The Barron Park Association

art liberman

Nov 202014
 

posted by Art Liberman

The Palo Alto VA is undergoing another phase of significant building construction. In the previous phase of VA building expansion, several new medical facility structures and a parking garage were built along the Matadero Creek side of its property. This second phase is in the rear area of its property, which borders the Bol Park Bike and Pedestrian Shared Path (‘the Bike Path’). The initial projects in this latest phase of construction activity involve moving the VA’s Loop Road close to the VA property boundary (labelled number 3 on the following figure), building a new, five story Parking Garage (number 2) along that Loop Road and adding a Radiology Unit (number 1) to the main hospital building.

VA Palo Alto Campus – Phase 2 project

The projects will proceed in stages over the next several years. As indicated in the figure, future projects include a two story Research Building (number 5) that will also be close to the new rear Loop Road and likely visible from the Bike Path, and several other facilities elsewhere on the VA site (Ambulatory Care Center, number 4; Simulation Center, number 6; Recreation Therapy, number 7; and a second Fisher House hotel for veterans’ families, number 8).

While the planning for this phase of the VA expansion had been in the works for some years, the Barron Park community became aware of it only two months ago, when the VA sent out a notice about the construction project (forwarded to BPA-News), and then six weeks later when construction activity began in earnest. David Boxerman along with Richard Placone (president of the BPA at the time of annexation of Barron Park to Palo Alto in the 1970’s and the person responsible for having the railway line right-of-way donated to the City for the Bike Path) contacted the VA project managers at the end of October. These two Barron Park residents have been joined by BPA President Markus Fromherz, Art Liberman, and Khashayar “Cash” Alaee (a management analyst in City Manager Jim Keene’s office) to form a group that has held several meetings with Ronald Bochenek, Environmental Planning Manager/Facility Planner for the VA who is acting as the VA’s liaison to the community for this project (and who provided the images in this note).

Over the past few weeks, the VA contractors erected a new chain link temporary construction fence covered with fabric screening that is closer to the Bike Path than the previous fence (which was removed), and bulldozers and excavation equipment removed trees and cleared away vegetation along the VA side of the new fence. The construction fence marks the VA property line; the Bike Path and adjacent property beyond the donkey pasture and extending to Arastradero is on Stanford land leased long term to the City of Palo Alto.

The rear entry way for pedestrians and bicyclists, which had been up a steep embankment and through a gateway between the phone booth and the donkey pasture, has been closed; a new rear entry way to the VA property is now open much further along the Bike Path, near the flood retention pond and Gunn High School.

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Oct 212014
 

Posted by Art Liberman

Some very dramatic changes are being proposed by City of Palo Alto Transportation Division to the streetscape in Barron Park to improve safety and enhance the bicycling experience in our neighborhood.

The proposed Barron Park Neighborhood Bicycle Routes project will provide Bike Route signage and Share the Road (Sharrow) roadway markings. The project will tie together the Matadero-Margarita Avenue and Maybell Bicycle Boulevard projects and support both commuter bicycle and student bicycle activities within and through the Barron Park Neighborhood.

The proposals were shown to residents by the  at a Community Meeting on Oct 16th at Barron Park School. You can download the presentation here:  Barron-Park_101614 Neighborhood Bicycle Routes Community Meeting

The streets where improvement are proposed include:

  • Barron Avenue: Laguna Avenue to El Camino Real
  • Los Robles Avenue: Laguna Avenue to El Camino Real
  • La Donna Avenue: Barron Avenue to Los Robles Avenue
  • Amaranta Avenue: Los Robles Avenue to Maybell Avenue
  • Laguna Avenue: Matadero Avenue to Los Robles Avenue

The list of proposed improvements include:

Intersection Treatments – Including landscaped Traffic Circles at:

  • Cerrito Way and Los Robles
  • Ilimia Court and Laguna Ave
  • Amaranta Ave and Georgia Ave

Traditional Bike Lanes on:
• Barron Avenue
• Amaranta Avenue

Green Backed Sharrows with Edgelines on:
• Josina Avenue
• La Donna Avenue
• Barron Avenue
• Laguna Avenue
• Los Robles Avenue

Advisory Bike Lanes (dotted white line or possibly textured pavement on shared shoulders) on:
• Josina Avenue
• La Donna Avenue
• Barron Avenue
• Amaranta Avenue
• Laguna Avenue

On streets with bike lanes, residents will be required to park the cars off the roadway if the bike lane is on their side of the street. The City officials had not conducted a survey of  which, if any, properties might be affected.

You can see the proposed plans and provide your feedback to the Transportation Division by following this link: barron-park-neighborhood-bicycle-routes
Sep 172014
 
CPI :  Risk Assessment Report & Possible Zoning Strategies 

October 6: The Palo Alto City Council will review and discuss the the AECOM consultant’s Risk Assessment for Storing and Handling Hazardous Materials at Communications & Power Industries, LLC (CPI), 607‐811 Hansen Way, and supplemental materials, including an analysis of possible zoning strategies to establish adequate separation between plating shop uses and residences.

Staff Report: • CPI Risk Assessment Report and Zoning Direction

Consultant Report and other Attachments:• Consultant Report and Attachment

From the Staff Report: Recommended Motion 

“Direct staff to prepare a draft ordinance for review by the Planning and Transportation  Commission (PTC) and consideration by the City Council in early 2015. The ordinance should  amend the list of uses in the zoning code to explicitly identify plating shops, prohibit plating  shop uses within a specific distance of residential uses and residential zoning districts, and incorporate an amortization schedule based on updated information on the value of affected  investments.”

October 2:  City staff and consultants will be available to answer questions about the Risk Assessment and the staff report at a pre‐meeting scheduled for October 2, 2014 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Barron Park Elementary School, Multipurpose Room, 800 Barron Avenue.

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Sep 152014
 

Below is the postcard mailer that was sent out last week to Laguna Avenue residents regarding upcoming street work.   The meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 23, 6:30pm at Barron Park Elementary School to discuss proposed street resurfacing work on Laguna Avenue from Matadero Avenue to Los Robles Avenue.

Laguna Repaving Community Meeting Notice

If you have any questions regarding the meeting, please contact the Project Engineers, Matt Brunnings at 650.617.3148 or Murdo Nicolson at 650.617.3154.

Aug 162014
 

Open Letter to Hillary Gitelman and Jaime Rodriguez:


Hillary and Jaime:

Your response to residents comments about the Speed Humps that had been installed on Matadero Ave, Update on Speed Bumps on Matadero, suggested that you were uncertain how to proceed. You wanted more input from residents before making a decision about whether to replace the Speed Humps with Speed Tables or, because they turned out to be higher than required, to just grind them down to the appropriate height.

To get input from residents, I ran a survey for the past three days, which was announced on several Barron Park email lists. Background information from Palo Alto’s “Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program – Appendix” was provided for definitions, specifications and uses of Speed Humps and Speed Tables. There were two questions:

1. Which of the following traffic calming options do you prefer?

  • Speed Humps
  • Speed Tables
  • No Preference

2. Do you have any other comments, questions or concerns?

The survey responses are anonymous.

The results are clear; with 61 responses to the question, residents prefer Speed Tables to Speed Humps by more than a factor of two to one.

Survey Results: Speed Humps versus Speed Tables

Here is a link to the results. Survey: Speed Humps versus Speed Tables on Matadero  You can also read here the responses for the second question from 39 residents who wrote about their comments and concerns.

It’s now up to you to make the corrections and changes to Matadero that reflect the will of the people of Barron Park.

Regards, Art Liberman