By Dana Hendrickson
Menlo Park Bike Network Plans Lack Vision And BoldnessUploaded: Jan 6, 2019
My friends and family know how much I love to ride my bike, especially when streets are dry and daytime temperatures rise to at least 65 degrees, and many join me on recreational trips here, in New England and Europe. While I do not regularly ride to destinations in Menlo Park, I have a keen interest in our city creating a community bike network that offers other residents much better options for riding to their favorite destinations. This means a network of streets that provide convenient, safe and stress-free riding environments. My interest in this subject has led me to study bike network design standards and methodologies, examine contemporary bike networks built in “bicyclist-friendly” cities, and closely track our city’s efforts to improve our bike network. I have also submitted recommendations to our city council, staff and the former bike commission. You can find them on my Reimagine website
During December I spent considerable time reviewing the bike section of the Transportation Master Plan our city is currently developing, and am disappointed by how few bike lane investments are currently proposed on streets within the boundaries of the Downtown/El Camino Specific Plan and on the main approaches. I recognize it is impossible add bike lanes to streets lined with parked cars but encourage our city to NOT to accept this situation as necessarily permanent. Instead, selectively removing street parking should be part of any city strategy to increase downtown parking. That way both bicyclists and motorists would benefit.
The good news: the Master Plan proposes that the city expand downtown parking. The bad news: it does not show how bike lanes could be added when this is done. More bad news: a downtown parking garage is the only solution Menlo Park is proposing for adding more parking spaces and this might never happen. More good news: There is a superior alternative – Satellite parking.
It’s time for Menlo Park to (a) propose bike lanes on several downtown streets and (b) aggressively investigate satellite parking so these bike lanes can be added in the next two to three years.
Menlo Park Transportation Master Plan view