Focusing on the El Camino Real portion of the proposed downtown specific plan for Menlo Park last night, the Planning Commission decided to emphasize the need to make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists to cross the busy street.
The plan suggests enhancing crosswalks at Oak Grove Avenue, Santa Cruz Avenue, Ravenswood Avenue, and other locations through technology such as countdown signals, and also creating median islands and sidewalk extensions. Grade-separated crossings would also be added over railroad tracks at the Caltrain station and near Middle Avenue.
With disappointment over the options for what the plan describes as "east-west connectivity," the commission voted unanimously to encourage the City Council to look for more creative, aggressive ways to help people get across the street safely through signal timing and modification.
The disappointment may have been expressed during the Aug. 4 meeting, but wasn't expressly included in the recommendation.
"I don't want the word disappointment in there," Commissioner Henry Riggs told his colleagues. "It's our job as the Planning Commission to vet this stuff for the council. As much as we are disappointed, I think it's poor form to say it that way. Maybe 'in order to accomplish more than is proposed.'"
The commission's recommendations will go to the City Council, which ultimately decides the final shape of the specific plan.
Go here to review the specific plan. The Planning Commission continues its review on Monday, Aug. 22, when it's expected to consider aspects of the plan related to senior housing, open space, and façade heights, among other topics. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St.