Public input vs. courageous leadership
I’ve been reminiscing about when we were interested in traffic calming, and a bunch of us citizens were invited to gather together to map out ideas for Almond Avenue.
There were several fairly large gatherings, slide shows and a big meeting at city hall, as I recall, and the hiring of a not-inexpensive consulting group.
When the ideas were all collated and a plan prepared, it was time to find out if our fire trucks could navigate the result – they couldn’t. Plans and dollars all wasted.
After that, I recommended a couple of pairs of cheap stop signs at the two schools but got shot down. Later, speed bumps appeared without consultation with the neighborhood, and funny enough, with greater simplicity, they seem to work.
I don’t want this to sound like a criticism of civic-minded citizens with good intentions, but our town is in the middle of gathering a lot of opinions about the civic center, the library, downtown visions and some green park in its midst, and I sense there will be plenty of input invited from us. I can only hope that the effort will not produce complicated opinions, similar to the above fatal results. These things need aggressive, courageous leadership, not necessarily gangs of us poking around.
But just don’t screw it up.
Stop with the stoplights
The outcome of the recent traffic study requested by residents of south Los Altos is a determining factor in resolving the major traffic backup onto the Loyola Corners bridge.
The thousands of families using this bridge on a daily basis experienced relief from congestion and frustration during the 15 months of construction when the intersection used stop signs and flashing red lights. Traffic flowed and residents kindly allowed other cars to enter from all of the six intersections leading up to the bridge, knowing there was no race to make the light.
With the reactivation of the signals, the frustration and congestion are once again at peak.
The traffic consultants, per the report released by Susanna Chan, Los Altos’ director of Public Works, concur that the activated stoplights significantly impact traffic flow, but state that there is a risk of a pedestrian or cyclist incident with stop signs.
We, residents of south Los Altos, feel that there are ways to protect our neighborhood pedestrians and cyclists through the use of flashing crosswalks and signage, which are utilized successfully throughout the area, including on San Antonio Road.
We plead with the city not to dismiss our needs, but to work with us on a viable solution that will satisfy both the traffic and safety needs of our growing community.
Loyola Corners changes are long overdue
Re “Changes at Loyola Corners scrapped” (April 26), Loyola Corners needs more than tweaking.
Los Altos City Councilwoman Bruins and Planning Commissioner Alex Samek are right to look toward future reality.
As a south Los Altos resident, I am not for status quo, as I have been waiting for 34 years for this area to be spiffed up.
The attractive new bridges were a long awaited and overdue encouraging start. Otherwise, the area is a blight and is of little use to local residents. It needs to be a point of pride and a meeting place.
Whether it is a plaza, a farmers’ market or mixed-use development, it needs to move forward.
Millions of dollars have been poured into downtown while Loyola Corners waited patiently for the moratorium to be lifted and the 1990 plans to be updated.
We were promised the new streetscape plan would take place in 2010, but it never materialized.
We are living in multimillion-dollar homes in one of the most expensive cities in California and should be embarrassed by the area and the little progress made.
The bridges are built and now we can get moving, because it is not “humming along nicely.”