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Menlo Park Planning Commission studies El Camino Real options

Original post made on Mar 23, 2015

The Menlo Park Planning Commission will hold a study session tonight (March 23) to evaluate how to improve El Camino Real, with a three-lane corridor or separate bike lanes among the options to consider.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, March 23, 2015, 9:46 AM

Comments (35)

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Posted by Thomas Rogers
a resident of another community
on Mar 23, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Thomas Rogers is a registered user.

Hello,

Due to some unanticipated Planning Commissioner absences, this item has just been rescheduled for Monday April 6. That continuance will allow a fuller Planning Commission to participate. All other meeting details (timing/location/staff report) will remain the same.

Thanks,
Thomas Rogers
Planning Commission Staff Liaison
throgers@menlopark.org


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Posted by really?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 23, 2015 at 1:52 pm

really? is a registered user.

This all seems driven by the bike commission anyways. What ever happened to the idea of four lanes with a tram line down the middle replacing the ECR bus?


4 people like this
Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 23, 2015 at 2:10 pm

This study is seriously flawed and the survey results are too small and biased too be of any value.

MY PERSONAL PERSPECTIVES:

The NEED for bike facilities on El Camino has NOT been clearly established. Better alternatives for cyclists either exist today or can be added.

It can be easily shown that encouraging anyone other than the most experienced cyclists to ride on ECR would be a grave mistake as it would endanger riders, drivers and pedestrians.

The consultant vehicle traffic projections are NOT RELIABLE enough to be used to make any major decisions. Conduct a trial if you want credible data.

MY RECOMMENDATIONS:

Do NOT add either bike lanes or paths to ECR. El Camino Real cannot be made sufficiently safe for most cyclists; bike facilities would create the illusion of safety and encourage people to ride beyond their capabilities, and safer options either exist or can easily be added without large city expenditures.

Conduct a trial with three vehicle lanes each way for the entire length of ECR to understand how this change would impact traffic congestions and neighborhood cut-thru traffic.

Actually measure bike usage patterns in the "downtown/ECR" area between Laurel Street, University, Valparaiso and Middle Avenue so the City has an accurate understanding of how its bike network is used near downtown and ECR.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR REAL OPPORTUNITIES:

Why Adding Bike Facilities On El Camino Real Would Needlessly Jeopardize Cyclist, Driver And Pedestrian Safety. Web Link

El Camino Real Corridor Study: How To Make Menlo Park More Bike-Friendly Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by joseph Baloney
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 23, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Dana-

I live in Menlo Park, work in Menlo Park, shop in Menlo Park (and Redwood CIty and Palo Alto)...
And most of my trips are by bicycle.

I have very different personal perspectives than you.

In your first link, you say ECR "cannot be made safe for biking." What is safe? No accidents or deaths. Not even you home is perfectly safe. ECR can be made MUCH SAFER by removing the parking and adding bikes lanes. This has been shown to reduces accidents by 50%.

Web Link

In your second link, you say attempt to refute the claim that "More bike riders would use El Camino IF it were safer," without proving any evidence, of course. This has been shown to be true. "The likelihood that a given person walking or bicycling will be struck by a motorist varies inversely with the amount of walking or bicycling." In other words, double the number of cyclists, and the risk to each halves.

Web Link

In your second link, you also claim the statement that El Camino is more convenient than either existing or planned biking alternatives "is NOT meaningful." Obviously this is subjective, but to anyone who gets around Menlo Park, imagine what a pain it would be to do so without getting on ECR. The convenience of ECR IS MEANINGFUL. Everybody in their car uses ECR BECAUSE IT IS MORE CONVENIENT. Going out of your way is even MORE inconvenient on a bike as it takes even more time and much more energy.

The bottom line is that it would be simple to make ECR much safer for cyclists with a bike lane and no parking. This would be a massive improvement to our sorely lacking bike facilities.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 24, 2015 at 1:04 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The bottom line is that it would be simple to make ECR much safer for cyclists with a bike lane and no parking."

The bottom line is that ECR is a State Highway and as a State Highway its intended purpose is to move as much traffic as possible, as safely as possible.


2 people like this
Posted by Joseph Baloney
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 24, 2015 at 9:33 am

PC-The bottom line is that ECR is a State Highway and as a State Highway its intended purpose is to move as much traffic as possible, as safely as possible.

Removing parking and putting in bike lanes would do both.
Parked cars are not moving traffic, bikes are.
Bike lanes improve safety for all.

Thanks for backing me up Peter!


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 24, 2015 at 9:36 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Removing parking and putting in traffic lanes would move far more people per than would bike lanes - and with much more safety.


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Posted by really?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 24, 2015 at 11:08 am

really? is a registered user.

I think the unaddressed question is also: Where else on ECR are there bike lanes? I can't think if any from Daly City to Sunnyvale. This might be the equivalent of those short stretches of sidewalk that go to and from nowhere.


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Posted by dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 24, 2015 at 1:09 pm

Joseph:

If one examines the current Menlo Park Bike Network and the planned enhancements EXCLUDING ECR it is easy to see cyclists have or will have many fine choices to go anywhere with LITTLE inconvenience. Please provide REAL and important places that cyclists of all levels cannot ride conveniently without ECR. Specific examples not possible today? How big a deal?

Most accidents and collisions involving cyclists and drivers occur where they CROSS PATHS. On ECR there are about 60 such spots including busy intersections and mid-block public "driveways". This makes any bike facilities on ECR much less safe than alternative routes. This is FACT; not an unsupported opinion. Look at the national bike injury study I reference in my posts.


8 people like this
Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 24, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

What both Dana Hendrickson and Peter Carpenter are overlooking is that Menlo Park has adopted a Complete Streets policy: Web Link and that Caltrans is also supportive of Complete Streets on its facilities: Web Link

El Camino Real, in its current state, serves only automobile traffic well. It is an important connector that despite being used by pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users, it does not do well by them. That needs to change. Despite their protests to the contrary, studies show that adding traffic lanes does not fix congestion, it just makes more of the same. Studies also show that adding bicycle infrastructure enhances safety not just for people on bikes, but pedestrians and also reduces collisions between cars.

Roads are for people. El Camino Real existed before cars did.


3 people like this
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Mar 24, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Roads are indeed for people. The vast majority of those people are using cars, because cars are a better choice for them.

It is selfish to take away road resources from most people to dedicate it to the needs of a few.


4 people like this
Posted by Maximus
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 24, 2015 at 3:36 pm

If its good enough for London, why not Menlo Park....

xWeb Link

Also, the argument that a car lane carries much more traffic than a bike lane could fall by the wayside once safe, direct bike travel becomes possible. Take a look at Market St. in San Francisco. An enormous number of commuters bike on Market St.


3 people like this
Posted by dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 24, 2015 at 5:03 pm

I am an experienced cyclist who frequently rides 40 to 60 miles a week, and I would not ride on El Camino regardless of the type of bike facilities. Nor would I ever recommend inexperienced riders to do so. The significant additional risk versus other available bike routes is simply too high.

Much of the discussion about the El Camino Real Corridor Study has centered on the needs of cyclists who maintain that ADDING bike facilities to this highway and REDUCING the number of vehicle lanes to two in each direction would make bike riding more convenient, Unfortunately, this is too narrow a view. Instead, our residents and City Council should consider the interests and well being of cyclists, drivers and pedestrians. Any major changes to El Camino Real will entail compromises, all SIGNIFICANT trade-offs warrant consideration, and personal safety is THE critical criteria. Our decisions also need to be well informed and well reasoned.

There about 60 spots on El Camino where cars would cross paths with cyclists riding in either bike lanes or bike paths, and cars can be traveling fast when they exit the highway. This is a dangerous situation for both drivers and cyclists, and the latter bears the greater risk of personal injury. When either a driver or cyclist is not cautious or is distracted the risk of an accident or collision climbs dramatically. None of the alternative bike routes identified in the Specific Plan include such a large number of trouble spots.

If bike facilities were added to El Camino cyclists and pedestrians would mix at busy intersections; this is a dangerous situation for both EVEN IF separate crossing lanes are marked. Human behavior = cannot count on compliance and good judgment.

If bike riding on El Camino were a good idea Palo Alto would already provide this capacity. Both Palo Alto and Menlo Park have relied on the same “bike plan” consultant (Alta Planning + Design) and they have NOT recommended including El Camino Real as a high priority.

Reducing the vehicle lanes on El Camino to accommodate bike facilities will likely increase congestion and generate more cut-through traffic in adjacent neighborhoods like Allied Arts. Today there are about 45,000 daily vehicle trips on El Camino between Sand Hill Road and Ravenswood Avenue. Where will these vehicles go if lane capacity is reduced by 33%? No one really knows. But the negative impact could be large and the risk high.

Finally, while I have heard a great deal about the general issue of cyclist inconvenience I have not heard any actual examples of routes that would be SIGNIFICANTLY more convenient if El Camino was included. And no one has mentioned the greater number of stop lights on El Camino which can introduce significant delays. Menlo Park has a fine existing bike network, and many ways to make it even more convenient and safer without encouraging cyclists to ride on El Camino have already been identified.

Making bike riding a LITTLE more convenient for some cyclists who wish to travel between CERTAIN points in Menlo Park does NOT justify exposing all riders to GREATER danger and SIGNIFICANTLY penalizing drivers and our neighborhoods. City Council, please do NOT add bike facilities


10 people like this
Posted by Joseph Baloney
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 24, 2015 at 9:09 pm

Dana-

"I am an experienced cyclist who frequently rides 40 to 60 miles a week"
I'm guessing you squeeze into lycra and head for the hills. I'm riding around town 6-7 days per week. Going to work. Going shopping. Taking my kid to Burgess. I'm on ECR several times a week.

"ADDING bike facilities to this highway and REDUCING the number of vehicle lanes "
This is wrong. One of the options adds bike facilities, removes PARKING, and preserves the existing lanes. The number of vehicle lanes are not reduced.

"cyclists and pedestrians would mix at busy intersections; this is a dangerous situation"
Yes, because pedestrians do SO much better with cars. ECR already sucks for pedestrians, with narrow sidewalks at many points, crossings on only one side of intersection at many points, and on demand walk signals. Making it more like an expressway will only make it worse for pedestrians.

"Where will these vehicles go if lane capacity is reduced by 33%?" Just repeating the word reduce doesn't make it so. Removing parking and putting putting in bikes lanes does not reduce any existing lanes. The vehicles will go the same route they go now, they just won't have to wait for a car to parallel park or try to share a lane with a cyclist.

"actual examples of routes that would be SIGNIFICANTLY more convenient if El Camino was included."
From Stacks to Safeway. 0.4 miles on ECR. 1.1 miles if you go out of the way to University. Many more parked cars. Driveways. Intersections. Stops signs every other block on Santa Cruz. A major pain in the behind. And you can substitute FROM pretty much any location on or near ECR TO pretty much any location on or near ECR. There is no parallel to ECR on this side of the tracks. I realize these are not the places one goes for a recreational ride, but they are the places people who live and work and shop here go. Once the Stanford property gets built, there will be even more people living and places to go on or near ECR.

"Making bike riding a LITTLE more convenient for some cyclists who wish to travel between CERTAIN points in Menlo Park does NOT justify exposing all riders to GREATER danger and SIGNIFICANTLY penalizing drivers and our neighborhoods."
If ECR is only useful traveling between CERTAIN points, try avoiding it in your car for a week and get back to me. Removing parking and adding bike lanes DOES NOT affect current vehicle lanes on ECR. It does not put all riders in greater danger and does not penalize drivers.

You keep going on about safety. You have never answered my question to you, what is safe? When was the last accident involving a cyclist traveling with traffic on ECR? Not crossing ECR, but traveling with it. When? I can't remember one. Remove the parking (again parking, not vehicle lanes), throw in some bike lanes, and it will be even 50% safer.




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Posted by Mike Keenly
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 24, 2015 at 10:29 pm

Dana,

Seemingly like you, I'm a cyclist outside of work hours and a car commuter during work hours, although I disagree with everything you've said.

Cars and bicycles can safely coexist on El Camino Real. Let's do what's necessary to make it happen, and not create a bunch of phony roadblocks.

Mike


3 people like this
Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 24, 2015 at 10:41 pm

Joseph:

1. First, I welcome your sarcasm about I being a "lycra wearing recreational cyclist". I find it amusing when one has to resort to such tactics and know it undermines your credibility with many readers.

2. I believe you are wrong about vehicle lane reductions. Today southbound El Camino between Live Oak and Middle Avenue has THREE vehicle lanes. BOTH Alternative 2 (Buffered Bike Lanes) and Alternative 3 (one-way cycle track) would reduce this stretch of El Camino to two lanes. That creates a new bottleneck.

3. I believe it is obvious that cyclists would be much less safe on ECR than on alternative routes. Since I expect you will not accept anything I say I recommend you ask the consultant who assisted Palo Alto and Menlo Park in their bike network designs and priority-setting. Ask them why they did NOT recommend including El Camino a high priority.

4. I doubt that riding from Stacks to the Safeway is a typical route for most people but let's assume for a second that it IS. Since you are a regular cyclist I would expect you can ride the additional 0.7 miles in less than 4 minutes if you can travel an average of 10 mph (which is not fast). I think this extra time is a small price to pay for greater safety. You also have shorter bike route options. Today you can take Doyle, Menlo Ave, Crane, Blake, Roble and ECR and cut the distance in half OR you can ride directly point-to-point either on the street or sidewalk. I would not recommend it for most cyclists but that is a personal decision.

Peace.


3 people like this
Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 24, 2015 at 10:46 pm

Joseph, please don't forget that if you travelled on ECR from Stacks to the Safeway you might have to stop along the way for red lights at both Ravenswood and Robles. This adds travel delays. Peace.


6 people like this
Posted by joseph Baloney
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 25, 2015 at 7:26 am

Dana-

About your points 1 and 3, I am simply pointing out that recreational cyclists have different needs than people who use bikes to get around town. Your directions to take "take Doyle, Menlo Ave, Crane, Blake, Roble and ECR " show this. Anyone who rides around town would know that from Crane you would cut through Nealon Park to get to Safeway, and not end up on ECR as you suggest (the whole point was how to avoid ECR anyway)

About your point two, I believe you are wrong about lane reductions. If you look at the documents from the ECR Corridor Study

Web Link

on page 50, you will see that Alternative Two only mentions the elimination of parking (point one). Right turn only lanes lanes are eliminated "in their current form" (point two) but put back in their new form (point 4). If you are looking at the figure on page 52, I believe that shows just the intersection. I would be surprised if they add a left turn lane for the entire length of northbound ECR between Middle and Ravenswood. Even if it were true (please point to me why you think it is so) continuing the lane diet on one side of the road for a small fraction of ECR is hardly a 33% reduction. Claiming so is disingenuous.

But again, please point me to a document that shows your claim of lane reduction to be true. The link above to a an official document makes no mention of it.


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Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 25, 2015 at 7:36 am

Mr. Wells, I have read the Complete Streets Policy adopted by the City of Menlo Park and do not interpret it to mean that El Camino Real must or should be included in our city bike network. Perhaps, we need an official interpretation from the City

Principles

"Complete Streets Serving All Users. City of Menlo Park expresses its commitment to creating and maintaining Complete Streets that provide safe, comfortable, and convenient travel along and across streets (including streets, roads, highways, bridges, and other portions of the transportation system) through a comprehensive, integrated transportation NETWORK that serves all categories of users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, persons with disabilities, motorists, movers of commercial goods, users and operators of public transportation, seniors, children, youth, and families, emergency vehicles and freight."

The policy focus is on a safe and convenient NETWORK for users. This does not mean that every street either should or must become a "complete street". Nor does it imply that every street could become a complete street. It also seems to say that whenever either new street construction or major physical modifications are planned on an existing one "multi-modal usage" must be CONSIDERED but not required.

"As feasible, the City of Menlo Park should incorporate Complete Streets infrastructure into existing streets to improve the safety and convenience of users and to create employment, with the particular goal of creating a connected network of facilities accommodating each category of users, and increasing connectivity across jurisdictional boundaries and for existing and anticipated future areas of travel origination or destination."

Please note the term "feasible". I believe we can create a safer yet still acceptably convenient bike NETWORK without including El Camino Real.

Bike/car accidents are rare on El Camino today because so few riders risk riding on it. I can imagine the public outcry if young or inexperienced riders were encouraged to do so by new bike facilities and one or two accidents cause major injuries to cyclists or pedestrians. There would likely be a call for the complete separation of cars and bikes. Does that sound familiar?





2 people like this
Posted by Old MP
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 25, 2015 at 9:58 am

re Bike lanes in London: Note the illustration --- a segregated bike lane next to a 2-lane road. My experience is that these lanes are always along 2-lane (25mph) roads, not along a state highway like El Camino Real.


2 people like this
Posted by bike routes?
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 25, 2015 at 10:05 am

Menlo Park's bike routes are discontinuous, inconvenient, unsafe for the people who ought to be biking more and riding in cars less -- schoolkids and family members needing to get to destinations WITHIN Menlo Park. I'm not talking about people who bike 40-60 miles/week, so let's not use the attitudes of those bikers to assess the situation before us.
There is no chance of having a meaningful conversation about bikes on El Camino without also addressing directly the lack of a great bike network within our town.
Some vehicle drivers might be inconvenienced by creation of this, but a cohesive, contiguous, safe, convenient bike network that actually connects people's homes with where they need to go within Menlo Park ought to cause many vehicle drivers and riders to get out of vehicles.
Then, let's make sure that whatever happens on El Camino SUPPORTS Menlo Park businesses and is safe for pedestrians. Some businesses do not have parking other than what's in front of their business. Most sidewalks on El Camino are very narrow, and will remain that way for decades so elimination of parking on El Camino could endanger pedestrians when cars zoom by right next to them. The parking creates a safety buffer.


2 people like this
Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 25, 2015 at 1:39 pm

I actually ride downtown to the hardware store, Walgreens and Wells Fargo Bank so your ASSUMPTION that I do not understand riding downtown is incorrect. No, I do not bike thru Nealon Park as I have no need to do so. I note that you did not refute my point that the incremental time to stay off ECR in YOUR example is actually quite small especially if you add potential stoplight delays. You mentioned the Safeway so you could go to ECR/Roble and either walk your bike or ride on the sidewalk for the very short distance to the Safeway parking entrance. Or, ride in the street if you choose. You have options and none are inconvenient and all are safer.

RE: lane reduction, I have been told that the alternatives have not changed since the November 14 Transportation Commission Report Web Link. See page 49 thru 53. If the design has changed then I am incorrect. If it hasn't change, I am correct.


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Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 25, 2015 at 1:47 pm

bike routes, we actually have a fine bike network that is consistent with the Specific Plan and the existing Menlo Park Comprehensive Bike Development Plan Web Link ( this was created with bike network expert - Alta Planning + Design. You may not like it but those are the Facts. Peace.


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Posted by George C. Fisher
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 25, 2015 at 2:20 pm

The E lCamino Real Street Sections Revisions, March 8, 2012, Specific plan Task A, by Fehr and Peers specifically stated:
" It is recommended that the four-lane alternative with on-street parking and bicycle lanes be the preferred alternative." page 2 of 8. Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 25, 2015 at 2:21 pm

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

We have a lovely bike plan, yes. I will note that the Bike Plan you linked to calls for installing bike lanes on El Camino Real- Class II between Watkins and Encinal, and Class III between Encinal and the Palo Alto border. (See Section 5.4, "Recommended Bikeway System and Improvements.") So ten years ago bike lanes on El Camino were included in the very Bicycle Plan you linked to, as a long-term project. Now we are ten years on, and it's time to move forward. Given that we have a much better understanding of how protected bike lanes positively impact safety for pedestrians and automobiles as well as people on bicycles, it's entirely appropriate to implement the bike plan to a higher standard that what was envisioned ten years ago when it was a long-term project.


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Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 25, 2015 at 3:12 pm

I realize that ECR is a long term "proposed segment" in BOTH the Palo Alto and Menlo Park Bike Network.

Do you not wonder why Palo Alto has no actual plans to implement this idea?

If the consultant who helped both cities create their bike plans would unequivocally state that ECR would be significantly safer or at least as safe as the alternatives proposed in Menlo Park plans, I would readily accept their position. Would those who want bike facilities accept the assessment of this bike network expert?

Also, I still would want to run a well-designed trial of Alternative 1 - three lane in each direction for the entire length of ECR - in order to see the ACTUAL impact of this change.

Then we can compare how the alternatives effect riders and drivers and make the best decision. Sound reasonable?


2 people like this
Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 25, 2015 at 5:03 pm

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

Palo Alto is a significantly different kettle of fish, and not comparable to Menlo Park in one significant way: Palo Alto is laid out on a grid, so the city can choose to designate a street like Bryant as a "bicycle boulevard" even installing bollards in places to close it to through car traffic, while folks driving cars have plenty of parallel options on Emerson, Waverley, and Cowper. Menlo Park is not laid out in a single grid, it is a collection of neighborhoods without the benefit of continuous parallel streets that Palo Alto has. So what Palo Alto chooses to do or not to really doesn't apply to Menlo Park.

Alternative 1, adding three lanes, goes exactly counter to the single most requested feature from the first survey: improving pedestrian safety. And a trial of Alternative 1 is problematic, because induced demand does not materialize overnight, it takes between six and eighteen months, and then congestion is just as bad as it was prior to expansion. Web Link The futility of widening roads to manage congestion is well understood, and has been described by more than one traffic engineer as "trying to cure obesity by loosening your belt." Unless you are proposing a two-year "trial", a trial would not produce the same results that a permanent expansion of El Camino would over time.

Also it is important to highlight that expanding El Camino to three through lanes would require the removal of a significant number of heritage trees at the corner of Ravenswood and El Camino, including the tree that is annual lit at the December holidays. Alternative three, with protected bike lanes, is the only alternative that also protects the trees.


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Posted by bike routes?
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 25, 2015 at 5:20 pm

I do not consider the hodge podge "plan" to be a viable network that will get kids and families out of cars. Think about kids getting from west menlo to MA High School, children from Linfield Oaks or Willows to Hillview, families from South of Seminary shopping at Safeway or going to the Oasis.
DH - please do not take these concerns as personal criticisms.

No one seems to care about existing MP businesses that depend on parking in front of their businesses.


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Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 25, 2015 at 6:26 pm

This is an important decision. So what is wrong with conducting a well-designed trial of alternative 1 for six months or more. I defer to experts to design the trial and our residents to understand the results. Don't you trust them? What have we got to lose? Afraid your scary projections will not materialize? Think your smarter than them? Hmmm.... Let's put your opinions to a rigorous actual test and let the chips lie where they do.


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Posted by Joseph Baloney
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 25, 2015 at 8:12 pm

Dana-"I have been told that the alternatives have not changed since the November 14 Transportation Commission Report Web Link. See page 49 thru 53"

You are right, they have not. Those are basically the same slides as the link I already provided. If you bother to read those pages, they specifically state that only parking is removed. So, as I said, there is NO REDUCTION in vehicle lanes.

Actually, if you read the document to which you link, a third north bound through lane is ADDED south of Ravenswood while maintaining both the left and right run lane.
By your flawed math, this is a 33% INCREASE in vehicle through lanes (from 2 to 3) on ECR.

Vote Alternative 2!
Remove parking, add bike lanes and INCREASE vehicles lane by 33%!
Wow, that sounds much better. Don't worry, I'll cite you each time I mention it.


2 people like this
Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 26, 2015 at 8:35 am

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

"So what is wrong with conducting a well-designed trial of alternative 1 for six months or more. "

For starters, it's up to council to decide. If council has no intention of implementing alternative 1, there is no point in doing a trial of that alternative. If proponents of each of the alternatives successfully demanded pilots of their favorite alternative, it would take years for a decision to be made. Insisting that your given preference be given a trial turns correct procedure on its head.

Let council choose. If council decides to test out a given alternative, that is their prerogative.


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Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 26, 2015 at 6:42 pm

I LOVE these interactions.

Joseph,

You are free to cite my posts anywhere you like. You will have more factual data soon so everyone can more aesily compare the physical differences between the FOUR ECR design options.

If you took the time to look at slides #52 thru #57 in the November report you would see that BOTH Alternative 2 and Alternative 3 show the stretch of ECR between Ravenswood and Middle Avenue on the southbound side would have only TWO vehicle lane ; today the stretch between Live Oak and Middle has THREE lanes. So this is a REDUCTION. Agree?

Tunbridge,

I am simply recommending that the City Council conduct a trial for Alternative 1. What are you afraid of? More well-informed residents who might oppose your opinions? I love public forums.

I also love your constant attempts to discredit my views and ignore FACTS. Keep it up and see how many residents you win over. Peace :) Dana


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Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 26, 2015 at 7:54 pm

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

What facts am I ignoring? I've already linked to articles about how adding lanes does not improve congestion. I'm happy to go find the studies about how adding bike lanes improve safety across all modes, and that building bicycle infrastructure dramatically increases bike ridership. And that putting more bicycles on the road makes the roads safer for everyone. I can also get more information about about how much of the CO2 emitted in the bay area comes from combustion engines, and if we ever want to achieve the goals in AB 32, we have to reduce our dependence on single-driver automobiles. For these reasons and more, Sunnyvale has put in bike lanes on El Camino. Mountain View has approved bike lanes on El Camino. San Mateo is seriously studying bike lanes on El Camino. This is not some crazy pie in the sky idea, and and I am not ignoring your "facts." I disagree with your ideas, and I think that what you are advocating would drag Menlo Park backwards. Peace.


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Posted by Joseph Baloney
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 26, 2015 at 8:42 pm

Dana-"If you took the time to look at slides #52 thru #57"

I have looked at those slides. You're wrong.

First off, #54-57 are showing Alternative 3, for which I have never advocated.

Second, #53 is showing the INTERSECTION south of Ravenswood. Do you actually think there is a north bound left turn lane the entire length of ECR between Middle and Ravenswood? If you look at slide #23 showing the EXISTING lanes south of Ravenswood, it doesn't show the lanes you mention either (which do exist). Those slides are obviously showing only the intersection.

Don't believe me? If you READ slide #50, you see that there is no mention of removing vehicle traffic lanes, only parking, as I have said MANY times. If I may quote:
"Buffered Bike lanes would be added in both directions through lane narrowing and elimination of parking on the majority of the segment."
See. No mention of reducing lanes. The NB right turn lanes would be eliminated "in their current form" BUT replaced.

My mistake in my previous past was that NB vehicle though lanes south of Ravenswood would be increased from 2 to 3, which is obviously a 50% increase (by your math), not 33%. And definitely not a decrease.

Seriously, I cant believe you are sticking with this.

If you want to discuss RELATIVE safety of biking on ECR vs alternative paths, that's a debate. If you want to discuss whether bikes belong at all on a state highway that runs right through the middle of our town, and every town on the peninsula, that's a debate. But Alternative 2 does NOT DECREASE existing vehicle lanes. It just doesn't.


Like this comment
Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 4, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Joe, you are actually right about there NOT being vehicle lane reductions on either Alternative 2 or 3. I have been trying to get a clear answer for several weeks after pointing out the confusion created by the report slides and aerial illustrations that were sent to me by the Transportation Department. After I pointed out errors in the illustrations that showed lane reductions they agreed this past week to correct them. So I was misled by confusing slides and incorrect illustrations. I have updated the information on my website at Web Link

This does not in any way change my belief that bike lanes would negatively impact of vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist safety


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