The City of San Jose Department of Transportation (DOT) will be repaving Fruitdale Avenue between Southwest Expressway and Bascom Avenue. In addition to new pavement, the project will install the following improvements:
- Buffered bike lanes
- Sidewalk ramps
- Marked crosswalks
These improvements will help create a safe environment for people of all ages and physical abilities who bike, walk, and use assisted mobility devices on Fruitdale Ave. In order to lower vehicle speeds and create space for buffered bike lanes, the number of travel lanes on the street will be reduced from 4 lanes to 2 lanes. Construction is expected to occur between mid-July and late September of 2020.
Fruitdale Avenue is one of many San Jose streets that will be repaved in 2020 through the City’s Annual Pavement Maintenance Program. The repaving project is located between Bascom Avenue and Southwest Expressway. This 4-lane section of the street serves residents, businesses, schools, and medical offices in the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood, which will all benefit from a defect-free roadway.
Fruitdale Avenue has witnessed a high volume of vehicle crashes over the last 5 years. This led San Jose leaders to add the street to the City’s list of priority safety corridors through its Vision Zero program. Vision Zero is an initiative that seeks to eliminate deaths and severe injuries on all city streets by calming traffic and adding safety features for bikes and pedestrians. Shrinking oversized roads can help achieve these goals, which is one reason why DOT is planning to change Fruitdale Ave from a 4-lane to a 2-lane roadway. This treatment will also provide the needed width for buffered bike lanes. Marked crosswalks and new sidewalk ramps will also be installed throughout the project area.
The City has completed over 20 “lane reductions.” These projects require intensive data analysis and high-level review to determine what sorts of impacts the new street might have on drivers. This process was applied to Fruitdale Avenue, and confirmed that any impacts resulting from the lane reduction were acceptable when compared to the safety benefits provided through the project.
Next Steps and Your Feedback
The Fruitdale Avenue pavement project is estimated to begin in mid-July and end in late September of 2020. In July, DOT contractors will perform “prep work,” with actual paving and striping not commencing until September. DOT will continue to coordinate review of the project by community members, Santa Clara County Roads and Airports, and the Valley Transportation Authority over the next few months.