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What Are the Worst Traffic Intersections in Los Altos?

Click the 'add' button to place your choice to our map.

Most drivers have an intersection they love to hate. Maybe it's one with a left turn signal that does not function properly, or one with a large traffic back-up. Some are just annoying, while others are downright dangerous.

What do you think is the worst intersection in Los Altos?

Mark it in the map—you can zoom in as close as you like—and tell us why in the comments.

Be as colorful as you like, describe almost-fender-benders, places where you've seen problems repeatedly.

Jen April 17, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Edith at University has a lot of accidents, though I doubt many are reported to the police.
L.A. Chung (Editor) April 17, 2012 at 04:28 AM
I know that I regularly see El Monte Ave and Foothill Expressway on the police log. I'll mark that, too.
K.Gabrielle Tiemann April 17, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Homestead by Trader Joes.kgt
Andrea Eaton April 17, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Main and Second -- it can be a long wait to turn onto Main St.
A W April 17, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Gabilan and El Monte. Many drivers are headiing West on El Monte toward Foothill Expressway and are focused on that light and run the red light at Gabilan because they are looking at the Foothill Expressway traffic signal. This same thing happens at Edith and Foothill Expressway. Many red lights are run there.
Bill Crook April 17, 2012 at 03:06 PM
The traffic commission developed a rubric for ranking Los Altos controlled intersections on ped/bike safety. The rubric uses a number of factors including 10 years of crash history, ped/bike counts, etc. To see the most current list, go to the 2/28/2012 Council agenda packet - http://los-altos.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=452&meta_id=26292
L.A. Chung (Editor) April 17, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Indeed, data doesn't lie, though it is only as good as the reporting of the incidents to the police. The rubric has been brought up in City Council meetings, and it would be good for all residents to take a look Bill Crook's timely link and think about it from their own experiences.
Jennifer Lopez April 19, 2012 at 04:11 PM
The intersections of Grant Road, Homestead Road and the entrance to the Trader Joe's Parking lot are a mess. There are more near-misses and more incidents of road rage than anywhere else in Los Altos.
Bill Sheppard April 20, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Miramonte at Covington. Bring on the traffic light!
JohnD April 20, 2012 at 01:52 AM
One of the very worst is Truman Avenue at Fremont Avenue. This is an intersection used by students and parents to access the Mountain View High School property, which is close by. Truman is a wide street and should have lights and sidewalks on at least one side, to keep students out of the way of cars, and vice versa. The Fremont at Truman intersection needs a light as a huge number of people try to turn left towards the 85 Freeway, while a long steady stream of traffic comes from both directions and is partially view obstructed by the middle trees. This is dangerous intersection that is said to be in the "top 5" accident producing intersections in Los Altos.
L.A. Chung (Editor) April 20, 2012 at 09:39 PM
@JohnD: I'm guessing that these traffic issues are heavy in the morning, when you have students en route to school and residents of the neighborhood heading out to work? I've gone through this area a lot in the late mornings and afternoons, and don't encounter these kinds of problems. I'll take a look at the Traffic Commission's rubric more closely.
JeffJ April 24, 2012 at 11:07 PM
I am a long time resident of the Fremont avenue area and have observed the traffic patterns. Like everywhere, there is traffic during peak time but it moves. The delay during the highest traffic time is 5 minutes. It seems that the complaints about congestion during a very small time window that can be resolved by better personal time management (leave 3 to 5 minutes more time) or alternate routes. People in a hurry cause the accidents, not the simple unobstructed intersection mentioned. I don't think the City of Los Altos should be spending money that it does not have on modify intersections because of individuals are in a hurry to exit the city or pass -thru because it is supposedly quicker than another route. Please review the hard facts and the affect on the city's environment before advocating spending money on more concrete, traffic lights and cutting trees because some individuals do not have the patience to wait a few minutes. The traffic flow needs to be corrected by addressing the cause of the problem (more day cares facilities, kindergarten schools expanding and restriction of other routes redirecting traffic to Fremont). Any change to the existing roadway and traffic would come at too high of a price in dollars and affect on community environment. Let’s all have patience and try to preserve our rural roots because this is one of the main reasons we all love Los Altos.
L.A. Chung (Editor) April 25, 2012 at 07:13 AM
The city has a plan to rework this one a bit, and put in a light. I don't know whether it will improve flow, but the owner of the Foothill Crossings shopping center is not thrilled with the prospect of a light here. It might start construction this summer: http://patch.com/A-qS8b
Kitty Uhlir April 25, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Portland and Grant. With traffic going to the hospital, Blach, Mountain View High, and the St. Francis rear parking lot, including a large number of bicycles, it is impossible to turn left from Portland onto Grant in the morning.
Kitty Uhlir April 25, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Enough problem interesections to fill up several meetings of the Traffic Commission for years to come!!! Too bad it's being eliminated. Instead, we will have a Planning and Transportation Commission, which will be filled with people more interested in land use than in traffic.
JS April 26, 2012 at 04:13 PM
No, open up the back of the school and Eastwood Drive to school drop off like they used to be. A traffic light is just going to make people drive faster on Covington.
Kim Lepesh May 06, 2012 at 05:08 AM
A traffic light will also make people drive faster on Miramonte, and when traffic backs up due to a red light, cars will re-route to side streets to avoid the wait. We should be concerned with student safety at this intersection, and no studies have been provided to show that safety at this intersection will be improved with a traffic signal. This is being pushed by people who falsly believe that traffic congestion will be improved with a light. Safety first! Speed kills! When was the last time you sped up for a stop sign? Think about the kids, not the seconds that you falsely assume you will save traveling through this intersection during the 2 hours per day there is an traffic back up.
L.A. Chung (Editor) May 06, 2012 at 05:40 AM
The city had a design meeting scheduled May 10 for a proposed light at the Miramonte & Covington intersection, but it was postponed very shortly after it was announced.

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