On Wednesday, March 6, the Environmental Planning Commission is set to discuss the 190-unit apartment project proposed by Prometheus Real Estate Group. Replacing the county building and two auto shops on Stierlin Road, it will have four stories fronting Central Expressway and Moffett Boulevard, sloping to three- and then two-story elevations near its residential neighbors. Prometheus proposes one- and two-bedroom units with outdoor patios and stoops, similar to its Madera project on Evelyn Avenue.
The proposal includes the option of turning the end of Stierlin Road — which runs through the center of the project — into a public "paseo" for bicyclists and pedestrians, making cars off-limits. But the end of the road also happens to have an entrance onto Central Expressway. Some neighbors said they don't want it closed for fear that it would put more cars into the rush-hour back up on Moffett waiting to cross the Caltrain tracks and the expressway.
"It's kind of a no-brainer to leave it," said neighbor Peter Spitzer of the street portion of Stierlin Road that could be closed.
"Anybody who has ever tried to get to downtown at peak traffic hours would know what I'm talking about," he said. "You often have to wait for 15 minutes to wait for the lights to cycle around twice. It's a pretty safe guess trains will be running more frequently, too, in the future so it's only going to get worse. That on-ramp will become even more important."
Another option leaves the road in place but with improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians.
City planner Rebecca Shapiro said the Prometheus could also pay to have the free right turn lane removed from Moffett onto Central to make the intersection more pedestrian friendly. "Pedestrians would be crossing at a location that's controlled fully by the vehicle stoplight at that intersection," she said.
A new publicly accessible path would also run east-west through the project, from Moffett Boulevard to Washington Alley.
The planning commission meets at 7 p.m. on March 6 in the City Council chambers.
A website for the project has been set up at 100moffett.com.