Town Square

Stanford backs away from divisive Dish parking plan

Original post made on Feb 24, 2014

After pressure from the city and an outpouring of opposition from hikers who frequent the Dish, Stanford University is backing away from a proposal to reduce parking on Stanford Avenue and shift it to a location more than half a mile away from the popular hiking trail.

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Posted by Steve Schmidt
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 24, 2014 at 9:21 am

Of the ideas I've seen for the Dish access, this proposal has to be the worst. Motorists stopping, backing up in a travel lane and across the bike lane to park? And when departing, turn signals obscured by other parked cars, the driver will dart back across the bike lane to go in the opposite direction from which he or she came. There will be the craziest inventory of U-turns and other maneuvers in this stretch of Stanford Avenue endangering all road users. All this done so that more motorists can access the Dish?

I thought that the Stanford Perimeter Trail exercise was to improve the health and recreational opportunities for nearby residents. Where were those experienced in pedestrian and bicycle safety when this shameful scheme was hatched? Santa Clara County should put an immediate halt to allowing its money to be spent on the pursuit of this particular proposal.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 24, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The facts on back-in parking are useful:

Web Link

"The trend for back-in angle spaces has been catching on rapidly in cities all over the U.S. For safety reasons, not one city in the U.S. has added front-in angled parking next to an active roadway since 2006 and the Downtown Pensacola Parking Management District (DPMD) has chosen to follow suite. After year one of introducing Downtown Pensacola to back-in angle parking, traffic accidents have decreased 100%."

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Posted by fwiw
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 25, 2014 at 11:14 am

Wow, tough nut to crack. I feel empathy for all of the constituencies around this issue.

No easy answers here. Peter's Pensacola reference is interesting but I worry that traffic on Juniper Serra is moving on a largely unimpeded throughway. Less diligent drivers (after all 49% of drivers are below average) will not be expecting somebody to stop to back in (even with signal blinking) and will pull up behind the stopped vehicle, blocking access to the spot. Anybody that has tried to properly back into a parallel parking spot in any city will know what I mean. I can imagine more than a few horn honks and angry gestures.

On the other hand if proposal for the angled spots is that they are set far enough in with a full car lane width behind them then folks could get out of the traffic lane to back in. Ideally that lane should be on the parking side of the bike lane or cyclist safety concerns could be overwhelming.

Anyway, I hope there is a solution that opens up parking spots in this area. Stanford Ave residents deserve less congestion, but the Dish is an one of the most heavily used resources shared by Stanford with the local community. I'm grateful that Stanford has historically made this facility available to all and would be incredibly sad and disappointed to see it become less freely available.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 25, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"but I worry that traffic on Juniper Serra is moving on a largely unimpeded throughway."

No parking is being proposed for Juniper Serra.