Alma Street sidewalk/curb project starts Monday

Traffic impacts expected as federal stimulus grant will replace curbs, gutters, ramps from A north

A "concrete rehabilitation" project along Alma Street in south Palo Alto will begin Monday (Aug. 9), funded by a $209,000 federal stimulus grant -- resulting in weekday traffic slowdowns in sections of the northbound lanes.

The work will continue in sections until mid-October, city officials announced Tuesday afternoon.

The first phase will install new curbs and gutters from Alma Plaza to Colorado Avenue, including repair of driveways and sidewalks, according the Linda Clerkson, communications manager for the city.

Street corners will have new concrete curb ramps installed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, she said.

Starting Aug. 16, the right, northbound lane will have overnight closures in 500-foot sections. A different section will be closed each Monday at 9 a.m. and remain closed until Friday at 4 p.m. The closures are for safety reasons and to prevent cars from driving on the new concrete curbs and gutters along the narrow lane, Clerkson said.

Closures will start at El Verano Avenue and move north to Colorado Avenue. All lanes will be open during weekends, she said.

People with questions may call Public Works Engineering at 650-329-2501 or e-mail

The project is officially called the City of Palo Alto's Alma Street Concrete Rehabilitation Project, with funding from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

-- Palo Alto Online staff

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Like this comment
Posted by jardins
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 5, 2010 at 2:22 pm

This renovation will be very nice for pedestrians and residents, but I wish that the slow northbound lane of Alma between Meadow and Oregon Expressway (at least)would be resurfaced first--driving in that lane is a boneshaking experience and therefore many drivers resort to the fast lane instead. This has been going on for years.

Like this comment
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 6, 2010 at 6:21 am

It is not by accident that roadways like Alma have bad road surfaces. It has been the practice of Transportation Departments to keep road surfaces uneven deliberately to SLOW traffic down.

Have you tried to drive on San Antonio between H.101 and Middlefield. It is so uneven with tree roots protruding though the roadbed that if you drive fast you'll burst a tire.

Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm

The driving lanes on Alma are terribly thin...and the roads are horribly bumpy. Over the past two years, I have seen several wrecks (including flipped vehicles).

It would be nice to have good roads in a community that prides itself on being so "modern." Driving on Alma Street makes me consider what it must have been like to drive a horse-drawn carriage over wagon roads.

In addition, I live right off of Alma. I hear big trucks hit certain indentions on the road and it makes me think that there was a horrible collision!

Please do something to improve a road that is so busy in our community!

If, as Slow Down suggests, this is done on purpose by CalTrans -- then some urban planners in the state need to go back to school. Why should Palo Alto drivers be stuck with a road from the "dark ages" of vehicle transportation?

Like this comment
Posted by agree with slow down
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm

The lanes on Alma are too narrow to support the faster car speeds that would happen if they smoothed out the road. If they do ever repave the road, they had better add a lot of new stop lights at the same time to keep the traffic speed under control.

Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 9, 2010 at 10:59 am

I would rather have nicer roads with a few more stop lights than a $1000 bill for car repairs.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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