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 Palo 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

Installation of the irrigation crossings from Clemo Avenue to Cherry Oaks Place, is scheduled to begin Monday, 12/17. Lane closures, noise and traffic delays are to be expected between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for this work. This Detour Plan provides details on the construction work area and detours.

Terman to Clemo Irrigation Crossing Detour Plan – In Effect 12/17


Irrigation crossings along Arastradero from Gunn High School to Terman/Donald Drive is scheduled to begin Wednesday, 1/2. Lane closures, noise and traffic delays are to be expected as noted in the Detour Plans.


Gunn to Terman Irrigation Crossing Detours - In Effect 1/2

Phase 2

Lane closures, noise and traffic delays are to be expected for construction work during the construction hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the intersections of E. Charleston Road and Wright Place, Mumford Place, Carlson Circle, Nelson Drive and Middlefield Road. 


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:

 Upcoming Construction

Construction Notice Flyer


Phase 1 Upcoming Work

Construction of the curb ramps from Clemo Avenue to Georgia Avenue are scheduled to begin in January. Lane closures, noise and traffic delays are to be expected between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the Clemo Avenue to Donald Drive work. Lane closures, noise and traffic delays are to be expected between 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for the Willmar Drive to Georgia Avenue work. The linked Detour Plans provide details on the construction work area and detours and will be updated with dates when available.

Drilling and pouring of the street light foundations located at the intersection of Miranda Avenue and Arastradero Road is anticipated in the upcoming weeks. Lane closures, noise and traffic delays are to be expected between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for this work.


Storm drain manhole work at Cherry Oaks Place is currently on hold. Lane closures, noise and traffic delays are to be expected between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for this work. The linked Detour Plan provides details on the construction work area and detours.

Cherry Oaks Storm Drain Detour Plan

Phase 2 Upcoming Work

Please see Project Status for work currently in progress.

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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