Give us your feedback on environmental issues that you would like to see addressed in the Mary Avenue Overcrossing Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
Thank you for participating!
The second forum which was associated with the Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the Mary Avenue Overcrossing Environmental Impact Report (EIR) generated over 130 impressions and 30 responses in addition to other forms of input.
What were the Main Environmental Concerns
The greatest number of environmental concerns were expressed for Option 1 (36%) followed by Option 2 (26%), Option 3 (16%), Option 5 (13%) and Option 4 (8%).
The most prevalent issues related to traffic-related safety (23%), traffic volumes (20%), air quality (16%), noise impacts (16%), pedestrian and bike access (12%), transit ridership (10%) and other issues (4%).
What Concerns, Alternatives and Mitigations were Suggested
In relation to pedestrian and bicycle access, respondents indicated that higher motor vehicle volumes (Option 1) created less welcoming conditions for non-motorized transportation users. Respondents suggested mitigating concerns through street plantings, physical separation, safe transition treatments, connections to a wider network of facilities, and a tunnel option.
Numerous concerns were expressed regarding increased traffic volumes along Mary Avenue and their effect on difficult left turn and driveway movements, and congestion delays at Central Expressway and elsewhere. Suggested mitigations or alternatives included carpool lanes (Options 1, 2 and 3), prioritizing people over cars, encouraging use of mass transit, adding freeway on-ramps, turning Mathilda Avenue into an expressway, and widening Mary Avenue to Homestead Road.
Traffic related safety was also a big topic with concerns about increased traffic volumes, speeding and collisions in residential areas and multiple school zones along Mary Avenue (Options 1 and 2), at-grade train crossings, and poor non-motorized transportation access along Mathilda Avenue (Option 5). Respondents suggested continuous and connected facilities to the south of the project, safe linkages to the wider network, and protected bike lanes along Mathilda Avenue.
Concerns regarding air quality focused on impacts of increased traffic along Mary Avenue and near houses and schools (Options 1 and 2), as well as impacts of slow motor vehicle movements along Mathilda, Lawrence and Fair Oaks (Option 5). Respondents suggested allowing electric, hybrid and high occupancy vehicles on the overcrossing as well as plantings and transit options.
Noise related concerns were expressed for areas along Mary Avenue (Options 1, 2 and 3), with suggested mitigations or alternatives including truck restrictions, highway access via on-ramps, a tunnel option, and noise walls around neighborhoods and along the overcrossing. Additionally, concerns regarding transit ridership included speed, directness and quality of services as well as connections further north in Moffett Park. Respondent suggestions included prioritizing transit in all options (Options 1 and 2). Other issues and suggestions that were raised by respondents included requests for further outreach, information on development agreements, and information on right-of-way impacts, as concerns about architectural design, neighborhood character, and higher density development.
Most (90%) of the respondents reported living in Sunnyvale neighborhoods such as West Sunnyvale (40%), Washington Park (27%), and Downtown (13%). Half of the respondents reported working in Sunnyvale (50%) and a large proportion were retired or not working (17%). Work locations listed by respondents included Moffett Park (38%), Palo Alto or Stanford (25%), and Peery Park (19%). The survey had a fairly even mix of male and female respondents (53% and 47% respectively). In relation to race and ethnicity, 81% of respondents identified as White or Caucasian (compared to 47% citywide) and 19% identified as Asian (compared to 42% citywide). The average age of respondents was 45-49 years (compared to a citywide average of 37 years).
How Feedback has been Used
The above feedback is being considered in the refinement of design concept for each option. For example, signal phasing and bike-related intersection treatments are being considered as potential ways to enhance transitions between 2-way cycle tracks and the wider street network. Concerns regarding traffic volumes are also being examined as part of the transportation impact assessment (TIA). Staff are also using comments on topics that are not addressed under CEQA (such as speeding, safety, project cost) to develop broader evaluation criteria for consideration by the City Council. A more detailed summary of input along with full online comments will be provided to City Council for their consideration in conjunction with the Draft Environmental Impact Report.