1. The project site's entrance is located on Winchester Boulevard, which is designated as an "Arterial" route within the Town of Los Gatos General Plan (1994). Both Winchester Boulevard and Lark Avenue are heavily traveled thoroughfares. Due to a decrease in the proposed land use intensity at the site, the project is expected to have a net reduction in traffic to the site in the long term. As noted under section I. Land Use and Planning, the project site is currently used by a tree trimming operation. The tree trimming operation stores equipment on the site and uses the site as a base for off-site tree trimming operations.

    During construction of the project the maximum number of workers at the site would be 12 people. Truck and worker commute trips to and from the site would increase during the four month construction period. The impact on traffic conditions on Winchester Boulevard would be negligible. During operation, no workers would be permanently located on the project site and the substation would be inspected by a PG&E electrician once a month (PG&E, 1997a). Traffic that would result from the construction would be small and temporary, and operation would not generate daily traffic from PG&E staff or anyone else, as the site would be secured by a locked gate.. Therefore, the project would have no long-term increase to vehicle trips or impact on traffic congestion.

    During construction of the distribution feeder line, an open trench would be created in Winchester Boulevard and Lark Avenue and across the sidewalk in front of the substation site along Winchester Boulevard, and wires would have to be pulled across Winchester Boulevard (PG&E, 1997b). This would make necessary the temporary closure of traffic lanes and temporary stoppage of traffic and pedestrians during wire pulls. The lane closures would not occur simultaneously and would not occur during peak traffic periods (morning or evening commute periods). The lanes would be closed between the hours of 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM Monday through Friday. Under the construction plan a single lane on the east side of Winchester Boulevard would occur at off-peak periods for about two weeks to accommodate trenching and installation of conduit and removal of the overhead lines. The northbound right-turn lane of Winchester Boulevard would be closed during off-peak periods for no longer than five days to accommodate trenching. A single lane on the south side of Lark Avenue would be closed in off-peak periods for no longer than five days to accommodate trenching. A lane closure also would be occur in off-peak hours during one weekday on the west side of the southbound lane of Winchester Boulevard to transfer tubular steel poles from trucks to the site. In addition, the installation of the new wires from the substation to the tubular steel pole in the Elk's Lodge parking lot would require a brief stoppage of traffic in all lanes as the wires are pulled across Winchester Boulevard. PG&E proposes to schedule the wire installation during the weekends. The hours of construction would be coordinated with the Town of Los Gatos. Traffic delays of up to ten minutes are estimated for each wire pulling, of which there would up to six. After each wire is pulled, PG&E would allow traffic to pass.

    PG&E proposes to provide signage and cone placement consistent with the Caltrans "Work Area Protection and Traffic Control Manual" (April 1996) (PG&E, 1997b). During non-construction periods, the trenches would be covered with load-bearing plates so that both roads would be available for full use by vehicles. The actual dates of construction and land closures would be coordinated with the Town of Los Gatos.

    The proposed construction lane closures would result in temporary traffic delays and an increase in hazards related to open trenching and wire pulling that are less-than-significant because of the measures proposed by PG&E for traffic management. Additional mitigation is not required.
  1. The project site entrance, which is shared with the Santa Clara Fire Protection District, would not be modified. The District uses the office for administrative functions only. No impact would result from the project.

    During construction, open trenches in one lane of Winchester Boulevard and Lark Avenue and across the sidewalk in front of the site along Winchester Boulevard, and movement of construction vehicles and equipment would create temporary hazards for vehicles and pedestrians. PG&E has proposed use of signage and cones, as prescribed by Caltrans, and staffed traffic control during periods of lane closures and wire pulling. PG&E also proposes covering of trenches with heavy load-bearing plates during periods of construction inactivity. These measures proposed as part of the project would reduce the hazards to a less-than-significant level. Additional mitigation is not required.
  1. Site entrance improvements would not be modified. The project includes a 20-foot internal access road surrounding the proposed substation (see Figure 2). The Santa Clara Fire Protection District's use of the adjacent site is for administrative offices, not as a fire station. Therefore, no impact related to emergency response capabilities would occur. During construction activity periods for the underground distribution line, lane closures on Winchester Boulevard and Lark Avenue would not be available to emergency vehicles. However, as both streets have lanes available for passage of vehicles, the impact would be less than significant. During brief periods of street closure for wire pulling, emergency vehicles would not be able to pass. As required by the Town as part of its encroachment permit and attendant construction-related traffic plan, advance notification of emergency service providers would be required for proposed street closures. Additional mitigation is not required.
  1. The substation would not generate parking demand because no employees would work at the site on a daily basis. Therefore, no impact related to parking demand from the project would occur. During construction, construction worker parking would be accommodated on-site.
  1. The project site's border along Winchester Boulevard includes a sidewalk. No modification to the sidewalk or to any bike facilities would occur. A trench would be cut into the sidewalk in front of the substation site and at the crosswalk at the northeast corner of Winchester Boulevard and Lark Avenue for the underground distribution line. The trench would be covered with a heavy load-bearing plate and would be identified with signage. No substantial hazard to pedestrians and bicyclists would be expected. Therefore, there would be no impact related to hazards to pedestrians or bicyclists.
  1. The project site would not create a demand for site visits that would generate the need for increased public transit and related facilities, such as bus turn-outs or bicycle lanes, etc. The street and sidewalk would be returned to their existing condition following construction, therefore, no conflict with transportation policies would occur (Los Gatos, 1994).
  1. No rail, waterborne, or air traffic is located near the project site. No rail line or waterway is located on the site. The substation and transmission lines would be no higher than the transmission towers already present nearby, and therefore, no increased hazard for air traffic would occur. The substation project would have no affect on these modes of transportation.
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