Two speed bumps for Belwood Gateway were planned to be installed after the August Los Gatos Town Council Meeting (which followed a May 11th traffic calming meeting at the Belwood Cabaña and a vote of the affected neighbors).
The first speed hump, which was not contested, will be placed fairly close to the community pool in the area between Belblossom and Bacigalupi on Belwood Gateway. It appears that this has the resounding endorsement of the folks who live nearby.
The second speed hump did not seem to enjoy the same unanimous approval (despite the vote). The next one, along the stretch of Belwood Gateway between Bacigalupi Drive and Harwood Road, left some Belwood of Los Gatos homeowners feeling that the process wasn’t done right, that the voting should have been teased out a little differently, and that perhaps a better resolution to the speeding and volume of traffic could be found. That resulted in another meeting, which happened earlier this evening.
Todd Capurso, the Los Gatos Director of Parks and Public Works, is very good about meeting with residents to discuss concerns, ideas, feedback etc. and this was no exception. Residents who live along the block of Belwood Gateway where the second speed bump or hump was to go (about 15 households in all) were notified of a meeting that took place tonight at 7pm in front of one of the homes. (I was notified so that I could keep the rest of the community updated via this and my other blog, LiveInLosGatos.com. Jim and Bella, our aging black lab, walked me over and then after meeting a few neighbors, continued on their walk while I stayed back to see what was decided.)
Only about half of the households had members show up for this informal discussion. One neighbor who was in favor of the traffic calming speed hump asked a couple of times why the meeting was even called since the vote was clearly in favor of this measure.
The answer was that some neighbors weren’t happy, and the town wanted to make sure that everyone had a chance to be heard and to see if more discussion were warranted.
Although not everyone saw eye to eye, it was a very cordial meeting on a small scale. (This was not intended to be an all-Belwood meeting, hence no large public announcement. The people who live on this block are the ones primarily impacted so they were the only ones invited.) One neighbor felt that the two speed bumps should not have been voted together, that they were separate issues. (The “triangle” was treated separately.) I could understand her point of view although I’m not sure what she would have preferred instead of the traffic-slowing hump. We did not discuss alternate resolutions, only if the planned bump would go in or not.
Todd Capurso did take an informal poll and again the majority wanted the speed hump. They also wanted to see it placed where the painting now exists, just before the road curves as motorists are heading into Belwood and Belgatos from Harwood Road.
The resolution is that the speed bump will go in, as planned, where planned. But it is not permanent even then. It will be re-evaluated in the spring, new tests taken on traffic, and again there will be a chance to voice feedback.
It’s nice to be in a neighborhood and a town where your voice can be heard, even if you are part of a dissenting vote. And it’s nice to live in a community where people can discuss things while staying calm and allow others to provide an alternate view. Thanks for letting me attend, take a few mental notes and snap some photos of civic life on a small scale playing out.