Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
Local joggers enjoy a run on the Arastradero Trail in Los Altos Hills, set to undergo .9 million in upgrades.
The Los Altos Hills City Council’s unanimous decision to allow Stanford University to move forward with the Arastradero Trail Improvement Project prompted applause at Thursday’s council meeting.
The approximately 30 residents who attended the meeting praised the city’s efforts to revise project plans and said they were eager to use the proposed walking path and bike lanes.
Stanford will fund the improvements, estimated at $1.19 million, which include rehabilitating existing town pathways and constructing a new one that links the Pearson-Arastradero Preserve in Palo Alto to the intersection of Purissima and Arastradero roads in Los Altos Hills.
Resident Kyle Deeter was among four elementary school students who attended to observe the council approve the project after more than 14 months of deliberations.
“I was waiting and asking my mom if I could bike to school like all my other friends, but we could not because there was no bike path,” he said. “Now there is.”
The project endured a battery of criticism over safety, traffic and parking issues since Stanford’s March 2011 proposal. To address residents’ concerns, city officials held nine public meetings, conducted extensive studies and modified the parameters of the project. Changes include installing signs, reducing the height of a mile-long retaining wall to an average of 18 inches and cleaning a drainage ditch along Arastradero Road.
Other actions at the council meeting:
• The council approved amendments to the city’s outdoor lighting policy, but not before several residents raised additional safety concerns, including the problem of inadequately lit house numbers. The five-member council agreed to discuss possible code amendments at an upcoming meeting.
• The council approved $10,000 in funding for Hidden Villa’s 2012-2013 community programs. In appreciation, Hidden Villa, a nonprofit educational farm and preserve in Los Altos Hills, has scheduled a barn dance July 15 and will distribute complimentary season passes to the first 125 Los Altos residents in attendance.
• Councilmen Gary Waldeck and John Radford plan to outline the objectives of an ad hoc committee addressing Purissima Hills Water District’s water rates at next month’s meeting. Councilwoman Ginger Summit noted that this was “not necessarily an indictment, but a look at a situation (high water prices in Los Altos Hills) and ways for moving forward.”
• The Los Altos School District Board of Trustees requested that the council locate space in town adequate to house a school campus in advance of a proposed November bond measure to fund it. Councilman Jean Mordo is in discussions with members of the school district regarding the inquiry. (See related story on Page 1.)