Atherton's City Council will hear a progress report on attempts to make El Camino Real safer for pedestrians and bicyclists when it meets Wednesday, Feb. 18, starting at 7 p.m. in the town's council chambers at 94 Ashfield Road.
The council plans to consider whether it should go ahead with a study of narrowing El Camino from six travel lanes to four or, instead, concentrate on making improvements to five intersection on the state highway. In October, the council approved funding for the lane-reduction study.
Among the suggested intersection improvements are to add a pedestrian-operated stoplight, called a hybrid pedestrian beacon, at Stockbridge Avenue and El Camino and add a conventional stoplight at Selby Lane and El Camino.
The death of a pedestrian on El Camino Real in Atherton in late July prompted local officials, already worried about conditions on the state highway bisecting the town, to work even harder to make it safer. Town officials have been meeting with Caltrans since late in 2012, when two women were struck and badly injured in a crosswalk on El Camino at Isabella Avenue.
The pedestrian-operated stoplights are already scheduled to be installed on El Camino at Alejandra and Isabella avenues, with completion expected by spring 2017, a town's staff report says.
New civic center
In other business, the council will consider an agreement with the nonprofit Atherton Now organization, authorizing the group to raise funds for the new civic center. A report from City Attorney Bill Conners and City Manager George Rodericks says: "It is important to have an intermediate nonprofit to handle donations that (the donor) may wish to be kept anonymous. ... If the donation were to be made directly to the Town, that information would be subject to public disclosure -- this could discourage some potential contributors from giving to this important cause."
A separate report from Mr. Rodericks on the progress of the civic center project says the council is expected to approve in March a contract with an architect for the design of the civic center, but that "it is anticipated that the contract for services will be a phased contract," which would allow more money to be raised as the project is designed.