While its lack of commercial and multifamily zoning has kept the population of Atherton relatively stable in recent years, town officials have become increasingly concerned about the problems caused by traffic passing through Atherton as the cities surrounding it and the region continue to grow.
On Wednesday, April 17, the City Council will look at the results of two recently completed traffic studies and the fixes they recommend. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the town's council chambers at 94 Ashfield Road.
One study looks at the Alameda de las Pulgas corridor specifically, while the second looks at the town as a whole and measures two types of traffic -- pass-through (vehicles starting and ending their journey through Atherton on one street) and cut-through (vehicles that use more than one street to pass through Atherton).
The studies found that on Alameda de las Pulgas, 89% of southbound traffic is pass-through and 6% is cut-through. Northbound, 70% of traffic is pass through and 20 percent cut through. In both directions on Middlefield Road, 75% of traffic is pass-through and 20% cut-through.
The consultants also suggested how to reduce the impacts of traffic in their reports.
Among the recommendations is the installation of traffic lights on Alameda de las Pulgas at Atherton Avenue, Stockbridge Avenue and Camino al Lago; on Middlefield Road at Fair Oaks Lane and Watkins Avenue; and on Valparaiso Avenue at Elena and Emilie avenues. The studies say that the traffic lights would significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to pass through those intersections during commute hours.
Also on the agenda is a discussion about seeking an alternative to the town's current garbage and recycling service provider, Recology. A report says that the contract with Recology is due to expire at the end of 2020, and the cost of service from that company is likely to increase significantly over the 15-year term of a new contract.