Menlo Park: Activists urge Willow Road changes to keep kids safe


Members of Belle Haven Action, a nonprofit focused on addressing problems in Menlo Park's Belle Haven neighborhood, are worried about kids' safety as they commute to and from school across U.S. 101 and along Willow Road.

Several members of the group sent an email to officials from Caltrans, the cities of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park, the Sequoia and Ravenswood City school districts, and San Mateo County, containing photos and a video showing kids making dangerous crossings on areas of Willow Road. Julie Shanson of Belle Haven Action wrote in the email that the group is requesting that a shuttle be implemented to run between Menlo-Atherton High School and Willow Oaks Elementary on a regular basis; that crossing guards direct pedestrians during peak times, and that the area be monitored regularly by police.

The group has three years' worth of photos and videos showing dangerous conditions for kids there, she wrote, but the safety problems have gotten worse since construction started on Caltrans' project to rebuild the U.S. 101/Willow Road overpass.

During construction, Caltrans is running a 24-hour shuttle bus to drive pedestrians and cyclists back and forth across the interchange. But, Ms. Shanson wrote, "We've heard that the shuttle service is inadequate and slow. We know kids don't wait."

"The pedestrian overpass near Ringwood Avenue and Van Buren Road over 101 is inconvenient for pedestrians and not monitored," she added. "We'd like to help explore solutions since this construction is due to last for months to come."

She said Caltrans spokesperson Jeff Weiss told the group that the agency responded by sending out a traffic and safety engineer to monitor the site on March 1.

When completed, the new overpass will have a pedestrian crossing and protected bike lanes, according to project designs.


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24 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 19, 2018 at 4:10 pm

Menlo Park is a civilized city. We must do better for our kids.

Like this comment
Posted by EMP
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 19, 2018 at 11:34 pm

There is pedestrian bridge not far away from Williw. Pedestrian, Karl... Thise "kids" just lazy to walk extra to be safe.
Let me guess: its again Zuk's fault ... right?

21 people like this
Posted by kbehroozi
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Mar 20, 2018 at 9:23 am

kbehroozi is a registered user.

These kids are walking at least 1.5 miles to school each day. You really want to call them lazy?!

We need to fix this.

6 people like this
Posted by Bike Bridge Far From Willow
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 20, 2018 at 4:13 pm

The bike bridge is halfway between Willow Road and Marsh Road. It can easily add 1.5 miles to the route. Web Link

8 people like this
Posted by Cayo
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 20, 2018 at 5:12 pm

Dear EMP: The pedestrian bridge is NOT advisable, it poses a threat of isolation, there have been attacks and rapes along that bridge for decades. How safe to you feel there? Please, let's add a shuttle bus more often.

8 people like this
Posted by Jen Wolosin
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Mar 21, 2018 at 3:42 pm

Jen Wolosin is a registered user.

Thank you, Belle Haven Action, for your advocacy on this issue.

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

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