Portola Valley: Road shoulder work to address pinch point for bicyclists

There are no bike lanes on Alpine or Portola roads in Portola Valley, but there are painted white fog lines that create shoulders that serve as bike lanes. In recognition of that function, the town of Portola Valley will be widening the shoulder at a brief and perhaps hazardous pinch point on northbound Portola Road near Farm Road.

The Town Council approved a resolution March 22 to spend about $122,000 to widen the shoulder, with most of the funding coming from a grant from the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, according to Public Works Director Howard Young.

Construction is set to start May 29 and to be completed by June 30. Work will be done on both sides of the road, widening the shoulders to at least 5 feet, the report says, and will require the removal of six trees, which the town will make "best efforts" to preserve.

The project is the second of two road shoulder projects funded mainly by the transportation authority grant. In 2015, the town spent $256,300 to widen the shoulder and build a 400-foot retaining wall along the north side of Alpine Road at the intersection with Arastradero Road.

In all, the two projects involve $309,500 in grant money and $138,000 in funds from the town, a town staff report says.

In a related matter, the council approved a budget for 2016-17 of $527,628 to resurface Portola Road from the Woodside border to the Village Square shopping center, and from the intersection of Willowbrook Road to the intersection of Portola Green Circle.

If the budget allows, the repaving work will include $77,674 (in two allotments) to resurface Portola Road from the Village Square shopping center to the Spring Down Open Space preserve at the southern end of Town Center at 765 Portola Road.


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5 people like this
Posted by Keep PV SAFE!
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Apr 13, 2017 at 4:47 pm

A much needed safety improvement for this spot in particular, especially since it's close to the town center which is a main hub for bicyclists. Sometimes bicyclists create a hazard on this portion of Portola because it's already so narrow and difficult to pass them safely. Glad the town is making a smart investment in improving the roads.

Like this comment
Posted by Respectful cyclist
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 13, 2017 at 5:45 pm

The problem may not be in the width of the paved area. This problem surfaced when the road was resurfaced and restriped to include a generous turn lane. It may be possible to remove the hazard without harming any trees (e.g. restripe only).

I am happy this hazard is being addressed, in any case. Thank you.

26 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Apr 13, 2017 at 6:43 pm

If a car driver passes another road user unsafely, the car driver is creating the hazard, not the other road user. That is common sense. Slowing down and waiting until you can pass safely is not a crime.

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