Building the long-debated Stoneridge Drive extension would significantly improve traffic in some of Pleasanton's most congested areas, according to a traffic study by the city.

Tonight, The City Council and the Planning Commission will consider results from computer-generated traffic models that projected growth within and beyond the city and created a snapshot of what traffic may look like if Stoneridge Drive is extended east toward El Charro Road and into Livermore, connecting with Jack London Drive

Based on public input and study results, the joint bodies will make a recommendation on the proposed extension. On May 1, the City Council will make its final decision on whether the proposed extension will stay in the current general plan update and should be considered during the environmental impact review.

Debates on the Stoneridge Drive extension have polarized Pleasanton in the past few years. And more recently, Pleasanton's neighbors have urged the city to build that extension, which many say is critical to reducing traffic congestion not only in the city but on nearby Interstate 580 as well.

With Pleasanton's unique position at the crossroads of I-580 and I-680, residents have repeatedly said traffic is one of their biggest concerns.

Extension opponents argue that it would be used mostly by cut-through traffic between I-680 and Livermore, including those looking for a detour from freeway gridlock. That is why a majority of the council has supported removing the proposed extension from the general plan update.

According to the staff report to be heard today, however, the traffic study found that only about 10 percent of traffic on the Stoneridge Drive extension would be cut-through traffic.

Building the extension would also reduce traffic volume and cut-through trips on Valley Avenue and Stanley Boulevard, the report says.

It has been predominantly Santa Rita Road and Valley Avenue residents who have voiced support for the extension. They argue that extending Stoneridge Drive to El Charro Road would reduce gridlock in central and southeastern Pleasanton and say the Santa Rita Road-Valley Avenue intersection is one of the most congested in Pleasanton, with a high volume of traffic accidents to reflect that.

Under the city's 1996 general plan, the Stoneridge extension was scheduled to be completed between 2000 and 2005. The city began preparing an update of the general plan in April 2003.

In January, at their prior joint workshop, the City Council and the Planning Commission directed staff to conduct additional traffic modeling to review what impact the Stoneridge Drive extension would have on three different land use plans being considered for the general plan.

The general plan will consider how to construct the roughly 1,200 remaining housing units under the city's 29,000 residential cap.

The three options distribute the housing in various numbers at the West Dublin/Pleasanton BART station, Hacienda Business Park and East Pleasanton.

Each land-use scenario was reviewed for its traffic impact with and without the Stoneridge Drive extension.

Meera Pal covers Pleasanton. Reach her at 925-847-2120 or mpal2@cctimes.com

If you go

WHAT: Pleasanton City Council and Planning Commission general plan joint workshop

WHEN: 6:30 tonight,

WHERE: Council chambers, 200 Old Bernal Avenue.

To read the staff report and traffic study results, visit www.ci.pleasanton.ca.us/pdf/ccagenda-joint-plan-070424.pdf