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Portola Valley: Are traffic-calming measures coming to Corte Madera Road?

The Portola Valley Town Council meets tonight (April 23) to consider whether anything should be done to inhibit cut-through traffic on Corte Madera Road during school drop-off and pick-up times. The road, like the other roads in this neighborhood, has no sidewalks or paths for local students who are walking to Corte Madera School.

Neighborhood residents complained to the council in March about parents driving on Corte Madera Road to bypass the major Alpine Road intersections at Portola Road and Indian Crossing. Avoiding those intersections is also convenient for parents with children at Ormondale Elementary School, residents said.

Residents said they have tried to caution motorists, but that a few repeatedly drive incautiously. The council asked staff to come back with options. The staff's report refers to a draft traffic-calming model developed over two years by Los Altos Hills.

The problem in Portola Valley may not need such extensive study, given that it's largely the behavior of four vehicles and the absence of statutes that deputies could use to cite the drivers, said Leslie Latham of the town's Bicycle, Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Committee in a letter to Mayor Ann Wengert. Committee members have been studying the problem.

Ms. Lathan recommends a cautious approach that could include a temporary sign restricting turns from Portola Road onto Corte Madera Road and deputies posted to catch scofflaws. The temporary aspect, Ms. Latham said, is key to not over-reacting and to avoiding a bandwagon effect if other neighborhoods were to reconsider their own traffic issues.

Also on the agenda

The town's Nature & Science Committee has drafted a letter on how it might use the rundown house, barn, garage and other structures on the 79-acre Hawthorns estate at the corner of Alpine and Portola roads.

The estate is owned by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, which is seeking partners to collaborate on finding uses for the complex. The committee proposes nature-and-science-oriented activities, including an interpretive center, a native plant garden, and limited housing.

The restoration and rehabilitation needed to fulfill the committee's ambitions would run to about $9 million, most of which would come from donations, the letter says.

Click here for more details on the collaboration.

Click here for links to the historic study and reports on the structural integrity of the buildings and the geological circumstances of the property.

The Portola Valley council meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Historic Schoolhouse at 765 Portola Road in Portola Valley.

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