By Khalida Sarwari
More final touches were made last month to a project that, once completed two years from now, will revamp Hacienda Avenue into a “green street.”
On Nov. 20, the city council took several actions to move the Hacienda Avenue Green Street Improvement Project a step further to completion, such as approving the final conceptual design, which includes a linear parkway, bike lanes and sidewalk along the entire length of the road.
The council also approved the Hacienda Avenue Green Street Public Street Improvement Standard as the standard for future public street improvements in that area. Lastly, the council voted to authorize city engineer Michelle Quinney to prepare documents for the dedication of public right of way and to prepare a notice for property owners who would like to dedicate public right of way for the installation of street improvements in accordance with the project.
With the council’s approval, the project will now enter the final design phase, which is set to last until spring 2013, said project manager Fred Ho.
“We’re also working with other stakeholders like utility companies and the VTA,” he said.
The project last went before the council at a study session in August. After years of being stalled due to insufficient funding, it appears the city has secured enough grant money to move forward with the $4.2 million project. Funding has come from a variety of sources, including a Proposition 84 grant, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, VTA’s community design and transportation program and the city’s street pavement management program.
Planning for the project began in 2007. The goal, according to Quinney, is to ultimately transform Hacienda Avenue from Winchester Boulevard to San Tomas Aquino Road and rehabilitate the pavement in an environmentally sensible way, make the street narrower and promote alternative modes of transportation and community interaction.
The project entails making traffic and pedestrian improvements, highlighting transit routes along the road, adding bike lanes and managing stormwater runoff from the streets by having it percolate into groundwater rather than going down a storm drain and directly into the bay.
Another goal of the project is to add more sidewalks and reduce the roadway heat island effect by reducing the amount of asphalt pavement.
The city is expected to be in the bid award phase by next fall. There may be some utility relocation prior to construction, which is anticipated to begin in winter 2013 and take about a year.