Sat12202014

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Passerelle hosts Foothill Expressway workshop


Town Crier File Photo
A public workshop for residents seeks input on improving safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Foothill Expressway.

Passerelle Investment Co. is slated to host a public workshop Tuesday (July 29) in downtown Los Altos to discuss safety measures for pedestrians and cyclists crossing Foothill Expressway.

Brooke Ray Smith, the company’s community development director, said the public input from the workshop will be included in the Safe Routes to Downtown Los Altos study by consultant Nelson Nygaard Consulting Associates. The study examines existing safety conditions for two of the county expressway’s intersections: Main Street and Edith Avenue.

The workshop is scheduled 6-8 p.m. at 242 State St.

Smith plans to share the final document with officials in the hope that it could be incorporated in Santa Clara County’s 2040 Expressway Plan Study and the Los Altos Pedestrian Master Plan – both under development.

“If it can make it into those plans, there’s probably a much greater chance of securing federal and grant funding” for related projects, Smith said.

She added that the company’s consultant conducted the study with the intent of meeting all city and county study criteria.

“It’s a legitimate study that can hold itself up against any other (civic) plans,” she said.

According to Smith, the workshop will closely follow the city’s public input process for its ongoing community center study. The event will kick off with a presentation of the study’s findings, followed by small brainstorming sessions by residents, who will be asked to consider various safety features at each intersection. The feedback will be incorporated in the study, she added.

The workshop follows Smith’s announcement to the Los Altos City Council in December that Passerelle intends to study ways to increase safety for pedestrians and bicyclists at the intersections without negatively impacting vehicular traffic flow. Without offering specifics, Smith noted that the study outlines three options for city and county planners to consider in the future. All three, she added, include varying degrees of “filling the corners,” or eliminating some free right-turn areas for motorists at the intersections.

“The people who walk and drive there have very strong opinions about some of those corners,” Smith said.

The “most conservative” option, she said, called for four corners of each intersection to be squared off – preventing free right turns. The second and third options call for planners to “mix and match” the elimination of some – but not all – lesser-used free right turns, she added.

For more information, visit saferoutestodowntown.com.

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