Town Square

Plan for Grant Road project pits MV vs. LA

Original post made on Apr 16, 2009

The controversy over developing the former Grant Road farm is long subsided. But now, Los Altos leaders are raising concerns that the new residential development will cause increased traffic through Los Altos.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 16, 2009, 4:36 PM


Posted by Humphrey V, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 16, 2009 at 8:24 pm

David Casas...what an ass.

Posted by Martha, a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 17, 2009 at 8:55 am

I commented on the Los Altos Town Crier article and mentioned that I thought the only good thing about the development was the proposed realignment of Levin. It is a nightmare trying to turn onto or off of Grant during the weekday. Even turning right onto Grant at rush hour is difficult, because of the fact that people are moving from one lane on Grant to two lanes right at Levin. You can't tell which lane people are aiming for, and they're moving at a pretty good clip, so it's nerve-wracking trying to turn there in the morning. Turning left is a hassle every day, except weekends. It makes no sense for this road to come out here, so close to the traffic light at Covington. Realigning the intersection is the logical thing to do.

Besides, I honestly don't see that it will increase Covington traffic by much, if any. It's not as if Covington doesn't access Grant now; I know I for one use Covington to "cut through" when I'm going to the Rancho Shopping Center, or heading to 280 North. I never considered it a "cut through" -- I just considered it the most efficient way from Grant to those points. I'm sure everyone who would be doing this is already doing it now. Once you're on Grant, you'll either take Covington or not, depending on where you are goingand if you are familiar with the streets.

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Well, at least there is ONE city that is even aware of traffic as a concern.

Posted by Shannon, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 17, 2009 at 2:27 pm

If so many new homes are going in, there will be additional traffic in the area regardless of how the intersection is designed. If a 2nd stop light went in at Levin, it would be critical that it was timed with the one at Covington, effectively making it a 4-way intersection anyway... unless Los Altos is proposing a "No Left Turn" from Levin or something drastic like that. I wonder what the Los Altos staffers are proposing to keep the traffic off Covington.

Posted by Res, a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 17, 2009 at 3:04 pm

The Levin/Grant road access is misunderstood by so many drivers. Grant Road becomes 2 lanes at that intersection. There are lines painted there to remind Grant traffic to keep left until after the intersection. However, Grant cars still barge into that right lane while Levin traffic piles up in a long, slow line. A "Keep Left" sign should be put on Grant just before the intersection, and some plastic bendable perma-cones (plus more lines painted on the road just after the intersection) to allow the Levin traffic to flow safely on to Grant.

Turning left is another story. There are times a day when that is almost impossible. I've had to give up my attempt at that turn many times by doing a right, then U-turn to get onto Grant southbound. The new Levin/Covingtom light would greatly resolve that that traffic issue.

Posted by longtime resident, a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Los Altos has a history of really stupid traffic decisions. One only need look at the mess they made at El Monte and Foothill Expressway, where they reduced the west-bound lanes on El Monte from 2 lanes down to 1 lane thereby trapping traffic in the residential neighborhood. The intent there was to force traffic to divert from El Monte onto Springer in Mountain View! Also check out N. Clarke Ave. directly across from Almond School. The traffic islands on Clarke force cars to weave into pedestrians and bikes on the street, not to mention they are an eyesore. And South Street by El Camino Hospital was supposed to have a connection to Covington Rd. via Thatcher Dr. to relieve some of the traffic at South Drive and Grant Rd, except that Los Altos blocked Thatcher, again to force traffic into Mountain View.

Posted by David in waverly, a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm

This is classic NIMBY. it'd be great to see cities working together on traffic, housing, and other Bay *Area* issues.

Yes, more homes will bring more traffic. I'd love to hear what Los Altos' alternative solution is...

Posted by Daniel Mart, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 17, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Daniel Mart is a registered user.

There will be increaased traffic either way ... a great increase. Ironically, this was a complaint of those who opposed a smaller farm on the area.

Now we all know that that argument was nonsense; this open space was an eyesore to them, and they wanted it gone. My question is, if they hated living next to open space all these years, why didn't they move?

People need to wake up and learn to be honest; not do stuff such as this that causes "them" to look bad in the long-term. If you don't like something, just say it; we're all mature human beings.

Posted by Bruce Karney, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm

222 car trips per day on Covington, if spread over 18 hours, is 12 per hour. Assuming half go east and half go west, that's one extra trip in each direction every 10 minutes, on average.

I think Covington can handle it.

Posted by Provocateur, a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2009 at 10:42 am

Well hell, now I'm gonna start using covington whenever possible...on my Harley. Count 10 extra trips per day from me starting today.
No snivelers!

Posted by Res, a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 19, 2009 at 2:59 pm

There will be an over-capacity on Grant Road. The new housing development AND the El Camino Hospital expansion will flood Grant Road with extra traffic. Time to open up more of those "veins" into Los Altos to keep the traffic flowing.

Posted by Smart Growther, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 19, 2009 at 10:33 pm

Pure nonsense on the traffic issue. Ask the city traffic engineer. At a recent neighborhood meeting, he stated that there are over 30,000 trips per day on grant. A few hundred extra will not be noticed. Just shows how silly some people are with out any facts. Its very easy to make emotional arguments. The LA council is just cowtowing to the covington crowd to make it look like they care. It will have no impact on the MV council.

Posted by Don Kensil, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 20, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Don't think Humphrey V. brought any wisdom to this discussion. Ad hominem attacks usually reveal lack of evidence and definitely reveal a lack of maturity.

Posted by Kathryn, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 20, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Is there any chance that the bus can increase the number of runs up and down Grant Road from El Camino Real to Foothill Expwy? Since I work at El Camino Hospital, and have a student at Mtn View HS, we are regular users of Grant Road corridor and would gladly use the bus if there were several buses available through out the day and evening. Think of all the churches, schools, and businesses along that corridor - there are a lot and I can imagine many needing that sort of "shuttle".

We on the MVHS Carbon Free Commute committee strive to reward students who get to school without cars, and raise awareness for those who don't yet. We would love to see more people riding bikes safely which means motor vehicles also need to be aware and help ease traffic. What would Grant Road look like if half the motorists were no longer in cars but on their bikes?!

People who move into the new neighborhood should have more public transit available, and bicycle lanes well marked and easy to use. Having the Levin road intersection tee-in with Covington could ease bicycle riding to and from that neighborhood as well.

Posted by More water, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 20, 2009 at 3:30 pm


It's a given that traffic nightmares WILL increase dramatically.

Here is another given, WATER ISSUES.

We haven't even reached summer yet, but the fears and threats of a WATER CRISES are already upon us.

Who will give up their water for these new complexes to use?

Posted by Ben, a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 20, 2009 at 3:46 pm

The city has not figured out that adding more people just adds to our problems, traffic, schools, water, and other services.

Sales Tax - GOES UP 3 POINTS EVERY ~ 40 YEARS and other tax revenues sources have not kept up with population growth. (The politicians have not had basic math – a percent is a percent, it follows inflation – there is something wrong when you have the keep increasing the percentage tax of something you buy.)

The economy of scale has not worked to make things more efficient. When will the City learn they cannot grow out of the problem of over population? Still the number of homes is small, but just adds to the HP Mayfield and other developments that will increase our problems.

Posted by A Repeat and Reformed Traffic School Graduate, a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 21, 2009 at 12:41 am

When making a right turn from Levin onto Grant Rd., please know that the painted shape to your left is to be treated as a solid island, which means cars should not drive over the island, which means, you have the entire right lane all to yourself and you need to GO GO GO.
You have the right of way. Drivers coming at you need to stay in the left lane until they pass the intersection at Levin. If there's a back up in the left lane on Grant because of all the cars waiting at the North Drive light, that's their problem. They need to wait for the light to change and the cars in front of them to go. If they do this, then should also remember not to block the intersection. Then, the left turners won't get stuck either. What a concept! Anyway, I can't say this enough. Levin Rd. to Grant Rd. drivers: The right lane is yours - take it, claim it, own it, enforce it!
Another traffic violation is you folks who are turning right from Levin onto Grant Rd., but want to jump over to the left lane. The law states that a right turn needs to be made into the farthest right lane. Do not wait for the left lane to open up and make everyone else wait behind you all the way down Levin. Turn right and go to South Drive for St. Francis, the hospital or medical offices, etc. Guess what? It's a loop. You will still get where you are going and you won't aggravate folks who are behind you wondering why the heck you don't go.
If we could all just remember to do these two small things, there would not be a back up on Levin (in either lane) causing folks to make middle of the road U-turns and unsafe passes around the guy/gal who won't go when he/she is clear.
Because of what I've experienced I look down Levin before heading that way. If there are more than 1-2 cars waiting, I go to Sleeper or Eunice and just avoid the frustration.
I think blocking off Levin will make the back up on Grant Rd. worse unless there is the same two-lane configuration at Covington that's currently at Levin and as long as the basic traffic rules are followed. If I lived on Levin, I would definitely want it blocked off
to make the street safer to live on.

I would also like to apologize to all of the drivers at Levin and Grant that I have been behind repeatedly honking my horn at or had to drive around in front of them to make the turn. I'm not trying to be obnoxious and I'm really not in a hurry, I just want you to "GO" because you can and please stay in the right lane and keep moving.
Thank you so much for your support.

Posted by Daniel Mart, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 21, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Daniel Mart is a registered user.

All the people who opposed the farm and convinced the old developer-friendly city council make me sick now.

Their only real argument was that they hated living next to the land ... even though they've alrdeady done so for many years, yeah.

One of our rich neighbors probably paid the old council off.

Posted by Roxie K, a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2009 at 7:05 pm

PUHLEASE ... how many extra car trips per day can 50+ new homes cause? Give me a break. I'd like to see what these same whiners would say if they lived in my neighborhood (not an "official" Mtn View neighborhood per the neighborhood map) and had to put up with the 1000+ homes being planned for the 38 acre Ferguson Drive area. Get a grip.

Posted by Daniel Mart, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 21, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Daniel Mart is a registered user.

One of the arguments posed to the council by those against open space was the traffic ... which we all know now by the EIR "and" this latest issue was a cop-out, and a crappy one at that.

Posted by Res, a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 23, 2009 at 10:38 pm

"Levin Rd. to Grant Rd. drivers: The right lane is yours - take it, claim it, own it, enforce it!"

Love it! This should be printed on a sign and posted at the end of Levin.

Posted by Martha, a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 24, 2009 at 12:43 pm

"Levin Rd. to Grant Rd. drivers: The right lane is yours - take it, claim it, own it, enforce it!"

Yes, I agree. I can get frustrated sitting in a long line when someone at the front is waiting until no one is coming down Grant before they turn into the right lane. (I also agree that those who are trying to get into the left lane to go to St. Francis (or elsewhere on North Drive) should not block the way, but make the turn and then turn around.)

However, it can be pretty hairy in the morning trying to "claim" the right lane, when the drivers coming down Grant have no intention of honoring the striped "island." Sometimes I hesitate when I see someone who's very obviously heading straight to the right lane at 45 miles per hour. Don't want to get creamed just because I have the right of way.

And left turns from Levin at rush hour? Fuggeddaboudit! I often turn right and then make a U-turn to head left on Grant. Pain.