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By Tim Hunt

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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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45 mph or 55 mph on Stanley Boulevard...read on

Uploaded: Apr 24, 2013
When it came to the seemingly obscure subject of whether roads should be considered structures, the Pleasanton City Council was faced with a battle between neighborhoods seeking to avoid traffic on their roads.
The public hearing, which took place on two nights and dragged out to more than six hours, drew standing-room-only crowds to the City Council chambers.
On one hand, Ventana Hills residents argued that roads were not structures, a position that allows the existing plans of no extension of the road through their neighborhood to the eventual development of the second phase of Lund Ranch. If roads became structures, the hillside protections in Measure PP that voters approved in 2008, could have prevented the planned access road through the Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek neighborhoods.
In the end, common sense prevailed and roads (infrastructure) were not declared structures, reversing a truly poor decision by the Planning Commission.
This decision, for long suffering folks living on Sycamore and Alisal roads, this decision leaves open the possibility of a bypass road serving the Callippe Preserve Golf Course, something that has been on the city books since before the course opened in November 2005. Of course, the city does not have the resources to build that road without some development taking place on the Spotorno Ranch, a family operation that dates back to the 1800s. It includes some substantial slopes that make locating the road, even without Measure PP, quite a challenge.
Changing gears: the East Bay parks district has hit on a good idea.
I have long been troubled by the agency's relentless drive for more and more acres of open space land without any regard of whether it could manage it or open it to public access.
The decision to offer modestly priced van rides to the top of Pleasanton Ridge for folks who are not physically capable or choose not to walk up the vertical climb of 1,600 feet is an excellent one. It is creating access to some amazing views and wonderful landscape for a broader range of the community.
Good call. Same goes to the folks—thanks Erlene DeMarcus—for improved restrooms at the staging area.
One other good idea: as the seemingly interminable process of rebuilding, landscaping and improving Stanley Boulevard between Livermore and Pleasanton dragged on, the powers-that-be experimented with 45 mph speed limit signs.
When the new road with its substantial landscaping (irrigated with recycled water from the Livermore sewage treatment plant) was formally opened—the slower speed limit signs had vanished and were replaced signs reading 55 mph.
Wise decision—one I suspect was driven by speed surveys. All of the improvements made the road safer for travel and reducing the speed limit made no sense. Government agencies must take the surveys on roads patrolled by radar to determine the average speed motorists are travelling.

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