SAN RAMON -- Neighbors, worried about the future of their sycamore trees, are expected to show up in force Tuesday to hear city engineers' new plan for Bollinger Canyon Road.
The original plan called for the cutting down about 80 mature, leafy sycamore trees that line the road. The trees were set to be cut down in June but that was nixed when residents flooded city hall in opposition.
Neighbors will get a chance to hear the findings of an analysis by city engineers on what to do with the road during a city council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The meeting site has been moved from City Hall to the larger capacity Dougherty Station Community Center, 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road, in anticipation of a big crowd.
"We're expecting a packed house," said Todd Erickson, a Vista Pointe Homeowners Association board member who helped organize the opposition.
"Not one single sycamore trees gets the ax," he promised.
Bollinger Canyon Road is slated for road improvements due to several crashes into a chain link fence that separates the sidewalk from the eastbound lanes between Alcosta Boulevard and Canyon Lakes Drive.
In March, the council approved a $ 1.1 million project to widen the eastbound lanes by four feet to give drivers more recovery room between lanes and provide a buffer area between vehicles and the fence.
The plan entailed removing the sycamore trees in the median and replacing them with about 50 smaller trees. Shortly before
In response, the council tasked city engineers to propose options to save the trees.
On Friday afternoon, the city released a staff report proposing five options for the roadway, with the first being the same plan that called for removal of the trees. Four new options save the trees but at a higher cost -- from $1.5 million at the low end to $3 million on the high.
Justin DiGrazia, who lives in the Copper Ridge condominiums off Bollinger Canyon Road, said neighbors haven't been kept in the loop about the Bollinger Canyon Road project since the June meeting.
"The mayor of San Ramon committed to the homeowners associations to sit down and review the proposal," he said. "It was meant to be a collaborative session between the community and the city and that session never happened."
Both DiGrazia and Erickson said neighbors want a concrete pedestrian safety barrier to replace the fence rather than widening the road and cutting down the trees.
"At the end of the day it's about safety and protecting the trees on Bolllinger Canyon Road," DiGrazia said.
A permanent barrier is proposed in the second option to be discussed Tuesday. That option would cost $1 million more than the original plan and is not supported by the city's consultants, according to the staff report.
Mayor Bill Clarkson said the new options for the roadway hadn't been completed in time to sit down with the neighbors before the Tuesday meeting.
"I understand a number of options are being developed that allow us to keep the trees," Clarkson said. "I think we all have the same agendas, which is first and foremost to have a roadway that is safe. I think everyone agrees to that."
Contact Jason Sweeney at 925-847-2123. Follow him at Twitter.com/Jason_Sweeney.
What: Presentation on Bollinger Canyon Road project during city council meeting.
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Dougherty Station Community Center, 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon