There is currently no BPA committee chair for Traffic and Streets. If you are interested in working with the BPA-Board on this issue, even if it involves just one section of our neighborhood, send an email to president@BPApaloalto.org
The major street related project in our neighborhood over the past several years has been the Arastradero Road restriping and reconfiguration plan, changing the 2 lanes in each direction with (mostly) one lane in each direction and adding wide bike lanes. The Barron Park Association’s role was to inform our residents on the plans through articles published in our newsletter and to encourage attendance at community forums. After two years of trials, which included several modifications and more traffic studies, the restriped configuration was approved by the City Council in October 2012.
The follow on work will involve the creation of median strips and concrete borders. While the overall plan was approved, traffic issues still plague the street during the AM and PM rush hours. Before the concrete is poured, the City’s Chief Transportation Official, Jaime Rodriguez, has said “There will definitely be some locations where striping modification opportunities and others where constraints will exist because of driveway access and capacity needs, etc but as part of the design phase we’ll do our best to implement as many requests as possible.” You can download the Arastradero Schoolscape VERBS Application application from City for funds for the part of this project near Gunn. The application also includes proposal to upgrade the multi-use path that runs on the Hetch Hetchy right of away between Alta Mesa and Terman, from Arastradero to the Adobe Creek bridge and the Los Altos border, and would add a section along the Arastradero sidewalk.
You can also download the Charleston-Arastradero Corridor RFP , which the City recently sent out seeking a consultant to manage the overall project and that describes the total scope of the proposed work.
Another traffic related issue is the Safe Routes to School activity. Meetings conducted by the Traffic Division of the City’s Planning Department were held at neighborhood schools in the fall, which were attended by several members of the BPA Board. Because of the growing interest in the use of bicycles in the neighborhood, by students as well as adults, there is an overlap between the work done in the Safe Routes to School and projects proposed in the new Palo Alto Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan. One of the high priority proposed in this plan is the Matadero Bike Boulevard, which would facilitate bicycle connection between the Bol Park Bike Path and the Park Avenue Bike Boulevard on the other side of El Camino. A community meeting to discuss this proposal was held in the Spring of 2013; making Matadero Avenue a Bike Boulevard would require some traffic calming measures and would affect auto traffic on this rather narrow collector street. The proposed plan is expected to be presented at another community meeting sometime during the 3rd Quarter of 2013.
To resolve local traffic problems on your block, contact any member of the BPA Board. We are willing to work with you and your neighbors to assist in organizing an effective campaign to resolve the problem.
General Traffic Issues: The Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program (NTCP) is the City of Palo Alto’s procedure for responding to requests for traffic calming measures in residential streets, This program defines the formal procedure the City follows when evaluating requests to respond to a neighborhood traffic problem.
One important requirement the City imposes: any request must be accompanied by a petition signed by 25% of affected households. Once you obtain the necessary signatures and support of your neighbors, BPA Board members, some of whom have had experience working on streets and traffic issues, will help you shape the problem and the preferred solution. We will first verify that the solution is supported by the neighborhood at large, and then advise you and your neighbors as to how it should best be presented to the City. The BPA Board will work with you to see that the proper officials in the City government are contacted and inform them that it has BPA support. We cannot guaranty success, but this insures the proposal will have an airing and receive a serious review.