In the nearly twenty years my family has lived in the Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose, California, we have enjoyed shopping and eating on The Avenue (Lincoln Avenue between Minnesota and Willow) several times each week. We often walk from our home near the Tamien CalTrain station to Lincoln and back – about 3 mile round trip. Recently, several of us have being playing Pokémon Go as we walk. My son Paul is our family expert and advisor on all things Pokémon. The Lincoln Avenue area is particularly rich in pocket monsters and PokéStops!
On 28 June 2016, the City Council approved proceeding with the Road Diet (“Lincoln Avenue Pilot Project”). Since then, there has been much road work and many changes on Lincoln Avenue. The 28 June 2016 City Council Synopsis for Agenda item 6.1:
6.1 Lincoln Avenue Pilot Project Report.
Recommendation: Accept the Lincoln Avenue Pilot Project Report, and support the
plan to pave and stripe Lincoln Avenue in the current pilot configuration, implement
minor traffic signal improvements at the Minnesota/Lincoln intersection, and traffic
calming improvements in adjacent neighborhoods. CEQA: Exempt, Section 15301(c),
Existing Facilities and Section 15304(h), Minor Alterations to Land, File No. PP16-063.
Council District 6. (Transportation)
The memorandum from Council Member Pierluigi Oliverio, dated June 27, 2016, was approved as follows:
- Accept traffic and sales tax reports provided by Staff.
- Accept Staff recommendation to make the current lane configuration
permanent in July.
- Accept Staff recommendations for further improvements on neighboring streets verified by the Department of Transportation (DOT) data.
- In the event that monies for improvement are depleted, DOT Staff is
welcome to fund improvements out of the District 6 Office Budget ending December 31, 2016.
- Return to Council with an amendment to the existing ordinance that bans bicycle riding on downtown sidewalks, with an exemption for pre-teens and propose expanding the area to include Lincoln Avenue between Coe and Minnesota. This would minimize conflicts with pedestrians, strollers and canine companions now that bike lanes are permanent.
Changes I have noticed since June on Lincoln Avenue include:
- Addition of “bump out” eating area for Tac-oh! restaurant (1384 Lincoln Ave. at Minnesota) – creating a seating area in what used to be parking spaces.
- Upgrade of street light at Lincoln / Minnesota.
- Addition of “Willow Glen” branded racks – for bike parking.
- Slurry seal over existing paving (not a full repaving), with new road markings such as cross walk lines, bike parking signs, and arrows in turn lanes.
- Addition of small statues in the existing planter boxes.
Most of these are welcome changes; however, the five categories of Lincoln Avenue problems associated with the Willow Glen Road Diet, described in my 17 June 2016 post largely remain unresolved:
- Traffic safety and speed
- Too Little Parking
- Bicycles on the sidewalk
- Delivery Trucks parking in the turn lane
- Community Trust
Parking continues to be the biggest concern to local businesses (and the problem least addressed) – parking both for private cars and for trucks trying to make deliveries.
I am delighted that so many local treasures – like the US Mail Delivery Mural, Chase Bank mosaics, and the Pizza My Heart surfboards – are now Pokémon Go landmarks. The PokéStops help players notice some of the charming details of our neighborhood downtown and make walking The Avenue even more fun. I still wish that we could resolve some of the persistent larger problems during this time of cosmetic enhancement.
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Images Copyright 2016 by Katy Dickinson