San Jose: Non-auto transportation improvements for Winchester south of I-280

The city of San Jose, CA will hold a community meeting to discuss potential non-auto transportation projects in the area around Winchester Boulevard and Williams Road. Williams is located south of I-280 about midway between Stevens Creek Boulevard and Hamilton Avenue.

San Jose Reserve Apartments community meeting


The 215 residential units at the Reserve Apartments at the corner of Williams and Winchester will be demolished and replaced with 650 new residential units and 8,000 square feet of retail space. Surface parking will be mostly replaced with a two-story underground parking structure under the housing and retail space. A traffic impact analysis determined this project will have significant and unavoidable “Level of Service” impacts to three major intersections in the vicinity of this project: Winchester & Stevens Creek; Monroe & Stevens Creek; and San Tomas at Moorpark.

Fixie boy San Tomas @ Williams

No mitigations to “improve” traffic flow on Stevens Creek are possible, so the developer is required to pay a traffic impact fee, which the city of San Jose will use for projects to enhance non‐auto travel modes in the area affected by the project. Neighbors will be asked to provide suggestions on improvements not already on the list and then prioritize the transportation projects.

Existing conditions

West Side San Jose is locally known for it’s dearth of good bicycle and pedestrian access. The map below shows hot spots for collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists. I’ve drawn red circles around some of the worst areas, which include Winchester Boulevard, parts of Stevens Creek Blvd and Saratoga Ave, and intersections along San Tomas Expressway.

San Jose District 1: pedestrian and cyclist collision hot spots

I don’t highlight them in this map, but of 11 pedestrian or cyclist fatalities between 2005 and 2014 in West San Jose, four occur on I-280. People risking their lives to run across a busy freeway are a pretty good indication that existing pedestrian crossings are exceedingly sucky. Another two fatalities occurred where the Cypress Avenue bike bridge across I-280 dumps out onto Moorpark Ave.

I-280 pedestrian overpass

East-West access between West San Jose and midtown/downtown across I-880/Highway 17 in this vicinity is across Stevens Creek Boulevard, on Forest Avenue between Valley Fair Mall and O’Connor Hospital, or on the Westfield/Downing bike bridge. Even with its recent improvements, Stevens Creek over I-880 is fairly ugly.

Forest has less traffic but still requires assertive lane taking, while the bike bridge can involve a mile and a half of additional riding, depending on your start and destination.

Planned bike facilities for this area

I don’t know (yet) what specific projects the city will ask about, but bike lanes are planned for these streets in the vicinity of this Reserve Apartments project:

  • Winchester Boulevard, between Moorpark Avenue and Payne Avenue.
  • Cypress Avenue, between Williams Road and Moorpark Avenue.
  • Moorpark Avenue, between Williams Road and College Drive.
  • Monroe Street, between Newhall Street and Tisch Way.
  • Tisch Way, between Winchester Boulevard and Monroe Avenue.

Seven Eleven at Winchester

The consultant hired to perform the traffic analysis also suggests modifying the traffic signal and lane configurations at the Winchester Boulevard and Williams Road intersection, including the removal of the traffic island on its north approach to increase pedestrian crossing safety.

The city of San Jose “Envision 2040” General Plan identifies Winchester Boulevard as a “Grand Boulevard,” and Impala Drive has been designated as a Grand Boulevard within the Envision 2040 General Plan. Grand Boulevards are intended to serve as major transportation corridors with priority given to public transit. Given that the project fronts Winchester Boulevard, the project is required to implement the following Grand Boulevard design principles:

  • Provide a minimum 15 feet sidewalk width along its frontage on Winchester Boulevard.
  • Minimize driveway cuts to minimize transit delay. Coincidentally, minimizing driveways also improves cycling safety.
  • Provide enhanced shelters for transit services.

Attend the Community Meeting March 15 to learn more

The public are invited to a community meeting to discuss how to use this project’s traffic impact fees for bicycle and pedestrian projects. The meeting begins 6:30 PM on Tuesday, March 15 2016 at the Winchester Room of Winchester Mystery House, 525 S. Winchester Blvd. City staff will present a list of potential transportation improvements that will improve and/or enhance non‐auto travel modes in the area affected by the project. Neighbors will be asked to provided suggestions on improvements not already on the list and then prioritize the transportation projects. 

Muốn biết tin tức bằng tiếng Việt Nam về tờ thông tin này, xin quý vị liên lạc Lara Tran ở số (408) 793‐4337.

Para información en español acerca de esta solicitud, comuníquese con Elizabeth Zepeda al (408) 535‐7868.


One comment

  • Mark
    March 8, 2016 - 10:41 am | Permalink

    I used to live in this area (I lived near the corner of Winchester and Williams), and commuted to work near the corner of Lawrence and Central Expressways.

    One issue is that they are looking at Winchester – which a smart cyclist will not use – I used Monroe to commute most of the way through this area, Monroe runs parallel to Winchester and has much less traffic. Improvements to the Monroe bicycle corridor that I would propose would be:

    The overpass/tunnel which gets over 280 is clearly designed for pedestrians – there is no provision to make a left turn from Moorpark onto this bicycle route, The overpass itself has a bollard at the bottom of the ramp, and dumps the cyclist onto a sidewalk with no easy way to transition onto the road. As you continue north, crossing stevens creek is not bicycle friendly and the new exit from 880 onto monroe makes this alternate route worse than it was.

    Another potential parallel route for bicycles is Cypress, but the pedestrian overpass there is even worse than that at Monroe.

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