Almanac

News - August 27, 2014

Sharon Heights: Stop sign on Monte Rosa Avenue delayed

by Sandy Brundage

At Vice Mayor Catherine Carlton's request, the Menlo Park council tabled the question of whether to install stop signs in all directions at the intersection of Monte Rosa Drive and Eastridge Avenue in Sharon Heights.

The city began considering the installation after a resident raised concerns about low visibility at the intersection, which children navigate on their way to La Entrada Middle School. While Eastridge Avenue has stop signs at the intersection, Monte Rosa doesn't at that location, making it confusing for drivers as well, according to the resident.

The Transportation Commission and the city's transportation staff support the installation. But members of a homeowners' association wanted to discuss the issue first, with some members saying they weren't aware that installing the stop signs on Monte Rosa Drive had been proposed during the summer, Ms. Carlton said during the Aug. 19 council meeting.

"Some people think a four-way stop is overkill," she said, and they thought trimming bushes at the intersection would be an adequate solution.

Mayor Ray Mueller commented that since the Transportation Commission had unanimously recommended the installation and the city's transportation staff agreed, the council should not wait to vote on the item. Children who walk along the area are returning to school now and there are no crosswalks, he said.

"We've been advised," Mr. Mueller said. Although no one has been hurt at the intersection to date, should a child be injured now, he suggested the council would regret not taking action sooner.

Council members Kirsten Keith, Rich Cline and Peter Ohtaki favored delaying the vote to give the residents time to hold one discussion.

"I don't want to cast a shadow of 'we don't want to hear your point,'" Mr. Cline said.

The transportation staff disagreed that the problem lay with the bushes. Interim Transportation Manager Nikki Nagaya said a couple large heritage trees would also have to be removed, and then the curve of the road would still interfere with having a clear view of the intersection.

No members of the public commented on the item during the Aug. 19 council meeting, but some residents had contacted the city to voice their dissatisfaction with the proposal.

The council voted 4-1, with Mr. Mueller dissenting, to delay the vote until Sept. 9.

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