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November 8th Council Meeting: BPTS Committee recommendations for a pedestrian safety study and proposed improvements at Portola/Corte Madera intersection

Post Date:11/06/2017 11:00 AM

Message from Town Manager, Jeremy Dennis:

On Wednesday, November 1st, the Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Traffic Safety Committee (BPTS) met and discussed pedestrian safety improvements and residents who shared their concerns about pedestrian and traffic issues.

As you may know, for the past two months Mayor Craig Hughes, Ed Holland, Chair of the BPTS, Howard Young, Public Works Director, and I have been visiting intersections throughout town that have heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic, particularly around school hours. Specifically, we visited Portola Road/Corte Madera/Brookside, Indian Crossing/Alpine Road, and Corte Madera/Alpine Road to observe first-hand the interactions between vehicles and pedestrians. We were joined by parents at some of the school intersections and we also heard from a number of residents via email and telephone – thank you for your adding your voice on this important issue. We plan on visiting additional intersections in the next month.

Earlier this year, the Town applied for a County Bicycle and Pedestrian related grant to study pedestrian safety at key intersections in Portola Valley. Unfortunately, we were notified a few days ago by the grantor that our application was not recommended for funding. Since the Town’s grant application was declined, at the upcoming Town Council meeting on Wednesday, November 8th, staff will present the following two recommendations from the BPTS as well as the short and long-term improvements listed below (link to full staff report):

  1. To consider the request for a Pedestrian Circulation and Safety study and direct staff to develop and seek proposals for a consultant to conduct the study.
  2. To consider traffic improvement recommendations for the Portola Road and Brookside/Corte Madera Area.

For Portola Road at Brookside/Corte Madera area. Improvements that can be performed within the next several months by staff or with additional Council approval to be considered include:

  • Aggressive tree and vegetation trimming/removal to increase sight visibility.
  • Increased Sheriff presence to enforce entering road shoulder violations. (currently being performed)
  • In street crossing “PEDS XING” sign at the crosswalk on the centerline similar to the one on Portola Road at Grove.
  • Consider traffic striping improvements at Portola and Corte Madera Road to facilitate vehicle turns onto Corte Madera Road. 
  • Consider installation of short gravel road shoulder between Corte Madera and Brookside Road for users to get off pavement where needed.

Establishing a partnership between the Town and Schools in support of effective crossing supervision:

  • School Crossing Guard and placement of cones along the edge of travel way. This is a school-funded initiative and staff will engage with the Portola Valley School District and Woodside Priory on next steps.

Long-term improvements that will be folded into the study, if approved, to determine feasibility:

  • Potential new rapid flashing beacon system to replace existing crosswalk lights.
  • Consider moving the existing crosswalk to the South side of the Portola and Corte Madera Road intersection.

Finally, we'll be visiting more intersections in the next several weeks, including Golden Oak/Alpine Road, Portola Road at the new Windmill School, and Shawnee/Iroquois.

Thank you again for your comments and engagement, and I hope that you will continue to contact the Mayor, Ed, and me with your concerns. Hope to see you at the November 8th Council meeting.

For questions or comments, please email me at


Jeremy Dennis
Town Manager
650-851-1700 Ext. 215

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