Fri04182014

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City Briefs


Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Construction at Foothill Crossing Shopping Center aims to boost traffic flow and safety at the center’s busy intersection, left.

Project aims to install more reflective street signs

A new five-year project is underway to install new, more reflective street signs that are easier for motorists to spot at night.

The project – which has earmarked $25,000 per year for traffic sign replacement – seeks to replace 8,000 of the city’s nonreflective traffic signs, according to Los Altos Transportation Projects Manager Cedric Novenario. That includes approximately 2,000 “noncompliant” stop and speed-limit signs, which the city plans to replace ahead of other signage, he added.

“We’re prioritizing the level of importance for regulatory signs,” said Novenario, who noted that each sign costs the city between $100 and $200. “Stop signs are important, yield signs are important and speed-limit signs are important.”

Novenario added that the five-year project is necessary because of California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) requirements that established new “retroflectivity standards” – or minimum levels of visibility – for regulatory signs in cities in 2009.

“A lot of signs get dull (less reflective) pretty fast. … Some of the older ones don’t have any reflectivity at all,” said Novenario, who added that the city’s maintenance department has been tasked with replacing signs “when they have the staffing and resources to do it.”

The project will eventually replace green “guide” signs, street-name signs and yellow warning signs throughout Los Altos as well, Novenario said.

The city’s regulatory, warning and ground-mounted guide signs must be in full compliance with the MUTCD regulation by January 2015. The city’s overhead guide signs and street-name signs must be in full compliance by January 2018.

Homestead project eyes November finish

The Homestead Road Safety Improvements project will likely be completed on time, according to a city official.

Public Works Director Jim Gustafson said one of the $1.5 million project’s major components – the installation of a traffic signal and a crosswalk at the entrance of Foothill Crossing Shopping Center – is complete. The city, he added, is waiting on a work order to allow PG&E to power the signal’s controller box.

Traffic signal aside, Gustafson noted that the city’s contractor must still complete landscaping and remove large dirt piles from the new median strips constructed as part of the project. Project work also included new storm drainage improvements and the construction of a Class I bike and pedestrian path on the north side of Homestead Road. Overall, Gustafson said, the project is shaping up for a timely finish.

“We still anticipate wrapping this up at the end of November,” he said. “If it’s not on schedule, then it’s very, very close.”

– Diego Abeloos

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