Traffic solutions on the horizon


Lily Bakour

During the morning drop-off, cars build up and form a traffic jam on the way out of school.

Lily Bakour, Staff Writer

Imagine a world where traffic in the morning takes half the time it does now.

Carlmont, Tierra Linda Middle School, Belmont City Council members, and San Carlos City Council members have all been working together for more than two years to try to solve the problem of traffic on Alameda de las Pulgas and San Carlos Avenue.

David Braunstein, the mayor of Belmont, said, “Many different ideas about possible plans were brainstormed, but the boards are seriously considering a roundabout, which we are getting closer and closer to executing every day.”

A series of roundabouts would replace the stop signs on Alameda and Chula Vista Drive, enabling the traffic to flow more constantly.

Belmont Director of Public Works Afshin Oskoui said, “We would need to expand the width of the road and possibly reconfigure the area in general.”

Tierra Linda is looking into donating some of its land so that the roundabouts will have more space and be safer for students getting dropped off.

Senior Amelia Armstong said, “There’s bad traffic right after school getting out of the Scots Gym parking lot because a lot of kids are crossing in the only space there is for cars to exit, so it’s frustrating on both sides.”

According to Oskoui, the Carlmont exits at the intersection could be closed, and a driveway could be opened on Alameda, allowing a lane and sidewalk on the Tierra Linda side to open at Dartmouth Avenue. This will enable the school to have two entrances — one from Alameda, and an additional one on Dartmouth, allowing more cars to come in and out of the area at a faster pace.

The traffic issue in the morning is certainly no secret, and officials are trying to make the plans for changes on the roads as open to the public as possible.

Since the process of changing the roads structurally takes years of planning, Braunstein predicts that it will not happen within the next couple of years.

As a possible structural solution is on its way, more immediate ideas to handle traffic at the moment would be to educate the public and encourage carpools, walking onto campus, and investing in crossing guards.

All four boards that are working to fix the problem are accepting new ideas and suggestions here.