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The soundwall on Bayshore at Loma Verde is Ugly

Original post made by ugly, ugly, ugly on Oct 15, 2008

One word, ugly.

Comments (25)

Posted by Donald, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Aren't all sound walls ugly? Anything special about this one?

Posted by bikes2work, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2008 at 9:31 pm

This one is supposed to have a public art element that consists of "road signs" that are directed at wildlife. Have the signs been installed yet?

Posted by You asked for it, a resident of Community Center
on Oct 16, 2008 at 12:01 am

The local residents got what they asked for, they wanted a sound wall so quit complaining.

Posted by Say What?, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 16, 2008 at 1:32 am

Bikes 2 Work -

I love it!

A concrete sound wall with a "public art element that consists of (road signs) that are directed at wildlife".

I could make a dozen jokes over that one!

That area is full of graffiti - there are enough "road signs" directed (and done) BY the wildlife in this city.

Check out Greer Park.

Posted by Driver, a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 16, 2008 at 9:12 am

The road signs for wildlife are a distraction to drivers, I found myself unwittingly assuming they were road signs for me to adhere to and I was distracted from my driving trying to work them out, until I realised......

Posted by Mom, a resident of Duveneck School
on Oct 16, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Once the grafitti artists get to it, it will be really, really ugly. For now, it blends in as much as a wall can. There should be a camera to keep the vandals away.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 16, 2008 at 3:00 pm

As someone who likes to walk along Loma Verde quite often, I used to enjoy looking over the freeway and seeing the Bay and the hills and not notice the noise too much from the freeway. Now we approach Bayshore and see signs telling us we are on a flightpath (?) and road signs telling us to maintain our altitude? What were they thinking?

Posted by ugly, ugly, ugly, a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 17, 2008 at 9:18 am

This ugly soundwall has been built with the "artwork" and the flight path signs previously attached. This means that the wall has been assembled in its final condition (or half assembled as the work is not completed). On closer inspection, I note that the condition of the new wall has been made to look old with variations in color to make it look established rather than new.

I know sound walls are not the most pleasant thing to look at, but the soundwall further down Bayshore beyond Greer Park has interesting brickwork and green climbing plants which is much more pleasant than the ugly eyesore being installed.

Maybe when it is finished we should include it in Destination Palo Alto as the ugliest soundwall around and expect all and sundry to drive along Bayshore just to look at the wildlife signs.

Posted by MidtownMom, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 17, 2008 at 12:55 pm

What does the flight path mean anyways?

Posted by but seriously, a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 17, 2008 at 5:41 pm

I just drove by the soundwall. I don't see that it is worse than the yucky, dilapidated chain link fence thta was tehre before, and it vertainly does some good. If vines were planted to grow up the side it wouldn't look bad, just innocuous.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2008 at 6:44 pm

Those of you who have said it isn't too bad, I wonder which side of the wall you are looking at. I haven't seen it from the freeway side, but the signs are hideous on the Bayshore side.

Posted by Palo Parent, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 17, 2008 at 7:26 pm

Resident: Maybe it's installed backwards?

Posted by Palo Verde Resident, a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 22, 2008 at 12:43 pm

I also think it is strange...but all the comments just gave me a good laugh! Especially about the one asking if the wall was installed backwards! Maybe birds can read!

Posted by North Palo Altan, a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Oct 29, 2008 at 8:27 am

Whoa! I thought the wall on the freeway side kind of blends in, but I just drove by the Bayshore side, and you are right! It IS crazy looking! I laughed as I remembered people on this forum complaining about the animal road signs on it. It is distracting and they should have just left it blank.

Posted by JSD, a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 29, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Related tangent: Anyone else noticed how poor visibility is now at the intersection of Loma Verde/Bayshore (site of the sound wall-in-question)? I predict accidents here, as it is very hard to see cars coming both directions while waiting to make a left turn from Loma Verde onto Bayshore.

Posted by Driver, a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 29, 2008 at 10:33 pm


I agree that it is very difficult at present to see other traffic approaching from the left regardless of whether I want to turn left or right. There is an orange fence which hopefully will be moved at sometime and that may help. But, there is also too much foliage which blocks the view. If you want to see better, the instinct is to move further forward, but in fact that is dangerous as most traffic coming northbound wanting to turn into Loma Verde cuts the corner.

I am surprised that an accident hasn't already happened. At least the soundwall blocks the view of traffic on the highway which made visibility worse at night as you could see the lights but it was hard to tell if they were from the highway or Bayshore.

Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 30, 2008 at 1:10 am

I saw the sound wall after this thread started and, yeow, it really is ugly. Yes, it was an old chain link fence before, but beyond that and the freeway there was a rather nice view of the Bay lands and the East Bay hills. Now, it's this stumpy green wall. Blech.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2008 at 12:49 pm

I was just wondering how much extra for the cost of the sound wall did this so called art cost? Our City is spending a lot of money lately on ugly art as well as other suspect issues, but there are still potholes and there is still plenty of other places this money could have gone.

I have no real objection to the soundwall as I feel sure that the residential development needs it to sell the homes, but the art? I would rather have a plain soundwall that ivy could grow on rather than this very distracting set of signs that we have to look at. Hopefully the ivy will grow and cover it up quickly.

Posted by Palo Verde Resident, a resident of Palo Verde School
on Nov 11, 2008 at 1:44 pm

I will say this, although the signs on the wall seem and look odd, I live on Kenneth Drive and I think it is muffling some of the 101 highway noise...too bad they didnt extend it all the way down south Fabian!

Posted by but seriously, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 11, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Let's have a contest on which Palo Alto art is the ugliest! I am having trouble deciding between the hideous doll with a face in its stomach that used to scare my kids when they were little, and the car at an angle with legs. I'm sure there are others, but for me those (prominently displayed on well-traveled streets) are worse than the sound wall.

I remember when the paintings of life-sized people (and aliens) went up in Palo Alto and they were awesome. I loved the whimsy.

Posted by Loma Verde resident, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 30, 2008 at 4:08 pm

Yes, there is something fishy about this wall. Are we sure that it is the city that built it, or did the developers across the street just build it without public comment? I certainly never saw any. The wall has remained unfinished for 2-3 months now. The bike path is still blocked with the concrete barrier, and even if (or when) the barrier is removed the bike path is now too narrow to ride safely. The "chicane" that has been built at the end of Loma Verde is dangerous - it is in the path of traffic but has no reflectors or indicators that the road straight in front of you now has a curb in it. And, last by not least, who could possibly believe that a wall with "preinstalled" graffiti was a good idea? Birds can't read - the only apparent purpose of the signs is to discourage people from complaining about the wall by trying to fool them that it is good for wildlife. The smooth-painted wall is unlikely to grow creeping plants. What a disaster - who was it that approved this travesty? Take their jobs!

Posted by Ugly, ugly, ugly, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 30, 2009 at 5:16 pm

This soundwall that we are stuck with, that blocks our view of the Bay and distant mountains is one thing. We still however have the concrete barriers which narrows the southbound lane and destroys the bike lane, as well as the orange fence which reduces visibilty for cars coming out of Loma Verde. The curb on Loma Verde is a traffic hazard, particularly in the dark as there is no signage of road narrowing for exiting cars which is particularly hard for cars trying to turn right.

When will this intersection, ugly as it is, be finished?

Posted by Ugly, ugly, ugly, a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 4, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Presumably, the work here has finished.

We now have a concrete barrier before the soundwall making it very difficult for bikes to ride in the bike lane - in effect the bike lane has gone.

We also have big signs on the development which is blocking visibilty for cars exiting Loma Verde.

I am waiting for the first accident to happen as a result of these "improvements".

BTW, one of the signs on this development advertises Gunn High School. This development is within the Paly boundary, not the Gunn boundary!

Posted by Ugly, ugly, ugly, a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 4, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Correction, I should have said a metal barrier before the soundwall not a concrete barrier.

Posted by So much ugliness in town, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Who designed it?
and who approved it?

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