Charleston / Arastradero Corridor Project

Charleston/Arastradero Corridor

Project Description
The 2.3-mile Charleston-Arastradero Corridor is a heavily used, residential- arterial road, serving as an east-west connector for the southern section of Palo Alto. Among other things, it services 11 K-12 schools, several parks, shopping centers, community centers, senior living facilities, and a library. Trial striping was done on a temporary basis several years ago and will now become permanent. The final phase of the project includes the installation of landscaped medians, curb extensions/bulb-outs, enhanced bicycle and pedestrian improvements, and traffic signal modifications consistent with the existing striping/roadway configuration.

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Project Map

Scope of Work
  The overall objective of the project is to address the needs of nearby residents and the surrounding community who have requested an improved corridor with more moderate vehicle speeds, safer conditions, and various vegetation improvements to enhance the aesthetic quality of the corridor and treat stormwater.  
  The goals and benefits of the Charleston-Arastradero Corridor project include

Enhanced safety for K-12 students walking and biking to school and other corridor users;


Smoother traffic flow along the corridor;


Beautification of the streetscape; the project will add approximately 80 trees, shrubs, groundcover, grasses, and bioretention plants throughout the 37,000 square feet of landscaped elements.


Landscaped medians will improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists from users making abrupt lane changes and dangerous turns. Pavement markings will help a driver’s awareness of pedestrians and bicyclists. To further protect bicyclists, the corridor will have a dedicated or buffered bike lane. More details on the streetscape improvements included in the project can be in the project FAQs.

Another key component of the Charleston-Arastradero Corridor Project is the upgrade of traffic signal equipment for increased controllability of signals. An adaptive traffic control system will also be implemented as a part of this project. It will optimize signal timings which will improve traffic flows. In addition to traffic signal modifications, a new traffic signal will be installed at Louis/Montrose and E Charleston Road.

The Charleston-Arastradero project has been in the works for almost 15 years with significant stakeholder outreach and community engagement.  The City Council approved the concepts for the corridor in 2015, and the Architectural Review Board approved the landscape plans in 2017. Federal grants fund part of the project, which requires a phased construction approach. Phase 1 includes the corridor section Arastradero Road between Foothill Expressway to Clemo Avenue. Phase 2 includes corridor section of West Charleston Road from Alma Street to Middlefield Road. Phase 3 of construction will be the remaining sections of the corridor between Los Palos Avenue to Alma Street and Middlefield Road to San Antonio Road.


In March 2018, the City hosted two open houses for the public to view the changes and learn more about the project and construction. City staff and consultants were available to answer questions. On May 21, 2018, City Council reviewed staff’s recommendation to approve construction contracts for Phase 1 and 2 of the Charleston/Arastradero Corridor Project.

On July 14, 2018, O’Grady Paving temporarily marked the streets with proposed concrete work, so the community could drive proposed improvements on the side streets. The City has been evaluating each of the intersections and has made changes appropriate based on community feedback.

Intersections that have design changes are:

  • Terman/Donald: northeast corner of Donald will be slightly reduced
  • Pomona: bulb-outs have been reduced by a foot on both sides
  • Coulombe: bulb-out has been reduced and an addition of dedicated right turn lane onto southbound Arastradero
  • Carlson: northeast corner radius has been reduced to accommodate larger vehicles/shuttles

After further community feedback, City staff reevaluated all intersections on the project and have made the appropriate changes. This document describes the process and locations of the bulb-out modifications.

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Upcoming Meetings

There are no upcoming meetings. Please check back for updates.


Previous Meetings


May 21st  Council Meeting

City Council reviewed staff's recommendation to approve construction contracts with O'Grady Paving for Phase 1 and 2 of the Charleston / Arastradero Road Corridor Project.

8 p.m. (estimated start time) - Meeting Agenda

Council Chambers, City Hall, 250 Hamilton Avenue

March 27th – Open House at Gunn High School

The public was invited to learn more about the project and staff were available to answer questions.

6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Staff Lounge, Gunn High School

March 29th – Open House at Hoover Elementary

The public was invited to learn more about the project and staff were available to answer questions.

6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Multi-purpose Room, Hoover Elementary

Project Status


NOTE: Dates shown below are subject to change due to unforeseen field conditions, inclement weather, and unforeseen circumstances.


Phase 1

Drilling and pouring of the street light foundations located at the intersection of Miranda and Arastradero is currently on hold. The contractor will be preparing for this work on Thursday, 3/21 by boring conduit underneath the street. Noise and traffic delays are to be expected between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for this prep work. This Detour Plan shows details on the construction area.

Miranda Streetlight Detour Plan - In Effect 3/21


Traffic signal pole installation is scheduled to start Monday, 2/25. The work will take place at the intersections of Gunn High School, Terman/Donald, and Coulombe. The contractor will start at the intersection of Gunn High School and work their way east along the corridor. Lane closures, noise and traffic delays are to be expected between 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for this work. The detour plans below provide details on each work area and the associated detour.


Gunn High School Intersection Detour - In Effect 2/25

Terman Intersection Detour - In Effect 2/25

Coulombe Intersection Detour - In Effect 2/25


Asphalt patching of cracked street areas is scheduled to start Monday, 3/25 for all of Phase 1 from Miranda to Los Palos. Lane closures, noise and traffic delays are to be expected between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This Detour Plan shows a typical setup for the operation as well as the special case at Ynigo Way.


Asphalt Patching Detour Plans - In Effect 3/25


Phase 2

Traffic signal pole installation is scheduled to start Thursday, 3/14 at the intersection of Carlson Court and Carlson Circle. Following Carlson Court/Circle, traffic signal poles will be installed in order at the intersections of Nelson Drive, Middlefield Road, and Alma Street. Lane closures, noise and traffic delays are expected to between during school hours at Carlson Circle/Court and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at all other locations. The Detour Plans below provide details on the construction work areas and detours.


Carlson Traffic Signal Detour Plan - In Effect 3/14

Middlefield Traffic Signal Detour Plan - In Effect 3/18

Nelson Traffic Signal Detour Plan - In Effect 3/15


Asphalt patching is scheduled to start Tuesday, 3/27 for all of Phase 2 from Alma to Middlefield. Lane closures, noise and traffic delays are to be expected between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This Detour Plan shows what detouring will be expected.


Asphalt Patching Detour Plans - In Effect 3/27


Installation of irrigation on the north and south side of Charleston is scheduled to start Monday, 2/11. Lane closures and traffic delays are to be expected between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This Detour Plan provides details on the work areas and detours.


Irrigation Installation Construction Areas - In Effect 2/11


Other Projects on the Corridor

Multiple City departments currently have other projects in construction that affect the corridor. Additional information can be found on the respective project pages:

Phase 3 Communications will be performing work in the Phase 1 limits starting Monday, March 18. The project is expanding CenturyLink's fiber optic network and upgrading the communications infrastructure in Palo Alto. This Project Map shows the path of work.


Hillview Expansion Project Map - In Effect 3/18

 Upcoming Construction

Construction Notice Flyer


Phase 1 Upcoming Work

Street resurfacing is anticipated to begin on Wednesday, 4/08. Lane closures, noise and traffic delays are to be expected between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The contractor will be grinding and preparing the street on the weekdays and then, paving on Saturdays. Typical detour plans and a work plan will be provided when available.


Phase 2 Upcoming Work

Please see the Project Status above for construction status.

Project Documents
"" Frequently Asked Questions - Charleston / Arastradero Corridor Project
  Charleston-Arastradero Corridor Revisions - September 7, 2018
  May 21, 2018 Staff Report ID# 9111
  Public Art Commission Staff Report: Charleston / Arastradero Corridor
  Project Storyboard Postcard
  Final Project Plans and Cut Sections
  City Council Staff Report #6070 (09-28-2015): Charleston-Arastradero Corridor Project
  Planning & Transportation Commission Staff Report #5690 (04-29-2015): Concept Plan Line Approvals for the Charleston/Arastradero Corridor Project
  65% Set of Layout and Planting Plans 
Architectural Review Board
"" July 2018 Formal ARB #3 Staff Report #9376
  Public Outreach Material for Architectural Review Board (ARB) Meeting - July 2017 (18 MB)
ARB Staff Report ID# 8073
Alternative Species for Plant Palette for Underground Utilities
Tree Conflicts with Underground Utilities
Environmental Documents
"" 2004 MND
CEQA Addendum
County Notice of Declaration
NEPA Clearance
Contact Information
  Public Works Engineering Services Division
   Project Manager: Holly Boyd,  

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