By Tim Hunt
Traffic and neighborhoods--a couple of winsUploaded: Mar 7, 2017
Last week’s discussion of planning East Pleasanton brought back to mind an earlier controversy that pitted residents east of Santa Rita Road living along Stoneridge Drive versus Valley Avenue neighborhoods.
I reached out to the city’s traffic engineer, Mike Tassano, for information. Mike reported that it was worth a detailed staff report to the City Council that will be forthcoming at some point, but he was submerged dealing with Owens Road lane closures (see my earlier blog). Residents living along Stoneridge had fought the extension to connect with Jack London Blvd. in Livermore for years until former Council woman Cheryl Cook-Kallio led the drive to complete the extension.
Going back to 2014 (Stoneridge opened in 2013), there was no change in traffic volume at Santa Rita and Valley, but Tassano wrote there were about 100 less vehicles cutting through the neighborhood from Mohr to Valley on Kolln. The neighbors certainly appreciated that.
One other neighborhood that is celebrating is Riddell Drive off Sunol Boulevard. Frustrated motorists, weary of the long queues to get on southbound I-680, had been making a left on Riddell and then turning right on Happy Valley to reach Sunol south of the I-680 entrance. They then were making a left turn onto the freeway ramp and skipping the back-up. There were more than 100 cars per day doing that maneuver.
No more since the council, backed by two-thirds of the neighborhood, prohibited left turns during the morning peak hour. That dropped traffic back to less than 10 vehicles.
Tassano also is encouraging CalTrans to adjust the metering lights to be sure the back-ups are caused by freeway congestion, not the lights.
The Pleasanton school board is not the only local agency getting into the immigration debate.
Last month, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors decided that your tax dollars should be spent on legal defense of illegal immigrants. The county estimates that there are 106,000 “undocumented” or illegal aliens living in the county.
Just why it is the taxpayers’ responsibility to provide a legal defense for people who broke U.S. law to be here is a question that Supervisors Haggerty and three others (Pleasanton’s Supervisor Nate Miley was excused from the meeting) should be answering. The board put up $750,000 to match a grant from the San Francisco Foundation for legal services.
It follows a similar action by the city and county of San Francisco and aligns with the overall effort of liberal cities to maintain their “sanctuary” status regardless of national law. It builds toward a showdown with President Trump whose key campaign promise was getting control of our nation’s borders.