Traffic Calming Vote

IMG 20110511 00178 300x225 - Traffic Calming VoteTraffic calming issues on Belwood Gateway which impact neighbors on nearby streets have been the recent conversation in this part of Los Gatos. As a followup to a recent traffic calming meeting meeting, residents on Belwood Gateway, Bacigalupi Drive and others were recently asked to vote on a proposal to block traffic from going through from Belwood Gateway to Almond Blossom. Homeowners on Bacigalupi Drive and Harwood Road are concerned that this would cause a tremendous increase in traffic and speeding, so are trying to prevent it.

We are awaiting the results of the vote. (Interestingly, it was “one vote per household” but certainly in some homes not all of the residents agreed on how to vote….)

This has been an eye-opening experience as many of us did not know, until recently, what the procedure was for getting the town’s attention regarding areas with too much speeding.

Belwood, Belgatos, Surmont area pet issues

dogs off the lawn - Belwood, Belgatos, Surmont area pet issuesBelwood, Belgatos and Surmont – we have a problem.

It’s your pets and where they do their doo doo.

People in Los Gatos love their pets.  Not all of them – residents or pets – are well behaved, though.

One neighbor of ours in Belwood who recently planted new sod in his front yard got tired of locals allowing (encouraging?) their pets to relieve themselves on his newly laid lawn and put up two signs telling them not to do it.

Another neighbor, on another street, placed graphic “no pooping” signs along one side of the yard because not only were pooches defecating there, but their owners were not cleaning up after them, either.

Dogs are usually on leashes, so it’s hard to say that their owners don’t know any better.  But what about cats who are allowed to roam freely and do what they want and where they want?  Their messes become everyone’s problem too – the owners just don’t have direct knowledge of it.

We have this issue in our front yard, where a neighborhood cat seems to love to return again and again, and the stench from its markings can be unbearable – especially early in the morning when stumbling out to get the newspaper.  (Maybe it’s to taunt our black lab, who can’t get at the cat?)  Jim periodically uses some nasty sprinkles from a company called Predator Pee (not making this up!) to keep the felines away. It works, but it, too, is smelly.  Wouldn’t it be nicer if cats only stunk up their own yards?  (Aren’t cats safer if kept indoors, too?) Continue reading

Three free summer music concert series in Los Gatos

Summer 2011 is around the corner &  now’s a great time to schedule your enjoyment of the fabulous, free musical venues which are coming our way!  Below please find a compilation of the THREE different Los Gatos free musical concert series!  Hope to see you there! (Info deemed reliable but not guaranteed – please double check the websites prior to going & always read up on the rules – things may have changed.)

Vasona Vibrations stamp (Small) - Three free summer music concert series in Los Gatos(1) Vasona Vibrations 5-7pm every Saturday June & July at Vasona Park: http://www.southbayfolks.org/vasona/ Schedule of who plays what week:

http://www.southbayfolks.org/vasona/#psched Performances are held every Saturday in June and July from 5-7pm, on the lawn near the Ranger Office, and just down the hill from the pedestrian entrance at University Ave and Pepper Tree Lane.  Referenced in the list below as VV. Please note that a fee is charged for parking within Vasona.

Music in the park 200 - Three free summer music concert series in Los Gatos(2) Music in the Park Los Gatos Civic Center campus lawn Sundays 5-7 pm from June 19 – Aug 28

Get more information (rules, date, location)

http://www.town.los-gatos.ca.us/index.aspx?nid=350

Music in the Park site: http://www.lgmip.com/ Schedule info (who plays which day) http://www.lgmip.com/miperformers.asp Referenced in the list below as MIP.

jazz logo header 200 - Three free summer music concert series in Los Gatos(3)  Jazz on the Plazz http://www.jazzontheplazz.com/ Wednesday evenings 6:30 to 8:30pm, June 22nd through August 24th. (No blankets on the lawns.) The Los Gatos Town Plaza is on West Main Street and Santa Cruz Avenue near the post office in downtown Los Gatos.  Schedule of who’s playing what: http://www.jazzontheplazz.com/jazz_artists.asp Referenced in the list below as JP.

Schedule of performers, where and when in chronological order for the free musical concert series in Los Gatos:

Date Day Series Time Performer & link (to performer’s website)
4-Jun Sat VV 5PM-7PM Scott T. Miller and the Old Shoes Blues Band
11-Jun Sat VV 5PM-7PM 10th Avenue Band
18-Jun Sat VV 5PM-7PM Tip of the Top
19-Jun Sun MIP 5PM-7PM Livin’ in the USA – A Cross-Country Music Trip
22-Jun Wed JP 6:30-8:30PM Spencer Day
25-Jun Sat VV 5PM-7PM Golden State Ramblers
26-Jun Sun MIP 5PM-7PM Foreverland
29-Jun Wed JP 6:30-8:30PM Pamela Rose
2-Jul Sat VV 5PM-7PM Kitchen Help
3-Jul Sun MIP 5PM-7PM Bruce Gwynn & Big Rain
6-Jul Wed JP 6:30-8:30PM Claudia Villela
9-Jul Sat VV 5PM-7PM Red Hot Chachkas
10-Jul Sun MIP 5PM-7PM Aja Vu
13-Jul Wed JP 6:30-8:30PM Nellie McKay
16-Jul Sat VV 5PM-7PM The Amazing Dr. Zarcon’s Breathing Machine
17-Jul Sun MIP 5PM-7PM The Best Intentions
20-Jul Wed JP 6:30-8:30PM Kendra Shank
23-Jul Sat VV 5PM-7PM Jessica Johnson
24-Jul Sun MIP 5PM-7PM Take 2
27-Jul Wed JP 6:30-8:30PM Barbara Morris
30-Jul Sat VV 5PM-7PM Celtic Heart
31-Jul Sun MIP 5PM-7PM Petty Theft
3-Aug Wed JP 6:30-8:30PM Blue Wednesday featuring John Németh
7-Aug Sun MIP 5PM-7PM The Shanks
10-Aug Wed JP 6:30-8:30PM Giacomo Gates
13-Aug Sat MIP 5PM-7PM Kiwanis Club of Los Gatos “Fiesta de Artes”
14-Aug Sun MIP 5PM-7PM Kiwanis Club of Los Gatos “Fiesta de Artes”
17-Aug Wed JP 6:30-8:30PM Monterey Jazz Festival High School All Stars
21-Aug Sun MIP 5PM-7PM Jukebox Heroes
24-Aug Wed JP 6:30-8:30PM Jack Jones
28-Aug Sun MIP 5PM-7PM Journey Unauthorized

 

Los Gatos is a fantastic place in which to live and recreate, but no time more than the summer. Enjoy!

Traffic Calming Meeting at Belwood May 11 2011

Todd Capurso runs the meeting (Small) - Traffic Calming Meeting at Belwood May 11 2011

Update May 17, 2011:

At the meeting described below, several residents complained that Bacigalupi Drive is the worst for speeders – possibly because it is so wide near Harwood Road.  Yesterday an electronic device was placed in this stretch of the road which displays how fast cars are travelling. It would be great if this slowed traffic down – thank you, Town of Los Gatos!!

Until tonight, I’d never been to a traffic calming meeting.  It was anything but “calm”!  Los Gatos Parks and Public Works Director Todd Capurso did a great job running the gathering despite strong feelings and loud voices.

Prior to tonight, there had been 2 other meetings just for residents along Belwood Gateway.  Apparently they had a large number of signers on a petition requesting that the town of Los Gatos consider measures to slow traffic down along that road, which joins up with Almond Blossom and creates a cut through to Camden Avenue.  Neither I nor other area residents were aware of the prior meetings because only Belwood Gateway residents were invited since it was that street which had requested the meeting. (Lesson # 1 of the night: if you want traffic calming measures taken in your area, get a petition signed by residents and present it to the town.)

meeting attendees (Small)(1) - Traffic Calming Meeting at Belwood May 11 2011

Since ONE of the previously proposed solutions was to partially barricade Belwood Gateway at Harwood and that would impact nearby streets, those of us in the “impacted areas” were invited to tonight’s meeting.  My family and I live on Bacigalupi Drive and we would definitely be impacted if that road were blocked, so I was made aware of this ongoing process recently.

Clearly, the issue is not just along one street, though perhaps Belwood Gateway has the biggest problem due to the “shortcut” being taken.  Almost unanimously, the 50 or more people present indicated that the problems are these:

  1. Many people DRIVE TOO FAST in the neighborhood
  2. Motorists IGNORE STOP SIGNS entirely or merely roll through them

Other issues were raised too, such as left turns onto courts which resulted in vehicles being on the wrong side of the road at the end of the turn or folks on Harwood Road having great difficulty backing out of their driveways, concerns about areas without sidewalks and all sorts of somewhat reckless driving.  Soon neighbors were discussing speeding along Westhill and other roads too.  (Also present was Los Gatos/ Monte Sereno Police Officer Sam Wonnell, who once lived in the Belwood of Los Gatos area himself. He explained that they need residents to tell them when to be present to catch speeders and those who ignore stop signs but that of course they can’t always be here.)

Sam the LG PO speaks (Small) - Traffic Calming Meeting at Belwood May 11 2011

Todd patiently recounted the chronology of events leading to tonight’s meeting and explained, over and over, that at this meeting a solution was not going to be decided, but instead what would be firmed up was simply what residents would vote on in the future.  Belwood Gateway residents would be able to vote on adding a stop sign and speed bumps.  Nearby neighbors would be allowed to vote on whether or not a “triangle” could be placed at the intersection of Harwood and Belwood Gateway.

The meeting began at 6:30 and was scheduled to end at 8pm.  At 8:05 the crowd was beginning to leave and many who remained began to speak so loudly that Todd could not hear questions being posed (nor answer without having to yell).  It was dissolving.  I left at that point.  It was nice to see so many neighbors (whom I normally see only while out walking our black lab, Bella) and to learn what the process is for requesting that traffic patterns be evaluated by the town and local residents.

tallying votes forthe ballot (Small) - Traffic Calming Meeting at Belwood May 11 2011

Now we wait for the ballots – it will probably take a month or two for them to be created and mailed out.  As for me, I’m all for more speed bumps and stop signs, but I hope that they don’t block off part of that one road…it will, in my opinion, only encourage drivers to take alternate routes.  I’d love to see traffic calmed throughout Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont.  If only civilians could give tickets!

 

Traffic Calming Meeting for Belwood Gateway

If you live near Belwood Gateway, be sure to attend the traffic calming meeting at the neighborhood cabana on Wednesday, May 11th from 6:30 to 8pm. Be on time as the agenda and discussion periods are chronological and all of it will be relevant to our neighborhood traffic patterns.

If you’d like more information, call the Los Gatos Parks and Public Works Department at 408 399-5770.

See you there!

 

Oil in Belwood of Los Gatos

Los Gatos is a great place to live, but the early explorers must have been truly thrilled when oil was discovered at Moody Gulch and later in areas that are now part of the Town of Los Gatos. A few years ago, my Live in Los Gatos blog covered the topic of the old oil pump that can be seen in a parking lot on Los Gatos Boulevard.  My better half  became intrigued by this topic, did some research and is providing a guest blog here, this time on the Belwood connection to oil. (Jim’s previous contribution was April 22nd, when he posted on Harwood Road being a meridian.)

Oil in Belwood? Guest post by Jim Handy, originally published on Live in Los Gatos

It may come as a surprise to most of us that there was oil drilling as far north as Los Gatos.  After all, that’s a southern California phenomenon, isn’t it?

Well, the truth is that there were ten oil wells in the Los Gatos area around the turn of the last century, and one of them was right here in the Belwood neighborhood.

Corrected old LG map with oil well - Oil in Belwood of Los Gatos

Old Los Gatos map showing location of oil well in Belwood neighborhood

 

A USGS map found in 2000 shows that there was an “old oil well” near the intersection of Harwood and Belridge*.  This map was drawn about 100 years ago, and there was oil exploration here as early as the 1860s, so there’s no telling when it was drilled.  In those days citizens weren’t as circumspect about telling the state what they were up to as they are today.
I’ve looked around that intersection, and have found no trace of the well, but by the time these homes were built it may have been long gone, along with any traces of its existence.

Los Gatos was not much of an oil producer.  There is no evidence of any commercial activity except in the Moody Gulch area on the other side of the summit.  The USGS says that most wells on this side of the hill were used privately.  Still it’s interesting to think that a little part of this history happened right here in Belwood!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

* Note on the map: This map shows railroad lines and trolly car lines that don’t now exist, roads with different names then the ones we know today and major thoroughfares like Blossom Hill Road entirely missing. I have taken the liberty to add a few notes to clarify the spot. Many of the numbers on the map (13, 14, 18) indicate townships and some of the straight black lines are the limits of the township and not streets. Also, the squiggly line running through most of the image is the base of Blossom Hill – the hill for which the major road was named.

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This website is provided by Mary Pope-Handy, a Belwood resident and real estate agent.

*************************

For the HOA site,
and phone numbers for the Cabana or HOA, please visit
BelwoodHomes.org


************************* Mary Pope-Handy
Belwood area resident
Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
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