Issi Romem and his family often use the Stevens Creek Trail to walk downtown on the weekends, and his children love Creekside Park, according to the Slater resident, who sometimes takes Caltrain to get to his workplace in San Francisco.
"The neighborhood's within walking range of Caltrain, and within a short commute of my wife's job. It's also a shade more affordable than some other nearby neighborhoods," Romem said while naming the reasons for his choice to move into the neighborhood bounded by Highway 85, Central Expressway, North Whisman Road, and East Middlefield Road.
"The proximity to downtown Mountain View and Creekside Park, as well as the shopping center at Middlefield and Whisman are definitely pros. Since moving here, I've become familiar with the regulars at every Starbucks in a 5-mile radius. We also like Roger's Deli and the local Hobee's," he added.
The family moved to Slater in the summer of 2014, and the neighborhood has hardly changed since then, Romem said.
By contrast, Kenneth Williams has seen tremendous changes in the past 64 years he has lived in Slater. It only cost him $24,500 to buy a big house near Creekside Park, and his house is now 117 years old, the 90-year-old veteran said.
"Central Expressway wasn't here; Highway 85 wasn't here. The Stevens Creek Trail hadn't been built. Middlefield was half gravel. Gladys Avenue used to be all the way through," said Williams, when describing the Slater neighborhood six decades ago.
Slater started going through a sharp increase in population about 15 to 20 years ago, and the growth has been the most rapid in the past five years, according to Williams and his wife, Marty.
"It's progress, I guess," said Marty. "There are bound to be changes."
Even so, the neighborhood has retained much of its original Western-style character in terms of architecture, according to the Williamses.
The elderly couple expressed deep concerns about the traffic on Easy Street. They said many cars coming out of Central Expressway drive too fast and hardly stop at the stop sign at the intersection of Easy Street and Gladys Avenue.
The Williamses suggested putting up a traffic light at the intersection to prevent accidents, especially given Creekside Park is located on one corner of the intersection.
"Every day we see women pushing their babies' strollers or taking their children across Easy Street to go to the park," Williams said. "We worry about their safety."
That's what happens during non-rush hours. When it's rush hour, traffic gets backed up from East Middlefield Road half way or even all the way up to Gladys Avenue, Williams said.
"When they kept building more houses in the neighborhood, they didn't consider how much traffic the housing developments would bring," Williams added.
Traffic is also of concern to Romem, though he likes the neighborhood's quick access to Highways 85, 101 and 237.
"The commute to San Francisco is miserable, whether you take Caltrain, drive to Daly City BART or drive all the way into the city via 101 or 280," said Romen. "But commuting within the area is reasonable. The easy access to 101 is very convenient, especially on the days I am too late to park at Caltrain."
While recognizing the traffic issue caused by overpopulation, Romem believes there needs to be more new housing to keep housing prices from skyrocketing.
"Many people must leave if they want to make ends meet, and others avoid moving here for the same reason," said Romen. "Single-family homes should give way to more townhouses, condos and apartment buildings. The more, the better. Sooner rather than later."
"A cluster of new homes called Apricot Commons was built on Easy Street during the three years we've lived here. That is a step in the right direction, but not nearly enough," he added.
To this day, homes in Slater are generally one- or two-story buildings. Apartments are no taller, hidden behind lush trees.
Fernmar Apartments at 210 Easy St. is one of the largest apartment complexes in Slater. It consists of 42 units, all one-bedroom apartments. The monthly rent is $1,755. Currently, it has no vacancies, according to property manager Thomas Martin.
CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS: CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS:== German International School of Silicon Valley, 310 Easy St.; Kiddie Academy, 205 E. Middlefield Road; NASA Ames Child Care Center, Moffett Field;Google Daycare
FIRE STATION: No. 4, 229 N. Whisman Road
LOCATION: bounded by Hwy. 85, Easy Street, Central Expressway, North Whisman Road, East Middlefield Road
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION:Robert Rich, president, [email protected]
PARKS: Whisman Park, Easy Street and Middlefield Road; Devonshire Park, 62 Devonshire Ave.; Creekside Park, 200 Easy St.
POST OFFICE: Mountain View, 211 Hope St.
PRIVATE SCHOOLS: German International School of Silicon Valley, 310 Easy St.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Mountain View-Whisman School District: Huff, Landels or Monta Loma elementary schools, Crittenden Middle School;Mountain View-Whisman School District Mountain View High School
SHOPPING: strip mall on Leong Drive; retail centers on Middlefield Road and Whisman Road; downtown