Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/town crier
As students returned to Blach Intermediate School following the holidays last week, the Los Altos City Council Jan. 8 revisited plans to make the nearby intersection of Miramonte Avenue and Covington Road safer for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.
According to a 2012 GreenTown Los Altos Walk or Wheel in-school survey at Blach, approximately 75 percent of the 468 students surveyed walk or bike to campus. With queues of more than 40 cars during peak morning and afternoon travel hours, compounded by narrow roadway edges and lack of marked bike lanes on Miramonte, there has been vocal support and pressure for safety improvements.
A 2010 traffic study of the intersection documented 10 accidents over a six-month period, including five that resulted in injuries. At that time, councilmembers supported the installation of a traffic light at the intersection but voted against the measure last May after strong neighborhood opposition. The council directed consultants to explore other solutions.
City staff presented six alternative designs for review at last week’s meeting. The most popular design, and the one recommended for further discussion, would increase the curb to a radius of 25 feet, add a 6-foot paved shoulder and install full curbs and gutters. Including the cost of relocating overhead poles, staff estimated the changes would meet the allocated budget of $250,000.
Councilmembers voted to direct staff to solicit feedback from the Blach PTA and residents impacted by the new design.