Santa Cruz Ave @ Palo Alto Way

This section of the Santa Cruz, between the Alameda intersection and Sand Hill Rd is an important safety area. It has bus service for high schoolers, seniors, and others. It has an important crosswalk that requires safety improvements. Residents along this section need safety considerations too and that aspect of design seems lacking.This section also handles the full volume of both Alameda and Santa Cruz traffic — 20,000 vehicles a day.

This is an especially important area for County engineers to establish with motorists that this segment is residential and to establish an ambience for a slower calmer flow of traffic.

Cyclists especially need extra safety attention as this segment has a chaotic nature due to required vehicle lane changes and traffic flowing at high speeds.

Concerns and Issues

  • Please remove the planned 103’ raised median at Palo Alto Way.  
    • Median blocks access for residents. It may impede fire response and school buses.
    • It takes 2’ of width from providing cyclists a safer path with buffers and thus reduces cyclists safety.
    • It creates a dangerous obstacle in the roadway that can turn a slight motorist error into a serious accident.
    • A simple pedestrian bollard could be used instead of median, with better results and with reduced accident risk.
    • An 8” high median is excessive.  It should not be here anyway;  however, a flat textured median does not cause the serious accidents that this tall median does.
  • For both NB and SB cyclists, safety could be greatly improved by keeping the bike lane 5’ with 2’ buffers – consistent with all of the corridor.
  • County staff and engineers have identified the potential and expected long traffic queue on this section of SB Santa Cruz. What is being done to mitigate those long queues and keep them from extending north of the “Y” intersecton?
  • Prior agreements with County decades ago, guaranteed parking for the properties along Santa Cruz, yet the plan is removing many parking spaces. These parking spaces not only allow for parking, they are a critical safety buffer to keep traffic flow away from the sidewalk and driveways.
  • If a few inches of width is needed, please seek other candidates for the slight reduction of a couple of inches (parking width, buffer, an inch or two of sidewalk if it is widened, the traffic center turn/merge or other lanes).
  • The advance stop line (aka sharktooth) at the PAW crosswalk is only 20’ before the crosswalk. It should be longer to provide safe and proper sight lines for the two SB lanes it services so that the multi-lane threat is adequately addressed
  • It appears that the NE curb for the PAW crosswalk in the plan is different than existing. Current is a brand new corner and should not have to be redone.
  • A measure of success is going to be if pedestrians feel safe crossing here – they feel safer with the crossing lights, but not safe due to speed and closeness of stopped traffic.

Please add your voice to achieve a safer roadway:

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Updated April 2023 –

3 thoughts on “Santa Cruz Ave @ Palo Alto Way”
  1. Can we add a prominently “KEEP CLEAR” sharks tooth section in front of Oak Hollow Way (similar to the one at Palo Alto Way)? This would be similar to what is often seen in front of Fire Stations. It is already extremely difficult to make a left hand turn going northbound out of OHW onto Santa Cruz. Two weeks ago in early April 2023, one of the OHW residents was hit in a T-bone collision with another vehicle while making the left turn out of OHW. The other vehicle was a teenage driver going northbound and did not see her car even though the OHW resident was completely stationary in the Santa Cruz median. With the added traffic congestion, it will be very difficult to see northbound traffic while the southbound traffic is blocking all visibility.

  2. When traveling South bound, most residents on the East side of Santa Cruz will need to make a left turn or U-turn into their property and during peak times, this may occur all along this corridor. Removing the median will afford that space all the way to Palo Alto way which gives better visibility to on coming traffic coming from Sand Hill and Alpine.

  3. While it’s improved, the signage on the Sand Hill lane turning right onto Alameda is not sufficient. This is evidenced by many cars continuing to turn on red. Not only does this increase the risk of vehicular collisions in this busy intersection, but also endangers pedestrians and cars coming out of driveways on Alameda.

    PLEASE consider better signage (eg painted in the lane itself), as well as red-light cameras and police enforcement.

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