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Foothill Expressway to get safer for local residents


SAN JOSE – The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted today to develop a Foothill Expressway Pedestrian Sensors and Mast Arms Installation Project.

The pedestrian sensors, to be installed at five intersections on Foothill Expressway (Arastradero Road, W. Edith Avenue, Main Street, Springer Road/Magdalena Avenue & Grant Road), will detect when pedestrians are actually in the intersections. When the sensor detects a pedestrian within the crosswalk, more walk time is added if the pedestrian requires it. The sensors will be installed above the pedestrian signal heads and aimed inside all crosswalks crossing Foothill Expressway.

“Smart technology like this protects our more vulnerable residents, like seniors, children, and people with disabilities who might need a few extra seconds to get safely from one side to the other,” said County Supervisor Joe Simitian (who represents the area). “Adding more time for residents who need it to get across the Expressway safely is just plain common sense, and the good news for drivers in a hurry is that they won’t be slowed down unnecessarily because the technology adjusts automatically.” 

Also included in the project is the installation of traffic signal poles with mast arms at the intersections of Foothill Expressway and Main Street/Edith Avenue. The existing poles currently do not provide overhead signal heads that hang over the vehicle lanes. The new poles will have mast arms that extend over the lanes, improving the visibility of the signals and improving the overall safety of the traveling public.

“Road safety is and should be a top priority at the County,” said Simitian. “My hope and expectation is that by creating safer pedestrian crosswalks we will make travel safer not only pedestrians, but for drivers too.”

"This is a smart investment by the County in the safety of kids and community,” said Board Trustee President Lorien Cunningham, Cupertino Union School Board. “Many students must cross the expressway on their way to and from local schools, and prioritizing resources for continued evaluation and improvements focusing on the safety of these crossings in our community is key.”

Work on the project is scheduled to begin in September.