Phase 1 of Neighborhood Traffic Safety & Bicycle Boulevard Projects

  • Project typeTraffic and Transportation


Project Description

Phase 1 of the Neighborhood Traffic Safety & Bicycle Boulevard (NTSBB) Project represented a significant step towards Palo Alto’s vision of a system of neighborhood bicycle routes that provide continuous, low-stress on-street bikeways with travel time and safety improvements to support a growing number of commuters choosing to ride a bicycle for transportation. For pedestrians, the project added several crosswalks (including some with art installations), improved sightlines at intersections, and created more inviting cycling conditions in the street which means fewer bicycles riding on city sidewalks. Neighborhood traffic calming also makes Palo Alto’s residential communities less desirable as short-cuts for regional commuters and enhances the community’s quality of life. These improvements incorporate many suggestions developed through the City’s Safe Routes to School's partnership with the school district, parents, and students.

Many intersections underwent significant redesign with curb extensions to moderate vehicle speeds and create safer, more sustainable streets. The project included two traffic circles, new/refreshed crosswalks throughout, chicanes (in-street islands), slotted speed humps, curb extensions, medians, and ADA curb ramps at crosswalks. 

In-street chicanes with new street trees have been installed along Ross Road, providing both traffic calming, shade, and neighborhood beautification. Landscaping was also included in many of the curb extensions project-wide, in addition to green stormwater infrastructure which reduces the amount of urban stormwater pollution that enters the San Francisco Bay.

Bicycle roadway markings such as sharrows and bicycle boulevard legends, as well as wayfinding signage, help define routes and orient cyclists and pedestrians to local institutions and regional destinations. Green paint is used sparingly to indicate important conflict areas and increase the visibility of cyclists where needed.

Scope of Work

  • Roadway Markings & Wayfinding: Refreshed crosswalks, sharrows, bicycle boulevard legends (stencils on the road), and signage to identify routes and orient cyclists and pedestrians to local and regional destinations
  • Traffic Calming Features: Speed humps, curb extensions, in-street chicanes, raised crossings, raised intersections, traffic circles, and roundabouts to moderate speeds, improve pedestrian visibility, and encourage yielding to pedestrians
  • Green Stormwater Infrastructure: Bioretention in the form of landscaped curb extensions to collect urban stormwater runoff and reduce and clean its flow before entering San Francisco Bay
  • Decorative Crosswalk Installation on Louis Road at Amarillo/Fielding
  • A new shared-use path connecting to Ohlone Elementary School 

Project Status

As of 2021, NTSBB projects are on hold pending the development of a Citywide Community Engagement plan.

NTSBB Phase 1 was partially constructed in 2018. 

It is discussed in this blog post from January 8, 2020: Palo Alto Bicycle Boulevards Update.

It was also discussed in a staff report that went to the City Council meeting on February 24, 2020. This staff report contains an evaluation of the data and community feedback that led to recommendations for modifications of the existing project and a path to move forward with pending bicycle boulevard projects.

The City Council held a Study Session on June 12, 2018 to hear from the community about Phase 1. A resulting informational report from the City Council meeting on July 30, 2018 includes responses to community questions.

Upgrade of the existing Ellen Fletcher Bryant Street Bicycle Boulevard was to be included in Phase 1 along with new bicycle boulevard roadway markings, wayfinding signing, two raised intersections, and several traffic circles.

Upcoming Meetings

There are no meetings currently scheduled.

Project Documents

City of Palo Alto Bicycle + Pedestrian Transportation Plan(PDF, 19MB) (Adopted July 2012)
NTSBB Project FAQs (PDF, 613KB)
NTSBB Project FAQs (with pictures)(PDF, 1MB)


 NTSBB Phase 1 map(PDF, 54KB)