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Circulation and Mobility Planning Project

Published on: 11/16/2015 10:31 AM


The Circulation and Mobility Planning Project will take a fresh look at the needs of the County road system in the context of traffic conditions and land uses for consistency with the California Complete Streets Act of 2008. The Project will take a two-prong approach by:

  • Preparing a new General Plan Circulation and Mobility element to capture the goals of the California Complete Streets Act. "Complete Streets" is a national movement to ensure that all modes of transportation: vehicles, public transit, bicyclists, pedestrians of all ages and abilities are accommodated on roads as needed. The County's updated Circulation and Mobility element already addresses this but will be fine-tuned and updated to meet the needs of the Complete Streets Act.
  • A Roads Master Plan will be developed for nearly the 600 miles of County-maintained roads, addressing development policies and standards for both public and private roads, determining future road expansion needs, and identifying Complete Streets improvements.

 The Project Fact Sheet is available here and below.

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The original project schedule called for a draft General Plan Circulation and Mobility Element to be circulated soon after the Community Meetings held in September 2014 with Board of Supervisors adoption by January 2015.  This schedule was very aggressive and based on a deadline set by a Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) requirement that all cities and counties in the Bay Area update their Circulation Elements by January 2015 to remain eligible for federal transportation funds, including road pavement money.  Many cities and counties in the Bay Area were unable to meet this schedule and MTC has now removed the deadline. 
Since October 2014, project staff has been focusing on the development of the expressway planning (North County) component of the Circulation and Mobility Element (see for more information) as well as mobility planning for various unincorporated pockets.
The revised schedule is to release a draft General Plan Circulation and Mobility Element in March 2016 with a final Element to be adopted by the Board in Fall 2016.

Based on community comments, the cross-sections have been revised and are available for viewing below.

The primary change was to remove the center turn lanes from the cross sections and widen the drainage swales.  It was never the intent to add center turn lanes along all roads but only along select road segments with closely spaced driveways and/or high turning demand (e.g., sections of Watsonville Road).  Most roads in South County will remain 2 lanes with left turn or right-turn lanes added at intersections only where turning demand is high.  The primary operational/safety improvements will be to provide 4 feet of striped, paved shoulder wherever possible for bicycle and pedestrian use.

The wider drainage swales are in response to concerns about road flooding during storm events.  The wider drainage swales are consistent with modern storm water design and have more capacity for larger storm events.  Flatter, more forgiving side slopes on these swales will also provide for safer traffic operations, reduce soil erosion, and protect the roadway section from being undercut by eroding v-ditches.

The links below show the proposed planned roadway cross sections for variations of arterial, rural, mountain, semi-rural, suburban, and urban. Understanding that each street on the County Roads System has unique characteristics, these proposed cross-sections provide a general theme of possibilities based on street-type but would be customized for application to any street based on that street’s typography and characteristics.

40’ ROW Local Roads
50’ ROW Local Roads
60’ ROW Various Roads
80’ ROW Collector – Rural
92’ ROW Collector & Arterial Rural with Trail
110' ROW Arterial - Rural with Trail
112' ROW Arterial - SemiRural with Transit


During the summer and fall of 2014, project staff presented information about the Circulation and Mobility Planning project to a variety of community groups including the San Martin Planning Advisory Committee, Morgan Hill Parks & Recreation Commission, Gilroy Bicycle Pedestrian Commission, and the Farm Bureau.  In addition, four community meetings were held:  three in South County and one in Los Gatos.  Please see below for the community meeting presentations and summaries.

Below is a list of the meeting locations and the material that was presented.  
Meeting Summary
​New Almaden ​Feb 20, 2014 ​New Almaden Presentation New Almaden Comments
San Martin
August 26, 2014
Los Gatos-Saratoga-Cupertino Area
September 8, 2014
Morgan Hill-South San Jose Area
September 9, 2014
Gilroy Area
September 15, 2014



Transcribed comments received during community meetings and via email. Click here to view comments.


  •  (Notice of Preparation - NOP)The County of Santa Clara is preparing a Program Environmental Impact Report (Program EIR) for the Santa Clara County General Plan Circulation and Mobility Element Update.  The Circulation and Mobility Element Update will include policies to support and implement improvements to the County Expressways and County Unincorporated Road System.  The Notice of Preparation includes the project location and description, a brief summary of the potential environmental impacts, and instructions for submitting written comments on the scope and content of the environmental information to be discussed in the Program EIR.  A Public Scoping Session to solicit comments for the Notice of Preparation was held at the Isaac Newton Senter Auditorium, County Government Center, 70 West Hedding Street, San Jose, CA on Thursday, June 19 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • June 19, 2014 NOP Public Scoping Session Meeting Summary (Circulation Element EIR Scoping Meeting Notes 6-19-14 Final.pdf 
  •   Comment Letters received in response to NOP.  Per state law and in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the comment period on the Notice of Preparation were due 30 days from the receipt of the posting, May 27, 2014.  The attached comments were received within the 30 day notice of June 30, 2014.