Alameda County officials have installed new stop signs to halt all drivers at the intersection where Sunol Boulevard splits off into Pleasanton-Sunol Road and Castlewood Drive just beyond the city limits in southwestern Pleasanton.
The traffic safety measure, which became active in the past couple weeks, was a mitigation effort developed after local residents raised concerns about unsafe conditions at the Y-intersection during previous community meetings Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley hosted for residents of unincorporated Pleasanton.
"I appreciate Alameda County Public Works Agency staff's attention and dedication to improving the safety of vehicles and cyclists at this intersection," Miley told the Weekly.
"This road safety improvement project is a perfect example of residents bringing an everyday concern to a county department and my office, and then us taking collective action to resolve it," he said. "I look forward to continuing my work with Pleasanton, Happy Valley and Castlewood residents on other community matters."
The intersection, located between the Sunol Boulevard-Interstate 680 interchange and the Castlewood Country Club's Valley Course, typically sees increased traffic during commute hours as a popular cut-through route for drivers trying to avoid freeway backups.
Previously, the Y-intersection featured a single stop sign for eastbound Castlewood Drive traffic, with no stop for drivers continuing either way on Sunol Boulevard/Pleasanton-Sunol Road -- creating a tough line of sight for drivers trying to turn off Castlewood.
In response to the complaints, county public works crews conducted a traffic assessment of the area and determined adding stop signs to each direction on Sunol/Pleasanton-Sunol was the best strategy to address the concerns while minimizing vehicle backups along Castlewood Drive, according to Miley's office.
Installing the "all-way" stop at the intersection cost roughly $1,000, for parts and labor.
The county project isn't the only traffic safety improvement effort underway in the area notorious for commute backups, tricky sight-lines for drivers, and difficult conditions for cyclists and pedestrians.
Caltrans is in the middle of reworking the Sunol Boulevard onramp to northbound I-680 to install metering lights.
The city of Pleasanton has also been eyeing a $13.6 million project to redesign the Sunol/I-680 interchange to provide congestion relief, enhance operational safety and improve conditions for cyclists.
The project concept calls for signalizing the two intersections at the interchange and lengthening the existing merging lane from the southbound ramp to the freeway, among other changes, according to city officials.
The city is close to completing a project initiation document with Caltrans, a required step before moving forward with the preliminary analysis and environmental document phase. Once that report is approved by the state, the city can embark on full engineering design.