Letter: Now is the time to reclaim lane on El Camino | May 18, 2011 | Almanac | Almanac Online |



Viewpoint - May 18, 2011

Letter: Now is the time to reclaim lane on El Camino

The Menlo Park draft downtown plan environmental impact report points out that the plan will result in more congestion.

In my opinion, the easiest and cheapest way to mitigate that congestion is to open up El Camino to three lanes in each direction, just like in Redwood City and Palo Alto. Traffic snarls up in downtown Menlo Park already due to this head-scratching lane reduction.

The city could simply decide to wipe out the parking spaces on El Camino, send out a crew with a few cans of paint one night, and restripe El Camino to three lanes without having to pour a single gallon of asphalt. This simple expedient would make a big difference to traffic downtown right now, much less in the future after the plan is adopted.

Brian Schar, Laurel Avenue, Menlo Park


Posted by Reality Check, a resident of another community
on May 18, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Giving over the parking strip to yet another traffic lane will only ensure pedestrians using El Camino sidewalks will have a larger, faster-moving and dangerous traffic sewer of cars and trucks passing right by them. The parking strip provides an important buffer between traffic and the pedestrians and the storefronts lining the sidewalks. Let traffic through Menlo continue to run a bit slower. That is a good thing, and those who want to give over downtown roads and business districts to the insatiable hunger to accommodate more and faster-moving cars and to provide gobs of "free" (and totally dead) parking areas are pushing for a more bicycle and pedestrian-hostile streetscape that is not an inviting or vital place that people actually want to be or do business.

Posted by sadfsf, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 20, 2011 at 12:00 am

People don't want to shop where its too congested. More lanes is better. They should tear down the surrounding buildings and expand el camino into a freeway