Editorial: Is this a renaissance?

Are we experiencing a renaissance in Los Altos? The spate of ambitious community improvement ideas and resident activism points to it.

Residents gathered recently to discuss the feasibility of a new downtown library, and city officials launched the Downtown Vision project, a blueprint that will determine the look and function of the city’s central business district for decades to come.

Anne Wojcicki’s Los Altos Community Investments recently introduced plans for converting a portion of a First Street parking plaza to a park with underground parking. These plans, which include a neighboring three-story office building, are scheduled to come before the Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission Thursday.

Just last week, the Los Altos City Council agreed to allocate $25 million to rebuild the city’s old, dilapidated community center.

Meanwhile, Los Altos School District officials continue plotting a course for purchasing land and building a new school. It remains their chief focus as they strategize to accommodate the expected influx of thousands of new students in the coming years, most of them from Mountain View.

Mountain View’s tremendous jobs and housing growth continues seemingly unabated. However, a series of precise plans in various stages of completion smartly plot and control how growth will occur and how traffic congestion will be mitigated.

The expected electrification of Caltrain lines means serving thousands of additional train commuters at the city’s already-busy Transit Center on Evelyn Avenue. Mountain View also is discussing “last-mile” transit options from the Evelyn train depot to the thousands of jobs – and eventually, housing units – in the North Bayshore area. One study is examining an automated guideway transit system ferrying commuters on driverless transit lines.

The mass of plans and projects seems overwhelming. Whether they all come to fruition is anyone’s guess. Los Altos’ project track record, in particular, hasn’t been great. But we hope that at least the most practical of these plans find reality.

Our area’s growth isn’t going away – one projection shows 300,000 additional residents in the north county (that’s us) over the next 15 years. We must respond to that growth to maintain and – ideally – improve our quality of life. Doing nothing is not an option.

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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