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.

MV officials exploring off-road transit options

The city of Mountain View is reviewing options for automated guideway transit, including the option at left, used in Abu Dhabi, to help absorb the increase in commuters to the Google Inc.-dominated North Bayshore area. From 2gettHere.EU

The anticipated onslaught of commuters to and from Mountain View’s Google Inc.-dominated North Bayshore area has prompted city officials to think outside the box – or in this case, off the road.

Residents and city officials met April 3 for the first of what likely will be many community meetings centered on automated guideway transit (AGT) options between the downtown Transit Center on Evelyn Avenue and North Bayshore, an area marked by escalating job growth.

Developers warn of lawsuit as moratorium extended

Image Courtesy of Luxone LLC
The planned housing development at 4856 El Camino Real in Los Altos sits in limbo due to a temporary moratorium enacted last year. The Los Altos City Council voted to extend the moratorium another eight months at its March 14 meeting.

Before the Los Altos City Council voted unanimously to extend the moratorium on El Camino Real development, a developer warned that such a move could put the city in legal jeopardy.

A letter delivered to the council criticized the “deceitful and fainthearted policy” on behalf of the Building Industry Association (BIA) Bay Area, a regional trade group that promotes development.

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