News

Menlo Park: Chilco Street to get long-awaited sidewalks

 

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."

Comments

15 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 2, 2016 at 7:33 pm

Really shocking that major streets in Menlo Park still do not have sidewalks. Are we living in a 3rd world country?


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 2, 2016 at 7:49 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"Really shocking that major streets in Menlo Park still do not have sidewalks. Are we living in a 3rd world country?"

We're a "village", haven't you heard? Sidewalks aren't in keeping with our "village character."

Unless, of course, it involves self entitled parents that want sidewalks on Santa Cruz Ave. for their children.


3 people like this
Posted by what about Santa Cruz?
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 2, 2016 at 10:32 pm

Glad there will be some sidewalks where needed.
But how is it that Chilco gets sidewalks this year due to a february decision and Santa Cruz still has no sidewalks after more than ten years of councils supporting sidewalks?
A study session was held recently and there are no answers about when they will be done.


10 people like this
Posted by Ray Mueller
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Mar 3, 2016 at 7:14 am

Over the last four years as a City Councilmember I have worked very hard towards the installation of sidewalks on Santa Cruz Ave, working out a design between residents and the City. That design work is in final stages, and has been approved by the City Council. The budget has already been set aside for installation of the sidewalk this year. I believe we all will celebrate the installation of the sidewalks. Moreover the City Council has designated the installation of sidewalks this year at the highest level of importance for staff. We didn't create this problem. It existed before I was elected. It is my expectation it will be solved this year before my term is over.


Like this comment
Posted by MPer
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 3, 2016 at 12:02 pm

@ Menlo Voter

You have to be kidding. Menlo Park is NOT a village, it is a city of 30k people smack dab in the middle of metro area with 7MM+. The village ship sailed many, many years ago.

The real reason we don't have sidewalks is due to the entitled and prop 13 subsidiezed homeowners who do not want to pay to have them installed, nor do they want to pay to maintain them (even thought this is state law).

Wanting sidewalks to separated pedestrians fron vehicle traffic does not make anyone entitled. I cringe whenever I see kids, seniors or anyone really who is forced to walk in traffic because selfish homeowners like their 'village'.


Like this comment
Posted by MPer
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 3, 2016 at 1:26 pm

@ray

Appreciate your work on making sidewalks a priority. However, it is unfair to place the blame on past administrations. Among the current council many have served multiple terms and have been involved in city politics even longer. So while you may want to blame past councils, those decision makers are sitting right next to you. Of course, you can't blame the city council with out blaming the citizens themselves as the council is merely a representation of the people who elect them. There are those, like Menlo Voter, that don't want to spend the money to keep pedestrians safe.


1 person likes this
Posted by Ray Mueller
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Mar 3, 2016 at 1:41 pm

@MPer

I haven't blamed anyone in my prior post. I certainly didn't blame past Councils, nor my colleagues on the City Council. To the contrary, I explicitly pointed out "we" didn't create the problem. I also pointed out my colleagues good work elevating the issue to the highest priority this year. I appreciate the Council's work on this issue.

Best regards,
Ray


1 person likes this
Posted by MPer
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 3, 2016 at 2:28 pm

@ Ray

You're right you didn't explicitly blame anyone. You said that "we' didn't create the problem. Someone must have created it. So I ask, who created the problem, if not previous city councils and MP residents? Prop 13, maybe? Love to hear you thoughts...


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 3, 2016 at 4:16 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Yes MPer:

I was kidding. Those are the reason nothing gets done in this town, because it will "destroy" the "village character" of our town. At least that's what the no birds say.


3 people like this
Posted by Ray Mueller
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Mar 3, 2016 at 4:29 pm

@MPer,
As I general rule I do my best to try to avoid the habit of casting blame for conditions that have developed over time. Rather I would prefer people come together to focus on solutions. First, in public policy work It may be unfair to cast blame. There are so many variables that change over time. And casting blame often is counterproductive to the process of building the consensus necessary to achieve a solution. That's not to say that while searching for solutions in the present we can't identify obstacles to possible solutions, but even then it's presumptuous to say those obstacles caused the historical problem. I know that probably doesn't make good Town Square fodder.


Like this comment
Posted by MPer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 4, 2016 at 10:05 am

@Menlo Voter

I am dense at times :). I'm with you.


5 people like this
Posted by Dawn
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 4, 2016 at 12:27 pm

Could be the reason it can happen so much faster on Chilco is because people died as a result of there being no clear walking area (especially at the spot where it happened) and because none of the neighbors are against it. Certainly it would be nice if death weren't the threshold for solving problems (as it clearly isn't many times).


5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 4, 2016 at 7:59 pm


Agree or not agree, Thank you Mr. Mueller for participating.


Like this comment
Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 5, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Just so people understand: the section of Chilco getting sidewalks has unused railroad tracks on one side, a fence behind the old Tyco property on the other (which I believe Facebook owns). It doesn't have houses or other driveways along it, which is probably why sidewalks were never built there. However, a couple pedestrians died there a couple years ago, and it would not surprise me if Facebook developed the area so a sidewalk would get more use. Even without that, sidewalks would be good for Bellehaven residents wanting to walk to the Bayfront trail to Bedwell Park, or for students walking to the planned STEM high school.


6 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 5, 2016 at 2:35 pm

@Alan - Chilco is the most direct route to walk from Belle Haven Elementary School out to the Bay Trail (about a 20 minute walk). The only other route is Willow Road, which is much longer and has much more car traffic. Not installing sidewalks on Chilco is inexcusable. Just because no one lives right at the location where those pedestrians were killed does not mean it is the middle of nowhere.


Like this comment
Posted by MPer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 8, 2016 at 9:10 pm

@ Ray Mueller

Ok, so the politician in you won't use the word "blame', and you also deflect any responsibility for you or any city council member or city employee die to 'variables'.

So I ask my question, which you failed 2x to answer, in different way.

What are the historic and current obstacles that are preventing Menlo Park for adding and maintaining safe side walks for pedestrians. So far the only thing being done is Chilco because people died and the city can say the "doing something about it" and SC -- still waiting.

The city sill has zero plans to add sidewalks to the many streets with out and no plan to fix those in disrepair. The city won't even enforce the state laws that require property owners to maintain their sidewalks. A city engineer is quoted as saying that would be unpopular.

So while there is no one to blame, Ray, you are at the end of your term and the only thing moving on sidewalks is due to 2 deaths and SC still hasn't broken ground and still being discussed after a decade of talking.

So I am eager to hear what those factors are, what the city is planning beyond SC and Chilco and will the city actually enforce the state law?


Like this comment
Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 16, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Resident - Sheesh. I just was pointing out the likely history. If you bothered to read the read of my comment, I was providing justifications for the sidewalk.

I used to live in "unincorporated" Menlo Park (i.e., part of the postal delivery area, but not officially part of the city). No sidewalks there, even with houses left and right. Sidewalks get built when there's money.

The accident happened because the lady was drunk out of her skull. I suspect she would've run over people on sidewalks as well.


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

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