The key agenda item on Thursday's meeting of the Capitola City Council was the repair of what Mayor Mike Termini called "Capitola's busiest intersection": 41st Avenue and Clares Street.
As it stands now, the intersection, which was named one of , includes three lanes on eastbound Clares Street, all of which turn left onto 41st Avenue. Cars in all three lanes get backed up into the intersection at 40th and Clares.
The council tackled this issue and more on Thursday evening.
Here are the top five moments from the meeting:
1. Capitola Police Chief Rudy Escalante introduced Steve Anderson, the department's newest police officer.
"I'm really thrilled to be here. I just finished up my second week," Anderson told the council. "I;m really fortunate to here on here in Capitola. It was my ideal location to work after putting myself through the academy."
2. A presentation was given on the upcoming 60th Annual Begonia Festival. The presenters announced that this year's theme will be My Favorite Year: A Retrospective. They said that 10 years ago at the 50th annual festival, the budget was $15K-$20K with 30 percent of that coming from the City. This year, they said the budget is $30K-40K with just 10 percent coming from the city.
3. Two residents of Gilroy Drive presented the council with a petition signed by many neighbors in Riverview Terrace supporting the speed limit being reduced to 15 miles per hour in that neighborhood. John and Lynn's dog was killed by a vehicle driving above the speed limit earlier this year.
City Manager Jamie Goldstein then announced that Chief Escalante has already placed a radar gun there to monitor vehicle speeds and the city has pulled accident data for the area.
"We anticipate bringing this project to the council with the results as well as several options ... I think we're aiming for the first meeting in June," Goldstein said.
4. Councilmember Dennis Norton expressed desire to see discussion of a plastic bag ban on a meeting agenda next month.
5. In the public hearing concerning 41st Avenue and Clares Street, Public Works Director Steve Jesberg showed slides of the current intersection and the proposed changes. Both of those slides can be seen in the photos section above.
The council unanimously approved the following changes:
- On eastbound Clares Street, the right lane will become a straight/right turn only.
- Ten feet will be taken off of the nose of the median to make room for cars turning left from Clares Street onto northbound 41st Avenue.
- The right lane on westbound Clares Street will become no right on red.
- Signs will put up and the right lane on eastbound Clares will be painted with a stencil to alert drivers of the lane configuration change.
Jesberg said it will take about six weeks to get everything ready, but that the actual lane work should only take a couple of days to compelte.
What do you think of the changes coming to the busiest intersection in town? How about speed limits in Riverview Terrace? Anything else? Tell us in the comments!