Menlo briefs: Facebook may be exceeding trip cap on East Campus | March 6, 2019 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

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News - March 6, 2019

Menlo briefs: Facebook may be exceeding trip cap on East Campus

by Kate Bradshaw

Facebook's adherence to its East Campus trip cap — the maximum number of vehicle trips permitted in and out of its campus — is requiring further review following an annual check-in with the city of Menlo Park.

The Menlo Park Planning Commission voted 6-0 at its Feb. 25 meeting to make findings that Facebook is in good-faith compliance with all of its agreements with the city, except its East Campus trip cap, which city staff is analyzing further.

Each year, the corporation checks in with the city to determine its compliance with various agreements it has with the city.

Kyle Perata, the city's acting principal planner, said the staff has been made aware that the trip cap on the East Campus has been exceeded during some periods, and the staff is looking into the circumstances. "

He added that there may be Uber or Lyft trips that also need to be counted.

"It's not something we take lightly," said Ryan Patterson, strategic initiatives manager at Facebook. He said that Facebook is in compliance with the other two trip caps it has that cover different areas of its campus.

"I really believe that Facebook tries to be a good neighbor," Belle Haven resident Pam Jones said at the meeting. "We have a neighborhood substantially affected by everything they do."

Open houses for Facebook plans

Facebook will host a series of public open houses over the coming weeks to allow people to learn more about the revised plans for "Willow Village" the company has submitted.

In the updated plans, the site plan has been redesigned and the concepts for a main street and town square have been modified to promote bike and pedestrian access and social gathering. A full-service grocery store and pharmacy have been relocated, and a larger park, about 4 acres, has been set aside along Willow Road. There is a proposed community center adjacent to the community park, and a new proposed public-access dog park.

The hotel could be larger than originally proposed — up to 250 rooms instead of 200 — and the amount of retail space could rise to 200,000 square feet from 126,500 square feet, according to Menlo Park city staff.

One open house was held Feb. 28. The others are scheduled for:

• Wednesday, March 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the East Palo Alto Senior Center at 560 Bell St. in East Palo Alto.

• Saturday, March 30, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center, 700 Alma St. in Menlo Park.

Access more information at menlopark.org/willowvillage.

Caltrain supports low-fare pilot program

The Caltrain board of directors has signaled support for a regional pilot program led by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to give low-income transit riders discounted fares, Caltrain announced Feb. 7.

The board passed a resolution in support of the program, but will have to update Caltrain's tariff schedule and take additional steps to formally approve the agency's participation.

The regional pilot program offering means-based fare is expected to start in the fall and run for 12 to 18 months.

People who earn less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or $24,980 for a one-person household, would be eligible for at least 20 percent off single-ride adult Clipper Card fares. BART, the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency, and the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District also plan to participate, according to the Caltrain announcement.

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