Prospect Road Median Project

Current Status

(Updated in February 2017)

The Prospect Road Beautification and Safety Improvements Project will make roadway improvements on Prospect Road between Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road and Lawrence Expressway. Two community meetings took place in October 2015 and April 2016. Master Plan was developed and approved in 2007. The design is currently in progress, incorporation input provided during the meetings and elements from the Master Plan. The design includes:
  • Develop 16 additional new medians with landscaping along the 1.9 mile long stretch of Prospect Road between every intersection from Saratoga-Sunnyvale to Lawrence Expressway. Titus Avenue and Prospect Road was completed in 2009.
  • Install sidewalks where gaps have been identified, specifically between Plumas and Scully Avenue, between Miller and Titus, and between Titus and Brookglen.
  • Install American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant ramps at the intersections of Plumas, Saraglen, Kristy, Woodside, and Brookglen.
  • Repair existing ADA ramps.
  • Install bicycle detector loops at signalized intersections.
  • Install "green" bike lanes at heavily congested intersections.
  • Install bus pads at existing bus stops between Miller and Kristy and in front of Prospect High School, include benches.
  • Install of audible signals for the visually impaired at the signalized intersection at Prospect Avenue/Miller Avenue.
Construction is scheduled to begin in May 2017 and is projected to take 10-12 months. The City will continue to communicate project status and progress through videos, Facebook, and Nextdoor.

The City also plans to make the following changes at Saratoga Avenue:
  • Installation of audible signals for the visually impaired at the signalized intersection at Saratoga Avenue/Cox Avenue and Saratoga Avenue/Bellgrove Circle.
The implementation of this project is possible because in 2013, the City was awarded a grant in the amount of $4,206,000. The City's local match share totals $560,000. The project is estimated to total $4,766,000 project. Please contact Macedonio Nunez 408-868-1218 if you have questions about this project.

For more information about the project, contact the director of public works, John Cherbone at 408-868-1241.

2012 Activity

Prospect Road Median Master Plan, developed in 2008, shows 17 new medians along 1.9-mile long stretch of Prospect Road. With limited funding, the City was able to construct only one of the medians - the median located between Provincetown Drive and Titus Avenue. The construction has been completed in November 2009.

Prospect Road Median Master Plan, developed in 2008, shows 17 new medians along 1.9-mile long stretch of Prospect Road. With limited funding, the City was able to construct only one of the medians - the median located between Provincetown Drive and Titus Avenue. The construction has been completed in November 2009.

Additional medians per the Master Plan will be designed and constructed when additional funds become available. In the meantime, City staff is looking for available grant opportunities to fund portions of this project.

Further Prospect Road median improvements include 14 new oak trees planted in the median close to Freeway 85 overpass in fall of 2010. The trees were planted as part of Saratoga's "2015 Trees by 2015 Program".


The section of the Prospect Median adjacent to Brookview between Saratoga Creek and Titus Avenue was installed and landscaped in the early 1970's. Attempts over the next 35 years to complete the landscaped median for the remaining part of Prospect Road have failed for various reasons.

In 2001 the City adopted a five year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which included a median improvement project on Prospect Road between Saratoga Avenue and Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road. The project was supported by area residents in both Saratoga and San Jose as illustrated in the petition form signed by approximately 270 residents. Additionally, a similar petition signed by San Jose residents was submitted to the City of San Jose.

Because the City shares operation of Prospect Road with the City of San Jose, Council directed that the cost of the project be shared evenly between the two jurisdictions. Subsequently the City Council appropriated funds in the amount of $25,000 for creation of a median Master Plan with the caveat that San Jose would share in the cost.

Unfortunately, the City could not convince San Jose to participate in the project and in 2005 the design funds were allocated to other City projects.


The 1.9 mile section of Prospect Road, between Saratoga Avenue and Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road, is a four lane major arterial with the centerline of the road forming the boundary between Saratoga and San Jose. Currently the majority of Prospect Road is devoid of landscaped medians with the exception of existing medians located between Saratoga Creek and Titus Avenue and some "hardscape" type medians near Highway 85. The existing landscaped medians were installed approximately 35 years ago and are located within the section of Prospect Road that is now entirely with the city limits of Saratoga.

Using cost information from the "Gateway" project, the estimated cost for installing landscaped medians along Prospect is approximately $1.5 million or $750,000 for Saratoga's portion of the project.

In addition to the obvious aesthetic value of landscape medians, they also provide traffic calming that can improve safety of the road by physically reducing the width of the road, channeling vehicles into defined turn lanes, reducing the threat of vehicles crossing the center lane, and creating safer pedestrian crossings.

For this project to become a reality 2 issues need to be resolved:
  • Identifying a source of funds for Saratoga's portion of the project
  • Convincing San Jose to participate in the project

2009 Activity

Design of Prospect Road Median Number 11 located between Provincetown Drive in San Jose and Titus Avenue in Saratoga has been completed in April of 2009.

Notice inviting informal bids for construction was issued June 15, Construction Contract was awarded to the lowest bidder, Blossom Valley Construction, Inc. on August 4. The median construction started in mid-September and has been completed in November 2009.

For more information please contact Senior Engineer Iveta Harvancik at 408-868-1274, or by email.

2008 Activity

The second community meeting took place on March 27, 2008 at 6 pm at the North Campus, at 19484 Prospect Road. The meeting presentation and a summary of comments can be viewed at following links:

Number 11 Median

On September 17, 2008, the City Council approved proceeding with the design of median number 11. This median is located between Provincetown Drive in San Jose and Titus Avenue in Saratoga. The primary factor in determining the selection of this median was safety. Median No. 11 is located in front of Christa McAuliffe Elementary School. Median construction at this location will provide needed pedestrian refuge in the middle of the Prospect Road crosswalk.
The aerial map of Prospect between Saratoga Avenue and Saratoga-Sunnyvale is divided into three sections.
  1. 1
  2. 2

2007 Activity

The Prospect Traffic Analysis - January 17, 2007 (PDF) concluded:
  • The medians and associated landscaping would help to reduce travel speeds and possibly result in a reduction in the number of collisions along the study segment.
  • Raised medians would reduce the potential severity of head-on collisions between intersections.
  • Lastly, medians could be designed to provide refuge areas for pedestrians crossing at unsignalized intersections.

Updated Collision & Cause Data

Concern about the safety of schoolchildren crossing Prospect Road to attend Christy McAuliffe School has resulted in a proposed improvement plan (PDF) for a Prospect Road Crosswalk.

Followup with the San Jose staff occurred during January and February to assess any progress on this project but a final resolution required considerable follow-up over the first half of 2007 with Pete Constant and his staff by the Ad-Hoc Committee (Kathleen King and Ann Waltonsmith).

Then on August 1, the Saratoga City Council approved $30,598 to design a master plan for new medians on Prospect Road through an independent contractor. The City Council of San Jose,which owns half the road, has signed a letter of understanding (PDF) stating that it will cooperate with the plan before the Saratoga City Manager can approve it

Saratoga policy is to involve the local residents in the planning process through public meetings, starting in early November, open to Saratoga and San Jose residents alike. The contractors can then get an idea of how to design the medians so that they please as many parties as possible. Working closely with San Jose would also help the Council's chances of earning grants for the project.

A community meeting (PDF) was held on November 13th that was attended by about 25 residences of Saratoga and San Jose. Callander Associates, the firm designing the master plan, reviewed several reference median projects and then documented input from each of the attendees. John Cherbone, Saratoga Public Works Director, indicated these inputs would be an important element of the final design. The next public meeting to review the final design will be in late January/early February 2008. Actions to secure sources for matching funds from various sources for construction of the medians has already been initiated.

Late 2006 Activity

Pete Constant, the newly elected San Jose Council Member representing this area, has indicated support for the project. The creation of a City Council Ad-Hoc for the project would provide a vehicle for discussions with the City of San Jose.

On November 15, 2006 the City Council approved allocating the full cost of the median Master Plan in the amount of $50,000. A reimbursement agreement will be developed with the City of San Jose for their half of the design work. An Ad-Hoc Committee(Kathleen King and Ann Waltonsmith) was created and met with Pete Constant in December and again in January.

Staff met in December with the City of San Jose staff to discuss the project. San Jose does its design studies internally which could enable the design study to be completed sooner and at a lower cost. The San Jose staff was enthusiastic regarding the project, but cautious regarding their ability to fund the construction. They are going through some tough budget issues and may need to look at reducing capital expenditures instead of adding new projects. This project would need to go through their normal budget process which begins in the spring.