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Grant Road project pits MV against LA

Original post made on Jul 1, 2009

After years of controversy and grief over the loss of the city's beloved pumpkin patch, the City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved 53 new homes on the site of the former Grant Road farm. It would have been a relatively calm vote, too, if not for a last-minute blitz from Los Altos over perceived traffic impacts.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 1, 2009, 1:43 PM

Comments (17)

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 1, 2009 at 2:07 pm

USA is a registered user.

1) "Council member Means and several others said they would be interested in buying one" - Isn't this a conflict of interest?

2) "to sell for $1.8 million each" -- How much are we paying the council members?


Posted by Daniel DeBolt, Mountain View Voice Staff Writer
on Jul 1, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Daniel DeBolt is a registered user.

The last sentence didn't come across right. Means was half joking and I think he said he wouldn't be able to afford it anyway.


Posted by dcree, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 1, 2009 at 2:27 pm

"Means said he couldn't think of any reason why Mountain View residents would drive down Covington"

How about to get over to Miramonte, where there is a Long's, Safeway, and Starbucks, post office...........

I don't have a strong opinion either way, since it does not directly effect me, but I think our council members are a bit full of themselves if they think no one will be heading down Covington.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 1, 2009 at 3:04 pm

"How about to get over to Miramonte, where there is a Long's, Safeway, and Starbucks, post office..........."

I shop at that shopping center, and live off Levin. It's actually much less efficient to take Covington than to take Grant to Cuesta to Miramonte, because of the 4-way stop at Covington and Miramonte. This 4-way stop will probably continue to act as a deterrent to the "new" Grant drivers as well. Plus, anyone who has gone that way when Blach is letting out will avoid that route like the plague after the first time, as it is very difficult to turn at that 4-way stop intersection with all the kids walking and biking home. I use Covington to head over to Rancho Shopping Center and 280 northbound.

Anyone who wants to take Covington to Miramonte or Springer can do it now, and does--it's not something new that will happen when the new development goes in. Yes, there will be more traffic on Grant, and some of those people will want to go to Rancho Shopping Center and 280 North, but I can't think of any other destinations down that way to draw hundreds more people every day. Most people will take Grant.

The cities could solve both problems by moving the traffic light from Covington to Levin. Then the Covington folks can have the fun of a left turn on Grant at rush hour with no light that the Waverly Park people have had for years.


Posted by Cathy, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 1, 2009 at 3:15 pm

The rerouting of Levin to connect with Covington is sensible, because it will prevent some bottlenecks in that area. Any time you prevent a bottleneck, you're helping everyone. Currently, turning right, let alone left off Levin onto Grant can be very difficult at times.

I live in the Waverly Park area, and I do use Covington a lot to get to Miramonte. I wish there were a way to decrease traffic everywhere, but in the meantime we just have to make traffic as efficient as possible. Let's try to walk and bike more as well.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 1, 2009 at 5:04 pm

"We are primarily concerned with bike pedestrian safety, not throughput," Casas replied.

This is exactly the type of focus I think too many developments lack; focusing on throughput doesn't create great communities, ped/bike friendliness does.


Posted by Ned, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 1, 2009 at 5:21 pm

After years of controversy and grief over the loss of "the city's beloved pumpkin patch"

This way never the city's property to begin with. But the city sure did act like it was.


Posted by Pedestrian Saftety, really?, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 1, 2009 at 6:07 pm

"We are primarily concerned with bike pedestrian safety, not throughput," Casas replied.

Probably why there is no sidewalk on the Los Altos side of these roads :)


Posted by Robin Iwai, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Jul 1, 2009 at 6:15 pm

"I admit to being one of those crazy people that wanted the heritage farm," said council member Laura Macias....

Laura, I know you meant this half jokingly, as a figure of speech, just like Tom Means supposedly joked about buying one of the new houses, but please, feel free to describe yourself as "crazy" but not to the rest of us who support farmland preservation.

I dunno, it's kind of like saying "I'm one of those crazy people who believes we can (stop AIDS, fight poverty, find a cure for cancer, etc)

People who believe in hope for a better tomorrow are not necessarily crazy.


Posted by attendee at meeting, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 1, 2009 at 7:11 pm

It was my impression that in making his comment about no destinations in Los Altos, Means had tongue firmly in cheek. However he was right. BTW, I always take covington because there's so little traffic on it (albeit not during the school rush). It's a calm relaxing drive in the evening compared to Grant. Los Altos should be proud that their streets are so drivable.


Posted by Hans, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 1, 2009 at 7:17 pm

I am amazed by some Los Altos residents, and the Los Altos City Council, who have been so generous with their advice about what Mtn. View should do with private property within the city of Mtn. View, but have not been forthcoming in offering any financial support in purchasing the property for their alternative 'community farm' proposal.

And while Los Altos residents freely use Grant Road to venture north through Mtn. View to El Camino Real, some challenge the right of others in using Los Altos streets.

And I recall it was the mayor of Los Altos and his family who have gratuitously used Mtn. View park facilities, then filed a claim against the city of Mtn. View based on their use of Cuesta Park.

All of that aside, as a good neighbor, Los Altos should support the realignment of Levin and Covington with Grant Road to create a safer intersection for everyone.


Posted by Waverly-waver, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 1, 2009 at 7:22 pm

From the farm neighborhood, Covington is not a direct access to any major commute route. You can't get to 85, 101 or 280 from it. I only use Covington to get to Andronicos on Foothill. But if Los Altos does not want me to shop in their city, then I will gladly shop elsewhere. They should just put up a giant wall around their precious city.


Posted by Sue, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 2, 2009 at 8:34 am

"And I recall it was the mayor of Los Altos and his family who have gratuitously used Mtn. View park facilities, then filed a claim against the city of Mtn. View based on their use of Cuesta Park."

What was the nature of the claim against the City of Mtn. View by the Mayor of Los Altos?


Posted by Smart Growther, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 2, 2009 at 9:24 am

Former MV Mayor (now LA council) called for MV to not do the alignment. He conveniently left out the fact that he was on council when the 1984 resolution was approved. I rarely use Covington because of the 4 way stop at Miramonte. It is a mess but it is mostly caused by LA residents. Councilmember Means was right. The LA residents didnt like the traffic study so they claimed it was wrong without providing ant specifics. Their staff, elected official, and residents embarrassed themselves by making emotional rather the reasoned arguments.


Posted by Shutit, a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Hey Los Altos, Mountain View has lots of input for all your city's plans.
Feel free to tell them to "Stuff it", just as Mountain View will freely tell you to do the same.


Posted by Laura Macias, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 2, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Robin, I appreciate the hard work that you and so many others did to try to preserve the farmland. I wish that the result had been otherwise. I guess I meant crazy in a good way because many good ideas are seen as that, until they becomes innovative, executable ideas. Someday, we can have a farm in MV, I hope.

Regarding "minimizing Los Altos throughput", I don't think Mountain Viewers should have to apologize for using Covington Road.


Posted by Commuter, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 4, 2009 at 2:13 pm

"Throughput" means solving chronic traffic jams, like the ones on Grant Road every workday. Mr. Cacas must not need to drive much. Bikes are cool, solving traffic problems are not. May he have the same political success as Gray Davis who vowed to not add a single lane of freeway during his tenure.


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