New traffic lights activated on Santa Rita in front of Amador Valley High's parking lot

Traffic-actuated signals designed to ease peak school hour congestion

Two new traffic lights have been turned on in front of Amador Valley High School's main student parking lot to improve safety for motorists entering and leaving the school.

The $507,366 project was authorized by the Pleasanton City Council as part of its traffic signal priority list.

Ed Evangelista, the city's senior traffic engineer, said there are now two signals at Amador's parking lot, one for the north driveway and one for the middle driveway. One signal controller will operate both signals so they can be timed to work together to move traffic more efficiently. Traffic on Santa Rita will only be stopped when a driver makes a left into the north driveway or exits from the middle driveway.

The new signals add to the one already in place in front of the Amador Theater that is triggered by pedestrians crossing Santa Rita.

In addition to the traffic signals, the parking lot's middle driveway has been widened to add an additional outbound left turn lane and a new sidewalk has been built along the north edge of the school property.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


3 people like this
Posted by Janet Yarbrough
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 27, 2016 at 9:18 am

OMG. I just drove by there and didn't even notice that they were on. Heads up everyone.

21 people like this
Posted by OT
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2016 at 10:23 am

A half million dollars to aid traffic for 1 hour/day, nine months out of the year. Seems like a waste of money.

Pleasanton must have more traffic lights per mile of roads than any city in California. If you drive Stoneridge from end to end, there are more than 25 traffic lights for the 4.5 miles of road, and average of a traffic light for every 2 tenths of a mile. Is that really necessary?

23 people like this
Posted by Hallie
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 27, 2016 at 10:31 am

The signals will only activate when there are drivers in position to need them. If you have ever seen traffic at school drop-off and pickup times, you will see that they are very much needed. The signals will most likely prevent a tragedy and that's worth it right there.

12 people like this
Posted by Common Sense
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 27, 2016 at 10:38 am

Half a million here, half a million putting in 2 tennis courts at tennis park, and 800K to repave that extremely short stretch of road on Bernal. Money must be burning a hole through the city's pocket. Does the city get bids from multiple contractors or are these contracts awarded to some "preferred" vendors? The projects cost seem a bid there anyone monitoring our spending here?

11 people like this
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 27, 2016 at 11:45 am

Downtowner is a registered user.

The money could have been much better spent redesigning the parking lot at AVHS. The current design is just WRONG. If you look at almost every parking lot of that size (supermarket, shopping center, etc.) note that the lanes run perpendicular to the street, and there are entry/exits at the end of every other lane. That is the normal design. But for some unknown reason, the designer of the AVHS lot decided to have the lanes run parallel to the street, and that has caused no end of problems, as you may have noticed, requiring cars entering to go all the way to the back of the lot before turning into a lane, and a similar obstruction on exiting. Converting to a perpendicular scheme would have solved all those problems without needing to have traffic lights.

6 people like this
Posted by June
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Jul 27, 2016 at 12:31 pm

My question is will commute traffic back up or find a different alternative route(s) to get to Bernal, ACE station and I680 South causing delays and congestion at other intersections? Is the answer always "put in another signal"

21 people like this
Posted by TTT
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2016 at 12:37 pm

How about the ridiculous Iron Horse trail lights on Owens and Las Positas right after existing lights and none of them are timed. The Iron Horse trail lights have just become another signalized cross walk for people to lazy to walk 25 yards to the signals that existed. Signals on Owens are now less than a block apart.

20 people like this
Posted by local
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jul 27, 2016 at 3:38 pm

The city has made our roads very dangerous by adding all these lights which are horribly coordinated. When at a light and it turns green, people tend to floor it in order to make the next light before it turns red. Not only a safety issue, think of what we are doing to the environment by stopping at all these lights which adds to the pollution.

I feel like I won the lottery if I hit two green lights in a row without having to stop.

13 people like this
Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 27, 2016 at 9:04 pm

Why are 15,16,17, and 18 year old a being dropped off and picked up from high school?

11 people like this
Posted by ayeaye2016
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 28, 2016 at 9:29 am

ayeaye2016 is a registered user.

Santa Rita is a NIGHTMARE between 3:00 PM and about 3:45 PM every school day..Mostly KIDS driving, many of whom could easily walk to and from school,,,but HEH, they live in Pleasanton and all that goes with that status!
They must keep up with their peers.
Traffic lights!! More congestion.
Best to just AVOID that street, if at all possible, during that hour.
Did I say, best to AVOID that street, if at ALL possible, during that hour. Yep

7 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jul 28, 2016 at 9:38 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Pete, not a bike friendly corridor; can't use motorized scooters (these "vehicles" go 12-15 mph and are electric) until you are 16 and licensed, which is ridiculous. As a community, we don't seem to do much to encourage young people other than to drive or be driven. We don't even make it easier for adults to use alternatives.

11 people like this
Posted by Don
a resident of Ironwood
on Jul 28, 2016 at 10:12 am

Don is a registered user.

I certainly have no problem with a traffic light that will keep our kids safe. Many people drop off their children at schools these days regardless of age. We are living in different times and many just want to make sure they get there safe. My only concern is we do not have enough stop lights near our schools. As a crossing guard on Valley AVe. & Northway Rd. by Harvest Park Middle School, I only hope that they consider putting a light there instead of the flashing lights that I have to activate to cross pedestrians. Valley Ave. is getting worse by the year with traffic for many reasons. I've seen it in my 10 yrs. standing on the same corner.

20 people like this
Posted by Flightops
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 28, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Flightops is a registered user.

Hey "Pete" good question, my kids walked to school, didn't hurt them and I live more than a few blocks from amador, and we seem to be raising a bunch of spoiled prima-donnas!! As for traffic light timing maybe it's time to "retire" Mr. Tassano " and put somebody in charge that can manage our overwhelming traffic a little better than what it is now! This is the only town you can drive up to an intersection , the light turns red on you and there is no cross traffic, or any vehicle, pedestrian, or bicycle in sight that would have caused my light to turn red on me, what gives??

6 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 3, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

No problem on the light, I don't understand why it wasn't moved over though so the neighborhood outlet and school lot used the same light. Now the parking lot is protected but the neighborhood isn't. Seems poorly positioned.

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

Be the first to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Couples: Reading List
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,008 views

New Donlon school is at least four years away
By Tim Hunt | 1 comment | 710 views