Santa Clara: Pruneridge Avenue road diet at risk

From Betsy Magas regarding Pruneridge Avenue between Pomeroy Avenue and Tantau (i.e. the Apple Spaceship campus) in the city of Santa Clara, California:

Pruneridge Avenue Santa Clara road diet area

The city of Santa Clara is having another neighborhood meeting Monday night about traffic on Pruneridge.

Pruneridge already sports a road diet in Santa Clara, from Pomeroy to the Cupertino city limit — exactly the stretch described in this notice. The neighbors there are furious about it, because it “causes” traffic. Few of them ride a bicycle, of course. It does make for a messy merge where the vehicle lanes are reduced, and apparently a lot of people drive and park in the bike lane, which neighbors feel is dangerous.

Some residents say they feel like they need more room for cars here to make this street safer.

The Pruneridge-Hedding-Berryessa corridor is in VTA’s bike plan as a cross-county bicycle corridor, a fact which likely escapes both the unhappy neighbors and most of the city council and planning commissioners. Personally, I’d like to see the Hedding buffered lane extend to the San Jose border at Winchester (which I believe is planned if not yet in progress) and the Pruneridge lane extend east to meet it. If nothing else, it would eliminate the merge, because there would never be the extra lane.

The green lanes which represent the on-street extension of the San Tomas Aquino/Saratoga Creek Trail also end up at Pomeroy and Pruneridge.

Santa Clara could soon be a dangerous and unpleasant missing link in what has the potential to become a very good bicycle corridor.

Please attend if you live or commute near there, to help balance the conversation so city reps and neighbors hear bikes’ side.

01/30/2017 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location:Central Park Library
2635 Homestead Road
Santa Clara, California 95051

See also Gary Richards discussion of extending a Pruneridge road diet to Hedding Street in his “Mr Roadshow” column in the Merc News: Will pedestrian’s death put Pruneridge Avenue on a road diet? Richards notes: “A traffic study in 2013 on Pruneridge found that the road diet had cut collisions in half, more than tripled weekday bicycle traffic, and cut weekday car traffic by 5 percent.

I can totally see why the people who live on Pruneridge hate having less cut-through traffic and fewer traffic collisions on their street. (That was sarcasm)


  1. To be clear, adding bike lanes to Pruneridge has been in Santa Clara’s Bicycle Master Plan since its last revision in 2009. When the stretch of Pruneridge from San Tomas to Kiely was repaved recently, it was slated to be repainted with bike lanes. Due to the public outcry, though, Public Works was directed to repaint the original striping, ignoring the 2009 Bicycle Master Plan.

    The west-east connection to Hedding would realistically only be made possible if on-street parking was removed east of Winchester, and I don’t see that gaining public approval.

    I was planning to go to the meeting since the library is across the street from me, but sadly opted to stay inundated with my work load and hit a deadline, sorry. Would love to hear how it turned out (was going to pop up some popcorn to watch the entertainment).

  2. Keeping the road to two lanes will encourage Apple employees to use Cupertino access going to work and coming home.

    Opening up Pruneridge from two lanes to four immediately before Lawrence and reducing it from four lanes to two lanes immediately after crossing Lawrence is crazy. Everyone is fighting to get in front of the pack before it’s reduced again; drivers are getting hostile.

  3. Hi John, the initial stretch was implemented during scheduled road maintenance and restriping, and it was supposed to be extended in phases, based on the maintenance schedules. Now that the city has (apparently) decided not to adhere to the 2009 Bike Master Plan and implement Pruneridge as a strategic east-west bike route connection to San Jose’s Hedding, perhaps it does make sense to reconsider that bottleneck. I do agree with you it’s dangerous there; I just this morning had an Audi pass me on the right doing close to 50 to beat me to the lane drop as you say. I suspect it will not be undone, though, because as you know the police are in favor of it, and the council believes it helps pedestrians (and joggers 😉 cross the street at Maywood Park. And who knows, maybe the drop in speeding citations that SCPD points to is because they’re not actually ticketing speeders anymore… certainly seems that way around here these days!

    At SC BPAC there have been discussions of neighboring roads that make more sense for this bicycle route, with the right calming. To me, that’s where bike advocates should focus more time and effort, now that we’ve essentially lost Pruneridge bike lanes anyway (I’ll still take the lane like I do on Benton and Kiely anyway, and hopefully not wind up RIP).

    I still think they need to get rid of the slip lanes, but Santa Clara County will never allow that traffic backup on Lawrence on their watch – complete streets be damned.

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