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.

Complete Streets Commission OKs traffic plan for Cuesta

At last week’s Los Altos Complete Streets Commission meeting, Sgt. Liz Checke said she and her Los Altos Police Department traffic enforcement team have consistently clocked drivers traveling 38-42 mph on Cuesta Drive. The posted speed limit: 25 mph. 

Concerns arise over housing bill

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Senate Bill 827 has generated some pushback about ultra-high-density housing constructed near transit centers, such as the one at Castro Street and Evelyn Avenue in Mountain View.

A bill winding its way through the State Legislature promises the same kind of sweeping change for housing as Proposition 13 did for property taxes. But even in pro-housing cities like Mountain View, city officials are wary of potential impacts.

State Sen. Scott Wiener’s Senate Bill 827 bids to allow ultra-high-density housing along established transit corridors, such as El Camino Real, casting aside local restrictions to make way for multifamily housing up to eight stories high, or higher, to bridge the state’s housing gap.

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