Growth, homelessness backdrop to MV campaigns

Google bikes
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Google bikes are a common sight in Mountain View. The tech giant plans to expand in the North Bayshore area.

The impact of the current economic boom is readily apparent in the high-profile Silicon Valley community of Mountain View.

New development is ubiquitous, no more obvious than when driving along El Camino Real, where hundreds of new multifamily housing units have been constructed in recent years.

Board of Supes allocates $100K to improve safety on Homestead

Homestead Corridor
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Santa Clara County approved funding for safety enhancements along the Homestead Road corridor, above, a route used by students that crosses six jurisdictions.

Help is on the way for Los Altos students who walk or bike to and from school along Homestead Road, a route that’s proven to be dangerous as it crosses through six jurisdictions. The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors this month allocated $100,000 toward safety improvements along the corridor.

Proposed toll lanes on Highway 101 draw opposition

Highway 101
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Caltrans’ proposal to install a new toll lane that would connect to an existing, modified carpool lane on Highway 101 is facing opposition from local leaders like Joe Simitian, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.

A Caltrans project in the works for more than 10 years is just now catching the eye of many concerned residents of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties who would be affected by it – toll lanes on Highway 101.

Improvements on the way for El Monte-Marich intersection

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Vehicles last week pass through the El Monte-Marich Way intersection in Mountain View, where Los Altos resident Michelle Montalvo, honored through a roadside memorial, died in October 2015. Montalvo’s death prompted traffic safety improvements for the intersection, and construction is expected to start this summer.

A busy Mountain View intersection where a pedestrian lost her life in 2015 could experience a traffic safety transformation come summer.

Mountain View city staff members will soon sign a contract for $280,000 worth of improvements – including new signage and the removal of a crosswalk – to the El Monte Avenue-Marich Way intersection, according to senior traffic engineer Lorenzo Lopez.

Final arguments near in Measure B appeal

The challengers to a recent public transit funding bond are readying their final brief for the Sixth District Court of Appeal, which will hear final arguments before a decision later this spring.

The Valley Transportation Authority’s 30-year, half-cent countywide sales tax aimed to improve transit, highways, expressways and transportation options. Nearly 72 percent of voters approved an estimated $6.3 billion in funds for the Santa Clara County transportation projects in 2016.

Pilot program brings free valet parking to MV

Image Courtesy of City of Mountain View
A map shows the location of Mountain View public parking lot 11, site of the free valet parking service the city started March 1 to ease parking and traffic congestion downtown.

When it comes to parking capacity, 85 percent occupancy is considered the threshold at which drivers commence circling like sharks for an empty space. With capacity well above this point at peak times in downtown Mountain View, the feeding frenzy starts early on local streets.

A new pilot program offering free valet parking downtown is already relieving some drivers’ frustrations, however.

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