More road construction is scheduled later this month in Los Altos, only this time it’s outside the downtown triangle.
City officials announced last week that construction on five speed humps will begin toward the end of March on Pasa Robles, Del Monte and Mercedes avenues. The Los Altos City Council Feb. 12 approved a $49,000 construction contract with Pavex Construction for the 30-day project. De Anza Properties will fund the project as a condition of the 2008 approval of its Los Altos Gardens residential and retail project at 950 and 960 San Antonio Road.
City officials are finalizing plans for the commencement of construction in the neighborhood, though no specific kick-off date has been set.
Los Altos Assistant Civil Engineer Kathy Small said the project aims to address anticipated traffic concerns in the area. She noted that the presence of an additional 46 condominiums as part of De Anza Properties’ mixed-use project would eventually lead to more cars on the neighborhood’s streets.
Small added that Pasa Robles, Del Monte and Mercedes avenues have historically served as bypass routes for motorists driving students to nearby Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools. She said the speed humps could serve as deterrents for hasty drivers, providing an additional level of safety for students walking to school.
“The neighborhood was concerned about traffic impacts because of the new development. This is not necessarily an existing problem we’re trying to address – it’s the ones that we are anticipating,” Small said.
She pointed to a traffic analysis conducted in May 2008 that recorded excessive congestion on the targeted streets during school pickup and drop-off times. Outside of those times, the report concluded that the average daily traffic volume remained “very low” for the neighborhood – with the exception of Loucks Avenue.
Small noted that property owners on the affected streets voted in favor of the speed humps following the traffic analysis by Hexagon Transporation Consultants Inc. The affected areas will also see additional signage and new road striping as part of the project.
“These streets are used by a lot of local kids attending the schools, so obviously we wouldn’t want cars speeding through the area,” said Small, adding that the improvements will provide “better access points for kids (going to school) and make it safer.”
Small noted that construction crews will only be permitted to work on two speed humps simultaneously in an effort to minimize added traffic impacts as a result of the project. At no time, she added, will the city completely close off any of the affected roadways to traffic during construction.
“A car will always be able to drive through,” she said. “There will be proper traffic control in place.”
According to Small, city officials plan to distribute notification of the upcoming construction to neighbors and schools, and they are working to coordinate construction around peak pickup and drop-off times. Once finalized, the schedule will be posted on the city’s website, www.losaltosca.gov.