The City of Sunnyvale hosted a “Community Kickoff” meeting to discuss a proposed Mary Avenue overcrossing of Highways 101 and 237 on Tuesday, January 17. SVBC helped spread the word about the project and attended the meeting to learn more.

Sunnyvale residents may remember a similar project proposal that made the rounds a decade ago. The environmental impact report (EIR) for that proposal got held up in court, and the project fizzled. This time, four entirely new project alternatives are being proposed, and we’re intrigued by a couple of the options.

The proposed bridge would be paid for using transportation impact fees collected from developments in the Moffett Park area. As such, one of the main goals of the project is to “provide multimodal connections to Moffett Park.” The other primary goals are to “relieve north-south traffic congestion” and “reflect community concerns.”

There is currently no preferred design for the overcrossing. The EIR will look at four options, or “alternatives” in the official jargon. They are as follows:

1) Four auto travel lanes plus bike lanes and sidewalks

2) Two auto travel lanes plus enhanced bike lanes and sidewalks

3a) Pedestrian / bicycle crossing (no automobiles)

3b) Pedestrian / bicycle crossing with facilities for shuttles/buses

4) Removal from the General Plan (no project)

Okay, that’s actually five alternatives, by my count. And in fact, the wacky numbering of the alternatives was addressed in the kickoff meeting and may be corrected. Ordering systems aside, it’s good to see that all the alternatives (save the “do nothing” option) actually provide multimodal access. We’re particularly keen on alternatives 3a and 3b (surprise!). We’d love to hear what you think about the possibility of a bike/ped-only bridge, versus one that allows buses and shuttles as well.

Community turnout for this first meeting was strong, especially considering the temperature was in the 40s INSIDE the Washington Park community building. The outreach plan will continue through the coming months, with a Council study session on February 28, a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) scoping meeting on March 21, and at least three more opportunities for public input later in the spring. You can also click here (PDF) to download the project presentation and contact the project manager with any comments or questions:
Ria Hutabarat Lo, PhD
Transportation and Traffic Manager | Department of Public Works
456 W Olive Avenue | PO Box 3707 | Sunnyvale CA 94088