05282017Sun
Last updateTue, 30 May 2017 5pm

Letters to the Editor

Community center needs careful planning

We think Los Altos is a phenomenal small town. We are excited to live, work and raise our families here. This is why we recommend that the Los Altos City Council get the priorities, and the execution of those priorities, right when it comes to the future of our community centers.

Following best practices, including looking at how other similar communities have designed and built their community centers, should be integral. Engaging an urban planner before an architect makes more sense than jumping into building design. Planning Grant Park, alongside Hillview, ensures that all residents will have access to social and recreational resources in Los Altos.

We need a thorough process. Let’s get started with the Community Center Alliance’s proposed roadmap:

• Establish a representative task force.

• Hire the right experts, including planners, a project manager and researchers.

• Use appropriate outreach methodologies.

• Include Grant Park in the planning.

• Explore feasible and realistic funding options.

We are looking to our council and city staff to provide the leadership we need now. We will be making decisions that will benefit Los Altos for generations to come. And we, along with many Los Altos residents, are ready to help.

We look forward to the council’s community center study session in the next six to eight weeks to discuss the important issues, set priorities and move forward.

Community Center Alliance Steering Committee members: Maria Lonergan, Gary Hedden, Barbara Loebner, Nancy Phillips and Laura Vais

New center requires public involvement

The Los Altos City Council’s defined 2017 priorities include construction of a community center at the Hillview school site within three years, based on what may be built for up to $20 million, as determined by the upcoming architect’s report.

However, this approach ignores the many other ideas and desires previously brought forth by residents for the best use of land in the civic center complex, including Hillview.

We taxpayers have already paid for four prior failed attempts at a community center, culminating in the disastrous Measure A debacle. Proceeding now with such a restricted scope precludes opportunities with much broader concepts for land use, which could be developed gradually over the coming years with community involvement – minus all the blunders of Measure A, which polarized our residents.

The Community Center Alliance (CCA), homegrown by concerned volunteer residents, was formed last year with a mission to actively support a successful community center project, through employment of best practices, research, surveys and widespread community involvement. It’s apparent that CCA is avoiding pre-conceived agendas such as what occurred with Measure A.

CCA members are offering themselves as a valuable resource to support the city and the public in making sure, without false starts and wasted money, that Los Altos can look forward to finally having the wonderful kind of a broadly functioning community center and senior center that it so deserves.

I urge the city council to welcome CCA’s support, and I hope our community will actively encourage the council to take full advantage of what CCA offers.

Al Rooney

Los Altos

I-280 needs restriping, not dedicated lane

I was appalled to find the number of accidents and deaths in this bottleneck section of southbound Interstate 280 – and for no reason except bad highway striping (“I-280 bottleneck proves both dangerous and frustrating,” March 8).

The highway was narrowed to three lanes when the commuter lane was striped so that it would have an “extra” lane for high- occupancy vehicles, but there is no reason for this bottleneck.

I-280 does not need a dedicated exit lane all the way from El Monte Road to Magdalena Avenue. This is the narrowest point along the entire length of I-280. No wonder it is a 15-minute backup from 4 to 7 p.m. every evening. Caltrans is just ignoring the problem.

Jack Carsten

Los Altos Hills

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