Guest opinion: Should we encourage more bicyclists to ride on El Camino Real? | April 15, 2015 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

Almanac

Viewpoint - April 15, 2015

Guest opinion: Should we encourage more bicyclists to ride on El Camino Real?

by Dana Hendrickson

Imagine you're driving south on El Camino and about to turn right onto Santa Cruz Avenue, and during the approach you share a short section of the highway with cyclists who must leave a well-marked bike lane. You pass two riders spaced about 50 feet apart and traveling in the same direction at different speeds. The light is green and you do not know their intentions, or whether they see your car. At the intersection several pedestrians are about to enter the Santa Cruz crosswalk. What do you do? What will happen?

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Dana Hendrickson is a 30-year resident of Menlo Park, an avid cyclist and the editor of the Re-Imagine Menlo Park website and forum at bit.ly/reimaginemp.

Comments

17 people like this
Posted by Steve Schmidt
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 16, 2015 at 10:17 am

Dana Hendrickson, What do you do? Turn on your right turn signal, check your mirrors for the whereabouts of the cyclists, stop for the pedestrians and be patient, just like you do anywhere else you are operating a motor vehicle. If you are still unclear on how to deal with this everyday situation, you might get a copy of the California Vehicle Code and familiarize yourself with it.


12 people like this
Posted by commuter
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 16, 2015 at 11:54 am

I agree with Steve. If you are turning across a bike lane, pay attention and yield to traffic that is already in the lane. If you are turning right and the bike lane is on your right, merge through the lane; don't just cut off bike lane traffic. This should be common sense for all drivers.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 16, 2015 at 12:57 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

A big problem is that Menlo Park's General Plan, including its Circulation Element. is over 20 years old.

The law requires a General Plan a general plan “for the physical
development of the county or city, and
any land outside its boundaries which bears relation to
its planning” (§65300). The California Supreme Court
has called the general plan the “constitution for future
development.” The general plan expresses the
community’s development goals and embodies public
policy relative to the distribution of future land uses,
both public and private.”

"The circulation element is correlated with the land
use element and identifies the general location and extent
of existing and proposed major thoroughfares,
transportation routes, terminals, and other local public
utilities and facilities."

Without an updated General Plan and its corresponding Circulation Plan it is simply impossible for citizens or the Planning Commission or the City Council to be making informed decisions on changes to ECR.


6 people like this
Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 16, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Steve & Commuter: Of course in a perfect world that's what a motorist is supposed to do BUT frequently that is not what happens. You are ignoring human behavior. A motorist misjudges the relative speed of a cyclist. Or, is in a hurry to beat a yellow light and thinks she can squeeze in front at a safe distance. Or, a motorist is distracted by ANYTHING - cellphone, other cars, or pedestrians on the edge of a crosswalk. Or, simply does not notice the cyclist approaching. It does not matter who is right. Motorists and bicyclists make mistakes or ignore rules. This is a dangerous situation where accidents WILL happen. And even if everything plays out as it should. The first car and every one behind it is delayed until the cyclist clears the intersection or public driveway. You think this is as safe as an alternative bike route? Motorists are going to accept these delays. Impatience will lead to bad decisions and I foresee following cars pulling into faster moving lanes and causing more problems. You both have more confidence in rules and common sense than I do.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 16, 2015 at 2:26 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" This is a dangerous situation where accidents WILL happen."

Right or wrong does not determine who will be injured or die in this situation - it is simple physics.

And the people responsible for creating a situation where there is NO physical barrier between the 4000 lb car and the 200 lb bicycle will have to take responsibility for creating an inherently danger situation and the accidents that it causes.


6 people like this
Posted by really?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 16, 2015 at 3:03 pm

really? is a registered user.

The Planning Commission can indeed make good decisions based upon what it before them, but the problem was that $500K didn't buy the complete picture. For ECR to be a 'complete street' as required by state law, the PC needed a report that considered everything: Bikes, sidewalks, cars, firetrucks, scooters, trees, etc. The report seems to be biased towards the bike question while flatly ignoring others.

So I'm looking forward to the 'complete consideration' of the 'complete street,' which has been brought back to the PC.


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Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 16, 2015 at 3:28 pm

really? I am not aware that ECR must be a "complete street". Please reference the specific state law so everyone can better understand how it applies. Thanks.


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Posted by really?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 16, 2015 at 3:33 pm

really? is a registered user.

Web Link


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Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 16, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Really? Please point out the relevant passages that requires ECR to become a complete street so everyone does not need to read the entire document and interpret how it applies. We need to educate residents as best we can. Thanks.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 16, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Note that the cited law REQUIRES that there first be an updated Circulation Element of a General Plan - Menlo Park's general Plan is decades old and there is no updated Circulation Plan:
"This bill would require, commencing January 1, 2011, that the legislative body of a city or county, upon any substantive revision of the circulation element of the general plan, modify the circulation element to plan for a balanced, multimodal transportation network that meets the needs of all users of streets, roads, and highways, defined to include motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, children, persons with disabilities, seniors, movers of commercial goods, and users of public transportation, in a manner that is suitable to the rural, suburban, or urban context of the general plan."

Putting bicycles on ECR would require an updated Circulation Plan.


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Posted by GP update?
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 16, 2015 at 5:01 pm

Isn't there a General Plan update underway right now? That's what the city says it's doing. So wouldn't all the required Elements (chapters) be updated at the same time?

I fear that doing things piece meal (downtown plan and now M-2), the city is sidestepping its responsibilities to make sure everything hangs together, that the Circulation and Housing elements, for example, are consistent with the Land Use Element. Open Space and Noise are affected by what is allowed. These were definitely not updated when the downtown plan was approved. Is a comprehensive update part of the M-2 plan now? If it's not, the city is irresponsible.


9 people like this
Posted by Jeremy W.
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Apr 16, 2015 at 5:29 pm

Dana Hendrickson, I think I may not fully understand your point. Making those, creating the dangerous condition, aware of the danger they pose to pedestrians and cyclists, is somehow bad for Menlo Park? The first objective of every road user should be to reach their destination safely, without doing harm to themselves or anyone else. If motorists, generally, were more aware of those around them, including other motorists, I'd take that as a good thing.


5 people like this
Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 16, 2015 at 5:52 pm

Jeremy: My point is simply that the merging of vehicles and bikes in a single lane at the approach to either busy intersections or mid-block public driveways on a busy highway is NOT an easy task for either motorists and bicyclists. There are a lot of elements that could contribute to bike-vehicle accidents and collisions, for example, distractions, impatience, aggressiveness, carelessness and chance bad luck. The complexity of the situation and need to quickly make decisions create the danger. Note that my example has two bike riders so the motorist must decide whether to enter before or after rider 1 or after rider 2 IF he sees both. And perhaps a following motorists three cars back is blasting his horn. I do not see any need to put either motorists or cyclists in this position especially when its unnecessary.


5 people like this
Posted by Bike Lanes to Nowhere
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Apr 16, 2015 at 7:25 pm

Putting in a bike lane on El Camino makes zero sense. Just add some better crossings at the intersections. It's not like people can travel along El Camino beyond Menlo anyway. A bike tunnel under El Camino would certainly help and be way more safe for everyone, as would elevated train track. The more time spend on projects like this is just time and money being taken away from actually improving bike and traffic safety for all.


8 people like this
Posted by Mike Keenly
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 16, 2015 at 8:45 pm

One the biggest flaws in this argument is attempting to predict all of the negative things that will probably not materialize if bike lanes are added. I'm a motorist, a cyclist, and a pedestrian, and I don't have any problem with bicycle lanes on El Camino. Let's do what needs to be done to make it safe and viable.


6 people like this
Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 16, 2015 at 9:02 pm

Mike: Common sense tell us that the complex and dynamic interactions of motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians on a busy highway that has more than 60 places where vehicles cross the paths of bicyclists many times every day is more dangerous than bike routes other than ECR. What part of this do you either not understand or doubt? Do we need deaths or serious injuries to persuade you? Look up bike safety reports online and you will learn that these spots are the most dangerous places for bicyclists, and of course, the motorists who are on the other side of accidents. Would you want your spouse, children or any other casual or experienced bicyclist exposed? WHY? What would it take to convince you it is a bad idea? Why do you think my reasoning is flawed?


6 people like this
Posted by Joseph Baloney
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 16, 2015 at 9:03 pm

Dana-

You have frequently worried about bike lanes on ECR encouraging inexperienced cyclist to cycle on a dangerous street which would surely result in accidents.

The exact same argument was made over and over as Citi Bike (a bike sharing program) was introduced to New York City. Inexperienced cyclists, tourist,the mayhem of Manhattan.
Surely a blood bath would result.

As of August 2014, 10.3 MILIION rides have resulted in 0 fatalities.
Nationwide, 23 million bike share rides have resulted 0 fatalities.
Web Link
Car travel result in 1.5 deaths per 100 million miles traveled.
Web Link
Even if the average bike share ride is only 2 miles, it is already approaching the auto fatality rate.

The sky will not fall if bike lanes are added to ECR.


8 people like this
Posted by joseph Baloney
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 16, 2015 at 9:09 pm

Peter,

Multiple times you have worried about collisions between a 200 lb cyclist and a 4000 lb car. This is the same weight ratio as that 4000 lb car and an 80,000 lb truck (allowed on US highways).

Should cars be banned from the 101 and the 280 since they might get into an accident with a truck weighing 20 times as much?


3 people like this
Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 16, 2015 at 9:25 pm

Joseph: ECR is actually more dangerous than many Nw York or San Francisco Streets because there are fewer path-crossing points mid-block in those places than in a similar distance on ECR, traffic generally travels faster on ECR and most motorists and regular cyclists in big city environments are accustomed to co-existing on the same streets because they do it everyday. Our residents do not have that experience because there are few places where motorists and cyclists are put i a similar situation. I wonder why our city has not consulted a bike network expert who could quickly put this issue to bed? Alpha Planning + Design helped both Menlo Park and Palo Alto design their bike networks. If they said ECR was as safe as alternatives I would accept their advice. Would you?


6 people like this
Posted by Joseph Baloney
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 16, 2015 at 10:08 pm

Dana-"motorists and regular cyclists in big city environments are accustomed to co-existing on the same streets because they do it everyday"

You beautifully missed the whole point.

When Citi Bike went in everyone was worried about NEW RIDERS AND TOURISTS, not bike messenger and regular cyclists. And as I said, 0 fatalities even among the non-regular cyclist unfamiliar with the city streets.

Also, you painstakingly calculated all of the mid-block crossing points on ECR and claim they are more than in NYC or more than in the study I referenced previously (negating the safety improvements shown by the study).

Do you have any number to back up that ECR has more than average mid-block crossing? What's average?

Just counting the number on ECR does NOT show that. A cyclist who weighs 75,000 grams sure seems like he weighs a lot, because that's a big number, but he is actually somewhat slight. You may be comparing ECR to Sandhill west of 280 and Canada Rd, but I can assure you that those have a much lower than normal crossing density.


4 people like this
Posted by GP update?
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 17, 2015 at 7:59 am

Menlo Park does not have anything like a viable bicycle network that supports residents, especially children and the non-spandex casual riding adults, to get around our town. In order to move residents from cars, the new riders described by JB, we need new safe and connected class 1 and 2 paths/trails and lanes, not class 3 and 4 routes and "friendly" roadways.
It's hard to believe that any expert consultant created the non-connected "network" in our town that has virtually no class 1 paths and only segments of class 2. Try putting yourself on the bike of a schoolkid on east or west side of El Camino and then create the path to/from public schools on the other side. Try putting yourself in west Menlo and then create the path to/from Burgess pool or the library. Try putting yourself in Willows and then create the path to the Oasis. And back.

The GP update ought to be the time to get a really good design for the future. The downtown plan showed some new segments but never created anything close to safe and viable pathways from bike trip origin and destination within Menlo Park. Lanes on El Camino would help a lot. Even better would be separated trails and under or overcrossings. Unfortunately, the better solutions would require the city to show some vision and backbone, and to require property owners to support these. In the downtown area, all property owners were given huge increases in allowable development potential. The city could require something in return.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 17, 2015 at 8:22 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

You are absolutely correct about the importance of an updated General Plan that includes an updated Circulation Element.

The City is applying very costly band aids like the ECR study ($500k) and redoing Santa Cruz ($???)without an overall plan. State law now requires the Circulation Element " to plan for a balanced, multimodal transportation network that meets the needs of all users of streets, roads, and highways, defined to include motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, children, persons with disabilities, seniors, movers of commercial goods, and users of public transportation, in a manner that is suitable to the rural, suburban, or urban context of the general plan." That is what needs to be done now and that should be the Planning Commission's Number One priority.

There has to be a city wide plan BEFORE intelligent decisions can be made regarding any one piece.


1 person likes this
Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 17, 2015 at 8:24 am

Joseph:

1. Bike-vehicle accidents do not have to kill people to be undesirable. Check out the emergency room at Stanford and talk to EMTs who man the ambulances and other emergency vehicles in our area and you will learn that most accidents cause minor or moderate injuries not deaths.

2. It's also worth noting that bike accidents often go unreported to any authority, e.g., police, perhaps because an actual collision does not occur.

3. I ride in San Francisco often and my observation is that most main streets have few if any places where vehicles cross bikes except at major intersections. ECR has 60 in just over a mile. Let's assume there are 10 city blocks per mile which I think is a conservative number. That means there would need to be an average of about 6 crossing points per block between intersections which I believe is not the case. If you want to challenge my belief with actual field numbers, go for it!

Again, neither you nor I am a bike network safety expert. If a credible one assures the city that ECR would be as safe as alternative bike routes in Menlo Park, I would accept this assessment. Would you?

PS. I do continue to enjoy your sarcasm. Smile.


2 people like this
Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 17, 2015 at 8:40 am

GP:

1. A letter from the school district was read at the April 6 planning commission meeting and it requested safer intersection crossings and did not mention the need to ride on it. I am sure you can get a copy from the City.

2. I personally feel Menlo Park generally is an excellent place to bike ride - safe and convenient - with a great selection of Class II bike lanes and Class III bike routes and unofficial residential streets if you have ideas about adding new segments I recommend you submit them to our bike commission for consideration as it should maintain a prioritized list of desired improvements with a rationale for each item. Simply ask them for a copy.


16 people like this
Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2015 at 11:48 am

Dana seems to be saying that car drivers are careless and incompetent, and are incapable of driving safely in the presence of bicyclists. We can't expect them to do any better, so we should punish bicyclists by making them go somewhere else. This "solution" makes no sense because it does not address the problem. It is this attitude of acceptance and accommodation that has led to the low level of driving competence we now have. If we REALLY wanted better drivers we could have them, but it would take a combination of more training, more testing, more enforcement, and much higher penalties. This is all possible and affordable, but we don't seem to have the political will as a society to do it. It is easier to accept the status quo and expect bicyclists and pedestrians to stay out of the way of speeding, texting drivers.


5 people like this
Posted by steve schmidt
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 17, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Dana Hendrickson & Peter Carpenter:
It's time for you to stop beating around the bush and tell us that what you want is a six lane ECR. Apparently in your world cyclists should be relegated to remote, circuitous and in some cases, imaginary parallel routes.
Go ahead, make a case for your vision and see how that sells.
The Specific Plan supports design for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists in the Downtown/ECR area. I'm good with that, as are three Menlo Park advisory commissions.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 17, 2015 at 1:02 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"It's time for you to stop beating around the bush and tell us that what you want is a six lane ECR."

Steve - You are such a fraud. I have stated repeatedly that I am in favor of a six lane ECR. I even authored the Fire Board language that called for exactly that. I have also stated that the only safe way to put bicycles on ECR is with a Class I bikeway - which is precluded by the width of the right of way unless the City is willing to incorporate the sidewalks into the Class I bikeway.

What about my positions do you not understand? Is the above reiteration clear enough?


2 people like this
Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 17, 2015 at 1:10 pm

I am not blaming motorists for all vehicle-bike accidents. Both bicyclists and motorists routinely exhibit dangerous behavior and no amount of education or training will change this fact. Both can be distracted. Show poor judgment. Be impatient. Act too aggressively. Ignore rules of the road. Accidents WILL happen and some situations create more opportunities than others. A busy intersection or public driveway (e.g., Safeway, Ducky's) on a busy highway is much less safe than alternatives with less vehicle traffic and less frequent path crossing. That is why I believe bike network planners avoid busy streets whenever possible. Why subject cyclists and motorists to dangerous situations that can easily be avoided. That is not punishing bicyclists; I am trying to protect them. The study has not shown that alternative routes are so much less convenient that riders should assume unnecessary risk. Perhaps our bike commission could publish a bike map with recommended routes between different points. I was surprised to learn Menlo Park does not have one.


3 people like this
Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 17, 2015 at 1:21 pm

Steve: Hmmm. So absent facts and sound logic to advance your own position you now resort to pure speculation about my motives. If you had read my writings you would know I simply want a transparent and rigorous analysis of the trade-offs for BOTH bike facilities and 3 vehicle lanes, have advocated the city conduct them before making a decision, and am happy to accept whatever the outcomes. Are you? That is how the best decisions are made.

I do enjoy the speculation and personal attacks from the you and others. They are telling. Smile.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 17, 2015 at 1:33 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Steve - Given your expertise do you consider the outdated Menlo Park General Plan and its Circulation Element to comply with the law?

- When you were on the City Council did you actively work to get the General Plan updated? If not, why not?


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Posted by GP update?
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 17, 2015 at 1:53 pm

In terms of bike network improvements -
Put on the lens of schoolkids and infrequent bikers before saying the network is fine.

How about ANY east-west class 2 lanes from Santa Cruz south to the border with Palo Alto? There is not a single one. We should have several, since there are major destinations that would be far more convenient to reach if there were such safe passageways.
How about ANY protected grade-separate crossings of the train tracks?
How about ANY continuous class 2 lanes north-south between Willow and Encinal between Middlefield and El Camino (including ECR)?
How about ANY continuous class 2 lanes north-south between (and including) ECR and University?

The truth is that Menlo Park has virtually no protected means to navigate the core of town by bicycle, for those who are young or infrequent bikers today.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 17, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

What is required is all spelled out right here - paid for by the taxpayers:

Update to the General Plan Guidelines: Complete Streets and the Circulation Element December 15, 2010

Excerpts:

"This update to the circulation element section of the 2003 General Plan Guidelines meets the requirements of Assembly Bill 1358, The California Complete Streets Act. The Act requires the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to amend the General Plan Guidelines to assist city and counties in integrating multimodal transportation network policies into the circulation elements of their general plans. Starting January 2011, all cities and counties, upon the next update of their circulation element, must plan for the development of multimodal transportation networks.

To support cities and counties in meeting the requirements and objectives of AB 1358, this update provides guidance on general plan circulation element goals, policies, data collection techniques, and implementation measures related to multimodal transportation networks. The goal of this update is to provide information on how a city or county can plan for the development of a well-balanced, connected, safe, and convenient multimodal transportation network. This network should consist of complete streets which are designed and constructed to serve all users of streets, roads, and highways, regardless of their age or ability, or whether they are driving, walking, bicycling, or taking transit."

"Circulation elements shall also take into consideration the provision of SAFE (emphasis added) and convenient travel that is suitable to the rural, suburban, or urban context of a local jurisdictions general plan."

"Street designs shall include "The CONSIDERATION (emphasis added) of bicycle lanes and/or shared lanes as a standard street design principle."

"Possible Policy Areas:
• The development of transportation operations management policies, such as the consideration of reducing speeds, SEPARATING (emphasis added) pedestrians and bicyclists from vehicle traffic, and adding or upgrading traffic control devices, etc."

Possible Policy Areas:
• The development of a comprehensive pedestrian and/or bicycle plan. See California Streets
and Highways Codes Sec. 891.2 requirements for bicycle transportation plans. ‡
• The development and improvement of pedestrian and bicycle routes, on and off, streets, roads, and highways. Consider special accommodations such as car-free zones, bicycle boulevards, and paths. ‡
• The connectivity of pedestrian and bicycle routes between homes, job centers, schools and facilities, and other frequently visited destinations. ‡
• The development of Safe Routes to School programs that address pedestrian and bicycle safety for a two mile radius around all elementary, middle, and high school facilities. ‡
• The development of pedestrian and bicycle facilities along routes that support the use of these routes such as benches, shelters, trees, bicycle parking, etc. ‡
• The dedication and preservation of independent alignments (utility, abandoned waterways, or live rail right-of-ways) for the development of bicycle paths. ‡
• The development of performance and level-of-service standards for pedestrian and bicycle routes and intersections. ‡
• The development and use of marketing and incentive programs to promote the increase of walking and bicycling. ‡"

************
Folks, we the taxpayers have already paid for the above document - why are we not implementing these guidelines and instead paying huge sums for studies which do not comply with these guideline?


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Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 17, 2015 at 2:39 pm

GP Update:

1. The last people I would want riding on ECR is young children (or any casual bicyclist) as bike lanes will provide little additional protection but possibly lure them onto this highway.

2. I recommend you submit your list of need to the bike commission and ask them to prioritize them along with other ideas. I believe that is one of their responsibilities.

3. I will simply note one of your requests

I believe one can easily bike ride 75% of the distance between Encinal to Willow in Class II bike lanes on Laurel Street and then continue the last few blocks on residential Class III bike routes. Alternatively, if one wants to stay in Class II bike lanes simply turn right at Burgess Drive and continue south on Alma and remain in Class II bike lanes all the way. These are safe and convenient alternatives. And to the west there is a Class II bike lane on Middlefield between Encinal and Willow.

4. Simply submit your origins and destinations to the Bike Commission and I am sure they would make recommendations tailored to the level of riders. At least until they produce a useful bike map with recommended routes. I still do not know why this does not already exist and accessible on the City website.


4 people like this
Posted by Steve Schmidt
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 17, 2015 at 3:19 pm

Thanks Peter for clarifying your position on a 6 lane ECR. I had forgotten your preference for this design. Because you were such a supporter of the Specific Plan, I thought you supported all the goals and the vision that was agreed upon by the 5 year process and the many public hearings but maybe you are cherry picking the elements of the plan you like. Did you attend any of those meetings? I don’t recall seeing you there.

At any rate, the 1994 General Plan was due to be updated in 2004, 2 years after I left the Council. However in 2002, before I retired, our council began the updating of the housing element of the General Plan and unfortunately, the Winkler, Duboc, Jellins council dropped the ball on the housing element which led to the City being sued in 2011 for having an out of date housing element. 1994-2011. Oh well, water under the bridge.

Dana, your wanting a transparent and rigorous analysis of the trade-offs for both bike lanes and three traffic lanes was granted when the City hired a consultant to study these alternatives. My comments are not attacks but instead a plea for you to elaborate on how a 6- lane ECR would serve Menlo Park. Remember, ECR is a State Highway and is used by cyclists who travel from points north and south of our city. It is the most direct route between Mountain View and Redwood City. The alternatives you cite are a piecemeal of streets that zig and zag back and forth. The Garwood to Alma is the most problematic with a dangerous intersection at Oak Grove and Merrill with the Caltrain tracks so close. In addition, if an when the half up/half down grade separation goes in, Garwood will be cut off from all access, bikes and cars.



1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 17, 2015 at 3:54 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" Because you were such a supporter of the Specific Plan, I thought you supported all the goals and the vision that was agreed upon by the 5 year process and the many public hearings but maybe you are cherry picking the elements of the plan you like"

The EIR specified mitigations to accommodate the significant impacts of the proposed Specific Plan developments including ways to reduce the LOS impact on ECR.

Simply stated the amount of development in the Specific Plan requires that the City institute mitigations to retain or increase traffic capacity on ECR - taking lanes out accomplishes the opposite. Anyone who thinks "road diets" works should look at the current two lane Willow Road mess compared to the former four lane Willow Road configuration.


2 people like this
Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 17, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Steve:

Let me help you and your cohorts better understand my positions.

I do not believe the study has provided the information essential to "make the case" for either bike facilities on ECR or making ECR 3 lanes in both directions. Given these are major decisions we should not accept anything other than well-supported recommendations that credibly address concerns about the safety and convenience of bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians.

I am not interested in sparring over our positions because neither of us our subject matter experts. Our views are based on different assumptions and values and that's okay by me.

I am surprised that you and other who are advocating bike facilities on ECR are willing to do so without answers to the most fundamental questions.

Who gains from the change? How much? Understandable explanation?

Who loses with the change? How Much? Understandable Explanation?

How can we strike the best balance for all residents?

Our residents and city government deserve these answers, an expensive consultant has not provided them, and we are left to figure out what's best and default to poorly supported opinions. This makes absolutely no sense.

Again, I am surprised you apparently find wanting this missing information unreasonable. And that's okay, as well. I am not trying to convince you as you have already formed a strong opinion. Rather, I am simply sharing my views and the reasons for them. Others can either accept or reject all or any part. But at least I might motivate them to become better informed and press for real answers. Since you believe the "answers" would support your position why don't you want them known by all residents?




8 people like this
Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 17, 2015 at 4:49 pm

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

Peter, SB 743 changes the way transportation impacts are evaluated, LOS is no longer the preferred measurement. Web Link New guidelines are still being prepared, but the emphasis will no longer be simply on moving cars quickly through an intersection. From the link: " SB 743 requires the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to amend the CEQA Guidelines to provide an alternative to LOS for evaluating transportation impacts. Particularly within areas served by transit, those alternative criteria must “promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the development of multimodal transportation networks, and a diversity of land uses.”



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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 17, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

When new guidelines are available I am sure they will be used. In the meantime LOS is the only recognized measurement.


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Posted by GP update
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 17, 2015 at 7:01 pm

@ DH - I am not advocating for bike lanes on El Camino but would support them in the absence of anything else that is continuous and helps Menlo Park residents get around in Menlo Park. My own preference would be for a continuous bike trail on the El Camino side of the train tracks in the area south of Ravenswood. When there is grade separation at Ravenswood, such a trail might be able to continue directly onto Merrill and Garwood.

Laurel class 2 lanes do nothing for those of us on the other side of El Camino. To get to Laurel from my side of El Camino means north-south and east-west travel that is not class 2 or safe.

Here's the thing - there is no plan for a safe continuous bike network in the center of Menlo Park. There just isn't.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 17, 2015 at 7:07 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Here's the thing - there is no plan for a safe continuous bike network in the center of Menlo Park. There just isn't."

So true and the direct result of Menlo Park not having a current General Plan with a current Circulation Element that includes:
• The development of transportation operations management policies, such as the consideration of reducing speeds, SEPARATING (emphasis added) pedestrians and bicyclists from vehicle traffic, and adding or upgrading traffic control devices, etc."
• The development of a comprehensive pedestrian and/or bicycle plan. See California Streets
and Highways Codes Sec. 891.2 requirements for bicycle transportation plans. ‡
• The development and improvement of pedestrian and bicycle routes, on and off, streets, roads, and highways. Consider special accommodations such as car-free zones, bicycle boulevards, and paths. ‡
• The connectivity of pedestrian and bicycle routes between homes, job centers, schools and facilities, and other frequently visited destinations. ‡
• The development of Safe Routes to School programs that address pedestrian and bicycle safety for a two mile radius around all elementary, middle, and high school facilities. ‡
• The development of pedestrian and bicycle facilities along routes that support the use of these routes such as benches, shelters, trees, bicycle parking, etc. ‡
• The dedication and preservation of independent alignments (utility, abandoned waterways, or live rail right-of-ways) for the development of bicycle paths. ‡
• The development of performance and level-of-service standards for pedestrian and bicycle routes and intersections. ‡
• The development and use of marketing and incentive programs to promote the increase of walking and bicycling. ‡"

****
The more that Menlo Park stumbles around without a current General Plan the worse the decisions will be.

Where is the Planning Commission in all this?

Did they decide to take the planning out of the Planning Commission?


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Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 17, 2015 at 7:13 pm

GO Update: I think your suggestion of a trail on the west side of the tracks is, on the face of it, a good one. I think Stanford would likely support this; the challenge would be for the other property owners,i.e., in the Menlo Center, "Schwab" and Cornerstone buildings. I do not know what power the city has to make this happen but it's worth investigating. I recommend you research it and share what you find with everyone.


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Posted by Steve Schmidt
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 17, 2015 at 9:50 pm

During the Specific Plan process, Stanford stated clearly that it did not want a path at the rear of their buildings. The Specific Plan process was a long one. Had more people stuck with it to the very end, there would be more community knowledge about how the plan came about and what's in it..


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Posted by GP update?
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 18, 2015 at 8:07 am

"I recommend you research it and share what you find with everyone."
I do not have the expertise to design a new bike trail or to determine where properties start and stop, including Caltrain's right of way. But I can report:
There is a sidewalk alongside the train tracks, behind nearly all the occupied buildings and shopping center (Big 5).
The parking lots behind those buildings do not seem to be full and the driving lanes seem wider than in other lots (my subjective assessment).
There appears to be a fairly wide roadway behind the vacant auto dealerships. I don't know how far this goes, but it appears to go quite a ways towards the hotel. This road is accessible to the shopping center parking lots.

So there seems to be room for a bike trail without changing much. The problems are that it wouldn't connect to anything else north of it until grade separation occurs, and it doesn't connect to anything east of it until an over- or under-crossing is created between El Camino and Burgess.


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Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 18, 2015 at 9:56 am

GP Update:

There will almost always be "problems" of one kind or another with any change of this kind that' why apparently good ideas often don't happen. In this case...

1. Would Stanford support it? Steve says "no" but keep in mind this is a negotiable item and "fair game". And if Stanford is required to fund a bike underpass at the train tracks across from Middle Avenue, Alma Street would almost duplicates the route you proposed and alreay extends to Oak Grove.

2. Can the city require other property owners to support it. I do not know but it would not be hard for you to find out the possibilities. Contact the City and ask.

3. Yes, this solution would not satisfy everyone's needs but few solutions ever do. It would likely make it safer to get to the train station area and that end of Santa Cruz Avenue which I expect would be a positive outcome.

Here is what I think needs to happen.

The Menlo Park Comprehensive Bike Plan (2005) is 10 years old. We should fund an update and with the help of a bike network specialist develop a list of priorities for enhancing the bike network. In the meantime, the Bike Commission should develop a prioritized "wish list" of improvements for the Downtown Area. This planning process would clear identify AND communicate what we are trying to accomplish in terms of safety and convenience for different classes of bike riders, the popularity of origins/destinations and gauge how well different bike facilities would serve these needs. It would also consider future actions that either might expand or constrain our options. One product would be a development calendar that informs residents of our plans.

Today we do not have a bike network development plan, a priority list, nor a calendar. This makes no sense. Most residents - and some commission members - do not even know what we have today as there is no bike network map available from our city. That borders on negligence.

Evaluating a single new bike network segment outside the context of what we can and want to do in terms of a whole bike network makes no sense whatsoever. But that is what we are currently doing. Very strange behavior.



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Posted by GP update?
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 18, 2015 at 11:09 am

@DH - yes a comprehensive plan is in order. It's inexplicable that none exists, and that neither the downtown plan nor the current GP update process accomplish this.

I heartily disagree that Alma and an undercrossing solves the problems that either a bike trail along the tracks on the west side or lanes on El Camino would resolve. The problems are that there is no good way to get to west-side destinations without going way out of one's way or biking on El Camino. Take for example. biking from Linfield Oaks under the tracks near Middle (it doesn't need to be AT Middle). How does one then get to Oasis or Cook's or downtown? The option is to bike on El Camino Then compare with the option to get to Oasis from a bike trail through existing parking lots and then across at Cambridge, or to get to Cook's or downtown by taking the trail and bike through parking lots and across El Camino at Roble.


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Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 18, 2015 at 12:37 pm

GP Update? I did not intend to claim that Alma was a 100% alternative to a parallel west side trail but simply pointed out it could be a partial solution and perhaps more doable. This is just another example of you and I trying to develop solutions in a piecemeal fashion without sufficient knowledge of options, trade-offs, timeframes, probability of actually doing something, and costs. I think we fundamentally agree on the need for a more comprehensive and holistic study of not only our official bike network but also neighboring residential streets which are key elements of any bike solution. For example, when I ride to downtown from the Oak Avenue area, I go down Middle Avenue and cross Fremont to Santa Cruz Avenue and never feel unsafe. Fremont is not in the network but it is wide and has little vehicle traffic. For me, this is more relaxing than University Avenue but I would be comfortable on either one.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 18, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

There seems to be an unusual consensus on the Forum that we need a city wide Circulation Element with a strong bicycle component (as recommended by the State Guidelines posted above0.

So what is stopping this from happening?

And why is time and money being spent on piecemeal approaches that simply make no sense?


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Posted by steve Schmidt
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 18, 2015 at 12:52 pm

We have no negotiating rights with Stanford. Their office/housing development is right at the level where no public benefits have to be negotiated. The F.A.R. was almost tripled by the council in 2012 before the Specific Plan was approved and certified. The Council was alerted about this glitch but it was eager to get the Plan approved. Just a few months later, Stanford had a preliminary design and it took every sq. ft. given to it and stopped right at the public benefits line. Stanford is not required to build an undercrossing. It has said it will make a significant contribution but there is no written agreement on this. All these points were raised by SaveMenlo before Measure M lost.

A bike path behind the Stanford development will not extend to the train station. Ravenswood is in the way. This concept is weak in that it will be difficult to access and it will end at the Stanford Park Hotel. Add the fact that Stanford has said "no." An undercrossing at Willow and Cambridge would have led cyclists to the Alma St or Waverly bridges to Palo Alto and Willow Rd. bike lanes to Facebook. Now the undercrossing is at Middle.

Mistakes were made. It's best to deal with the reality of the situation. ECR is a direct route and the consultant has shown design options that address the safety for adults to ride on this road.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 18, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"the consultant has shown design options that address the safety for adults to ride on this road. "

Wrong - there is NO safety in a Class II or Class II with bicyclists unprotected from immediately adjacent 35+ mph traffic and numerous unprotected right turns and driveway access points.

A Class II or III bikeway on a State Highway in an attractive nuisance that will encourage children and unskilled riders to compete with 4000 lb automobiles - and they will always lose.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 18, 2015 at 1:31 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

In any serious discussion it is always nice to have some facts:

Route Infrastructure and the Risk of Injuries to Bicyclists: A Case-Crossover Study

"Objectives. We compared cycling injury risks of 14 route types and other route infrastructure features.

Methods. We recruited 690 city residents injured while cycling in Toronto or Vancouver, Canada. A case-crossover design compared route infrastructure at each injury site to that of a randomly selected control site from the same trip.

Results. Of 14 route types, cycle tracks had the lowest risk (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.11; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.02, 0.54), about one ninth the risk of the reference: major streets with parked cars and no bike infrastructure. Risks on major streets were lower without parked cars (adjusted OR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.41, 0.96) and with bike lanes (adjusted OR = 0.54; 95% CI = 0.29, 1.01). Local streets also had lower risks (adjusted OR = 0.51; 95% CI = 0.31, 0.84). Other infrastructure characteristics were associated with increased risks: streetcar or train tracks (adjusted OR = 3.0; 95% CI = 1.8, 5.1), downhill grades (adjusted OR = 2.3; 95% CI = 1.7, 3.1), and construction (adjusted OR = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.3, 2.9).

Conclusions. The lower risks on quiet streets and with bike-specific infrastructure along busy streets support the route-design approach used in many northern European countries. Transportation infrastructure with lower bicycling injury risks merits public health support to reduce injuries and promote cycling.

Read More: Web Link&


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 18, 2015 at 1:39 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

More facts:

"Between 2004 and 2008, an average of 217 bicyclists and 270 pedestrians were injured in traffic collisions in San Mateo County each year. During this same period, a total of 13 bicyclists and 46 pedestrians were killed in traffic collisions. Fatalities of bicyclists and pedestrians comprise a significant percentage of all traffic fatalities in San Mateo County. Between 2004 and 2008, bicyclist fatalities accounted for 8 percent of all traffic fatalities and pedestrian fatalities accounted for 27 percent. In comparison, these modes comprise only 1.5 and 10 percent of all trips for the Bay Area."
San Mateo County Comprehensive Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

Risk of Deaths to pedestrian vs impact speed:
40 mph = 85% risk of death
30 mph = 45% risk of death
20 mph = 5% risk of death

Figure 9 San Mateo County Comprehensive Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

Note the HUGE reduction in risk of death by reducing impact speed from 30 mph to 20 mph.


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Posted by Dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 18, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Steve: you are falling into the trap I mentioned earlier. You are criticizing a single suggestion about a single possible bike network segment without acknowledging what is needed is a comprehensive evaluation of all the factors mentioned in my prior comment. We do not have a current bike network development plan that would enable the City and residents to fairly and intelligently judge the ECR alternatives now being considered. What are the top 5 or 10 "bike projects" that would deliver the best mix of benefits and costs considering all types of users. What are these benefits and costs? What policies should we use to weigh them and make decisions? The current study has not dealt with any of these important topics. You seem to believe that's okay because commissions have supported this idea and you agree with it. A growing number of residents are becoming aware of what's happening and I expect a great deal of resistance.

You can continue to challenge each idea that someone suggests but that simply reflects your assumptions and values, and that's fine. But I would not lose sight of the fact we do not yet have a process that would satisfy most residents once they are better informed.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 18, 2015 at 3:32 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here is an excerpt from The City Council's Jan 2013 ( 27 months ago) Resolution:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the City Council of the City of Menlo Park, as follows:
1. That the City of Menlo Park adopts the Complete Streets Policy attached hereto as Exhibit A, and made part of this Resolution, and that said exhibit is hereby approved and adopted.
2. That the next substantial revision of the City of Menlo Park General Plan Circulation Element shall incorporate Complete Streets policies and principles consistent with the applicable state and federal requirements and with the Complete Streets Policy adopted by this resolution.


************

Steve - Why do you want jam through an ad hoc ECR solution before the city wide Circulation Element is updated to include Complete Streets?


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Posted by Menloshopper
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Apr 19, 2015 at 9:40 am

The Specific Plan recommends Future Class II/minimum Class III bike lanes for ECR (p.F10), so the city is looking at an option which was considered part of the new zoning and building guidelines. Menlo Park already has bike lanes on Sand Hill Road and Willow, both of which have in places 40mph speed limits and so higher than ECR. What's at stake here is whether MP wants ECR redesign to emphasize traffic calming and pedestrian and bike safety, with vehicle counts and velocities secondary. The type of boulevard envisioned with Class II/I lanes is being built all over today, with changed expectations for combined automobile and bike usage in places where that was once thought not possible.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 19, 2015 at 9:49 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The type of boulevard envisioned with Class II/I lanes is being built all over today, with changed expectations for combined automobile and bike usage in places where that was once thought not possible."

Please list those places along with showing which are Class I installations and which are Class II installations.

Class I bike paths are dramatically safer than Class II as posted above - lumping them together is a meaningless analysis.


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Posted by MP Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 19, 2015 at 11:15 am

Peter, can you cite source son Class I bike paths actually being safer than Class II per mile traveled?

I agree that the hazards are different (clueless pedestrians / dog walkers / geese, vs Prius drivers) but it would be great to see actual data.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 19, 2015 at 11:24 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Peter, can you cite source son Class I bike paths actually being safer than Class II per mile traveled?"

PLEASE read what I have already posted:

Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
21 hours ago
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.
In any serious discussion it is always nice to have some facts:

Route Infrastructure and the Risk of Injuries to Bicyclists: A Case-Crossover Study

"Objectives. We compared cycling injury risks of 14 route types and other route infrastructure features.

Methods. We recruited 690 city residents injured while cycling in Toronto or Vancouver, Canada. A case-crossover design compared route infrastructure at each injury site to that of a randomly selected control site from the same trip.

Results. Of 14 route types, cycle tracks had the lowest risk (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.11; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.02, 0.54), about one ninth the risk of the reference: major streets with parked cars and no bike infrastructure. Risks on major streets were lower without parked cars (adjusted OR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.41, 0.96) and with bike lanes (adjusted OR = 0.54; 95% CI = 0.29, 1.01). Local streets also had lower risks (adjusted OR = 0.51; 95% CI = 0.31, 0.84). Other infrastructure characteristics were associated with increased risks: streetcar or train tracks (adjusted OR = 3.0; 95% CI = 1.8, 5.1), downhill grades (adjusted OR = 2.3; 95% CI = 1.7, 3.1), and construction (adjusted OR = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.3, 2.9).

Conclusions. The lower risks on quiet streets and with bike-specific infrastructure along busy streets support the route-design approach used in many northern European countries. Transportation infrastructure with lower bicycling injury risks merits public health support to reduce injuries and promote cycling.
*********
The "cycle track" classification referred town this study is a Class I bike path


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 19, 2015 at 11:41 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

To be clear the risk/odds ratio of injury on a Class II bike way is 0.54 compared to 0.11 for a Class I bikeway or FIVE times greater.

This should not be surprising given that a Class I bikeway provides a physical barrier between bicycles and cars whereas a Class II bikeway does not. A Class II bike way provides painted stripes as the sole separation between cars and bikes.


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Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 19, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Great factual reference and data, Peter. Given that there are many more mid-block public driveways, i.e., spots where bikes and vehicles regularly cross paths, PER MILE on ECR than in most cities I would expect the injury rate on ECR to be much higher than shown for urban bike lanes. Not good!


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Posted by Joseph Baloney
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 19, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Dana-"Great factual reference and data, Peter. "

Peter is referring to the study which I was the first to mention on these threads.

The study which shows that removing parking and putting in unprotected bike lanes reduces accidents by about 50% (Peter's 0.54 number).

The result which you claimed was irrelevant because the bikers in MP would be less experienced; a claim that makes no sense what so ever as the study didn't control for riders at all.
The result which you also claimed was irrelevant because ECR has unusually high mid-block crossing, without providing any factual reference that it is higher than average or higher than the study. You asked me to research your unsubstantiated claim.

Glad to see that you know like the study.

Do you now acknowledge that removing parking and putting in bike lanes could reduce accidents by about 50%?

[part removed. Please state your position without attacking other posters. ]


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Posted by Robert Cronin
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 19, 2015 at 10:04 pm

Let' suppose you have finished shopping at Safeway on ECR, and now want to do some shopping at, say, Target in Redwood City. How would you get there in a car? How would you get there on a bike? If you take a different route on a bike, what is the penalty in time and distance?

Or, you have finished shopping at Safeway, and now want to go to the Stanford Shopping Center. How would you get there in a car? How would you get there on a bike? Again, if you take a different route on a bike, what is the penalty in time and distance?

The problem is that the cities on the peninsula have their own street grids that do not connect seamlessly with each other, but are connected only by thoroughfares like ECR, Alameda de las Pulgas and Middlefield. To take bicycle transportation seriously, these thoroughfares have to be reconfigured as complete streets that serve all people, not just people in cars.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 20, 2015 at 7:51 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Do you now acknowledge that removing parking and putting in bike lanes could reduce accidents by about 50%?


That has never been contended. What is most important is that a Class I bikeway reduces the risk to 0.11 - a fifth of the odds risk of the proposed Class II bikeway.


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Posted by FlaviaF
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2015 at 11:01 pm

FlaviaF is a registered user.

I'm one of the cyclists on El Camino trying to get to the train station to get to work. I love using my bike to get to work. Beats sitting in traffic and I'm keeping down my carbon footprint. Me on my bike means one less car during rush hour. El Camino isn't the ideal bike route, but it is the most direct for me. I appreciate cars sharing the road with me.


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