News


As traffic increases, we all want it 'calmed'

Junipero Street, Independence Drive next in line for curbs on traffic

With several thousand new residents moving into new apartment complexes being built to comply with court- and state-mandated housing requirements, concerns over the adequacy of Pleasanton schools, water capacity and especially traffic are dominating local public discussions.

In response to neighborhood complaints, roadway changes have already been made on Sycamore Road and Alisal Street, where speed humps and new flashing radar speed signs have been posted, resulting in speed drops for golf course and other traffic from 39 mph on Alisal and from 37 mph to 31 mph on Sycamore.

Uphill and downhill speeds dropped from an average of 36 mph to 27 mph after speed bumps were installed at five locations on Crellin Road in the upper Vintage Hills section of Pleasanton. Just by posting the radar speed signs on Old Stanley Boulevard, a popular link between Stanley/First Street and Main Street in downtown Pleasanton, speeds were reduced from 36 to 32 mph.

Those who drive on Black Avenue are seeing major traffic calming efforts underway as taxpayer funds are being directed to make the road a less-favored route to travel. Among the changes being made in the $405,000 project are curb "bulb-outs," which will provide very narrow lanes at some intersections and crosswalks, a roadway "neckdown" in front of the aquatic center (which will do much the same), at least one speed bump, 25 mph pavement markings painted on the roadway and possibly another electronic sign to show motorists' speeds.

Michael Tassano, city traffic engineer, said Black Avenue is unique in Pleasanton and those who live along the route -- some of whom have been the complainers -- knew what they were getting when they bought their homes. Alisal Elementary at one end and Walnut Grove Elementary at the other were there long before most moved onto Black Avenue or the intersecting side streets.

Plus, the Dolores Bengtson Aquatic Center, along with its hot weather crowds and occasional swim tournaments, have been part of life (and traffic) on Black Avenue for decades. The post office with its 5 p.m. deadline customers and the Gingerbread preschool across the street also are old-timers. Add Lynnewood United Methodist Church and a Quarry Lane school and Black Avenue -- probably more than any other residential street -- has traffic.

Now it's Junipero Street and a part of Independence Drive and the trendy, popular Mission Hills Community Park that are at the top of the worry list for speeding and high volume cut-through traffic.

The short four-block long Junipero, once a peaceful neighborhood street, became a major thoroughfare several years ago when Valley Avenue was extended from Bernal and the fairgrounds to Sunol Boulevard, connecting on the other side to Junipero and, by extension, to all of southwest Pleasanton.

Motorists heading to the I-680 southbound connection at Sunol or to Hearst Elementary and Pleasanton Middle schools find Junipero a less-congested route in peak traffic hours. Plus, a planned development on Lund Ranch, if ever built, could add traffic from up to 33 homes to be built there.

Tassano and his associates -- Ed Evangelista, senior traffic engineer, and Mark Candland, traffic engineering technician -- met with homeowners in the neighborhood two weeks ago, the first of a series of traffic-calming meetings similar to those held on Black Avenue. Proposed changes ranged from prohibiting left turns on Bernal Avenue into the neighborhood at Independence to even posting a gate there that could only be opened by residents.

Other suggestions included median strips to narrow Junipero and Independence, traffic circles and curb bulb-outs that would not only slow traffic but even make the streets less friendly to travel. Speed bumps, radar display signals, flashing pedestrian beacons along the park and limited on-street parking alongside the park were among the traffic engineers' suggestions.

All will be considered by a neighborhood traffic calming task force Tassano is organizing. Stay tuned. As more people move to town, more neighborhoods will want their street "calmed down."

Comments

7 people like this
Posted by kbenson
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Mar 18, 2016 at 6:46 pm

Set up barricades and create moats too!

LOL Congestion/traffic is a way of life and will only increase. We build and people will come live/commute/work.


3 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 18, 2016 at 10:07 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

New homes come with t,h,s,s driving permits. Legacy home owners grandfathered into all days. =)


18 people like this
Posted by Momfirst
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 20, 2016 at 12:21 pm

I live on Black. I understand it's a busy street. None of us say it won't be busy. All we ask is that drivers respect the speed limit. 25, please. There we so many children around between Alisal, WG, Harvest Park, and Amador, not to mention the park and pool. My kids have nearly been hit in the crosswalk twice. At the Santa Rita/Black intersection, it's shocking how many drivers ignore the Walk signal, roll through stops on red, etc.
I don't expect anything more than drivers following the law-and...put down your phone.


49 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2016 at 12:26 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

My favorite are the cyclists, who ignore most every law. This morning I was driving on Sunol Blvd northbound, when I passed a pack of at least 20 cyclists. I stopped at the red light on Bernal, and watched as each and every cyclist took a right turn onto Bernal, without slowing or even looking to see if any cars were crossing. I get it that cyclists don't want to stop and unclip, but maybe you should slow down to just a few mph and look left before turning right on a red light?


11 people like this
Posted by JR
a resident of Danbury Park
on Mar 20, 2016 at 4:48 pm

We live a few houses down from Orloff Park (Kolln). The traffic is much busier than when we moved in more than 20 years ago. What bothers me is the speed they go through. The "your speed is" signs are ingnored and it is right next to the park. I have seen 47 mph with people trying to cross. It is not just cut through a trying to avoid themes at Santa Rita and Valley, it is some who live here also. So many, all ages, disregard safety rules.


3 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 20, 2016 at 5:48 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Metering lights are in the discussion for Stanley Boulevard, Santa Rita Road, Bernal Avenue, Foothill Road, Dublin Boulevard, Castro Valley Boulevard and many other Tri Valley city roadways that are considered as used by "cut through traffic".

Cities want relieve, Caltrans has a plan for metering traffic through cities.


22 people like this
Posted by hate cut throughs
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 20, 2016 at 8:54 pm

Rather than metering lights, that would also impact those of us living here, we need to have a toll system like the new one on 580. If your car is registered to a Pleasanton address you are not charged for driving on the cut through routes during commute times. If the license plate is captured on camera, as they do on the bridges and toll roads, and the car is not registered to a Pleasanton address you are charged a toll. Maybe something like $10 per day per direction. Stay on the freeway and go for free or cut through where you don't belong and pay for it.

I also think the PPD needs to write exponentially more tickets for speeding, running lights and stop signs, and all of the other things that happen on the roads. Every morning when I walk downtown the cut throughs try to kill me by flying through the red lights just to save a few seconds. Ticket those creeps!


6 people like this
Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 20, 2016 at 9:21 pm

Toll is a great idea. Also tickets for people running stops signs or California rolls. There is a stop sign on Kamp which no one stops at the police could get rich there.


5 people like this
Posted by Tolls aren't the answer
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 21, 2016 at 10:14 am

Hate Cut Throughs - unfortunately tolls aren't the answer - can you imagine the result on local businesses if you started charging out of towners to drive into Downtown?


9 people like this
Posted by Eric
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 21, 2016 at 11:29 am

35 MPH maximum speed throughout Pleasanton on the current 45mph and 40mph streets. Those speeds give many license to do 50+. Coming down Santa Rita or Hopyard at 45+ people carry higher speeds into the neighborhoods because they are desensitized to speed and the racetrack mentality that I see displayed constantly, particularly during the commute hours.
If you were to make the speed limit 35mph and time the lights on Hopyard you would have a reduction of time and pollution and an increase of safety. Currently everyone accelerates from a dead stop to 45mph+ creating increased emissions from engines accelerating, tires wear through rubber scrubbing off creating dust and immediately having to stop at the next light with heavy braking and creating hazardous brake dust and tire dust and again there are increased emissions by cars idling through a minute at the stop lights. All the way up Hopyard and Santa Rita there is rarely a day that I do not have to stop at every light.


2 people like this
Posted by hate cut throughs
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 21, 2016 at 12:43 pm

Tolls would work fine. They would only be for designated high cut through streets and only at commute times. Local stores rarely open before 10 AM and would not be affected. Another answer is extreme enforcement of all traffic laws on cut through streets. Make them suffer if they refuse to use the freeways.


20 people like this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 21, 2016 at 12:49 pm

One thing people need to remember is there are people who work in Pleasanton but do not live here. Those people are not cut through.

Also, having more stops and metering will cause more pollution from people sitting still and then accelerating when the light turns green. I have to admit I find myself pressing the gas pretty quickly once the light turns green. Seems to be the only way to make the next light is to get out of the gate quickly. Otherwise the next light is red when you get there. If the lights were programmed better, I think there would be less speeding. Ever notice in Pleasanton that if you hit three green lights in a row, you feel like you hit the lottery.


1 person likes this
Posted by Joey
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 21, 2016 at 1:36 pm

It is a little funny that they re-programmed to signal lights, and instantly measured the results. So I suspect the amount of traffic didn't change much since they did not give enough time for folks to figure out that anything had changed before taking measurements. I would be more interested in what the numbers looked like in 3+ months from now.


10 people like this
Posted by Ruchi
a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Mar 21, 2016 at 3:25 pm

We need more Trains connecting to South Bay. The Ace train system has to be expanded to probably run like BART frequency - this will be the only way to cut down traffic. 680 has steadily become unusable.


3 people like this
Posted by FrequentWalkerMiles
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 21, 2016 at 5:21 pm

FrequentWalkerMiles is a registered user.

How would metering lights work for local roads like Stanley? Would the metering be done at the intersection with say Valley? I can kind of see slowing down/stopping traffic on Stanley coming into Pleasanton in the mornings, but I don't think Valley has the capacity to have a holding lane for traffic waiting to turn left onto Stanley in the evenings.


16 people like this
Posted by Don
a resident of Ironwood
on Mar 22, 2016 at 10:08 am

Looks like a good place for my morning gripe. It's a beautiful crisp morning out today after a little rain yesterday. Working as a crossing guard for many years on the same corner, I have seen all kinds of things. My main job is to see to it that pedestrians, not just school children get across the street safely. Today and many nice days I encounter women and some men joggers who pay no attention to me and barge right out in front of the traffic because they don't want to lose their stride by having to wait for my instructions on when to cross with my help. In addition, the children see adults break the rules and they wonder why. The traffic everywhere is becoming more evident and one cannot be cautious enough.


20 people like this
Posted by FrequentWalkerMiles
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2016 at 2:04 pm

FrequentWalkerMiles is a registered user.

On Saturday I was on my way taking the kids to practice, we along with a long line of cars were stuck behind a group of bicylists on Vineyard Ave between Bernal and 1st. I was the 4th or 5th car in the pack going about 20 mph. I could see that there were 4 cyclists riding abreast, the left 2 were occupying the motor vehicle lane, and they were chatting with each other. All the cars had to drive into the opposite lane to pass them when there was no oncoming cars, and as we passed them we could see the cyclists were casually chatting and laughing at something. They all looked very sporty with their spandex clothing but only going about 15-20 at most.

I always hear cyclists use exclamations like "oh all you have to do is wait for 10 seconds out of your day", but when they are everywhere and holding up traffic everywhere, the effect adds up and impacts everyone else. Do they take pleasure in clogging up traffic and daring drivers to go near them?

I have ridden a bike since I was 4 and I have never seen anything quite like what we have today.


3 people like this
Posted by former AVB Dublin resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2016 at 2:30 pm

I lived on Amador Valley Blvd in Dublin for 25 yrs. All I can say to you folks on Black Av is

1. My empathy goes out to you.

2. Good Luck.


Like this comment
Posted by former AVB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2016 at 2:33 pm

Getting back on topic (i.e., traffic & speeding ) Joey made a very good point: People *DO* learn signal patterns and it WILL take more than a week for them to notice any change.


5 people like this
Posted by JK
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 22, 2016 at 7:16 pm

There is a reason for people from Vintage Hills and Valley View neighborhood taking Independence drive and Junipero St.

It is to avoid the every morning single lane, school timeframe, clog that is Bernal and 1st street which gets backed up all the way to Independence drive and beyond.

• Despite no kids to drop off, we have to sit in this PMS Middle single lane school traffic hell every morning, just waiting to turn left to head to 580S only to meet 1st street and Hearst elementary traffic

Puerto Vallarta is already blocked off and if Independence is as well, that traffic clog will extend even farther. Pleasanton cannot unilaterally block off streets without providing sensible alternatives.

• Either expand Bernal to additional lanes or leave alternatives for us residents, so we are not forcibly arm-twisted into this torturous hell hole.
• Closing off Junipero / Independence road in the name of calming is partisan and this NIMBY mentality does us and other Pleasanton local residents a disservice.

I am strongly opposed to the above measure as it discriminates against us residents who are simply trying to get to work.

Above forces everyone now to sit in this same boat - with slow moving school drop off traffic - making it much much worse for all (them and us)


11 people like this
Posted by Summer
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 22, 2016 at 9:04 pm

Valley and Paseo Santa Cruz by the Tennis Park is the worst! People IDIOT people drive through the stop signs with out coming close to a stop. And I can't tell you how many times I've seen a car run a red light. Everyone is in a hurry, and most feels entitled. I suggest we have more crossing guards beyond the general school areas and also have flags that can be waved before you cross the street. My neighbors child got hit while crossing in a cross walk by a women, little English, who managed to say...'I thought I could just drive'..then she hit the child. The child/middle school student is ok. Just shaken up. Best time to be out is from 9am till about 2pm. Then after 7. Good luck everyone. And, with all the new builds--we're really going to see changes.
A bit of a 'vent'..aye.


12 people like this
Posted by Driver
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2016 at 12:26 am

Not all the problems are strictly numbers of cars, but incompetence of drivers. First, are 'behind-the-wheel' courses 'required' of all, including foreigners, before they are allowed 'keys' to a car? Apparently not, since so many adults see clueless to maneuvering a car.
Again, rather than 'numbers', the 'flow' or lack of movement are the problem. The first car in line waiting on a red must be 'ready' to MOVE when the light changes!!! STOP texting!! All those lost movement moments multiplied at every light thousands of times a day contribute to the Unnecessary congestion...KEEP it FLOWING!.
Also, at the new Stoneridge Dr right turn MERGE onto Santa Rita....MOVE! Do you sit and pick your nose when you merge onto a freeway?....afraid to ask, probably do SIT instead of slowly MOVING. KEEP the FLOW..you are causing a needless backup...MOVE.
The city could easily correct the problem of 'walk' lights that are set about twice as long as even the most handicapped person would need.
Majority of time the person who crossed can no longer be seen in any direction...long gone! a waste of valuable time, thousands of times a day. All four drivers looking at each other with 'can you believe this waste'.
Hacienda business park particularly bad. Illogical and unnecessary.
Texting, walk lights, and clueless, unfit drivers behind the wheel, cause congestion. Some would do good for the family to take a driving manual to the garage and critique each other as you read to all out loud...practicing what you have learned in the CA STATE required driving classes...plural.


3 people like this
Posted by FrequentWalkerMiles
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2016 at 12:16 pm

FrequentWalkerMiles is a registered user.

Regarding the right turn from Stoneridge to Santa Rita turn to go toward downtown, I have had to stop many times as cars traveling on Santa Rita pack close and refuse to allow anyone in, so the merge lane is stopped anyway after 3-4 cars get onto Santa Rita and have to wait for an opening.

Next time I stop and yield to cars riding each others' bumpers at 50mph I hope "Driver" above doesn't go aggro on me.


10 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2016 at 2:03 pm

@JK,

Widening Bernal to 4 lanes (two in each direction), between Hearst and Sunol/First Street is indeed being proposed, and City Traffic Engineer Mike Tassano is receptive to the idea.

Re: "Closing off Junipero / Independence road in the name of calming is partisan and this NIMBY mentality does us and other Pleasanton local residents a disservice."

Just like Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek neighborhoods wanting NO traffic from the Lund Ranch II project is also partisan and a NIMBY mentality that does us and other Pleasanton local residents a disservice, right?

Just like the blocking of Kolln southbound at Valley is also partisan and a NIMBY mentality that does us and other Pleasanton local residents a disservice, right?

Just like the calming on Black Avenue between Santa Rita Road and Hopyard Road is also partisan and a NIMBY mentality that does us and other Pleasanton local residents a disservice, right?

And finally, just like the 345 apartments plus retail complex being built at Stanley and Bernal, with additional traffic volume that will be going up and down Bernal between Stanley and Sunol Blvd/First Street, except for the traffic that will be cutting through using Independence and Junipero will be doing you, me, and others a disservice, too, right?

That said, those of us seeking traffic calming in our neighborhoods aren't seeking too much, I don't think.


4 people like this
Posted by PMS parent
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Mar 23, 2016 at 2:28 pm

As a homeowner whose home backs onto Bernal Ave I would like to know much more about about any proposals to increase the road from 2 to 4 lanes. This will just encourage even more cut through traffic by people tavoiding using the freeway and even more excessive speeding. School traffic ( and parking) is also a big issue . Why doesn't the city work harder to make it safer for kids to walk / bike to school by utilizing more crossing guards and putting in safe bike lanes away from roads?


4 people like this
Posted by Driver
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2016 at 7:50 pm

No problem, Frequent. I understand. The real issue is those 'waiting' behind the light. Waiting, only to see they do NOT INTEND to merge. Instead, they are waiting for everyone coming off 580 to pass by, so they can then BREAK THE LAW, BY CROSSING THE SOLID line shooting over to lane 2 or 3. They should SO be BUSTED for such a dangerous VIOLATION !!! Dotted lines permit crossing. NOT SOLID lines. The other violation is NOT signaling for lane change. Each lane change....according to the law. Such incompetent pigs to go from behind the light, across merge, into lane 2 or 3. I would hope we could have several appropriate sizeable tickets for those multiple violations in sequence !.....then publish. Name or not is not important (but justified) notice to the community with the 'reminders' about solid line, and signaling for each lane, and not doing multiples in one illegal move. Lane by lane are separate signals, and clearances.


6 people like this
Posted by hate cut throughs
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 23, 2016 at 8:28 pm

"Why doesn't the city work harder to make it safer for kids to walk / bike to school by utilizing more crossing guards and putting in safe bike lanes away from roads?"

Really? You think that is a rational question in this town? The overly entitled kids in this town would not walk one block to get anywhere. Either they drive the cars that mommie and daddie give them at age 16 or mommie drives them to school. The thought of any kid in this town making even the smallest effort in that direction is pure garbage.


1 person likes this
Posted by June
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Mar 24, 2016 at 9:37 am

June is a registered user.

NEED TO IMPROVE SANTA RITA AT VALLEY. Add a right turn to SR and another left to SR. Everyone drives to Alisal, Amador and Harvest plus downtown to ACE and I680 at the same time in the mornings. Restricting the intersection to keep cut through away is ineffective and makes residents delayed. If there is an accident on Valley between Quarry and Stanley's, EVERYONE is stuck going nowhere with no chance of a detour.


3 people like this
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 24, 2016 at 10:08 am

Let's hope our Pleasanton PD reads this and gets more involved with inforcement.


4 people like this
Posted by Driver
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2016 at 11:52 pm

Michael, I am against street meterings such as Stanley, UNLESS they do Valley Ave also. Those feeder streets cannot be thought of independently, without considering the impact they have on Valley Ave, which is already full from Stanley to Santa Rita. I doubt even a few cars could even be accommodated during daylight hours.


6 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 25, 2016 at 10:15 am

Street meterings, red light cameras, more ppd on the streets, whatever it takes to discourage all this cut-thru traffic-- have to quit making easier for the commuters, us locals can't even drive on our own streets at commute time!!


Like this comment
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 25, 2016 at 10:15 am

Street meterings, red light cameras, more ppd on the streets, whatever it takes to discourage all this cut-thru traffic-- have to quit making easier for the commuters, us locals can't even drive on our own streets at commute time!!


2 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 25, 2016 at 10:15 am

Street meterings, red light cameras, more ppd on the streets, whatever it takes to discourage all this cut-thru traffic-- have to quit making easier for the commuters, us locals can't even drive on our own streets at commute time!!


5 people like this
Posted by Driver
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2016 at 11:24 am

Cyclists, walkers, & drivers disregard common sense safety measures.
All very Inconsiderate of residents who need to be ALLOWED to exit driveways to get ON TO Valley! When it's filled from Stanley to Santa
Rita it's a long time between light breaks..SO full, sometimes several
light changes, and just one thoughtless jerk, bike or car, can prevent that
one chance to get on our Valley.


3 people like this
Posted by Don
a resident of Ironwood
on Mar 28, 2016 at 10:18 am

Angry crossing guard here again. Interesting points brought out on many comments. I would like to give a special shout out, which could of been an off color word had I not used some self control. On Good Friday, April 25th, while crossing children home from school and making sure they get all the way across the intersection safely, like the law dictates, I turned around to go back to my side of the street and a lady proceeded to not wait for me. Had I not been paying attention, I could have been hit. I yelled to her that she was suppose to stop and while moving she yelled, "I did stop"!!!!! Yes, she did stop but motorists must wait for the intersection to be clear of all pedestrians, including the crossing guard, before proceeding. That is the law!!


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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