News

Menlo Park police focus on Ravenswood Avenue traffic problems

 

Menlo Park police have been more visible lately along Ravenswood Avenue, concentrating traffic enforcement efforts there.

The problem intersections are two -- at Ravenswood and Alma Street, where trial traffic-control measures designed to improve safety were put in place earlier this month, and at Ravenswood and Laurel Street.

Police will be monitoring the area and issuing tickets as long as traffic violations persist, according to Menlo Park Police Department spokeswoman Nicole Acker. The ticketing is being driven by complaints, she said.

The Laurel Street intersection does not have left-turn arrow signals, so northbound drivers who are turning onto Ravenswood and those who are going straight ahead on Laurel end up negotiating the right of way. But with just one lane for traffic coming along Laurel from the north, backups occur and drivers intent on crossing Ravenswood have been using a bike lane to swerve around vehicles waiting to turn left toward Menlo-Atherton High School.

In addition to being illegal, such maneuvers also block vehicles in the intersection coming from the direction of the Civic Center and waiting to turn west toward El Camino Real, Ms. Acker said.

Police issued 10 tickets at Laurel and Ravenswood between June 18 and 24, including nine on June 24 for illegal use of a bike lane, according to police department records.

Meanwhile over that same seven-day period at Alma and Ravenswood -- a busy intersection recently reconfigured to prevent turns that might slow traffic in the vicinity of the Caltrain railroad tracks -- police issued nine tickets for violations that include failure to yield, making a U-turn in a business district, and driving on the wrong side of the road, records show.

A Palo Alto woman was killed near this intersection on Feb. 23 when a southbound bullet train struck her vehicle, which was still on the tracks when the crossing gates came down. It was the third train versus vehicle incident at this crossing in three years.

With a $750,000 grant from the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, the city of Menlo Park and Caltrain are considering a long-term project to improve safety at this location.

In a temporary fix, the city added medians and curb extensions on Ravenswood east of the rail crossing with the aim of channeling Ravenswood traffic quickly through the area, leaving the railroad tracks free of traffic when the crossing gates come down.

But the reconfiguration also blocks significant Ravenswood traffic that normally turned on Alma Street to get to the library, the Civic Center and nearby neighborhoods.

The change has transformed that part of Alma into something like a dead-end street. Traveling on Alma from Ravenswood is no longer possible, but "people are still trying to turn right on Alma," Ms. Acker said.

When traveling north on Alma toward Ravenswood, drivers cannot turn toward town but must head east toward M-A.

And despite the presence of the curb extensions and orange cones blocking access to Alma, some drivers headed east on Ravenswood cross the tracks and pause at the intersection, Ms. Acker said. Such pauses may reflect an unanticipated problem, she said: GPS devices are telling people to turn right.

As if matters weren't complicated enough, there is a crosswalk on Ravenswood that is governed by pedestrian-activated warning lights and located just a few car lengths from the tracks.

People are fighting the trial fix. A petition at Change.org, "Stop the madness! Stop the Alma/Ravenswood traffic experiment," had 98 signatures as of mid-morning on Friday, June 26.

Among the complaints, petitioners say that the intersection at Alma and Ravenswood is now less safe, that traffic backups are still a problem, and that bike safety to M-A will be compromised when school restarts in the fall.

Comments

7 people like this
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 26, 2015 at 12:29 pm

Since I frequent the Library very often, the problem is not the right hand turn on Alma off Ravenswood, the problem is the cross walk at Alma and Ravenswood. On the way to the Library yesterday, cars had to wait for people to cross leaving a huge backup. Then Ravenswood changed to two lanes causing more problems. Focus on crosswalks, not on the right hand turn to Alma.


21 people like this
Posted by cross walker
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 26, 2015 at 12:44 pm

this experiment has run its course. it is time to stop the non-sense. maybe the police and the traffic engineer should listen to the people and stop running a study just because they have a grant. it is a total waste of time, gas, money to put in this unnecessary R) turn blockage onto Alma. can anyone at the police department or the traffic engineering dept tell us why they came to the conclusion that it was a good idea to block the r) turn lane onto Alma.

Stop the non-sense with this study. it would take one about an hour of observation to see what a good fix would be to solve the problem with the tracks. and, it does not involve blocking the R) turn on to Alma street scenario.


22 people like this
Posted by Fixes
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 26, 2015 at 1:03 pm

The intersection at Laurel and Ravenswood has been problematic forever. I am one of the many drivers who slips into the bike lane on southbound Laurel to pass cars turning left onto Ravenswood. I'm always careful to check for bikes first! If drivers had to wait in line, often only one or two cars would get through on each cycle.

Time to step up, Menlo Park. Are you going to start treating Laurel @ Ravenswood as a profit center? Or will you finally create a left-turn-only lane on Laurel (yes, there is room if you remove the parking) and add a four-way traffic light so that people can actually get where they need to go? Our city has so much money for consultants; surely it can spend a few thousand on fixing up this intersection. Preferably before two huge new complexes get built on El Camino!


8 people like this
Posted by senioracit
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 26, 2015 at 1:25 pm

I'm now avoiding the left turn at Laurel when I want to head towards El Camino Real. I go down to Oak Grove instead. Yes, a bother, but I avoid all the well-documented problems that come up at the Alma/Ravenswood intersection. Also, with heavier traffic on Ravenswood and on Laurel, making lefts has become more difficult than ever. Left turn signal, please!

I did come back home today from El Camino to Ravenswood and got across the tracks with no problem. However, the car in front of me had slowed to a crawl and was signaling a right turn onto Alma as it maneuvered to get past the barriers. The driver was thwarted when two cars approached on Alma to make a right onto Ravenswood, blocking her access. Traffic began flowing again.


11 people like this
Posted by Mike Keenly
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 26, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Regardless of the changes, trial or otherwise, that the City makes at the Ravenswood/Alma intersection, drivers must obey the traffic laws, and should expect to be ticketed if they don't.


3 people like this
Posted by Debbie Hall
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 26, 2015 at 3:09 pm

I agree with others that the pedestrian crosswalk is too close to the train tracks. Several years ago, my daughter was rear-ended after crossing the tracks and stopping for a pedestrian; the road curves left slightly at and after the tracks, and you don't have great visibility beyond the tracks as you approach the crosswalk. I propose that pedestrians should either cross at El Camino OR at Laurel and not in between. While driving on Ravenswood today, I saw a pedestrian jay walking across Ravenswood just west of the train tracks -- only a few yards away from the crosswalk she should have used. Very dangerous.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jun 26, 2015 at 3:36 pm

I travel this route every day to and from work in downtown MP. Why not put elevated cross walks at the intersection of Alma and Ravenswood? It is pedestrians that cause the backup onto the tracks. While I realize it comes with a big cost but what is going on now is rediculous and equally as dangerous and eventually costly to everyone. These barriers have just created a new problem.

The death of the young woman who was struck on the tracks was a tragic event, no doubt. However, she was headed west on Ravenswood towards El Camino and was stuck due to traffic being backed up at the light, not pedestrians. Pedestrians primarily affect eastbound cars making right turns onto Alma, causing a sudden backup on the tracks as well as eastbound cars having to stop for pedestrians crossing on Ravenswood. It is these two crosswalks that are at issue. It would be less expensive to build the raised cross walks than elevating the tracks.


Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 26, 2015 at 3:46 pm

A raised crosswalk that could accommodate semi-trailers would have to be ADA compliant, which would mean a long ramp on both sides. It would probably end up in the middle of the block, maybe next to the lawn behind the library.

It's a nice idea, but would it not look absurd? An observer would have to wonder what its purpose is hanging over the middle of a block like that, with no obvious relation to the reason it was put there. It would eventually require a plaque explaining why it's there.

Or you could run the ramps westward and have the raised crosswalk closer to the tracks. That would not look absurd, but it would involve a long trip to the ramp and back again on the other side in order to cross the street,


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 26, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" Why not put elevated cross walks at the intersection of Alma and Ravenswood? "

A bridge would have to have clearance for a 15 ft vehicle and that would require ramps at least 200 ft long on each side to be ADA compliant.


15 people like this
Posted by Emme
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Jun 26, 2015 at 5:05 pm

I appreciate the new traffic flow for safety and have no problem with the minor traffic Inconviences it causes. Reading the tickets that were given, MP Drivers are obviously not brilliant, driving over the orange cones? Driving in the wrong direction? There had been a "Right Only 4-6pm" sign on Alma for years and NO ONE paid any attention to it. Daily I would count and honk at cars going left or straight.

So yeah, you can't drive anyway you like and get away with it, boo hoo. And really pedestrians are slowing you down, wow. 1st world problems.


3 people like this
Posted by Menlo Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jun 26, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Points well taken on the bridge idea. And, Emme, the issue isn't about pedestrians slowing people down but the fact that cars can get backed up on the track resulting in a catastrophe. Things can go awry fast and it is a precarious situation for everyone.


9 people like this
Posted by Martin D
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 26, 2015 at 9:26 pm

Is this traffic entrapment on Ravenswood really the highest and best use of our Police Force?

If our Police Force has time to waste on ridiculous tickets like people moving into the bike lane at an intersection because the left turn lane has been jammed by an even more ridiculous traffic experiment, then there are fundamental problems with our community governance that need to be addressed.

As many others above have pointed out, this is not rocket science. We are all smart people. We do not need to pay consultants $00ks to tell us how to plan our intersections.

Our council just needs to step up, watch the traffic, listen to the community, and act accordingly to fix the basic and obvious traffic flow problems. In any basically competent startup this should have been fixed in 48 hours.

Then our police force can go back to solving real crimes, instead of trying to enforce ridiculous political decisions, which reduces our respect for them and (one would hope) their respect for themselves.


6 people like this
Posted by MP Commuter
a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2015 at 10:08 pm

It's amazing the lengths the city and police department have had to go to because people simply won't obey rules of the road. How did people get their driver's licenses because it seems so many of them are ignorant of the vehicle code. If cars are backing up on the tracks it's because people aren't paying attention to what's going on in front of them. Before you cross the tracks or enter the intersection pay attention. Can you clear them? Are pedestrians or bikes coming that will impede your progress? If so, don't proceed. It's pretty simple. Are you really in that much of a hurry that you have to risk your life or the lives of others? Perhaps if people obeyed the laws the city wouldn't have to take such measures. So who's to blame here, the city or the people complaining?


4 people like this
Posted by JudyC
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jun 27, 2015 at 6:26 am

Driving in a solid stripped legally designated bike lane is ILLEGAL Period. The three-foot LAW is rarely enforced. MP police, please enforce both. Everywhere.


6 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 27, 2015 at 7:58 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

I spoke to one of the officers working traffic at that intersection. They said they get accidents at that intersection frequently and that is why they are doing heavy enforcement there. In addition they said the problem could be solved with turn arrows or changing the lights to three way to improve the traffic flow. I think the officer has it right. This isn't rocket science. Change the traffic signals and improve the flow and people won't be inclined to drive in the bike lane.


Like this comment
Posted by lindamax
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 27, 2015 at 2:52 pm

I live in the Linfield Oaks neighborhood. Traffic has been dangerous for decades between El Camino and Laurel Street for automobiles, bikes, pedestrians, stollers, high school students (MA), junior high students (Hillview), train commuters (SRI), old ladies (me), etc. It is now worse. I do applaud Menlo Park for trying to identify solutions for problematic traffic areas rather than "kicking the can down the road" again. Meanwhile, keep up the "No Turn" signs!

I HATE the idea of left turn signals on Laurel as it will only encourage traffic to take short-cuts from Willow Road through the Linfield Oaks neighborhood to El Camino (or vice versa) where there are many, many people enjoying Burgess Park, and countless students on bikes/scooters/skates on their way to Laurel, Hillview, and MA.

Obviously we need adequate traffic protections for those of us living within the now traffic-laden Linfield Oaks neighborhood as well as for other families enjoying Burgess Park and the library (and the Police Station?). I am concerned that Menlo Park will not find other solutions for pedestrian vs. vehicular traffic until someone else has to die to highlight the problem again.

What happened to the idea of channeling the traffic through a tunnel under the train tracks? A pedestrian tunnel by Willow Road? What else? There has to be smarter people out there than me that have better solutions.


2 people like this
Posted by stevendines
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 27, 2015 at 3:06 pm

The issue with Ravenswood and Alma is the proximity of the crosswalk to the train tracks - not the right turns onto Alma!

A significant amount of eastbound traffic turned onto Alma - and now blocking the turn onto Alma has aggravated the problem. and caused more traffic to flow eastbound on ravenswood.

Move the crosswalks!

1. The Southside E-W ravenswood crosswalk crossing Alma should be eliminated -

2. Pedestrians wanting to cross Alma should me made to cross over to the north side of ravenswood.

3. The N-S crosswalk crossing ravenswood should be moved 25 yards east on ravenswood.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 27, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Driving in a solid stripped legally designated bike lane is ILLEGAL Period."

Wrong.


California Vehicle Code section 21717: Turning Across Bicycle Lane states that cars are required to enter the bike lane before turning.

"Whenever it is necessary for the driver of a motor vehicle to cross a bicycle lane that is adjacent to his lane of travel to make a turn, the driver shall drive the motor vehicle into the bicycle lane prior to making the turn and shall make the turn pursuant to Section 22100.

22100. Except as provided in Section 22100.5 or 22101, the driver
of any vehicle intending to turn upon a highway shall do so as
follows:
(a) Right Turns. Both the approach for a right-hand turn and a
right-hand turn shall be made as close as practicable to the
right-hand curb or edge of the roadway "


3 people like this
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 27, 2015 at 4:21 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

Don't tell me I can't turn where I want, seems to be the attitude in Menlo Park. The best way to resolve this attitude is, you guessed it, CITATIONS.


3 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Jun 27, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Perhaps it is time to re-consider having Sand Hill Road go through to Willow as conceived years ago. There are simply too few East/West connectors to handle the traffic flow in these directions...which results in East/West/West East traffic flowing through downtown MP. Safety, fuel and time-efficiency could all be improved.


4 people like this
Posted by Scott McMahon
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 27, 2015 at 9:00 pm

Dear Almanac readers, please don't think cars are NEVER allowed in the bike lane. When making a right turn, the vehicle code says cars MUST stay close to the curb, whether there is a bike lane or not. It's part of communicating to other drivers what you're going to do. That's why the bike lane line is dotted near intersections. While it is illegal for cars to use the bike lane in the middle of the block; those making right turns at an intersection are REQUIRED to use it. Obviously, cars planning a right turn need to signal and merge safely with bicycle traffic in the bike lane when they get close to the intersection. As a bicyclist and a driver, I often encounter drivers who do not understand this. They make right turns from the middle of the street that appear to other drivers to be last second changes of direction. Turns like this confuse and occasionally endanger others on the road, even when the driver signals the turn properly.

I bring this up because the article doesn't make this distinction and some readers may think they'll be ticketed no matter where they enter a bike lane. On the contrary, drivers who don't use the bike lane as they approach a right turn are the ones who risk a citation.


6 people like this
Posted by Fixes
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 28, 2015 at 12:14 am

Can we put the "let's punch through Willow!" discussion to rest?

A bike tunnel was proposed at the end of Willow about ten years ago, and was vetoed by many, especially the Stanford Park Hotel, who did not want the tunnel on their property. Want to try to grab their parking lot via eminent domain? And let's not forget that Stanford is getting ready to build a 400,000 square foot complex on the adjacent lot, and I don't think they're willing to give up 1/3 of their land so that Sand Hill and Willow can connect.

But let's imagine Stanford was willing to donate that land to the common good. The stretch of Willow between Alma and Middlfield is only about .5 mile, and would quickly be bumper-to-bumper during rush hour. Cars would be backed up on northbound El Camino waiting to turn right, essentially forcing through traffic to use the other two lanes. Let's take our current gridlock and make it far, far worse, and why not ruin my neighborhood in the process!

It actually makes sense to stretch out the traffic, forcing people to drive out of the way so that you can fit in more cars and keep everyone moving. Think of it as the Disneyland principle.

As for turn signals: I appreciate the desire to keep cut-through traffic out of residential neighborhoods, but the civic center is on Laurel. With the new restriction on Alma right turns, it's hard enough for people to get to the library/pool/childcare center/gyms/etc. I'd rather make Ravenswood and Middlefield -- non-residential streets that are built to accommodate more traffic -- more efficient rather than try to restrict traffic.


3 people like this
Posted by Edward Syrett
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 28, 2015 at 12:19 am

Edward Syrett is a registered user.

So here it comes, in the comment from "Observer" in Portola Valley. The Willow Expressway, presumed dead and buried by public demand back around 1970, is returning zombie-style. Willow Road is SO tied up at rush hour that Willows residents like myself devise elaborate routes to avoid setting tires on it between 5:00pm and 7:00pm on weekdays. Any solution to the Ravenswood mess ought to honor the concept that people coming from 101 and headed for 280 should use one of the two existing expressways: Oregon in Palo Alto or Woodside Rd. in Redwood City. Putting more pressure on Willow Road would be as senseless as putting more pressure on University Avenue in Palo Alto.


2 people like this
Posted by Edward Syrett
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 28, 2015 at 12:27 am

Edward Syrett is a registered user.

Regarding the possibility of an elevated pedestrian overcrossing of Ravenswood at Alma,couldn't the access ramps (required for ADA compliance) be made spirals like the ones at the recently revamped overcrossing of 101? That should minimize the land-grab requirement and keep the crossing where it is obviously most needed. The reason it keeps creating backups across the tracks is that it's just so popular with pedestrians. And of course, it, not the right turners onto Alma from eastbound Ravenswood, is the primary cause of those backups. If anything, the right turns alleviate the back-pressure and should be restored ASAP.


Like this comment
Posted by Edward Syrett
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 28, 2015 at 12:37 am

Edward Syrett is a registered user.

BTW, anticipating problems in the area under discussion is not as simple as "MP Commuter" asserts. I frequently cross the tracks there in the eastbound direction, and find it next to impossible to guess whether a pedestrian will have stepped out in front of the car ahead of the card ahead of me just as I've committed to crossing, leaving me with my trunk dangling across the northbound Caltrain tracks. I don't cross so often in the westbound direction, because the light at Ravenswood and Middlefield gives so little time to traffic turning left off of Middlefield that I always sail right by in the through lane and take my chances on turning left on Oak Grove. That gets me right to the post office, usually my first stop anyhow.

And yes, saving time on these trips is important, even to us retirees. In fact, maybe even more so for us because our energetic episodes are much shorter than they once were, and we need to get as much done as possible between naps. These are trips I make several times a week, and a minute or two saved on each trip adds up over the course of a year.


1 person likes this
Posted by Very Concerned
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 28, 2015 at 12:18 pm

All great comments and this is really only the beginning of the issues with this new trial traffic pattern. Californians need to brush up on their driving skills, use blinkers, and horns when necessary, then follow the law on use of bike lanes as well as left on red, right on red rules. The biggest issue we have are people who do not KNOW or FOLLOW the law. The other issue we have are people on cell phones who lack focus on their driving. I do hope the city police are aware that during this "trial" the Menlo Park schools are ALL on break, so the issues we are experiencing now are only a fraction of what they will be in fall when everyone returns from vacation! I have serious concerns; last week I was driving from a very low key Burgess parking lot at 5pm, now only accessibly by Laurel Street, only to find the traffic to be solid from El Camino all the way to Middlefield road, with no break. How does this make the train track or pedestrian crossing safer? Laurel cannot handle all of this traffic and how will this look at the end of August?! Opening up that right turn onto Alma will help relieve this Ravenswood/Laurel traffic issue until there is a proper study to correct the flow problem. Certainly we are not the first city to face such an issue, and there should be a way to leverage knowledge of how other cities safely deal with growth.


Like this comment
Posted by Aaron
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 29, 2015 at 12:33 pm

Aaron is a registered user.

Peter Carpenter replied previously:

" Why not put elevated cross walks at the intersection of Alma and Ravenswood? "

A bridge would have to have clearance for a 15 ft vehicle and that would require ramps at least 200 ft long on each side to be ADA compliant.

Peter - what about an under pass for pedestrians, with a ramp that doubles back? There's PLENTY of space along Ravenswood next to the library to put in an underpass ramp for bikes/Pedestrians, and perhaps the other side would need to cut into the Axis gym's parking lot a bit. Look at the bike/pedestrian underpass of teh CalTrain corridor at Homer St. in Palo Alto (crossing to the PAMF complex). Can we put in something similar at this intersection?

It's clear we need to not have a cross-walk at Ravenswood/Alma, and only a Grade Separated railroad crossing, and/or a grade separated pedestrian crossing will work.


1 person likes this
Posted by gunste
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Jun 29, 2015 at 12:39 pm

Time to apply some intelligent and logical thinking to the experiment prohibiting a right turn onto Alma. Making traffic paths more complex and cumbersome is hardly a solution. - But I see where Menlo Park just likes the additional revenue from tickets that are generated by this boondoggle.


4 people like this
Posted by Aaron
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 29, 2015 at 12:54 pm

Aaron is a registered user.

Fixes wrote: "It actually makes sense to stretch out the traffic, forcing people to drive out of the way so that you can fit in more cars and keep everyone moving. Think of it as the Disneyland principle."

The reason you have bucolic low-traffic neighborhoods like Linfield Oaks, and Allied Arts, is BECAUSE we are pushing traffic around these neighborhoods using a few major streets. If you don't like the traffic on ECR/Middlefield/Ravenswood, then the only way to alleviate it it to connect Willow with ECR/Middle Ave., Connect University Drive through to Sand Hill Road, Connect Alma in MO with Alma in PA, etc.

If you love your traffic-free bubble neighborhoods, then don't complain about the gridlock on the arteries. We are all dealing with more inconvenience and gridlock so that these neighborhoods remain traffic free and idyllic. A Willow connection to ECR would make so many people's commuting lives better, as would connecting University Drive to Sand Hill Road, and possibly even Alma to Alma. But it would degrade the neighborhoods, so even though it would be the logical thing to to to alleviate traffic congestion on ECR/Ravenswood, and Middlefield on the whole, it's not going to happen.


5 people like this
Posted by Other options?
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jun 29, 2015 at 6:31 pm

I also am curious about the possibility of a Willow Road underpass/extension. Was not here in the 1970s but would be interested in reading about the prior discussions. It seems to me that most of the Willow backup results from the 101 interchange eastbound in the afternoons (traffic heading to the bridge), rather than the mornings? And there are plans to rework the interchange, hopefully that will alleviate the backup. I think someone on another thread mentioned that Willow used to be 4 lanes between Middlefield and 101?

If the issue is grade crossing, then just to the casual observer Willow seems worth exploring. Looking at Google Earth, the terminus is roughly across from Cambridge, through the empty parking lot which I take it from the comments above is owned by Stanford. The tracks are already somewhat elevated from the roadway (unlike at Ravenswood). There is an existing stoplight at Cambridge. While there are only 3 lanes northbound on ECR in front of the hotel the right lane is very wide, might there be room to fit a right-turn only lane? Also, wouldn't something like this help for when high speed rail comes?

I'm not saying this is the best option, I'd just like to know the pros of cons of the various possibilities and hope this all can be addressed with a comprehensive plan.

What was the problem with connecting Sand Hill to Alma?


2 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Jun 30, 2015 at 2:06 pm

@ "Other options" (and others)-Thank you for continuing/contributing to a thoughtful discussion with good points about Willow/ECR/Sand Hill connecting things/offering potential solutions. We need to explore options which might make sense now -- whether or not they were discussed in the distant past.

Great point that elevation of tracks might allow for a non-grade crossing for cars, bikes and pedestrians, which would be much safer than Ravenswood.

With Stanford development in proximity coming fairly soon, I really hope these issues become part of the discussion for a broader solution.

As one commentator noted, there is no direct east/west/west east connection between Oregon Expressway/Page Mill and Woodside Road. In other words, MP has no direct connector. Shouldn't it? Again, think of the safety, fuel and time efficiencies to be gained.


2 people like this
Posted by senioracit
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 6, 2015 at 12:18 pm

Good news: a left turn arrow for drivers turning left onto Ravenswood from Laurel has now been installed.

Bad news: the unhelpful sign at the end of Willow Rd at Alma St. is still there. It says "El Camino Real" with an arrow pointing right (thus directing people down Alma St. to Ravenswood where they used to be able to get to El Camino by turning left there. But there's no left turn at Ravenswood anymore, and those who follow that sign will find themselves at barriers).


Like this comment
Posted by try one-way streets
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 6, 2015 at 2:29 pm

The current ugly mess is causing more problems than it fixes. Try one-way streets instead so there isn't cross traffic. Ravenswood-Menlo going west would allow westbound traffic clear view of the much needed crosswalk across Ravenswood near Alma, and clear view and space to stop before the tracks.
The other one-way would be Oak Grove going east from University.
The Bike Commission also suggested one-way streets and a test of bike lanes on these streets.
This suggestion is better than theirs because it has the added bonus to make the intersection at University less confusing and safer for pedestrians in crosswalks from Draegers, assuming University between Menlo and Santa Cruz is north-bound only. It also avoids the scrunching up merger of east-bound lanes just east of Alma on Ravenswood.
I think this might help with El Camino flow. It could be modeled and piloted for feedback.


Like this comment
Posted by try one-way streets
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 6, 2015 at 4:12 pm

clarifying - turns can be allowed onto and from Alma, but only from westbound Ravenswood and eastbound Oak Grove.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Opening alert: Dumpling Garden in Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 6 comments | 7,380 views

Always Moving: Jazmin Toca's Tale of Joy, Disability, and Purpose
By Aldis Petriceks | 0 comments | 1,265 views

It’s All Gone Sour (snack recipe)
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 1,226 views

Couples: Do you Really Agree or are you Afraid of not Agreeing?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 591 views

 

2018 guide to summer camps

Looking for something for the kids to do this summer, learn something new and have fun? The 2018 Summer Camp Guide features local camps for all ages and interests.

Find Camps Here