos back when traffic was always light and the bay had a more provincial feel, but the reality is that having cars wait at heavily trafficked intersections both wastes peoples lives and burns needless fuel.

As for the development happening in Palo Alto which is turning it into a more and more urban environment -- most of the traffic is not from residents. People drive from 280 to their job on Page Mill in the morning and most of them are not residents of Palo Alto. The fact of the matter is that people are moving to the bay area because of jobs, and the closer people live to their work the less total driving they will have to do, which results in less congestion in general.

If we really wanted to turn back the clock most of us wouldn't be living here because there would be very few jobs and just a number of large ranches. But the status quo is that companies are going to continue to hire, and more cars will be driven unless people switch to public transit or bicycles.


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Posted by HELLLLLLPPP!!!
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 22, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Will someone please, please, please do something about the bumper-to-bumper traffic on Alma from 7-10am and 4-7pm? Another stoplight between Alma Plaza and Churchill, perhaps. Without some break in traffic during the aforementioned rush hours, it is extremely difficult to get across traffic from the side streets. Even turning right can be difficult unless a Good Samaritan stops and lets you in. But turning left from a side street is nearly impossible, and rush hour seems to get longer and longer.

Things eased up for a while when Facebook left PA, but now the traffic has charged back up again!


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 22, 2014 at 7:14 pm

@parent -- Pro tip corollary: if you want to get to work faster, find work closer to home.

@David -- I'm against any widening of Arastradero. All of Stanford Research Park is accessible from Page Mill.

@boscoli -- I see faster progress on the Oregon improvements than most other projects around here. Hope to see it finished soon, then give drivers some time to acclimate.

@Modern Tech -- before the current construction project, signals on Oregon/Page Mill seemed coordinated to me, and traffic flow was actually quite good during rush hours, due to very long green cycles. Middle of the day driving always took longer with frequent reds. Any increase in traffic flow toward 101 in the afternoon will just result in more back-up at the on-ramps. Recently 101 has been near a standstill in the afternoon both north and southbound. I don't know what the morning looks like at 101, but ECR is always a mess.

@HELLLLLLPPP -- good luck. I use the Meadow traffic light, but try to avoid the school rush.


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Posted by Futurist
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jul 22, 2014 at 9:07 pm

This article (and in all fairness, perhaps the letter written by the LAH council) make all those against the signal light at the Page Mill- 280 interchange sound like NIMBY's, as an early comment stated. But I was at the meeting and while there were residents and at least one vocal council member focusing on rural character and property values, there were others whose objection was that a signal light would not necessarily help, might make things much worse, and that the problem was much bigger than cars backed up on 280. The plan for the light did not include any mention of coordination with other lights, stop signs, or what the timing for the light would have to be to increase flow, if in fact it can be increased. Traffic is sometimes backed up from Page Mill/Foothill intersection to the northbound off-ramp and increasing the flow from the southbound off-ramp could cause gridlock. Simulations could look at this and other possible ways to improve that intersection, like having an additional off-lane dedicated for traffic going straight or right, putting in a real cloverleaf or flyover, or making Arastradero and Alpine carry more traffic.

We need our cities to work together to come up with big, comprehensive, coordinated plans, not ones where each looks out for themselves, hoping that someone else will carry the burden. Right now, we seem to be working together just about as well as the UN. We only have to look at the history of Bart and why we don't have it here or Marin to understand the long term consequences of everyone looking after their short term gains.




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Posted by keenplanner
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 23, 2014 at 10:44 am

Stop the insanity! We have learned the hard (and expensive) way that adding lanes does not solve congestion, in fact, it makes it worse. Apparently this does not apply to the Peninsula cities, where backwards transportation policy is built around accommodating cars, rather than thinking about the environment and the safety of other users of the public streets.
Really, the focus needs to go to transit, bike facilities, and reducing parking at workplaces to discourage frivolous auto trips, and denser mixed-use development in town centers, so people can walk to do their errands. Can we ask Palo Alto's many self-proclaimed "environmentalists" to give up their Range Rovers? Good luck!


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Time to have a whole rethink on street resign and how it all works.

Slip Roads or frontage roads to handle entry and exit points either by driveway or side streets.

Improve the flow inside and around Stanford Park by resign the parking lots to have more interior access streets.

One has to look at Google Maps to see connections that can be built from El Camino Real to VA hospital. Build a street though the maze of parking lots, give it a highway number with signage.


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Posted by midtown resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm

First - stop greedy developers from building high-density housing based on doctored traffic studies.

Second- Instead of adding car lanes, add bike lanes separated from car lanes all over the bay area. Lots of younger folks will ride to work if they dont ahve to dodge cars with texting drivers.

Widening roads is a temporary solution. It'll result in more development and more people moving into the area.

Not to mention the drought that is gripping california. More driving will only make the drought worse


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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2014 at 5:49 pm

> "please tell us where we can send our comments, particularly about the urbanizing of that intersection by making it an overpass/underpass."

I posted the link for the county survey: Web Link

> "The Charleston-Arastradero Road corridor is a major school commute corridor in Palo Alto. From Hoover Elementary and JLS Middle Schools on Charleston, to Gunn High and the new Terman Middle Schools "

And since the city narrowed Arastradero, traffic on Maybell – a "safe route to school" for 4 schools – increased 24%.

When arterials are narrowed, residents cut through the neighborhoods. Water and drivers seek the path of least resistance.

@musical: Thanks for the Pro tip corollary!


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Posted by contrarian
a resident of University South
on Jul 23, 2014 at 9:18 pm

"...urbanizing of that intersection by making it an overpass/underpass."

All our :urbanized intersections" were pastoral crossroads eighty years ago, before our smalltown boosters got their chests so puffed up about boosting the local population. Small people in big bodies, they still are: witness the push for high density high rise housing projects, around transit centers now, eventually everywhere.

Urban-suburban Silicon Valley once was the rural "Valley of Hearts' Delight," with placid country lanes among the apricot trees where expressways now connect housing tracts with business parks. Curb population growth or get used to the consequences. At some point neither Atherton nor Los Altos Hills nor Portola Valley nor Woodside can retain their rural character.


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Posted by OMV Residents
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 24, 2014 at 6:55 am

Putting money into the kinds of "fixes" to the expressways that the county is talking about (extra lanes, grade separations) is like pouring money down the drain. The roads will congest right back up again (do a web search for 'induced traffic demand') or the bottlenecks will simply get shifted from one place to another. Not to mention that by putting this kind of money into pointless roadway projects, we divert resources from solutions that might really make a difference like improved Caltrain service, more neighborhood shuttle service, and so forth. Widening intersections also makes roads more difficult to cross for pedestrians and bikes, thereby exacerbating the problem.

The only major projects that should be done to the expressways in the future should be safety improvements, like improving the unsafe ramps/merges at the Alma & Oregon expressway underpass.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 7:38 am

The designs of so many of our intersections are so last millennium. We look very third world compared to the innovations done in the rest of the world.

We need to get traffic engineers to work at efficiently moving traffic to where it needs to go. We need to make some safe spots to cross the streets like pedestrian crossings with islands in the center, or tunnels or bridges. But we have too many bottlenecks that don't do anything other than tie up traffic without adding to safety.


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Posted by Silly
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 24, 2014 at 3:59 pm

The "New Traffic Pattern" on Middlefield near Oregon already has people creating their own lanes BECAUSE the traffic is backed up for such long distances.

Do our fine traffic engineers ever get out of their offices to see what marvels they've produced?

Note that this is happening before the kids are even back from school. Embarcadero and Middlefield was backed up at noon today, partially because of the traffic light timing and partially because people couldn't get into their turn lanes. Traffic turning off El Camino couldn't because of the jams. I love sitting through 3 green lights because the next light is idiotically red.


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