Chilco Street, located between U.S. 101 and Bayfront Expresway, is scheduled to get sidewalks in 2016, under a plan unanimously approved by the Menlo Park City Council on Feb. 23.
In October 2013, a Menlo Park wife and husband were struck and killed by a drunken driver while they were walking their dog in a bike lane eastbound on Chilco Street, west of Constitution Drive.
The sidewalk project is due to completed in three phases, with most of the costs paid by Facebook.
Safety concerns on the Chilco Street corridor have been ongoing and were again raised in an email Menlo Park resident Sheryl Bims sent to the council. "Why is it the case that our city has done nothing to improve safety along that route?" she asked. Within weeks of sending the email, she told the council at its Feb. 23 meeting she is "elated to see how quickly this project is moving forward."
The first phase of the sidewalk installation will address the straight section of Chilco Street parallel to the Dumbarton tracks. That step will install concrete curb separators for bike lanes, maintain the southbound bike lanes, add a pedestrian path, and install temporary street lighting. That segment may be completed in May.
The second phase, slated for completion in the summer 2016, will add a separated bike path in both directions on Chilco Street starting on the curve of the street to the intersection with Constitution Drive. The project will add a 5-foot-wide pedestrian path with landscaping on the eastbound side of Chilco Street and install new permanent street lighting.
The stretch of Chilco Street between Constitution Drive and Bayfront Expressway is scheduled for pedestrian and bike upgrades when the Menlo Gateway hotel project is built. Those changes are expected to be completed by the end of the year, a staff report said.
In the third phase, pedestrian and bike improvements will be built between the Chilco Street-Terminal Avenue and where Chilco Street crosses the railroad right-of-way. Segments of that area are controlled by Samtrans and the California Public Utilities Commission, so it is expected to take longer to coordinate construction, but the plan is to install a sidewalk on the west side of the railroad tracks, on land outside of those agencies' control, and then work with the two agencies to complete the rest within six to eight months.
A report by the city arborist identified 79 heritage trees, 70 of which have been determined to be in poor health, and 34 non-heritage trees that would be removed for the project. Trees would be replaced at a 2:1 ratio for heritage trees in good health and 1:1 for trees in fair or poor health.
Mayor Rich Cline remarked to Public Works Director Justin Murphy, "I hope it's as easy to get done as it is to vote for it."