Almanac

News - March 19, 2014

Woodside School crosswalk: Delays anger mayor

by Dave Boyce

Political pressure from Sacramento is being brought to bear as the town of Woodside seeks authorization to upgrade a crosswalk in front of Woodside Elementary School that crosses Woodside Road, a state highway.

Town staff have asked state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, to intercede on Woodside's behalf, Town Engineer Paul Nagengast told the Town Council on March 11.

The town submitted a plan for the crosswalk to the California Department of Transportation for consideration and approval in 2012, the idea being to get the crosswalk ready for the start of the 2013-14 school year. Approval came too late to finish the work before school began, so the town tried for the 2014-15 school year, but with modifications.

The modified plan, submitted in late 2013, adds a lighted warning sign, shifts one bike lane and narrows traffic lanes to make room for a pedestrian path, re-stripes the crosswalk and reworks the drainage.

Caltrans' approval in time for the 2014-15 school year is now looking like it might, once again, be too late. Woodside changes to its plans pushed it to the back of the line, behind some 45 other agencies and their proposals, Mr. Nagengast said. Thus the turn to state representatives for assistance.

"If this doesn't get done this year, I think we should all resign," an angry Mayor Dave Burow told the room. He then suggested that the town move ahead on its plans without waiting for Caltrans. "Nobody else wants to follow the law anymore. We should do what we want." he said heatedly. "I'm being a little dramatic here, but it's bordering on the ridiculous."

Mr. Burow chided the staff for its reworking of the plans. "We kept polishing and polishing and polishing and now we're going to miss the window, it looks like," he said. "This is a project I've asked you about every month for the last year. That's why I'm angry."

Reimbursement by the federal government to Woodside of up to $194,000 would be at stake if the town acted on its own, Mr. Nagengast said. Caltrans authorization is necessary when federal funds are involved.

Councilman Dave Tanner suggested physically paying a visit to the Caltrans District 4 office in Oakland. "Go in the office and hang out," he said. "Just go in there and be obnoxious."

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields