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Storm alerts for Woodside, Atherton, Menlo Park

Original post made on Feb 7, 2017

Here are the most recent storm alerts from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office and Atherton and Menlo Park police departments.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 6:59 AM

Comments (20)

Posted by resident
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 7, 2017 at 11:20 am

The Sheriff's Department sent an email alert saying that Kings Mountain Road is closed above Huddart Park.

Posted by La Hondan
a resident of another community
on Feb 7, 2017 at 2:44 pm

Just a suggestion - until all of this mess is cleaned up and the roads are all back open (including the lane control on Hwy. 84) could bicyclists (unless you're a local resident commuting) and leisure drivers please avoid the whole mountain? The roads are treacherous up here right now and local residents are having enough trouble getting to work, school, grocery store and doctor's appointments without additional traffic.

Thank you from the residents of La Honda, Skylonda, Loma Mar, Pescadero, San Gregorio, Kings Mountain

Posted by Yes, in fact, I do own the WHOLE road
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 7, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Sorry, @LaHondan, but the spandex flamingos are more important than mere residents and their needs..

Posted by Mike Jacoubowsky
a resident of another community
on Feb 7, 2017 at 8:17 pm

To PanicFan: Happy to hear my son and I brought a smile to your face this morning while changing our flat tire! For what it's worth, we helped a few people in cars this morning, who were asking if the road was open further down. Yes, we actually stopped and had a pleasant conversation with them. I know, the folk in cars must have been from outside the area and didn't know the rules about bring friendly to others on the road. I'll let the next ones know. :-)

Oh, right, a couple weeks ago I stopped up near the top of Kings and moved a very large rock out of the car lane. No problem getting past it on a bike, but I figured if I can make the world just a little bit better place once in a while, I ought to. For what it's worth, my son and I have stopped and moved a lot of branches and rocks off Kings and Skyline during our morning rides.

There are a lot of nice people out on the roads. Glad today's random act of kindness (our flat) made your day!

Posted by Former la hondan
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 7, 2017 at 9:25 pm

Wow sounds like the losers have moved into the mountains. Glad I sold when I did. I'll continue to ride my bike thanks.

Posted by Human0
a resident of another community
on Feb 7, 2017 at 11:45 pm

I'm local. Like I grew up locally. Learned to bike around here locally. And I understand the want to have traffic adjust. We do not need to cause grief, violence or any other warring states upon each other though.

If you cannot guess, I'm a cyclists. I love these roads and figure we can share them fully.

There is clearly someone who lives in the nearby Woodside / Portola / La Honda area that tries regularly to sabotage bikes (historically this has been tacks, dirt that appears magically for descending traffic, etc). It is well within a bike's own well being to keep theirself safe from assholes. Sure this doesnt excuse hostile onwards violence yet many parties are at fault.

If it comforts some immediate locals of La Honda, I am riding fewer hours a week, and hardly any hours up Kings/OLH/Alpine/Page Mill/Etc. The real solution is have some patients or move off of a living hillside. Unless you bought a house that was supposed to be attached to granite and somehow that granite has changed to sand; I would grieve with you but otherwise be flexible.

Peace and love from Human0 in spandex which is really to say it is just Human0.

Posted by Eugene
a resident of another community
on Feb 8, 2017 at 2:35 am

I've heard about the tacks, though never encountered them personally. I few months ago I was descending King's and there was a thin patch of white sand in the middle of one of the technical corners. Fortunately it was a lower-speed corner and I only lost grip for a split second before regaining it.

It was probably not left by someone with malicious intent, but it does make me wonder.

For the record, I live on top of a hill too. In fact my cul-de-sac is know by many greater Bay Area teens as "Top of the World" where they spend nights overlooking the panoramic views. There is no problem as long as they don't litter, vandalize property or cause extreme noise pollution.

Posted by nova
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Feb 8, 2017 at 5:46 am

Heaven forbid the cyclists miss a day of riding! C'mon, we're not just complaining for our sakes, but yours as well. It'd be a good idea to avoid these areas temporarily. Its not particularly safe for cars, and adding bicycles to the mix is just too dangerous, mainly for the cyclists. The entire Bay Area is rideable, 84 isn't the only place to bike. If I can truck a motorcycle 100 miles to Hollister, you can go a few miles elsewhere to pedal. Maybe you could use the bicycle lanes all over the state that you all pushed so hard to get, and cost a ton of taxpayer money? You know, the lanes that nobody uses?

Posted by Eugene
a resident of another community
on Feb 8, 2017 at 6:16 am

As mostly a recreational cyclist, I also haven't really bothered to ride in the rain or even after in the Woodside area for the past 2 months. The hillside is constantly weeping onto the road. I've been using my trainer. Surely as a local resident you've noticed the considerable drop in bike traffic around the area?

I did a little digging on Strava (a service most cyclists use to track their rides.) Since 12 AM on Sunday, only four rides up Old La Honda were recorded and uploaded to the service. Surely a few more cyclists rode up that road in between then and now, but probably not more than a handful. Surely a dozen (at most) cyclists riding up OLH over a 48 hour period is not the burden you suggest it is?

You want to know how many people rode up King's Mountain Rd since Sunday night? According to Strava, *three.* Mike (who commented above,) his son Kevin and one other.

And yes, I do use bicycle lanes whenever it's safe. However there's also a long list of conditions causing bicycle lanes to become unsafe.

1) Sometimes by design they are extremely unsafe, such as whenever they are right next to parked cars and not wide enough to give me the ~3 feet required to avoid getting doored.
2) People like to use bicycle lanes as loading zones or even temporary parking.
3) Obstacles and debris. During this time of year that is very common.
4) Right-hooks from cars. Most bicycle lanes cross-over to the left of the right-turn lane, but some don't.

You know what costs taxpayer money? Car-centric infrastructure. If more people rode 20-pound bikes instead of 3800-pound cars, road surfaces would last quite a bit longer and traffic wouldn't be as bad during rush hour. It's never cyclists clogging up the main arteries to 101 and 280. Furthermore I own a car, pay my DMV fees and taxes just like you. These are old, tired and ignorant arguments.

Posted by Maui Mikie
a resident of another community
on Feb 8, 2017 at 9:36 am

Good comments Eugene. When I lived in Palo Alto I bike commuted to the far side of Moffett Field on my bike every day. I paralleled 101 most of the way. Most afternoons I was moving faster than the cars. A coupe of days it was so bad I got on the freeway at Moffett Blvd. and rode the breakdown lane to San Antonio Rd. in the breakdown lane.

Posted by The Maven
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Feb 9, 2017 at 5:26 pm

We ascended, then descended Old La Honda on our tandem last week without incident. There were more motor vehicles than usual for a midweek day, but nothing we couldn't manage. From my house in Sunnyvale to work at Stanford is ten miles. Let's see, five round trips would be a century, a nice workout until the debris up above is cleared. I admire those who are exploring the mud clogged roads, where a training ride becomes an adventure. We'll wait a bit, taking local roads for our cycling. No shortage of hilly roads nearby. By the way, the bike lanes that "cost a ton of money" are being used more than ever. When I commuted through Mountain View in the 1980s I felt like I was the only person cycling to work. A ride recently down Middlefield Road showed me DOZENS of bicycle commuters going to work (likely Google and Facebook). We ALL paid for them, but us lucky ones get to use them. Even cyclists who don't own cars pay enough in taxes to make bicycle infrastructure part of their tax bill. Buy a bike and try one out, and you'll find cycling to be a gentle, satisfying sport, good for the environment, but more important, good for you, and safer than you think. The League of American Bicyclists has a licensed instructor near your home who would be happy to help you get started. Look them up. Or check out John Forrester's book "Effective Cycling".

Posted by The Maven
a resident of another community
on Feb 9, 2017 at 5:31 pm

Oops, I don't live in Portola Valley, rather Sunnyvale.

Posted by La Hondan
a resident of another community
on Feb 9, 2017 at 5:44 pm

For the record, I don't endorse the rude and unnecessary post that followed mine. This was not about not liking bicycles on the roads, it was about CURRENT road conditions not being conducive to ANYONE coming up on the mountain, whether on a bike, a motorcycle, a car or a truck, unless they HAVE to be up here. The conditions are currently treacherous and constantly changing.

Please, instead of immediately jumping onto the cars vs. bikes tired discussion, read my post again and understand why people who live up here really, really need people who don't live up here to avoid the area until the mudslides, downed trees and power lines are cleared and we're out of this storm cycle. It's for your safety and for the safety of the people who depend upon these roads to get to and from their homes.

Thank you.

Posted by La Hondan
a resident of another community
on Feb 9, 2017 at 5:52 pm

And I forgot to mention that roads that ordinarily are very popular with bicyclists (like Kings Mountain, Alpine, Page Mill and Old La Honda) are now dealing with increased vehicular traffic due to the closure (now going on a week) of Highway 84. I'm sure it's stressful and difficult already for the people who live there to deal with the increase in traffic. I'm asking that people voluntarily ride elsewhere until conditions improve.

Obviously if you're a mountain resident and you commute by bike, this request does not apply to you.

Thank you.

Posted by KB
a resident of another community
on Feb 9, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Just want to say: the polite request from "La Hondan" was totally respectful and reasonable and as a cyclist who enjoys those roads I thought "okay, that makes enough sense, I think I will stay away."

Then the next comment from "Yes, in fact, I do own the WHOLE road" came out of left field and made no sense at all.

Posted by Eugene
a resident of another community
on Feb 9, 2017 at 7:24 pm

The Strava tracking indicates that virtually everyone is in fact riding elsewhere or more likely riding on their indoor trainers. There's really just a handful of cyclists riding these roads during the storms. There's not that many riding on the days without rain either because the roads are stil soaked and covered with pine, rocks, mud, etc.

Specifically there have now been 12 ascents of Old La Honda tracked by Strava since Sunday, and only a single rider today. On a typical summer Saturday, you'll probably see 12 ascents in an hour. King's Mountain saw 4 people make it to the top today. I don't even have to look at 84, nobody is riding up at road in these conditions, especially with the lane closure.

So I'm just wondering if this extremely reduced number (single digits daily) of hardcore cyclists is really that much of a burden on the lives of local residents?

Posted by La Hondan
a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2017 at 2:06 pm

Dear Eugene:

I understand that many cyclists are defensive, and perhaps in your effort to defend cyclists (who are not and have not been attacked by me in my original or subsequent posts, but unfortunately someone else hijacked the thread with an unnecessary negative comment directed at bicyclists) result in you perhaps missing the point of my post.

The point is that, in general, it would be much appreciated by local residents if folks, whether they are on bicycles, motorcycles, cars or trucks, don't come up here right now unless they have to. It's a mess.

That's all. While I'm sure many aren't coming up here because they don't like to ride in the rain, I imagine (or perhaps just like to think) that others might also not be coming up here because they don't want to contribute to the mess. Good for them. That's very thoughtful of them.

The safety of cyclists is of special concern, BTW, because even once the roads reopen, a lot of the debris (branches, rocks, mud) remains on the road shoulders, which pushes bicycles further into the lane of traffic and there are more hazards that could cause bicyclists to fall.

Thanks for listening.

Posted by Mike Jacoubowsky
a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2017 at 9:17 pm

To La Hondan & others-

Here's what we posted on the bike shop's Facebook page tonight-

Please stay off of Old LaHonda this weekend. It is the designated detour for traffic that would normally be taking 84, where mudslides have been repeatedly closing the road completely (not just one lane). We realize the sun is coming out and we all want to get out on our favorite roads, but right now, please, don't even think about riding up or down Old LaHonda.

Alternatives include Page Mill and Kings, both of which are expected to carry quite a bit more traffic than usual. If you're on either one, don't even consider riding two abreast, even if it seems safe to do so. Frustrated motorists will see you as yet another thing in their way. And finally, if you don't feel safe descending quickly, stay out of the hills entirely. You could end up holding up half a mile of traffic.

Hopefully we're over the worst of the storms and our roads will be back to normal soon. Until then, practice extreme caution and be extra-nice to everyone you see. --MikeJ

Posted by La Hondan
a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Thank you, Mike.

Posted by La Hondan
a resident of another community
on Feb 13, 2017 at 10:32 am

And then there's this: Web Link

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