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What should be done with Holly Street?

July 20, 2009 Downtown San Carlos, Holly Street Widening 5 Comments

Holly Street

The City wants your input….

Tackling the chronic traffic problems on Holly Street has been on the City’s agenda for quite some time.  Indeed, if you have to pick out a flaw with how San Carlos was planned over years of growth, access to Highway 101 would be near the top of the list.   Holly Street is the only access to northbound 101 in the entire city.   You either have drive north to Belmont (Ralston), or south to Redwood City (Whipple) for the next available northbound on-ramps.

When the City pushed through the southbound access at Brittan Avenue, this helped alleviate some of the congestion on Holly but it didn’t solve the fact that too many cars are still trying to squeeze through a residential area to get to the freeway.

Ideas, proposals…

The City of San Carlos has been kicking around a number of ideas on how to change the flow of traffic on Holly.   One that you’re likely familiar with is the plan to simply widen Holly Street near the intersection with Industrial Road.  Another idea is to make Holly a one-way street between Industrial and Old County Road (see the diagram above.)    This would require diverting east-bound traffic down East San Carlos Avenue, which I have to believe would face stiff opposition from residents on McCue Avenue — the back yards of the odd-numbered addresses on McCue connect directly to this road as you can see from the map below.


View Larger Map

There are some other very “creative” ideas that are being considered, and Mike Rosenberg’s column in the San Mateo County Times covers them in more detail.  If you’re at all interested in this topic, be sure to click here for his article: 
Close Holly Street to 101 traffic? San Carlos to study options

Here’s another article that was just posted by Michelle Durand in the Daily Journal: San Carlos Soliciting Ideas to Improve Traffic

Public Forum – Tuesday July 21.

Have you got a good idea how to solve this problem?  Input on the proposed plans?  The City of San Carlos wants to know about it, so they’ve invited residents to bring their ideas to the next Transportation and Circulation Commission Meeting, which at 7:00 PM on Tuesday July 21 at the City Hall.

Here’s the press release from the City regarding this meeting:
Public Invited to Holly Street/Hwy 101 Workshop on July 21st
What are your thoughts on the proposed solutions? Post a comment below….

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Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. Michael says:

    I hope they leave it as is; if the folks (who have just botched the stretch of Alameda that approaches Carlmont High School from the south FOR THE SECOND TIME) have anything to do with it, we are much better off not making any changes.

    Strange that those of us with no experience (other than being constantly caught in the messes the planners put us in) seem to have the better solutions. They just seem to fall on deaf ears.

    The stretch of Alameda I am referring to now has two left turn lanes into Carlmont that will accomodate about 4 cars…BIG help? Don’t think so…there is still only one lane northbound past the school.

    In September, they will see what a ridiculous change they made, however, no worse than the last one. I predict further gridlock.

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  2. Don Pitt says:

    Would it be possible to add an overpass and North bound ramp at Brittan Ave? Brittan is nice and wide with nothing but parking lots all the way to El Camino.

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    • Chuck says:

      Don,

      I have always lamented the fact that they only made Brittan a SB on-ramp, It would be an ideal spot — geographically closer to the center of San Carlos– for a full interchange. Sadly, I think the cost of such a project plus the fact that it would involve Caltrans will likely keep this off the list for years.

      Thanks for checking in…

      CG

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  3. Michael says:

    I think that Don’s is the only solution, practically and economically. Belmont only has one entrance/exit from 101; why do we need 2? We should pick the best artery, improve it, then shut the other one down. The signs that permit 2 lanes on Holly between 4 and 6pm go unnoticed by many and cause potential accidents as well as road rage. I never see parking enforced during the morning and evening either while a lone car holds up the flow; not only a source of revenue, but a chance to improve traffic during the commute.

    Any other solution would be throwing good money after bad.

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    • Chuck says:

      Michael,

      You’re right — cost aside, the best solution is to make Brittan the main gateway to San Carlos from 101. If you look at how “planned communities” are developed, you’ll notice that the main ingress to the community is usually a multi-lane road which enables easy access. In places like Redwood Shores and Danville where you still have homes located on the main gateway streets, these homes that are situated such that the back yards are adjacent to the main street, NOT the front yards like you have on Holly. That eliminates the parking issues, and the problems getting in and out of your own driveway.

      But that problem wouldn’t even exist with Brittan since it’s all commercially zoned. In theory, it’s the best solution.. but knowing how tight money is right now, I can’t see it happening.

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