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Teeth-clattering potholes get temporary fix after storms pitted already-damaged roads

Original post made on Apr 21, 2023

On local freeways, onramps, streets and overpasses, drivers have been dodging and weaving around large potholes, deep fissures and mosaics of fractured asphalt caused by the recent atmospheric river winter storms.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 21, 2023, 6:50 AM

Comments (19)

Posted by Mondoman
a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 21, 2023 at 8:58 am

Mondoman is a registered user.

We like to call El Camino the "Gavin Memorial Highway" as the jarring continually reminds us of his failure to maintain state roads. We were pleasantly surprised to notice that the section at the intersection of El Monte has recently been converted from an all-terrain test track back to something approaching normal roadway status.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 21, 2023 at 10:24 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Good that the former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger shamed the procrastinators by getting out there and filling potholes himself.

Remind me what our local "leaders" have done so little to force any action. The recent quotes about Mark Berman's inaction have at least been amusing.but shameful how long this has persisted. My "rough road" hazard light has been going off in front of Stanford Shopping Center for years, maybe decades.

Posted by Joe in Green Acres
a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 21, 2023 at 10:25 am

Joe in Green Acres is a registered user.

"caused by the recent atmospheric river winter storms" - I wonder where Sue (the author of the article) has been, as the potholes have been here for years and years, and not caused (although presumably made worse) by the recent rains. It will be good to drive ECR and not have to lane change to avoid them.

Posted by jn
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2023 at 10:47 am

jn is a registered user.

The poor road conditions have been existent for years! Aren't temporary fixes a waste time & money? Get out there and resurface the road with quality materials. The roads are an embarrassment to the Cities mentioned. City authorities should have been raising their voices and applying pressure to the state long ago. If they have done so, I hope they will also comment. Cannot believe that Stanford Shopping Center, Stanford University & Hospital, Sutter Health, Menlo College, Town & Country Village, and more, are ok with this kind of representation; not to mention so many high-priced hotel properties along El Camino Real.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 21, 2023 at 11:01 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

My son keeps urging me to buy a new car. Not now - not going to invest lots of money in a new car and then subject it to the horrible California roads.

The Progressive party keeps saying we are the 4, 5, 6th biggest economy in the world.
That is because our government does not pay into keeping our infrastructure up to date and working well. Rather go off on tangents which are specific to a small percentage of the population. They are all out there protecting "Democracy". How noble. How abut protecting our roads, dams, water ways, airports, trains. How clueless can this government be and still be in power.

Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 21, 2023 at 5:12 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

On former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger filling in a pothole/utility trench:
There are trivial controversies about the exact wording of the articles, but there were two important unasked questions:
1. The trench stretched halfway across the street (photos and text). Labeling this a pothole says much about what is regarded as a pothole.
2. According to the media reports, the utility work that created the trench was completed in January. The City's press release said that it was scheduled to be filled in in May. Was the reporter so unfamiliar with California road conditions that they didn't know to ask "May of what year?"

Bonus: I am surprised that California doesn't have pothole reduction programs that find potholes that have merged and reclassify them as "gullies", thereby reducing the official count of potholes.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 21, 2023 at 6:13 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"May of what year?" is unfortunately the key question for too many things around here. Re fixing El Camino, a buddy got disgusted with the runarounds and called County Supervisor Joe Simitian's office last week.

He was told that permanent El Camino repairs aren't even scheduled to **start until 2024** with work beginning south of 237 and then moving north.

There was much joking about how many years it will take to move north to Palo Alto.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of University South
on Apr 21, 2023 at 6:29 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

These comments all hit the nail on the head. Road conditions are deplorable not to mention the ever growing amount of garbage along the freeways. I was seriously scared commuting on 101 for fear something would fly up into on coming traffic causing an accident or worse. Will it take lawsuits and people being killed to get our roadways cleaned up and repaired? Apparently so.

Posted by Joel
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 21, 2023 at 6:39 pm

Joel is a registered user.

I have been concerned about these potholes and writing to the official from the state, city government, and Cal Trans for over 3+ years. Today, I was pleasantly surprised to see the patching for a brief section of El Camino in Palo Alto. I hope they are going to finish the job into South Palo Alto. Pleeeeeeaaaassee!

Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 21, 2023 at 8:35 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

1. When will south of Oregon on ECR road ruts get filled.
2. Can someone explain why there are street sweepers pushing, dirt, and loose gravel and small rocks when it’s doing nothing but causing plumes of pollutants and unsafe conditions between Oregon and E Meadow???
3. What is the delay in getting yellow reflective tape on stop light on University, Embarcadero and Oregon and yes along ECR they PA? Page mill has them now, Foothill has them... why the delay. I think there about 3 taped yellow reflected lights at only ONE intersection at Bryant. Our traffic/pedestrian/bicycle safety is slipping on brown banana peels up and down, all around within our city corridors. Can someone please give some kind of justification for the stop measures. Is there a pending law suit that is preventing traffic light yellow tape reflectors.

Posted by Morgan
a resident of Meadow Park
on Apr 22, 2023 at 9:40 pm

Morgan is a registered user.

Wny aren't our local representatives, Berman, Simitian, Eshoo, Becker, etc...demanding a better and quicker response? What have they been working on?

Why aren't our city council members going to those representatives?

Who is actually representing the residents?

Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 24, 2023 at 10:04 am

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

“Potholes can damage tires, rims and a car's suspension, and those costs could come out of the state's coffers. “ Not only this type of damage. Flying gravel, rocks sand can crack and break auto windows. The VTA buss or any heavy commercial construction trucks rattle king up and down ECR are created deeper ruts, loosening already loose concreted. VTA 22 and 522 buss’ kick up plumes of debris behind — especially south of Oregon. As Oregon is the commercial truck route the intersections between Charleston and Serra is bumpy , like riding in a wagon. As for ECR University repair, roads overpass upgrades replacements. Look a little deeper why CalTrans is mum. Stanford, Palo Alto, County. The three way hair ball clogging up the underground pipes there.

Posted by Silver Linings
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2023 at 10:19 am

Silver Linings is a registered user.

El Camino from Arastradero to Page Mill is worse than you should ever expect in the developed world.

Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 24, 2023 at 10:34 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

Yes. And why is Mountain View, Melo Park, Redwood City better w ECR Cal Trans upgrades. Keep hearing from PA CC, that ECR is not in our power to mitigate. How are other close, neighboring cities fairing better w it’s pedestrian crossing across ECR, filling in ruts, bright white striping, addressing the historic HWY w upgrades & safety measures now? I consider Old Redwood Highway through Novato, Petaluma, Cotati, RP, SR . Decades of neglect thru Petaluma way. Yet somehow wonderful roundabouts get installed from Pet to Healdsburg on the iconic Road to the Redwoods. I can only surmise Stanford refuses to pay up. Embarcadero & Churchill are disaster route for bikes and peds. Quite a scene to see a family of five huddled with 3 under five, squeezed on inches of “safe” tiny islands, attempting to cross safely to the other side. You know where there are Markets, May Fete Parades, downtown. In the rain, the heat or dusk of a sinking sun makes it thrice worse. I have pics but this avenue reserved 4 public comments does not accommodate attached images. That’s a 311 city centered algorithm based app . Unlike 911, 311 is entirely app based, a heavily touted line to city service response.

Posted by PA Streets
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Apr 25, 2023 at 11:49 am

PA Streets is a registered user.

Total BS. I emailed Mark Berman's office about this in December of 2021 and they responded to me. They said the project to repave ECR was approved and funded and was scheduled to be done in the Spring of 2023 (this was the official response from CalTrans).

Here is the official response:

The resurfacing project for State Route (SR) 82 - El Camino Real is scheduled to start construction in the Spring of 2023. The project will include resurfacing existing pavement, sidewalk and curb ramp improvements – some of which require Right of Way acquisition and utility relocation which take time to accomplish. This project is funded through the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP), and the lead-time for projects of this nature is about 7 years from initiation to start of construction.

I followed up with them just a few months ago and they said Mark Berman's office is still checking in with CalTrans to expedite this. They also told me Governor Newsom's office is the only authority that can make CalTrans expedite this.

I saw the City of Palo Alto patching the left turn lane off ECR on to Charleston eastbound yesterday because there were huge ruts there. I do not know when they will patch Barron Park.

Posted by Nikki W.
a resident of Portola Valley
on Apr 25, 2023 at 12:28 pm

Nikki W. is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by We Told You So!
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 28, 2023 at 4:35 pm

We Told You So! is a registered user.

The Traffic created by the City of Palo Alto, has caused "Huge Craters" Exiting on and off of University Avenue, from Hwy 101. Traffic coming from the South Bay, The North Bay and the East Bay. This has caused "Craters at "University & Donohoe (East Palo Alto) down further by Woodland Avenue over the Creek into Palo Alto.
This has complicated the Left Hand turn coming from IKEA. I personally have (at night) driven onto the Divider and its not just me. I have seen many others jerking back to keep from crossing the Divider. It needs illuminating Yellow or reflector lighting. This is dangerous, along with the once "potholes" that have turned into craters.

I have yet to hear from my Representatives?
I guess out of Sight. Out of Mind. aka: They don't Travel that path.

Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2023 at 5:05 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

In the past couple of months I have traveled from sea level to 7000 ft elevation where they have MUCH worse weather and MUCH more cars per miles and I can say this about it: Palo Alto has the worst road conditions in a 1000 mile radius. Perhaps we are paying too much attention to filling the rotating salaries on city payola, and not enough on the basics. Sure, blame it on caltrans. That only leaves one question, why are PA roads worse than in the Sierra's?

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 28, 2023 at 5:43 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

I agree with many comments posted..
I disagree with the Caltrans spokesperson who pins this on a rare year. These busy roads have been deteriorating for a long time.

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