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Facebook Development Agreement Should Include Bicycle Improvements

Original post made by Andrew Boone, Menlo Park: The Willows, on Feb 14, 2012

Facebook’s Bicycle Investment Plans
Facebook has announced plans to make significant investments in bicycle infrastructure in Menlo Park and East Palo Alto - funding improved bike lanes on routes leading to the Facebook Campus and partly funding the missing one-mile section of the Bay Trail [1][2][3][4].

These investments will benefit both Facebook and the community by enabling both Facebook commuters and local residents to bicycle for more trips, which will help reduce traffic congestion, air and water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, health care costs, transportation costs, roadway maintenance costs, and traffic-related fatalities and injuries.

Menlo Park City Council should document these bicycle infrastructure investment plans as Public Benefits in the Facebook Campus Development Agreement to give assurance to both Facebook and the City of Menlo Park that the funds are allocated to appropriate bicycle improvement projects that will effectively achieve the primary goal of the investment (reduction of vehicle trips) and to ensure their completion in a timely manner.

Menlo Park Bicycle Commission Recommendations
The Bicycle Commission recommended that the Facebook Development Agreement include the following bicycle improvements in order to assist Facebook in encouraging non-automotive commuting [5]:
1. completion of the missing segment of the Bay Trail
2. additional striping of bike lanes on Willow Rd from Middlefield Rd to Bayfront Exprwy
3. additional striping of bike lanes on University Ave from Woodland Ave to Bayfront Exprwy
4. additional striping of bike lanes on Bay Rd from the Bay Trail to Willow Rd

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition Analysis
The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) measured the cross-section dimensions of the streets included in the Bicycle Commission’s recommendations and concluded that bike lanes or shared lane markings (“sharrows”) could be installed to fill all of the existing gaps in the bike lanes on the Willow Rd, University Ave, and Bay Rd routes without modifying any existing sidewalks or medians.

SVBC has provided maps and conceptual drawings showing proposed striping and pavement marking options that would provide safe, continuous bike routes to the Facebook Campus, including on the Willow Rd and Univesity Ave Highway 101 overpasses.

References
1. Sandy Brundage, “Facebook Unveils Bike Plan”, The Almanac, January 31, 2012, Web Link

2. Colin Heyne, “Facebook commits to improvements for bike routes to new campus”, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, February 1, 2012, Web Link

3. Erchi Zhang, “Proposed Facebook campus brings pride to Menlo Park, worry to East Palo Alto”, Peninsula Press, February 9, 2012, Web Link

4. Lisa Seyfriend, “With a Little Help from Advocates, Facebook “Likes” Bike Trails”, The Alliance for Biking & Walking, February 8, 2012, Web Link

5. Greg Klingsporn, Chair, Bicycle Commission, “Bicycle commission comments on the draft EIR for the Facebook project”, Menlo Park Bicycle Commission, January 9, 2012, Web Link

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