The City of Santa Clara held a community meeting on January 30 to discuss the road diet on Pruneridge Ave, which has caused traffic delays for some residents. The road diet, as Gary Richards of The Mercury News reports, “had cut collisions in half, more than tripled weekday bicycle traffic, and cut weekday car traffic by 5 percent.” We are grateful to SVBC member Betsy Megas, who attended the meeting and shares her summary of the meeting, and next steps, below:

The January 30 community meeting about Pruneridge Avenue began by moving to a larger program room when some 125 people turned out at Santa Clara Central Library to talk traffic.

West of Pomeroy, Santa Clara’s segment of Pruneridge already sports a road diet. The merge from two lanes to one occurs opposite Maywood Park and an elementary school. The rest of the street is mostly residential.

Neighbors are frustrated by traffic congestion during peak hours, by the bottleneck from the merge, and by speeding drivers. Most neighbors seemed indifferent to the bicycle lane as a bicycle facility, but many were interested in having a bicycle lane and other design features for traffic calming. Some neighbors described misuse of the bicycle lane by motorists trying to bypass slow traffic. Neighbors also noted the difficulty of turning onto and off of Pruneridge from side streets and even their own driveways.

The new Apple campus, which will open later this year in Cupertino, is expected to generate even more traffic on this street.

The Pruneridge-Hedding-Berryessa corridor is designated as a cross-county bicycle corridor  in the VTA bike plan. It is also a listed as priority bike route in the City of Santa Clara 2009 bike plan, and recommended for a road diet and bicycle lane, which has since been completed west of Pomeroy.

In San Jose, plans are underway to extend the buffered bike lane on Hedding Street to the Santa Clara border at Winchester. The green lanes which represent the on-street extension of the San Tomas Aquino/Saratoga Creek Trail also lead to Pomeroy and Pruneridge.

Although the road diet does not continue east of Pomeroy, Acting City Manager Rajeev Batra and Traffic Engineer Dennis Ng reported an increase in bicycle traffic on the part with the road diet.

Next steps
The Santa Clara segment of Pruneridge has the potential to become a vital link in a much-needed east-west bike corridor. Adding bike lanes east of Pomeroy, all the way to the San Jose border at Winchester would eliminate the merge and reduce vehicular speeds for the benefit of people on bicycles and neighbors, alike.

Public comment, including ideas and suggestions, may be directed to Manager@santaclaraca.gov.