Storm Drainage Improvements

by Bob Moss, Zoning and Land Use Chairman

Barron Park was selected to be the second area in Palo Alto to have improved storm drainage and reduction of ponding and puddling from rain. The first neighborhood to have these storm drainage improvements was Downtown North. Work in our area was delayed until completion of the flood control project for Barron and Matadero Creeks. Now that the projects are done, and the new culverts are available to carry off high stream flows, there is capacity in the creeks to handle surface storm drainage from our streets and yards.

In 1990, residents and the Barron Park Association began discussions with City staff and Council members on standards for streets, sidewalks and drainage. The result was creation of Barron Park drainage and street design guidelines which were adopted by the City Council in February 1993. These guidelines will be followed during installation of the storm drainage system. Joe Teresi, representing the Public Works Department, reports:

The work will also include new catchbasins and valley gutters to collect runoff. In addition, we will be working at other locations (the list of sites isn't finalized yet) to repair damaged pipelines, manholes, and catchbasins, and to correct chronic ponding problems."

In February there was a community meeting at Briones to review design of the storm drainage system in Barron Park, to inform the community about the project, to get comments and suggestions, and to identify places which have local ponding or flooding so that the drainage system can be designed to address as many of these areas as possible. There were almost 50 participants. They were asked to provide to city staff the location of local ponds, puddles, and flooding. This will aid in designing the final plans for locating the storm drains and catch basins. Please identify the location of local ponding to Joe Terresi of Public Works, or the BPA so that the information can be factored into the final drainage design.

It may not be practical to put drain lines and catch basins at the sites of all local ponding and puddles. If the distance from the storm drain to the pond is too great it will not be economical to install added piping. The isolated puddles may be eliminated by filling them with something. Public Works will deliver a truck load of base findings (fine gravel like that used on the Bol Park footpaths, and as the base for all paved roads) to any resident who requests it. This can be used to treat the puddles and ponding by filling the low spots with the base findings.

Actual construction of the storm drains will be completed this year. Once it is completed Barron Park should have no significant flooding or ponding from storms. There also will be slurry sealing of a number of streets in Barron Park. The BPA is working with Public Works to make certain that the projects are co-ordinated and that streets are not torn up twice.

For further questions, to report local ponding, or for general feedback, call project representatives Joe Teresi, 329-2129 or Matt Costigan, 329-2469 at the City Public Works Department.

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