Three Major Road Projects On Tap for San Carlos.

July 27, 2009


Improve Traffic Flow

That's the goal in mind, as the City of San Carlos looks to finalize plans (and funding) for three major road construction projects. All three of these projects are targeted for areas east of El Camino, and are designed to ease the flow of traffic that heads to and from both 101 interchanges that reside within San Carlos.  Note that all three were born out of the traffic impact study that was conducted for the recently suspended Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) project.

Here's a quick summary of all three projects:

#1:  The Holly Street Widening Project

This project is probably the most well-known and highly controversial of the three, simply because of the impact to several residents on Holly Street.
Here's a detailed description of the planned changes to Holly street, from the City of San Carlos Website…

  • Widen Holly Street at Industrial Road by approximately 10 feet (5 feet on either side of the roadway) for a distance of 205 feet, in order to increase the length of the three-lane segment on eastbound Holly Street from 115 to 320 feet.
  • All work is within the existing 60-foot wide public right-of-way and would eliminate of a 5-foot-wide strip of landscaping adjacent to the sidewalk in front of four homes on the north side of the street and five on the south side of the street.
  • Relocate the sidewalk in front of these residences within the existing public right-of-way closer to the residences, lose on-street parking, and move existing trees back closer to the homes.

…and here's a picture of the project area:
HollystreetProject(photo credit: City of San Carlos)

The City has a comprehensive outline of the project on their website.

#2.  101/Holly Street Interchange Ramp Modification

This proposal calls for widening and re-designing the existing clover-leaf interchange that's in place at Holly Street and Highway 101.   The vast majority of the work will take place to the northbound 101 on ramp and off ramp with 101 — the idea being to separate traffic that's entering and exiting the freeway by eliminating the off ramp and replacing it with a T-intersection.  (A good visualization of this design is the new 101 interchange at Ralston Avenue.)

Here's a description of the work involved:

  1. Widen northbound 101 to eastbound Holly off-ramp and stripe for two lanes.
  2. Construct new two-lane northbound 101 to west-bound Holly off-ramp to intersect with Holly St.
  3. Install traffic signals and lighting for new “T” intersection.
  4. Widen entire EB to NB loop on-ramp (approx 12ft x 600 ft) and stripe for two lanes.
  5. Widen westbound Holly St. approaching newly created intersection to add third lane.
  6. Remove northbound 101 to westbound Holly loop ( approx 26ft x 700 ft).

The City also has a page on their site dedicated to this proposal.

#3.  Brittan Avenue Widening Project

The third proposal is to widen Brittan Avenue between Old County Road to add a 400-foot stretch of dedicated left turn lane as eastbound Brittan approaches Industrial Road. This should also alleviate the chronic back-up at this intersection as traffic tries to access the southbound highway 101 on-ramp.

Raise Fees to Raise Funds

Of course all of this work is going to cost money.  How much, you ask?  Click here for a cost estimate of each project:   SC Traffic Cost Estimate.    To make matters more difficult, these costs have increased from previous estimates. At tonight's City Council Meeting, the Council will will consider increasing “traffic impact fees” by nearly 9% to cover the anticipated increase.   The Daily Journal outlines what the new fees will be in this article:  Traffic Fees to Jump.

I'll continue to post more news about these three projects as it becomes available.  You can find them in a new sub-category dedicated to these road construction projects under the San Carlos Development Projects category.

7/29 Update:  City approves fee increase

The City Council voted 4-0 in Monday's meeting to approve the 9% increase in developer's fees to help offset the increase in traffic costs.   Read this article in the San Jose Mercury for more details:  Developer Fees Go Up in San Carlos.


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