PG&E pipeline replacement disrupts traffic

Charleston Road, Miranda Avenue and Embarcadero-East Bayshore intersection affected

Disruptions to Palo Alto traffic continue as PG&E workers inspect gas lines running beneath the city.

Charleston Road, Miranda Avenue and the intersection of Embarcadero Road and East Bayshore Road are among the affected areas.

This week, workers will replace a pipeline segment along Charleston between Middlefield Road and Alma Street.

That project is on track to meet its deadline for completion before school begins Aug. 16, PG&E said.

At the intersection of Embarcadero Road and East Bayshore Road, PG&E said it was nearing completion of excavation, inspection of corroded pipeline and replacement of a gas valve. The utility planned to start "restoration work" this week, with full restoration by the end of July.

In early August, PG&E plans to begin pipeline replacement along Miranda between Arastradero and Page Mill Road.

PG&E will explain the project at a July 31 open house at the Palo Alto Christian Reformed Church, 687 Arastradero Road. The open house runs from 4 to 6 p.m.

PG&E has established a public inquiry line for gas systems projects at 1-888-743-7431.

The pipeline-inspection program follows the September 2010 explosion in San Bruno of a PG&E transmission line. The explosion and resulting fire killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff


Like this comment
Posted by Steve Rock
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 23, 2012 at 11:48 am

Bicycle safety on Charleston Rd. is unnecessarily compromised during the construction by the warning signs placed in the bike lanes many blocks before the actual construction. This creates a hazard by forcing bikes to merge with auto traffic. Warning signs, when necessary, should not create dangerous conditions. Please put these signs someplace else.

Like this comment
Posted by Stop-Running-Red-Lights-On-Charleston
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2012 at 11:58 am

> Bicycle safety on Charleston Rd. is unnecessarily compromised

Bicyclists can ride on the sidewalk. They don't have to ride with the cars. Given how many cyclists run red lights on Charleston, along this segment--they are necessarily causing other problems with this short disruption is not likely to equal.

Like this comment
Posted by Always on Charelston
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 23, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I drive this segment 2x per day and cyclists have never been a big problem in my experiences, esp during school hours with so many crossing guards at each light.
I do see motorists speeding, making illegal u-turns, using the middle lane as a passing lane, speeding up to cut each other off when the 2 lanes go down to 1...absolute horrific behaviors, all in a multiple school zone area.
Still, I don't think we shouldn't care about motorist safety, even while so many seem to not care about it themselves. Same goes for bikes.

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Posted by Always on Charleston
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Also, I must add, the morning and afternoon traffic flow in this area seems to actually be better lately. I know most of that is because school is out, but also because the restricted lanes prevent the motoring yah-hoos from performing their usual circus driving acts.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm

This is a huge traffic hassle due to the work on San Antonio Rd., which increases the overall traffic in the area. You're hosed if you try either Charleston or San Antonio & need to get anywhere in a reasonable amount of time.

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Posted by ralph thomas
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I was biking down Charleston and Arastradero (then on Foothill) to work in Los Altos (from my house in Midtown) every day prior to the PG&E work. Charleston is no longer bikable and the sign placement really is offensive (why bother with a bike lane at all, if "bikes should just ride on the sidewalk"?)

I switched to riding along Meadow and then Maybell before going out onto Arastradero that way. It's much slower for me but with fewer cars. Additionally the Caltrain crossing at Meadow is much quieter -- most days on my ride home I would see cars stopping on the tracks at Charleston or try and race the barrier which was really stressful having seen the aftermath of such behavior multiple times before!

Once PG&E are done, I think I'll keep riding on Meadow (even though it's slower) because it's safer. (Also, I stop at all the red lights and stop signs, but I feel like I'm the only cyclist who does; maybe they call it a "California Stop" because that's what's normally done here).

Like this comment
Posted by Tester
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I'm heading down to this portion of Charleston right now, I'll report back some (almost) real time observations about the traffic when I'm back from my errands

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Posted by LiveWithIt
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 23, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Inconvenience is a small price to pay for updated pipe lines!
We complain about how maintenance on our infrastructure is lagging, then complain when it is being maintained.
Figure out alternate routes.
Go at a different time.
Be creative!

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I'd be creative if, you know, I could plan ahead. But sometimes I can't - that's life. What's the benefit of 2 major arteries having construction done at the same time? That both of them will then be done soon? That's my hope. FWIW, Charleston didn't seem to be safe for cyclists from what I could see, but maybe the sidewalk is doable- it was hard to tell.

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Posted by Tester
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 24, 2012 at 9:27 am

So I drove this section yesterday at 4pm. From Alma to almost Middlefield (Piazza's driveway) I found traffic to be unfettered. There was a single cyclist riding at about 15 mph and the car behind him provided enough room, but I can see the issue if one must ride in the road. Its only a short distance though. The biggest issue happened after the "cone zone". You would have thought a race started. About 6 cars zigged and zagged, trying to get in front of each other in the faster lane (which they all seemed to be trying to figure out). The inevitable honking and then screaming occurred as I turned into Piazza's and they all had to wait at the red light. On the way home, back into the cone zone I drove right at 25 mph. I was tailgated until Alma where I was flipped off, presumably for going the speed limit. Apologies to my fellow motorist for being such an a-hole by driving the speed limit in an active construction dare I. This sort of thing is not rare if you drive the speed limit of 25 mph on that road. For some reason, many people freak out.

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

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