Tonight: Public meeting on Alpine Road corridor study


Travel along Alpine Road between Junipero Serra Boulevard and Ladera has been less than ideal for a long time.

A community meeting with San Mateo County officials on a study of the Alpine Road corridor is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21, at Woodland School in Ladera.

If you're walking or prefer a bike path to a bike lane, the path along the south side of the road is in a seemingly permanent state of disrepair, in part because it runs alongside San Francisquito Creek with the creek's erosive impact on the infrastructure that relies on the creek bank's stability.

If you live in unincorporated Stanford Weekend Acres east of Interstate 280, the heavy traffic and blind curves of Alpine Road, where speed limit signs hold little sway, make access into and out of the community tricky most of the time and practically impossible during commute hours.

If you live in unincorporated Ladera west of I-280, heavy traffic on Alpine complicates access at intersections with La Mesa and La Cuesta drives, the primary avenues into and out of that community.

In September 2015, the county Board of Supervisors, which oversees this corridor, set aside up to $186,271 to study it.

A public meeting about a comprehensive Alpine Road corridor study is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21 at the Woodland School at 360 La Cuesta Drive in Ladera. County officials and consultant Kimley-Horn, with offices nationwide, are expected to be there.

The county's goals include improving travel by every means, including walking, biking, automobile and public transit; improving access to Alpine Road from side streets; and improving traffic flow at intersections in this corridor, according to county documents.

What is community worth to you?
Support local journalism.


4 people like this
Posted by pvrez
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jan 21, 2016 at 8:44 am

i would love to see roundabouts replace the stop signs at 280, just like the 80/89 intersection in Truckee which work well imo. roundabouts at La Mesa and/or La Cuesta might work too. i've heard the 'not enough room' argument, but what went in on Stanford campus at Escondido Avenue looks similar in size. i would estimate that 50% of the time i drive through Ladera on the way to PV, i have to hammer the brakes to avoid a collision with vehicles making a left onto Alpine (and i'm the guy doing 35 on the nose getting tailgated all the way to Westridge). something needs to be done at these intersections as well.

8 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:32 am

Does the traffic circle in Truckee have bike lanes?

Personally, I think a traffic circle at a freeway interchange could be very confusing. I'd rather see a regular stop light here. Everyone knows how stop lights work.

4 people like this
Posted by pvrez
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jan 21, 2016 at 11:55 am

@resident. not sure about bike lanes in Truckee, but the roundabouts on Stanford campus have bikes moving through constantly - very efficient and relatively safe. there's nothing confusing about roundabouts as long as one understands basic rules of the road. give the one on Escondido a shot - you might just like it.

Like this comment
Posted by Nina
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Jan 21, 2016 at 12:43 pm

I would love to see the section of trail west of Webb Ranch to Ladera be improved, many times the mud is deep, and unsafe for hikers or horses. Stanford has trails of compacted tan fine gravel, as in the area near the Campus Drive tennis courts and road to the horse stalls. This might work for a trail extension and still allow drainage. I also would welcome an extension of a Samtrans line through Portola Valley at least to the Sequoias, it would be of great help to seniors. As it stands it is only for students on school schedules. Have we considered how many low income workers in our town would welcome a bus line too?

2 people like this
Posted by gunste
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Jan 21, 2016 at 1:33 pm

I doubt that the traffic problems on Alpine ( and Junipero Serra to Stanford) will be addressed, since they cost a lot of money.
One problem with the exit from Ladera often is the hesitancy or dislike of cars using the turn lanes to Alpine. Too many people choose to wait until there NO traffic from either direction, condition that dos not happen frequently enough during commute times. -- Since the off ramp from 280 to Page Mill is also very clogged without traffic light and Page Mill from 280 into Palo Alto is very heavy until about 10:30 AM, one must use Alpine and Junipero Serra to reach ares in South Palo Alto and Mountain View.
Stanford's rebuilding the Alpine-Santa Cruz - Junipero Serra intersection helped part of the problem. But a lot more is needed to stop the Stanford traffic to clog the area in the mornings and evenings. -- Best solution: an exit from I-280 directly into Stanford with an overpass across Junipero Serra.

7 people like this
Posted by Grateful to live in PV
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jan 21, 2016 at 2:08 pm

I've often fantasized about trying out a strictly local Marguerite-style bus line (with small, comfortable equipment) that would do the Alpine Road-Portola Road-Sand Hill Road loop starting from, say, PV Town Center, down Portola Road to Alpine, left at Alpine, past Ladera to Junipero Serra, left onto Sand Hill and all the way back to Town Center (and/or in the opposite direction). It would run hourly or half hourly, cost passengers maybe a buck, be subsidized to some extent by "somebody" (either at first or permanently), and stop for pickup and dropoff at strategically important places to be determined.

If it ran regularly and often, the service could sub in for a good deal of local vehicle traffic...groceries, Sequoias, games, meetings, to and from repair shops, restaurants, banks, maybe even jobs for the lucky few.

Obviously there are economic and other challenges but is anyone experienced with this kind of thing or willing to kick around the idea?

3 people like this
Posted by jackrabbitPV
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Jan 21, 2016 at 5:04 pm

Booo on traffic signals. The last thing a rural community needs are traffic lights. The remedies installed at Alpine and I280 seem to be working great and they are very conservative solutions/measures (but yet very effective). Let's see if our friendly neighbors could exercise better driving manners and remember to "slow down and smell the roses"! Life's too short to be a jerk!

3 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Jan 21, 2016 at 5:27 pm

@pvrez - the traffic circles that I have seen at Stanford are extremely slow speed. There are more bikes than cars and the bikes ride in the middle of the lane, not in gutter bike lanes. While I hope that Portola Valley drivers would show the same respect for traffic safety as the Stanford people, I think the Stanford situation is so much different that little can be learned by Ladera. Traffic near freeways tends to use freeway speeds, no matter what is the marked speed limit.

Like this comment
Posted by pvrez
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jan 25, 2016 at 9:42 pm

@resident. highway 89 through Kings Beach at Lake Tahoe where the limit is 35 is another great example of traffic circle success and even more similar to Alpine through Ladera.

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

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Couple brings Chinese zongzi to Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 5,926 views

Don't Miss Your Exit (and other lessons from an EV drive)
By Sherry Listgarten | 9 comments | 1,728 views

Goodbye Food Waste!
By Laura Stec | 4 comments | 1,454 views

"Better" Dads and "Re-invigorated" Moms: Happier Couples
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,148 views

Bobby in Naziland: A Tale of Flatbush
By Stuart Soffer | 2 comments | 523 views


Register today!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Learn More