Developer: 60 years ago I pleaded for stop signs
I am pleased to read that San Mateo County is addressing the issue of uninterrupted traffic on Alpine Road, particularly in the area of the Ladera shopping center, which my company developed in the early 1950s.
There is community concern for the speed of traffic on Alpine, where an uninterrupted route from the Stanford intersection to Portola Road seems to invite speed.
When we presented our plans for the shopping center 60 years ago, I pleaded for stop signs on Alpine at both Ladera entrances, at La Mesa and La Cuesta. At the time, the county staff escalated the issue by interpreting a need for traffic lights on Alpine, rather than a simple sign at those locations. The county's traffic light idea was abandoned due to the high cost.
I contend now that I was wrong at that time in my recommendation: I believe that the only traffic control on Alpine that is required is a single stop sign for each direction at the entrance to the shopping center, the place where most of the merging traffic occurs and where higher speed seems to be invited by the absence of constraint.
The solution to the conditions that exist today is the installation of one stop sign each way on Alpine Road at the intersection of the Ladera Shopping Center main entrance.
The financial implications of the decisions before San Mateo County — and the taxpayers — are staggering. Pursuing the idea of stoplights means a capital outlay of half a million dollars — plus the continuing high expense of servicing the stoplight system, versus posting the stakes and signs at a few hundred dollars and no future maintenance.
The result of having a stop sign at each direction at the entrance of the shopping center will be an economical improvement to the safety on Alpine Road, in addition to keeping Ladera's more natural appeal.
Ryland Kelly developed and lived in the Ladera community for 50 years and recently moved to Woodside.