Sat11012014

News

County unveils potential expressway improvements


Image courtesy of Santa Clara County Road and Airports Department
County officials unveiled several potential design concepts for Foothill Expressway, including a squared-off corner at the El Monte Avenue intersection.

County officials last week disclosed potential improvement concepts for Foothill Expressway intersections in Los Altos.

During an hour-plus public meeting Oct. 21, officials from the Santa Clara County Roads and Airport Department presented the local improvement concepts included in the county’s ongoing Expressway Plan 2040 plan. The plan is essentially an update to the long-term 2003 Comprehensive County Expressway Planning Study, which itemizes improvement projects, maintenance and funding needs for the county’s 62-mile expressway system.

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Council approves new crosswalk for West Portola


Courtesy of Google Maps
Installation of a crosswalk on West Portola Avenue, circled in red, is designed to improve safety for students traveling to and from Santa Rita, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools.

The Los Altos City Council Sept. 14 voted 3-2 in favor of moving forward with a new crosswalk installation on West Portola Avenue. The crosswalk would be installed as part of the city’s annual street restriping project, slated to kick off Monday.

According to the city staff report, the crosswalk was a late addition to the West Portola Avenue sidewalk construction project this summer in response to the more than 20 school parents who expressed safety concerns for students walking to and from nearby Egan Junior High, Bullis Charter and Santa Rita schools.

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A bridge over troubled traffic


Courtesy of the Santa Clara County Roads and Airports Department
Santa Clara County officials provided an updated renovation schedule for Loyola Bridge last week. Work on the structur is expected to take one year.

A Santa Clara County official last week said he anticipates lane closures and traffic delays on Foothill Expressway for at least two months – starting in January – during the Loyola Bridge renovation.

During a joint meeting of the Planning and Transportation (PTC) and Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory (BPAC) commissions, Santa Clara County Roads and Airports Department Deputy Director Dan Collen said construction on the bridge is scheduled to begin in January and require one year for completion.

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Le Boulanger seeks building facelift


Rendering Courtesy of City of Los Altos
A remodeling plan for Le Boulanger calls for a collapsible storefront. The downtown bakery and cafe, below, was last remodeled in 1992.

A new look may be in store for downtown bakery and cafe Le Boulanger.

According to a staff report by Los Altos Senior Planner Zach Dahl, Le Boulanger owner Dan Brunello is planning an interior and exterior remodel at 301 Main St., which served as the original home of Los Altos Pharmacy.

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Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimously at its Aug. 26 meeting in favor of installing two identification signs to direct motorists to the Woodland Plaza shopping district. The signs would be placed at the Arboretum Drive intersection and face both directions of Foothill Expressway, at a cost of $2,500 each.

The council declined a request by the district’s business and property owners for a third directional sign at Homestead Road just before it intersects Foothill Expressway, where there is an entry onto Grant Road and the Woodland Plaza shopping area. Grant Road originates at El Camino Real and provides an arterial road to Foothill Expressway. A couple of yards before the light at the junction, Grant Road makes a 90-degree turn east toward Homestead Road. It narrows to a frontage road for the Woodland Plaza businesses parallel to Foothill Expressway. The only break is at the Arboretum Drive intersection where there is a traffic signal.

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Loyola bridge renovation delayed until next year


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Work on Loyola Corners bridge is slated to begin in February after several months of delay.

The anticipated renovation of the Loyola bridge, thought earlier this year to wrap up in September, still has yet to launch. The project won’t kick off until a vibrations monitoring consultant renders an assessment, with construction predicted to begin in February.

Vibration monitoring detects vibration-related damage to surrounding structures that could occur during construction.

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City rejects parking reconfiguration proposal


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week rejected a policy that would give downtown property owners the ability to expand their parking supply by funding the restriping of public parking plazas.

The Los Altos City Council last week nixed a policy proposal that would allow downtown property owners to redevelop their land to add more public parking – on their own dime.

The council voted 5-0 against the policy, a mechanism for owners to simultaneously redevelop downtown properties and meet the city’s parking mandates by funding the restriping of plazas on a “first come, first served” basis. The council’s vote came after its March directive for city staff to develop the draft policy. The city’s 2013 Downtown Parking Management Plan outlined the cost of reconfiguring plazas at $8.3 million for a gain of 76 spaces – an average of $110,000 per stall. Conversely, the plan noted that a stand-alone parking structure downtown could likely cost $10.3 million and add up to 276 spaces.

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