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on Feb 12, 2013
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The management of traffic is a social and civic issue. A successful NTMP should be a forum for all users of the facilities to share their experiences and concerns; as well as provide an outline for community-wide problem solving and an avenue to build consensus. It should not be an "all or nothing" approach.
Open and frequent communication and a robust outreach program are essential to a successful NTMP. Every NTMP project should include a communication plan designed to receive input from at least 50% of the residents in the project area.
Community engagement is a process and through the process of reaching a good solution, some solutions may not be acceptable. Reaching acceptable solutions is a test driven process, so rather than unacceptable solutions being deemed a failure, the program may reiterate the process until the desired outcome or goal is achieved.
Stable residential neighborhood traffic requires efficient arterial and major collector traffic flow to minimize incentives to cut through residential neighborhoods. It is the responsibility of the Transportation Division to constantly monitor traffic flow and to adjust traffic signal timing to efficiently and safely move traffic on City's arterial and major collector system.
Streets are a community resource. Streets are for the safe use of their residents and are shared by walkers, cyclists as well as occupants of motor vehicles. Features for safe bicycling and walking are part of the design of streets in Menlo Park.
Residents of residential streets have a right to a safe and peaceful environment; right to a fair share of law enforcement resources; and protection from disproportionate increases in undesirable traffic conditions. It is therefore important that any environmental impact analysis, either initiated by the City or by neighboring public agencies, should include an analysis of the project's impact to neighborhood streets and how the project will impact the City's ability to implement the Complete Streets concept in addition to just reviewing vehicular traffic impacts to intersections and arterial and collector streets.
Every NTMP project should have neighborhood consensus on a list of critical success factors and methods to evaluate the effectiveness of the measures to be employed. The evaluation should include, among other factors, the amount of traffic diverted to other residential streets, impact to emergency response and whether the overall transportation goals of the City is being achieved.
All users have an equal right to use public streets in a safe and lawful manner commensurate with the type of streets. Installation of traffic management features should respect this right.
Opponents of changing the NTMP so it can be a usable tool want to preserve the current feature of counting non-votes as a "no" vote. This applies even to the initial step of embarking on a study.
With ample time and adequate means to participate, those who have an opinion will engage. In a democracy, we count those who participate, not those who don't.
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