The project proposes safer access to La Entrada Middle School with a new pathway on the north side of Sharon Road from Alameda de las Pulgas to Altschul Avenue.
The existing site is partially paved and lacks a continuous accessible walking path. This presents a challenge for pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles navigating the area. Additionally, rain creates large puddles next to the street, which forces pedestrians into the travel lane.
In January 2020, over 30 people, including residents and middle school parents, attended a community meeting to learn more about the project and how it could improve public safety and connection to the school.
The City presented renderings and plans of the following design concepts:
Mitigate ponding by eliminating low-points and installing gutters to the storm drain
Install curb ramps and a connecting walkway at Sharon Road and Altschul Avenue
Sharrow markings for shared bicycle and vehicle lanes along Sharon Road
Option 1 – Concrete sidewalk
This option consists of a raised concrete curb, gutter and sidewalk, which would remove parking on the north side of Sharon Road. The elevated curb and color of the sidewalk may act as a barrier to traffic. The concrete sidewalk could also affect street width perception for drivers, and thus reduce traffic speed.
Option 2 – Asphalt walkway
This option consists of a new asphalt walkway and valley gutter at street level. The concrete valley gutter would act as a separation between the asphalt walkway and the street, possibly allowing for time-restricted parking beyond school hours where there is available width.
The advantages and disadvantages of these preliminary designs were discussed. Participants shared input on pedestrian/bicycle safety, school travel, ADA compliance, parking removal and drainage.
Following the January 2020 community meeting, the city solicited additional feedback by broadcasting the project on the La Entrada's Middle School PTA Newsletter, and through Safe Routes to School groups in February and March 2020.
At the September 9, 2020, Complete Streets Commission meeting, staff presented conceptual plans and visual simulations to illustrate the two design options and shared feedback summaries. The commission received public comments from various community members and recommended that the City Council approve the standard concrete sidewalk (Option 1).
This project will be presented at the January 26, 2021, City Council meeting. Staff will present project updates, design options, staff and the Complete Street Commission recommendations. The City Council will be asked to select the pathway option, required parking restrictions and final design that will begin construction in summer 2021.