Menlo Park: Two bus shelters coming to Belle Haven


After years of requests for bus shelters in Belle Haven by residents, the city has approved a contract with SamTrans to get two shelters built: at Marketplace Park and the Onetta Harris Community Center.

Marketplace Park is located at the corner of Market Place and Hamilton Avenue, and the Onetta Harris Community Center is located at 100 Terminal Ave.

After the shelters are ordered, it is expected to take several months for them to arrive and be installed. Meanwhile, the sites will be prepared for the shelters to be installed.

Staff will keep looking into getting shelter stops on Willow Road at Newbridge Street, Ivy Drive, and possibly Hamilton Avenue.

SamTrans has specific requirements for where the agency will install bus shelters, according to a staff report.

To be eligible, a transit stop has to serve more than 200 passengers a day, be visible to traffic, and be located in an area that is urbanized. The spread of shelter locations should also parallel areas in the county with minority census tracts, the report said.

The process was also complicated by a potential violation of the city's municipal code that advertising on the bus shelters could create. SamTrans contracts with a company called Outfront Media, which replaces and maintains bus shelters at no cost to SamTrans or local agencies by allowing advertisements at the shelter. Advertising revenues cover the costs of building and maintaining the shelters.

However, the city's municipal code bans signs and advertising in the public right-of-way in many circumstances.

It was decided by the City Attorney that advertisements would be okay after SamTrans explained the kinds of advertisements it allows. Advertisements that include political, religious, defamatory, obscene or misleading messages, or those that promote alcohol or tobacco products are not allowed.

An agreement allowing advertising at the city's other bus shelters is in the works. Those shelters are located at Middlefield Road near USGS, Ravenswood Avenue near SRI, Willow Road near Durham Avenue, and El Camino Real near Encinal Avenue.

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