City of Santa Clara "Road Diets" on Pruneridge westward toward the New Proposed Apple Campus
Posted under: General Area in Santa Clara, Traffic & Public Transportation in Santa Clara, In My Neighborhood in Santa Clara | December 10, 2011 12:00 AM
The City of Santa Clara has completed implementationi of its "Road Diets" on Pruneridge and Monroe. These so-called "Road Diets" are the cities roadway lane reductions from 4 through lanes down to 2 through lanes with a two-way center left turn lane on Pruneridge Avenue from Pomeroy Ave to Lawrence Expressway and westbound Monroe from Scott Blvd to Los Padres Blvd. The City of Santa Clara has also "road dieted" Pruneridge Ave from Lawrence Expressway westward to Tantau Ave to connect new bicycle lanes to existing bicycle lanes in the City of Cupertino.
Road diets become feasible when streets operate at less than 50% of the capacity they were originally designed to carry. For instance, Pruneridge Ave was two lanes in both directions but the traffic was fairly quiet west of Pomeroy and west of Lawrence, so the city decided to reduce those sections of Pruneridge to just one lane in each direction.
West of Pomeroy, motorists can pull into the new center two-way left turn lane and wait for a gap in the traffic before completing their maneuver. Unfortunately, no such center lane exists east of Pomeroy. Therefore, parents who drop off their Eisenhower Elementary kids at the tennis court have a harder time now to turn left out of the tennis court parking lot. With the old arrangement of two lanes in each direction, parents only needed to wait for a red light at Pomeroy to turn left onto Pruneridge Ave. Now that the city has reduced the westbound lane to a single lane, the line of cars at a red light at Pomeroy now often stretches far past the tennis court exit. Parents now have no choice but to wait until they finally have a courteous drivers heading west on Pruneridge who is courteous enough to let them onto Pruneridge.
The city trumpets these changes as positive, stating that having only one lane of conflicting traffic as opposed to the original two lanes, makes it easier to see whether backing out of a driveway is safe.
In conclusion, we'll have to wait until the new Apple campus takes shape and is functional before judging whether these recent changes to Pruneridge Ave were good or bad.