Sun05012016

News

Loyola Corners economics, traffic rise to top of planning concerns

Loyola Corners economics, traffic rise to top of planning concerns

Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Loyola Bridge construction parallel to the Fremont Avenue frontage may lead officials to alter circulation plans for the area.

Loyola Corners stakeholders last week mulled the issues that will likely shape the area&rsquo...

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Schools

LAHS Green Team commemorates Earth Week

LAHS Green Team commemorates Earth Week


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Los Altos High School Green Team members, above, quiz their classmates about water conservation. The club distributed plants as prizes during the club’s Earth Week activities.

Members of the Los Altos High School Green...

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Community

Local pianist, 11, slated to perform Saturday at statewide competition

Local pianist, 11, slated to perform Saturday at statewide competition


Courtesy of the Cha family
Spencer Cha plays piano at a Santa Clara University recital. The sixth-grader also enjoys soccer, tennis, golf and skiing.

Spencer Cha has come a long way since he first sat down at the piano at age 2.

“I remem...

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Sports

Spartans net second place, eye top prize next season

Spartans net second place, eye top prize next season


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Jeremy Hsu, Mountain View High’s top singles player, competes against Pinewood Thursday. The Spartans won the match 7-0.

With freshmen playing the top three spots in singles, the future of the Mountain View High boy...

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Comment

Los Altos at a leadership crossroads: Editorial

Don’t look now, but there could be some major changes ahead regarding how the Los Altos city government is run.

The current city council has the opportunity to hire a new city manager in the wake of Marcia Somers’ recent resignation. Fur...

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Special Sections

How to personalize the wedding bar

How to personalize the wedding bar


Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
A seasonal signature cocktail adds interest beyond the standard wedding bar’s spirits and mixers. Focus on one set of fresh ingredients, such as blueberries, blackberries and mint for a dose of budget...

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Business

Farmers prepare to market season's bounty

Farmers prepare to market season's bounty


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Journeyman farmer Jen Friedlander waters Hidden Villa’s greenhouse plants, which will grow stronger in the controlled indoor environment before being transferred to the field outdoors.

Around Hidden Villa, the gree...

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People

BUOL JOANNE DOUGHERTY

BUOL JOANNE DOUGHERTY

1930-2016

Heaven gained a beautiful angel today. Our beloved mother’s blessed life ended in her Los Altos home surrounded by her loving family on April 18, 2016.

Buol Joanne Dougherty was born Sept. 28, 1930 in Chicago. At the age of two, M...

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Stepping Out

'Catch' comes to conclusion LA Stage Co. comedy  ends run this weekend

'Catch' comes to conclusion LA Stage Co. comedy ends run this weekend


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
Bryan Moriarty, left, stars as Yossarian and John Stephen King plays the Psychiatrist in Los Altos Stage Company’s “Catch-22.”

Los Altos Stage Company’s presentation of “Catch...

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Spiritual Life

Traffic expert promotes roundabouts for Los Altos


Photo By: Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Traffic expert Michael Wallwork extols the safety benefits of roundabouts in Los Altos at a May 15 forum.

A traffic expert deems roadway roundabouts an ideal solution that demands a second look from skeptical Los Altos residents.

“Even a bad roundabout works,” said Michael Wallwork, a transportation engineer whose mission is to take the traffic-calming mechanism mainstream.

Since constructing Melbourne, Australia’s first roundabout in the 1970s, Wallwork has designed 800 roundabouts across the globe. He said roundabouts are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also much safer than signalized intersections. Melbourne’s 4,000 roundabouts recorded 57 accidents during a four-year study, while its 2,500 signalized intersections reported 1,352 accidents during a similar period.

Wallwork appeared at the Los Altos Forward-sponsored forum “Picture This: Roundabouts in Los Altos?” May 15, weighing in on a proposed roundabout at the convergence of San Antonio Road, Main Street and West Edith Avenue.

“It’s an expanse of asphalt,” he said of the current condition of the busy three-way intersection. “Each movement is working on a different phase, making waits long.”

Installing an elliptical roundabout at the intersection would benefit both pedestrians and motorists, according to Wallwork. Instead of waiting at a signal, he added, drivers could seamlessly merge into a traffic circle, yielding to pedestrians as they cross San Antonio to and from downtown to the civic center area.

Assistant City Manager James Walgren said the city has studied installing a roundabout as part of the Civic Center Master Plan, an effort to make the intersection “safer, more visual.”

Walgren emphasized that the redesign of the intersection could not only shorten the pedestrian link, but also allow the creation of a more appealing gateway entrance to downtown. Although further study by a traffic engineer, public review and council approval are still needed, he added, the vision for a roundabout is one that could come to fruition if the city secures project funding.

A recent proposal for a roundabout at the intersection of Fremont Avenue and Fallen Leaf Lane met with opposition from neighborhood residents.

“The concerns people have are the same in every community,” Wallwork said.

Because the roundabout concept is new to many U.S. cities, Wallwork said he frequently meets with residents to dispel misinformation about pedestrian and cycling safety as well as fire truck and emergency personnel navigation through traffic circles. With pre-project education, he said, proposals move forward 90 percent of the time.

When a roundabout is well designed, safety and operations improve immediately, according to Wallwork. Although the initial expense for a roundabout may be higher than stop signs or traffic signals, he added, the reduction in accidents and fatalities justifies the cost.

“It’s up to the people whether they move forward or give up,” Wallwork said of roundabouts in Los Altos.

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