The Menlo Park City Council on Tuesday night postponed installing bike lanes on El Camino Real for now; appointed new commissioners to the planning, parks and recreation and library commissions; and adjusted fees for city services.
After a long discussion with passionate comments in support of and in opposition to bike lanes on El Camino Real, the City Council voted 4-1, with council member Kirsten Keith abstaining, a complicated motion to:
● Prioritize installing bike lanes to improve east-west bike infrastructure and have staff focus on moving forward with the proposed Oak Grove Avenue bike corridor.
● Work with Caltrans to add the missing fourth pedestrian crossings at El Camino Real's intersections in Menlo Park. Those are on the south leg of Cambridge, Middle, Ravenswood and Encinal Avenues and the north leg of Roble Avenue.
● Add a westbound bike lane on Ravenswood Avenue between the Caltrain tracks and El Camino Real, with a "bike box" or something like it painted on to the street to make it easier for bikes to turn.
● Reallocate funds that had been dedicated to widening the right-turn lane at northbound El Camino Real onto Ravenswood Avenue back to the city's "Transportation Impact Fund" for use on other transportation infrastructure projects.
● Select the bike-lane option that adds a painted, rather than physical, buffer on El Camino as the city's preferred alternative to be considered for implementing as a pilot program at a future date.
● Ask the consulting firm, W-Trans, to analyze how to better address the El Camino Real bottleneck at Ravenswood Avenue. Councilman Peter Ohtaki recommended it look at different ways to spread that traffic out to other Menlo Park intersections. That item would return to the City Council in June on its consent calendar.
The council made a number of appointments.
● Planning Commission: Henry Riggs and Andrew Barnes will fill the vacancies of John Kadvany and Katie Ferrick, who had reached their term limits.
● Parks and Recreation Commission: Jennifer Baskin and Jennifer Johnson were appointed.
● Library Commission: Margaret Race was appointed. Two vacancies remain.
The council made a number of changes to the city's "master fee schedule." Administrative Services Director Nick Pegueros said the changes will increase city revenue by about $115,000, which would be put toward covering costs to improve IT services. See the city staff report on fee changes for more information.