SVBC had the pleasure of working with Santa Clara County’s Roads and Airports Department to convene a public workshop on the notoriously bad-for-bikes Page Mill/280 interchange last week. The County did a great job on the event, which was the latest step toward an interim design solution, following the tragic death of cyclist Jeff Donnelly last year.
Supervisor Joe Simitian welcomed the audience members, who were there to see a variety of proposed treatments intended to slow down traffic in the area, provide safer spaces for bicyclists, and make it clearer to all users of the road where they should be positioned as they pass through, on, and off the multiple freeway ramps. Consultants Rajappan & Meyer and Alta Planning + Design did an impressive job on the plans in the few weeks since being hired. County staff explained that these proposals were only for the short term, but given the huge price tag and lengthy process needed for a more permanent roadway redesign, “short term” probably means at least a decade.
The crowd – a mix of bicyclists, neighbors, and car commuters – gave thoughtful, valuable input on everything from their preferred times of day to bike to their concerns about specific stop signs in the project area. Almost everyone agreed that, in order for a design that primarily utilizes paint and signage to work, the area’s extremely high speeds needed to be calmed. For that, the consultant team is proposing a suite of treatments, creating a speed zone and catching drivers’ attention with a combination of signs, flashing lights, and on-pavement paint patterns.
Moving forward, the design team will consider all the comments received and do its best to integrate everything into the best project possible. If all goes well, construction could start before the end of the year!
Our thanks to Supervisor Simitian and his office, the County Roads and Airports Department, the town of Los Altos Hills (our gracious host), and all who spent their evening helping us plan a safer future for an infamous interchange.