Tonight: City Council to discuss Santa Cruz Avenue sidewalks


Menlo Park's City Council will meet Tuesday, Feb. 9, to discuss what to do next about the Santa Cruz Avenue sidewalk project, to consider asking for more funding for a project to address traffic issues at the Willow Road/U.S. 101 interchange, and to discuss how to add more discussion time while keeping the general plan update on schedule.

The City Council voted in March 2015 for a preferred design plan for the Santa Cruz Avenue sidewalks, which, proposals indicate, would extend on the north side of Santa Cruz Avenue between Olive Street and Johnson Street and on the south side between Olive Street and Arbor Road. After starting on the project, staff learned from consultants that the plan would pose drainage problems because of the "crown" of the road on Santa Cruz Avenue, or the middle hump between lanes.

Fixing the problem, the consultants said, by reducing the crown of the road by between 6 and 18 inches, would raise the estimated cost of the project to $10 million.

Cheaper alternatives could be to dispense with an elevated sidewalk and just build a curb to separate bicyclists from pedestrians, or to move sidewalks closer to property lines of the homeowners along the street. Staff members have a couple of other alternatives up their sleeves, but are requesting guidance from the council first.

Willow Road/U.S. 101 Project

The council could also authorize the city to ask the county's transportation authority for more funding to close a $8 million funding gap for a project to address traffic problems relating to the Willow Road/U.S. 101 interchange. A request for state "transportation improvement program" funding had been the plan, but those funds are "oversubscribed" for the current and future fiscal years, according to a staff report.

General plan review

The council plans to discuss how best to move the ConnectMenlo project forward. During the project's last advisory committee meeting, several attendees requested that the public discussions be organized by topic, so that people who want to talk about the proposed community benefits and calculation formula, for instance, wouldn't have to sit through a discussion on the proposed architectural design standards, and vice versa.

However, breaking the meetings down could postpone the timeline for the general plan update, unless, as staff recommends, a marathon discussion is scheduled for a Saturday, with Feb. 27 suggested, to cover all the topics in turn.

The meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at 701 Laurel St. in the Menlo Park Civic Center.

View the agenda or watch the meeting online.

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Like this comment
Posted by MPer
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 9, 2016 at 2:01 pm

yes, let's move this closer to property lines. why isn't this already being done. and the we should fire the transportation director who facilitated this mess. My guess is this was planned all along because the city (and citizens) really don't want to do anything to fix the sidewalk situation in MP.

Like this comment
Posted by Done deal
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 10, 2016 at 1:37 pm

Watching the meeting last night it was clear that the design is done already. A number of speakers encouraged using more of the city right of way, maximizing sidewalk width. under grounding utilities, and taking holistic view. But council congratulated community for "coming together" and made no changes that I saw.

Like this comment
Posted by millions
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 11, 2016 at 1:19 pm

Sidewalks on city land elsewhere in Menlo Park:
before: Web Link
after: Web Link

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

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