Standing up for safe school routes

Local students who bike to Cupertino Middle School and Homestead High School via Grant Road are forced to make what many consider a dangerous choice near Crist Drive: merge into traffic or cross the road illegally and bike against traffic on a bike path on the opposite side of the road.

State Density Bonus Law incentivizes more affordable housing

Town Crier File Photo
Multifamily complexes like the Colonnade, seen here under construction, could continue to proliferate on El Camino Real after Los Altos folds state Density Bonus laws into the city’s development regulations.

As the Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission reviewed California’s new Density Bonus Law last week, members agreed that additional housing is needed because of what Commissioner Ronit Bodner referred to as the “crisis” of affordable housing.

“The reason these density bonus regulations have gone into effect,” Bodner said, “is because we as a community are failing to provide enough affordable housing. So the state is taking it out of our hands and imposing this regulation on us to force these communities to do more than the status quo.”

FAA still silent on relief options for Los Altos airplane noise

Los Altos area residents hoping for relief from airplane noise won’t get it anytime soon. Further, local leaders have no idea when it will happen.

A May 17 update by local members of Congress indicated that the Federal Aviation Administration was still in the early stages of reviewing and responding to a host of recommendations put forth last year by residents and local leaders. Some were hopeful they would see actual implementation after six months.

Federal grant jump-starts MV Transit Center

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Caltrain electrification means more riders. The Mountain View City Council last week approved a plan to expand its Transit Center, above, at Castro Street and Evelyn Avenue.

Train commuters – and potential ones – riding in Mountain View received good news last week on two fronts.

First, Caltrain received $647 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The grant closed the loop on the funding needed to move forward with a $1.9 billion plan that would provide electrified rail service between San Francisco and San Jose. Electrification means more frequent train stops accommodating more passengers.

Too late to skate? Teen dream of downtown skate park may be scrapped soon

Asher Kohn/Town Crier
Jason Strubing, owner of Skateworks on State Street, has posted a proposal on his storefront’s window for a combined skate park/dog park and has a petition skaters can sign inside.

Jason Strubing has been advocating for a skate park in Los Altos since he opened Skateworks on State Street nearly six years ago. A poster depicting a model skate park proposed for Lincoln Park is taped to his storefront’s window.

“Kids end up moving out of town, but I’m here to stay and I’ll keep beating the drum here,” he said.

Residents want later hours for downtown shops

An-Li Herring/Town Crier
Planning consultant Dave Javid, left, asks local residents to rate their preferred level of activity downtown by placing blue stickers on a scale from “minimal activity” to “very active.”

Many of the few dozen residents who attended last week’s Downtown Vision project workshops expressed a desire for a more active downtown, in which businesses would stay open later and offer a greater variety of dining and entertainment options.

City officials hosted two pop-up workshops May 17 to continue the yearlong process of engaging the community in crafting a shared vision for downtown Los Altos.

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