EMAIL FROM PLEASANTONVOTERS.COM
FEBRUARY 10, 2019
The Pleasanton City Council recently voted to leave one single motor vehicle lane on eastbound Owens Drive between Willow Road and the Iron Horse Trail crossing. More than 900 people had previously signed a petition requesting that more lanes be restored to eastbound Owens Drive. Despite this, the council majority supported a $90,000 software option that staff expects will ease traffic in the existing configuration during peak hours.
Councilmember Brown joined residents who wrote in or spoke against the reduction, saying that the lanes should never have been reduced in the first place. If completed as originally planned, the westbound lane will also be a single lane. Faced with more than 900 housing units that are approved or zoned in the area that will impact the intersection even further, the Council decided to revisit the issue in the future, if necessary.
City staff cited improved safety for bicyclists and pedestrians as the reason for the lane narrowing, along with a desire to create short-term retail parking for the adjacent Essex apartment complex, despite the developer’s objections. It appears that the developer was right, because the retail space remains unoccupied due to insufficient parking. Speakers addressing the safety issue expressed concerns that vehicle traffic merging from three lanes to one actually causes a greater safety hazard for pedestrians and cyclists.
The January 16 decision may have been influenced by the $1 million price tag required to rectify the plan with a widening option that would have shifted the center median north to balance traffic flow on Owens Drive at two lanes east and two lanes westbound.