Suggestions to Improve Willow Glen Road Diet

San Francisco sign to Parking Garage June 2016

Although the pro-Road-Diet faction is distributing a handout declaring success, the controversy is still very active indeed here in Willow Glen.  The San Jose City Council will discuss making the Road Diet (“Lincoln Avenue Pilot Project”) permanent at their 28 June 2016 meeting. Please join me there if you want your voice to be heard on this contentious local issue.

Good news is that the Willow Glen Neighborhood Association (WGNA), one of the loudest advocates in favor the Road Diet – which has not held a WGNA Board meeting in over a year in violation of its own By-Laws and the California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation code 600b – has just scheduled a meeting for tomorrow night (23 June 2016: 7:00p.m. – 9:00p.m., at the Willow Glen Public Library Community Room, 1157 Minnesota Avenue, San Jose).  This is the first community meeting on the topic since 18 June 2015.

Note after publication: The WGNA changed their 23 June agenda to take off discussion of the Road Diet.

What Next?

John Plocher and I have been discussing what our own recommendations are in response to the unhappy Road Diet feedback we have heard this last year from local business owners.  The five categories of problems I described in my 17 June 2016 post are:

  1. Traffic safety and speed
  2. Parking
  3. Bicycles
  4. Delivery Trucks
  5. Community Trust

Of these five, parking is the biggest concern to local businesses (and the problem least addressed) in the current Road Diet improvements.  I was in San Francisco yesterday for a business meeting and noticed not only how many public parking garages there are (in addition to many private garages and lots) but how excellent the signage is to those parking garages (see photos).  On Lincoln Avenue, we have one public parking lot with minimal signage (behind the Bank of America building on Lincolnshire Way).  Several of the business owners I interviewed said that their customers did not know about this one parking lot.

Comparisons:

  • Willow Glen’s central business area on Lincoln Avenue is 0.7 miles long (from Minnesota to Willow) with one public lot.
  • University Avenue in Palo Alto, where the central business area is 0.8 miles long (from Middlefield to Alma), has at least seven public parking lots and multi-storey garages.
  • Downtown Campbell lists ten parking garages and lots for their downtown.
  • Murphy Avenue in Sunnyvale is surrounded by large parking lots – including the lots for Macy’s and CalTrain.

Proposal!

  1. If there were at least two multi-storey parking garages on Lincoln Avenue, it would change the dynamics of traffic significantly for the better and would eliminate many of the problems of the Road Diet.
    • Additional public parking would make it easier for Lincoln Avenue lunch customers t0 get in and out – helping to reverse the current drastic reduction in lunch traffic described by so many business owners.
    • More parking would reduce traffic by the number of cars circling to find parking, and would help to keep Lincoln Avenue customers from parking on neighborhood side streets.
    • Getting cars off the street would also make more space for trucks to park for deliveries.
    • Public parking structures would also include more Disabled Parking Zones.  As you can see from my diagram, there are few Blue parking spaces on Lincoln Avenue now – and none from Lincolnshire to Willow.  There are Blue parking spaces in private parking lots – all clearly marked with signs saying some variation of  “Customer Use Only” (some of the lots have private guards to keep out non-customers).
  2. Add more and better signage to parking.
  3. Two areas to consider placing new multi-storey garages on Lincoln Avenue:
    • The fenced and empty dirt lot at Willow and Lincoln, across the street from Willow Glen Town Square
    • Behind the Bank of America building (which I understand was recently sold), where part of the lot is now available for public parking

Multi-storey garages need not be ugly: the structure at San Jose Airport decorated with artful hands is a good example of civic art combined with parking.

Lincoln Avenue Diagram

Lincoln Avenue Willow Glen San Jose CA June 2016 parking

San Francisco sign to Parking Garage June 2016

Lincoln Avenue parking sign at Lincolnshire Way Willow Glen June 2016

San Jose Airport Parking hands art July 2012

Welcome to Willow Glen sign San Jose CA June 2016

Click here to see the entire Willow Glen Road Diet Series.

Images Copyright 2012-2016 by Katy Dickinson

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2 Comments

Filed under News & Reviews, Politics

2 responses to “Suggestions to Improve Willow Glen Road Diet

  1. Pingback: Willow Glen Neighborhood Association Revived | KatysBlog

  2. Pingback: Lincoln Avenue Road Diet, Pokemon Go | KatysBlog

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