March 2018 Meeting

Next Open House Board & Membership Meeting 

March 8,2018 Thursday; Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Subject: Urban Living — Market Rate Housing; Midtown & Willow Glen; comprising aprox. 1,540 units total

Presenter: Konstantin Voronin, Republic Urban Properties, Inc.

Developing projects around the Willow Glen Planning Area:
  • Meridian at Midtown, condominiums, approx. 220 units
  • Ohlone Towers (3), condominiums, approx. 880 units
  • Del Monte Park, soccer field, and dog park
  • Tamien Station Towers (2), approx. 440 Units
    • A Transit Village, with daycare center
    • Tamien Neighborhood Park 

Presentation begins at 7:40 PM to 8:10 PM



February 2018 Meeting & Speaker

Open House Monthly Board & Membership Meeting
With the February Guest Speaker

Local historian April Hope Halberstadt will be the guest speaker at the next Board and Membership Meeting of the Willow Glen Neighborhood Association - WGNA [also see us on Facebook]

Join us for this "Open House" meeting on the second Wednesday 07 February 2018 at 7:00 - 9:00 PM in the community room of the Willow Glen Public Library [also see the location on Facebook].

Note: Our meetings are usually on the second Thursday of the month, but the schedule has been changed for this particular event.

Halberstadt will talk all about Willow Glen History, as well as the surrounding areas, with a few other new stories that are not included in her original book, "The Willow Glen Neighborhood, Then and Now". She will particularly focus on the early pioneers, including some of those who are often overlooked. This should be an interesting follow up to Halberstadt's previous work.

You can also add the Facebook Event to your calendar: Facebook.


Safe Crossings on Bird Avenue



Letter to the City & Decision at City Hall —

WGNA Request to SJ City Council Districts 3 & 6 
re. Safe Crossings on Bird Avenue

TO: Councilmember Raul Peralez (D3) & Dev Heinert Davis (D6)

SUBJECT: Improve Public Safety for primary school children attending Gardner Academy School on Illinois Avenue at Auzerais Avenue. Two major intersections along a California State Roadway — Bird Avenue — are unsafe crossings. First, there is Auzerais at Bird Avenue; and secondly, Virginia Street at Bird Avenue.


California State Senator Jim Beall, Jr. is requesting that the City of San Jose, Department of Transportation (DOT), conduct a traffic study of these two intersections. Once the studies are completed, the state of California will take on the necessary improvements to make these intersections safe for primary school children to cross. The timing of these two studies is very important.

Please get back to me within the next twelve working days with a resolution. That is, confirm a date and time when these two studies will be scheduled and expected to be completed. We would appreciate a copy of any correspondence sent to the San Jose DOT team, and their responses.

The Bird Avenue roadway has become increasingly busy, and with all the recent developments beginning at the north of the intersections, West San Carlos Street at Bird Avenue/ Montgomery Streets traffic will increase dramatically. The intersection of Auzerais Street, Bird Avenue and Interstate 280 (i.e., the on and off ramps) is already very dangerous.


See a JPEG version of WGNA's letter to the city here.


NOTICE: This item will be decided at the Rules and Open Government Committee in San Jose City Hall, on the Agenda for 2/14/2018.  See the particulars in the below table:

File #: ROGC 18-094    Version: 1 
Type:  Rules Committee Reviews, Recommendations, and Approvals 
Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 2/8/2018
On agenda:  2/14/2018 
In control: Joint Meeting for the Rules and Open Government Committee and Committee of the Whole
Title:  Autumn, Montgomery and Bird Corridor Study. (Peralez/Davis)
Attachments: 1. Memorandum, 2. Letter from the Public



January 2017 Meeting

Speak Out on California High Speed Rail —
Rail Transport Right-of-Way into San Jose

Join us at the next Board and Membership Meeting of the Willow Glen Neighborhood Association.  This will be an "Open House" meeting on the second Thursday 11 January 2018 at 7:00 PM in the community room of the Willow Glen Public Library [also see the location on Facebook].

The guest speaker will be none other than the California High-Speed Rail Authority [Facebook].

Raise your questions and issues — sit in, listen in, and speak out on the rail transport right-of-ways into San Jose and how it will impact your neighborhood. What are your concerns? What do you want to say? This is your time to give feedback to the rail authority without the fuss of big city hall proceedings. You have your opportunity right here in your neighborhood to discuss with your neighbors and the authority that oversees rail development. [Also see the Facebook event]

See the meeting Agenda here.

Suggested video for viewing, "Opt 1 Lick Quarry to Pacheco Pass" (offsite on YouTube).


Town Hall Meeting in Gardner Neighborhood (December 2017)



Willow Glen Neighborhood Association hosted a special Town Hall Meeting in the Gardner Neighborhood on the second Thursday, 14 December 2017 at 7:00 pm.  

  • The Town Hall Meeting Agenda can be found here.
  • The Town Hall Meeting Notes can be found here.





Canvassing flier

Canvassing flier (Spanish)



NOTE: this was not our usual meeting location.  Instead, this particular meeting occurred at the Gardner Academy school at 502 Illinois Avenue, San Jose 95125.

Read more

Holiday Lights Tour 2017

Willow Glen Neighborhood Association & Archie’s Army invite you to join fellow neighborhood seniors on an escorted bus tour and walkthrough of Christmas in the Park in downtown San Jose; and a bus tour through the Fantasy of Lights at Vasona Park.  🍕PIZZA PARTY & beverage social before at 3:30 PM🍕

Participating residents of ❄️ THE VILLAGE of WILLOW GLEN ❄️ SUMMERCREST ❄️ SIENNA senior living facilities.  Escorted by docents.

Charter buses depart at 4:30 pm from the Village of Willow Glen, 465 Willow Glen Way, San Jose, CA 95125.  Activities should finish by 8:00 pm.

Read more

November 2017 Meeting

WGNA's next Monthly Board & Membership Meeting is scheduled for the second Thursday, 09 November 2017 at the Willow Glen Public Library branch at 7:00 pm.

Our guest speaker will be talking about all the ways that we connect people and provide solutions to travel and a better quality of life. Brandi Childress is the current Media and Public Affairs Manager at the Valley Transportation Authority of Santa Clara County. 

How do you make your daily transportation connections? That's whether it's by a car on the streets and highways, VTA light rail, or by regional transportation systems like BART, ACE and Cal Train?  What about the future California High-Speed Rail?

More of us are traveling to the area using the local bikeways, if not walking and jogging on the public trails.

If you're like many people in the San Francisco Bay Area, you probably make use of several modes of travel.  We will discuss how to make those transportation connections in what's become a modern-day multi-modal environment.  That's whether it's in the traditional neighborhoods, or in the newer transit-oriented developments (TODs) and urban villages.  We'll talk about your own community ties-in with the various neighborhoods in the city, county, and greater region.  Learn how your neighborhood works within the greater context of the regional urban ecology, and how our local hub connects within the greater transportation system.

Santa Clara County and the greater Bay Area has a developing transportation hierarchy of which there are many options and layers.  Do you mostly choose a single occupancy vehicle and commute daily on the congested highways?  Do you carpool with family members, co-workers, or fellow students?  We'll consider what determines our individual choices and options.

We will discuss the current availability and growing demand for multi-modal travel, including everything from bicycle routes to the public transit options.  Wherever we currently live or desire to move, can we all work-in with the "complete streets" and "livable communities" initiative?  More people want to live and work in complete neighborhoods that include all the amenities of quality of life, reduced commuter distances, etc.

Young or old, healthy and green ways of life are in demand as more people find ways to fit in hiking, jogging, bicycling, and Safe Routes to School.  It's part of the daily routines of modern-day work, family, and social life.

The proximity to transportation lines and public trails — plus safe and efficient routes — is affecting residential and commercial land values because more people are seeking their accessibility.  It's part of the greater question concerning livability as we all realize the great squeeze in the Bay Area's jobs-housing balance.

Even when we're on our day off from work — or taking an extended holiday or business trip — the San Francisco Bay Area has a significant and growing interest in travel and tourism.  That's especially as it relates to our national heritage region; business and conventions; trade and distribution; etc.  Transporation from the airport, to train stations, and into the neighborhoods is a significant part of our travel plans, which is either for business or leisure.

All of these areas of interest and more will things to think about at our next meeting.  We encourage your participation, including questions, concerns, and feedback. 


October 2017 Meeting

WGNA's next Monthly Board & Membership Meeting is scheduled for the second Thursday, 12 October 2017 at the Willow Glen Public Library branch at 7:00 pm.

A guest presentation will feature Devin Gianchandani and Heba El-Guendy, program managers of the City of San Jose's Department of Transportation (DOT). Together, they will provide us information on the Vision Zero and Street Smarts programs, and how the city is creating transportation improvements in the neighborhood, as well as safe, livable streets.

Devin Gianchandani will answer questions pertaining to the City of San Jose's bicycle/pedestrian program and adult encouragement programs, which is in addition to providing an overview and schedule of the Department of Transportation's paving and complete street project on Willow Glen's Minnesota Avenue. He will lead a discussion of safety concerns at Minnesota/Hicks and Minnesota/Lincoln Avenues.

Devin Gianchandani has dedicated his professional career toward efforts that promote environmental and transportation sustainability. He has an educational background in Environmental Science and a Masters of Science in Transportation Management.  Gianchandani currently leads the City of San Jose's "Transportation Options Program" which includes an "Encouragement and Education" team that encourages the use of alternatives to driving alone, such as transit, carpooling, walking and bicycling; and a "Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities" team that is focused on planing and implementation of high quality pedestrian and bicycle facilities to support the City's ambitious mode shift and safety goals.  Prior to working for the City, he worked as an Associate Planner and then as the Regional Rideshare Manager with RIDES for Bay Area Commuters, and prior to that, he worked as a Transportation Planner with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Agency.

Heba El-Guendy will describe the San Jose Vision Zero Program including its core principles.  She will also present information on collisions data and trends, along with the City’s efforts to address safety issues in terms of engineering, education, evaluation and enforcement efforts.  

Heba El-Guendy is San Jose's Vision Zero Program Manager and has over 25 years of transportation experience in both the public and private sectors.  Her experience is in the areas of transportation planning, traffic engineering and roadway design including:  complete streets, bicycle/pedestrian improvement projects, safe routes to school programs, traffic calming, ITS, traffic impact analyses, and grant application/administration.  She is also experienced in community outreach, and educational and engagement programs.  El-Guendy has a Master of Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus on Transportation Planning, and she is a licensed Traffic Engineer in California. 


"A traffic safety initiative to eliminate deaths and severe injuries on our roadways as soon as possible!  One traffic death is one too many.  Vision Zero is our City's commitment to prioritize street safety.  Achieving the Vision Zero goal will Take All Of Us!"

Go to the City of San Jose's official Vision Zero web page:

Vision Zero is a multi-national road traffic safety initiative aiming to achieve a road and highway system with no fatalities or serious injuries.  The movement began in the 1990s in Sweden, was approved by their parliament in 1997 and has since been implemented across Europe, as well as many major cities in the United States and other nations of the world.

"A core principle of the vision is that 'Life and health can never be exchanged for other benefits within the society' rather than the more conventional comparison between costs and benefits, where a monetary value is placed on life and health, and then that value is used to decide how much money to spend on a road network towards the benefit of decreasing how much risk."

Go to the official Vision Zero Network web page: (also on Facebook)


"The City of San José started the STREET SMARTS program for schools and neighborhoods. This traffic safety education program is designed to get people thinking to help make our streets safer. 

"Whether you’re a pedestrian, a cyclist, or a driver, your behavior plays a huge role in keeping our streets safe. The STREET SMARTS program brings education into the equation by building awareness, offering safety tips, and reminding all of us to take responsibility for our actions on the road.

"Street Smarts is focused on:

  • Speeding
  • Red light running
  • Stop sign running
  • School zone safety
  • Crosswalk safety and compliance

"The first three behaviors are the leading causes of accidents in San José, and the last two address our most vulnerable populations — school kids and pedestrians. Our goal is to encourage people to adopt new attitudes and behaviors that will make our streets, roads, and highways safer and friendlier for everyone who uses them. It’s just another way we can respect the community in which we live!"

Go to the City's official Street Smarts web page:


We invite you to attend with all your questions and comments... and to participate. 



National Safe Routes “Walk to School” on Wednesday 11 October 2017 in Willow Glen

Seasonally, every year, Walk to School returns in autumn, and  Bike to School in the spring.  This national event is organized locally by Stakeholders for a Safe Green Village (Facebook) in partnership with the National Center for Safe Routes to School (Facebook), and Willow Glen Neighborhood Association – WGNA (Facebook) is a regular co-sponsor.



WHO: PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS for the Willow Glen event include:

Willow Glen Elementary; River Glen School K-8; Ernesto Galarza Elementary; and Hammer Montessori Elementary.  (Note: in the below, also see a separate event and venue for nearby Washington Elementary School).

WHEN & WHERE: At 7:00 AM on Thursday 11 October 2017, students, parents, and teachers will meet with others in the community at the Bank of America Parking Lot on Lincoln Avenue. We will all “Walk to School” from that location after a morning reception.

Join children & adults around the world to celebrate the benefits of walking:

● Encouraging a child’s next stage of independence
● Physical activity
● Teaching safe pedestrian & bicycling skills to children
● Awareness of how walkable & bikable community improvements can be made
● Concern for the environment Reducing traffic congestion, pollution & speed near schools
● Sharing time with community leaders, parents & children
● Creating joy and fun!
● Promoting psychological well-being and alertness
● Fostering maturation and responsibility
● Creating habits of activity, empowerment and thinking differently






WGNA's next Monthly Board & Membership Meeting is scheduled for the second Thursday, 14 September 2017 at the Willow Glen Public Library branch at 7:00 pm.

A guest presentation will feature Rosalynn Hughey, Interim Director of the City of San Jose's Department Planning, Building & Code Enforcement. She will provide us with information on the topic of Participatory Planning, and the Jobs-Housing Balance. 


"By far, the most egregiously imbalanced cities in the Bay Area are San Jose, which has 203,576 more jobs than housing units, and San Francisco, which has 154,595 more jobs than housing units. By comparison, the imbalance for the entire rest of the Bay Area is 692,864 more jobs than housing units. So, those two cities alone account for 34% of the Bay Area’s jobs to housing imbalance."

Quoted from Curbed SF (also on Facebook).  See the below-related article from their website and blog: We Found which Bay Area cities aren't pulling their weight on housing: An exclusive analysis of regional jobs and housing with surprising conclusions by Scott Lucas, October 12, 2016.

PARTICIPATORY PLANNING is "an urban planning paradigm that emphasizes involving the entire community in the strategic and management processes of urban planning; or, community-level planning processes, urban or rural. It is often considered as part of community development. Participatory planning aims to harmonize views among all of its participants as well as prevent conflict between opposing parties. In addition, marginalized groups have an opportunity to participate in the planning process."

See here from Wikipedia:

We invite you to attend with all your questions and comments... and to participate. 



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Willow Glen Neighborhood Association (WGNA)
A Community Organization serving Willow Glen since 1973