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Original post made
on Jan 9, 2008
So why is the idea of a traffic light at this intersection not being seriously considered? Is it because of the cost? It seems to me the cost of not having good traffic control there is much too high. Didn't that woman whose car was hit in July die of her injuries?
Rory Brown has it right. No matter what we want on that intersection, even a dancing cop who directs traffic, it won't matter. From Encinal north, it's Atherton's jurisdiction, not ours.
The problem is actually bigger. As even the village idiot can tell you, traffic is increasing on El Camino. It's a state road and Caltrans regulates it. Their philosophy is to resist any restrictions, such as signaling. They want to maximize "through-put," to use a Valley term. That means no signs or lights unless the intersection becomes a documented war zone. Several conversations with their traffic engineer bore that out.
Furthermore, Atherton also has a philosophy, and their police department has indicated that they want no traffic mitigation signage on ECR.
Whatever is built on the Acorn lot, it will doubtlessly involve cars. Although related, vehicle flow into and out of the 1906 and 1706 properties and their projected inadequate parking are minor issues vis-à-vis the larger problems of ECR traffic.
We can only hope that the ECR Visioning effort, if and when it ever gets completed, will incorporate a very hard look at traffic and parking -- the entire 8500 ft. of Menlo Park. My fear is that as ECR frontage projects get approved, one after the other, the "Vision" and any traffic management plan will have been already decided "on the ground."
I've said this often before. We really need to get together with Atherton for what my wife calls a "shared mental model" and collective decision-making. There should be a (Brown Act) joint standing transportation, traffic and rail committee with council member and city staff representation. Are you listening, Mr. Mayor?
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