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Middlefield and Linfield: Traffic signal, or lighted crosswalk?

Original post made on Jul 13, 2009

At its meeting Tuesday night, Menlo Park's City Council could decide whether to install a traffic signal or a lighted crosswalk on Middlefield Road at Linfield Drive.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, July 13, 2009, 11:46 AM

Comments (9)

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Posted by At What Price?
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jul 13, 2009 at 3:05 pm

I have heard that the difference here is around $30,000 - $40,000 for the cross-walk system, versus $250,000 for a signal?? A signal that will impede movement on Middlefield, and a signal that would already be about 400-500 yards away from two other signals?

I don't think this area sees half as much crossing as other more deserving spots in our town.
From my perspective, not a good use of money or energy.

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Posted by walker
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 13, 2009 at 3:54 pm

There are very few pedestrians crossing here. May be helpful for the people who live on Santa Monica or Santa Margarita and want to walk to the library, but no way is a fullblown light necessary.

The cost difference is in the staff report.

The problem is that the city has this money from the developer burning a hole in its pocket. That is NOT a good reason to spent a lot of money on a bad solution to a non-existent problem.

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Posted by another walker
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 13, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Actually, there are quite a few pedestrians and bicyclists crossing there - kids walking or biking to M-A or biking with parents to Laurel from the west side, people commuting to work at the USGS or SRI from the east side of Middlefield, and many others as well. There would be more if we weren't afraid of getting killed on Middlefield - it's really wide, and cars zoom through. While I agree that a full-blown signal is overkill and could contribute to cut-through traffic, why not have a pedestrian activated light? Aren't we trying to get people out of their cars?

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Posted by walker
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Another, the decision is not between doing nothing and doing something, but between the solar-activated walk light (so the walker doesn't have to push a button) and a regular traffic light.

My kids walk to M-A and they cross at Ringwood. Unless you are going on a field trip to the fire station, there isn't much to see on the east side of the street at Linfield.

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Posted by Patti Fry
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 14, 2009 at 9:18 am

From frequent experience using the in-street lighted crosswalks at Ravenswood and Alma, and at Santa Cruz and Johnson, I have found that a frightening number of drivers either do not see, do not understand, or simply choose to ignore the in-pavement blinking lights and don't even slow down much less stop.
Whenever the city selects to install a lighted crosswalk, I hope that it also would call for the bright orange flags to be available and the on-the-street sign indicating the requirement to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
Unless there are groups of pedestrians needing to cross (e.g., near a school), I believe it generally is not appropriate or cost-effective to install signal lights for individual use.

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Posted by Adrienne Wong
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Jul 14, 2009 at 10:16 am

I frequently use this crossing when I cycle to and from the Burgess area or downtown MP. Just this morning when I was walking my bike crossing eastbound, only three cars out of four stopped -- the nonstopping minivan had plenty of warning, as I proceeded slowly and at least two other lanes had already yielded. It's unfortunate that it's difficult to track these types of near-misses! I believe a lot more people (especially children) will use this crossing if a signal is installed. This is a very convenient Middlefield crossing for those who live in the Willows and south of Seminary, as it avoids the traffic on Willow Rd. between Coleman and Middlefield.

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Posted by Andy Creighton
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Jul 15, 2009 at 8:25 am

lighted crosswalk, traffic signals are like upwards of $200,000 aren't they? I'm torn because there is one of the largest fire stations on the peninsula right across the street and it wouldn't hur't to have a light that had a flashing yellow at all times and when a crosswalk button is pressed, the light turns solid yellow then red. Any ideas?

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Posted by Jellins
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jul 16, 2009 at 9:09 am

Have Cal-train build a tunnel.

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Posted by The Voice
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 17, 2009 at 11:43 am

Anything other than a crosswalk is a total waste of money. The firetrucks have their own lights

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