Miramonte-Covington: The Alternatives to a Stoplight

Standard curbs and ramps providing more safety to pedestrians are one of six options to be weighed by the Los Altos City Council Tuesday night.


After slaying the spectre of a stoplight at the Miramonte Avenue - Covington Road crossing last spring, area residents may want to come to Tuesday night's city council meeting to see what else could be in the works.

The Los Altos City Council last May directed staff to return with alternatives to a stoplight, after residents presented a petition signed by 366 people, and several spoke against a city-approved stoplight at multiple meetings. 

Engineers were asked to maximize pedestrian and bicycle safety, provide pedestrian "refuge" areas, and maintain right turns for those going from southbound Miramonte Avenue onto Covington Road, wrote Cedric Novenario, the city's new transportation manager, in a memo to the council.

The recommended alternative, called 2A, creates standard curbs, gutters and pedestrian ramps at the intersection, Novenario wrote. It would accommodate any future Class I pathway to Covington School by improving the area behind the pedestrian ramp for a pathway connection from Miramonte Avenue onto Covington Road. It was estimated to cost $98,000

Another alternative, 1A, contemplates constructing "bulb outs" that shorten the crosswalk length and thus provides more safety for pedestrians. It was estimated to cost $118,000. A third alternative, 3A is more minimal, and would include non-standard asphalt curbs. It was described as less attractive because its $82,000 cost was not much less than 2A, and could require more expense if more improvements were required in the future.

All three came with right-turn lane options, which would increase the lengths of car lines, the city staff memo said, and slightly higher costs. All fell well within the $250,000 approved for the project.    

Ed Saadi January 09, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Well Bill, this time, I couldn't agree more with you ... That is absolutely making the issue worse ... For some reason, the city can't wait to spend more money, to fix a problem, they themselves help create! By bowing to pressure, from a well organized minority of residents, that sadly had their own interests in mind, and not that of the community as a whole ( the safety of our children and residents). They have only exacerbated the traffic back up, and the safety issues, by closing off those streets. Sadly, no matter how many times that we brought that up to the City Council's attention, regarding closing off those streets has made the problem worse, it fell on deaf ears! .... It seems akin to Washington ... There is a," Don't put any traffic on my street, Lobby!" .. These people bought houses, knowing full well, that there homes bordered the school! What were they thinking when they all of a sudden woke up one day, and said ,,, "No turns and or no drop off's on my street?" The scary part is the City Council listened to them ! I have given up so many times on this, I feel like the French ...:-)
L.A. Chung January 09, 2013 at 08:19 PM
@Bill Sheppard, @JKS: There was a lot of testimony about that last night at the City Council meeting. Does this cause tension with the neighbors who asked for the ban?
Ed Saadi January 10, 2013 at 07:38 AM
I also wanted to mention ( something which the above article didn't) The reason the traffic light was voted against by the CC was simply because there was absolutely no proof ( provided by the engineering firm that did the study ) that a traffic light would provide any more safety than was already there. Something that the residents were telling the CC for sometime,, before the study was issued (and cost the tax payers 60K dollars plus to come to that conclusion.
Ed Saadi January 10, 2013 at 07:54 AM
Yes. How could it not ? A lot of residents were very concerned about that, at our earlier meetings. The city council is picking winners and losers by blocking off certain streets.... If you noticed, there were a number of very reputable people that spoke up at the CC meeting, against having those streets ( Carmel Terrace and Eastwood Drive ) closed off... And once again, it fell on deaf ears ... There was not a single response by the committee ( with the exception of MS saying that it would be reevaluated, only after the improvements are done at Miramonte and Covington intersection..... Why after ??? Wouldn't it make sense to do it before to see if the back up of traffic would improve before you spend 100-200 thousand dollars ?? From my understanding there has never been a pedestrian issue (accident) at the intersection to date .. How can you improve from 100% This makes no sense at all ...
JKS January 10, 2013 at 08:07 AM
By the way, residents of Eastwood, I never drove down your street until the no right turn sign was posted. Since then, I take every opportunity to drive down your street and not just when the Miramonte-Covington intersection is con-jested. You people are such selfish jerks.


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