The Menlo Park City Council is scheduled to discuss at its meeting Tuesday (Nov. 14) what to do about the drastically worsened traffic that's resulted from the installation last week of new signals at the Willow Road/U.S. 101 interchange.
The council may consider short-term measures such as: installing "No through traffic" signs; asking the police department to increase enforcement, block off streets or divert traffic; or even increasing capacity on Willow Road, where possible, during specific commute periods, such as from 4 to 7 p.m.
However, there may be limitations to what the city can do, as the project to rebuild the interchange belongs to Caltrans.
Jeff Weiss, Caltrans spokesman, explained that the next phase of the project requires taking out two of the existing highway ramps, which reduces how many cars can fit into the interchange. "There's no way to avoid that," he said.
Even after people adjust to the new traffic conditions, he said, there's not enough space for cars at the interchange to rebuild it without causing traffic delays in the interim. This period of the project is expected to last six months, he said.
• Earlier story: Menlo Park: New traffic signal snarls Willows neighborhood in gridlock (Nov. 10).