Guest opinion: No biking on El CaminoEditor's Note: The following note from the citizens' group Menlo Park's Future was received late last week.
First, I apologize. The demographics cited in my May email on this issue were wrong. I try and keep good records and information, but this time I goofed. Sorry.
However, I still believe that introducing bike lanes on El Camino Real (ECR) is a dangerous and traffic-gnarling idea that would benefit very few and inconvenience the huge majority. Our fire chief told the Planning Commission that bikers on ECR would create customers for emergency services. This is not a good thing. We want to create customers for local businesses, not the Stanford ER.
Let me suggest an alternative bike route. We should have bike lanes from Menlo Park's southern boundary to Encinal Avenue. The bike route would go to Alma, to Mills, and to Garwood (which gets filled in) to Encinal. It sounds complex, but these streets are within a few yards of each other and very close to ECR — convergent in fact at the southern end. The route could — and should be — well signed. It would be safe for bikers. It would service the city, the Burgess recreation area and the train station; and it would be good for bikers going to Menlo College.
It makes no sense to put bike lanes on ECR when safer and saner alternatives can be found.