I am very concerned about the new signal timing at the intersection of Sharon Road and Alameda de las Pulgas in Menlo Park.
I understand the signal timing was changed in an effort to keep the traffic on the Alameda moving through the commercial area by the Dutch Goose.
I have lived very close to this intersection for over 20 years. Traffic has never backed up on the Alameda at this intersection. The previous signal timing allowed Sharon Road traffic to quickly move through the intersection, and the light timing was quick enough to allow the Alameda traffic to keep moving through with just a brief stop, not long enough to create any more than a four- or five-car backup, even during commute time.
Sharon Road is busy. La Entrada Middle School is just two blocks from the Alameda on Sharon Road. Over 550 students attend school there. Many are dropped off by parents and many walk, bike or use a scooter. There are hundreds of apartments along Sharon Road, as well as the Safeway and Longs Drugs at the Sharon Heights Shopping Center. Sharon Road is also a shortcut for commuters on their way to Interstate 280.
With the new signal timing, I have seen traffic on Sharon Road backed up all the way to the parking lot entrance to La Entrada. This in turn backs up all the school traffic, as well as any other traffic trying to get through the area.
My biggest concern is for the students trying to get to school. My son has seen students crossing the Alameda on red lights, and I have seen many pedestrians cross on red lights since the timing was changed. I have also seen impatient drivers go through the intersection on red lights after they have stopped and waited, but since it takes so long for the light to change and there is no traffic on the Alameda, they just go.
I have repeatedly called the county to explain what impacts the signal timing change has had. I still have not seen it improve. I hope the county reconsiders the change to the signal timing. It has worked very well for the last 20 years. Please change it back.
Sharon Road, Menlo Park
Bring back the buses
The Almanac's support of local classroom climate change efforts (cover story Nov. 14) was commendable, but ironic.
To quote Dena Belzer of Strategic Economics (Menlo Park speaker series, Nov. 14), there is no larger issue in global warming than transportation. And according to local traffic studies, the largest single component to Menlo Park's morning traffic is mom and dad's private taxi service to local schools. Older kids are already training to be commuters with their own cars at M-A.
Where is the iconic school bus? Buses were removed from school district budgets because no one thought they were important enough to fight for, but designer performing arts centers are worth any effort in fundraising. And the district wonders why communities don't see the schools as a good neighbor.
The Nov. 14 article was about schools leading by example. The return of the big yellow bus might make that real.
Callie Lane, Menlo Park