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Does Menlo Park really care about Safe Routes? We'll find out at City Council meeting

Original post made by Jen Wolosin, Menlo Park: other, on Apr 17, 2017

Much lip service has been paid in Menlo Park to the concepts of "Safe Routes" and "Complete Streets". In theory, providing safe biking (and walking) infrastructure for our kids sounds great. In fact, the Menlo Park City Council, on January 24, 2017 took two actions that supported these concepts:
- It voted to add the development of an institutionalized Safe Routes to School program to its 2017 work plan, thus prioritizing Safe Routes to School, and,
- It merged the Bicycle Commission and the Transportation Commission into one, Complete Streets Commission.

Following these forward-thinking acts of leadership, we would then assume that when it comes time to actually implement Safe Routes and Complete Streets projects that the City Council will act in a way consistent with its earlier stated priorities. Right? Unfortunately, this may not happen. We will find out at tomorrow night's City Council Meeting (4/18 at 7pm, Agenda Item J2).

To catch you up, in December 2016, the City Council approved the Oak Grove Bike Pilot that provided, among other things, buffered bike lanes across El Camino Real for kids traveling East/West to and from M-A and Hillview. The project was 2 years in the making, involved a considerable amount of outreach (over 1800 postcards were mailed to those near the route, meetings were held with key stakeholders, etc.), was debated in public and then approved. The final approved pilot (yes, it's a one year pilot, not a permanent change), while filled with compromises and not perfect, provides a much safer biking experience for our community's kids to get across El Camino Real than any other alternative.

This map illustrates the route approved in December 2016: Web Link. Please note that Green = buffered bike lanes both directions, Orange = sharrows both directions, Blue = parking on side as shown.

Unfortunately, last minute objections related to loss of parking along the route (which had already been minimized and safety compromises had already been made to address), have made the City Council second guess its previously approved project. City Council is now considering delaying the project to allow further feedback and compromise.

At tomorrow night's City Council meeting (April 18th, meetings start at 7pm), the City Council will vote on one of three options regarding the Oak Grove Bike Pilot (see Staff Report 17-086-CC - Web Link):
- Option 1 - Delay the project to get more feedback.
- Option 2 - Move forward with the previously approved project.
- Option 3 - Conduct a 2 Phase Process. Move forward with the bike route west of El Camino, but delay the project east of El Camino to allow time for more feedback.

Parents for Safe Routes feels strongly that the only acceptable choice is Option 2 - to move forward with the project as planned. Option 3, while presented as a public compromise, and likely to be favored by City Council as one, delivers a route to nowhere...half of a safe route...which is not a safe route at all. Just as Option 1 (a full delay) is troubling, Option 3 is also problematic for the following reasons:

- Delays both this project and other projects, including the Willows Neighborhood Complete Streets project (outlined in the Staff Report)
- Adds costs
- Leads to additional compromises which will result in a less safe route
- Fails to get kids safely across El Camino to/from Hillview or M-A. A route that dumps someone on the other side of El Camino to danger seems even worse than no route.
- Opens mid-year, not at the beginning of a school year.
- Lets the City Council feel satisfied they are doing "something", making them less inclined to really to the right thing.
- Sets a terrible precedent for how our city is run and decisions get made...that an approved project can be derailed at the last minute.

While Parents for Safe Routes (and I personally) had nothing to do with the development of and the original approval of the Oak Grove Bike Pilot, and while it has some flaws, we are strongly advocating for its implementation for the following reasons:

- There is currently no safe way to cross El Camino Real for school kids traveling East/West to and from M-A and Hillview. Crossing El Camino Real at Ravenswood/Menlo and Santa Cruz are not viable options. Kids need safety now.
- There is an approved project (this one) that provides some steps towards developing a true Safe Route to/from Hillview, etc.
- This is a pilot. Maybe the parking woes that many are concerned about will be realized and our community will decide that the safer biking benefits do not outweigh the cost of lost parking OR maybe more families and others will come out, try the route, and realize that even further safety enhancements are needed for the route. Maybe a parking crisis doesn't happen and some even realize that they could live with less parking. Maybe the downtown businesses and restaurants see a surge in customers because people feel safe coming downtown. Maybe those who need to drive feel safer doing so because bikes are separated from them and there are fewer cars on the road.

Our community must make a decision. Either it values biking or does not value biking. If it chooses not to value biking, we should give up our Multi-Modal, Vision Zero, Safe Routes, Complete Streets vision. Using all of these buzz words means nothing if when it comes time to actual projects we don't support them. We can then add back all the street parking people want and get in our cars and drive our kids to school one by one. We can deal with the traffic and live our lives, knowing that we live in a place with certain values. However, if we claim that we want to reduce traffic and have Safe Routes and Complete Streets, including biking, then we MUST move forward with this pilot and even more projects. We are at a crossroads. What's it going to be?

This is about kids AND quality of life. Do we want Menlo Park kids to get to experience the independence and freedom that we felt as kids when we biked to schools near our homes? Do we want our kids to get their blood flowing and their minds cleared on their way to and from school? And what about the rest of us? Do we want to be forced in our cars in bumper to bumper traffic as we travel less than 2 miles around town? Do we want to be stuck in a vicious cycle of dangerous streets - more driving - more traffic - more dangerous streets?

And as for drivers and those who can't bike...removing bikes from "sharing" the road will make drivers feel safer. I know that when I drive (and I drive a lot), I feel very nervous when I interact with bikes. And, if more people bike, there will be fewer cars, and the roads will be safer for those who need to drive.

And regarding parking, I am very sympathetic to inconveniences for seniors, people with mobility issues, gardeners and service providers. I welcome them to this civil public discussion. However, up until now, all of the inconveniences and alternative arrangements have been put upon another group of vulnerable community members...our kids. Parents for Safe Routes was founded to speak for them. Please consider their need for safety (and all the benefits that biking to school provides our youth) when weighing the needs of other groups.

This pilot must move forward so we can continue to weigh the trade-offs this project has uncovered. If this pilot gets delayed, for the reasons that are presented, what hope do we have of ever having Safe Routes or Complete Streets?

Please join me and Parents for Safe Routes in telling City Council to move forward with the approved Oak Grove Bike Pilot. You can email them at city.council@menlopark.org or show up at tomorrow night's City Council meeting and let them know in person.

Jen Wolosin
Parents for Safe Routes
www.parents4saferoutes.org

Comments (20)

7 people like this
Posted by Yes to safe routes
a resident of Hillview Middle School
on Apr 17, 2017 at 4:11 pm

A big thanks to Jen and others for putting so much effort into this. I hope the city goes forward with this as a temporary measure even though I think folks will have to address a major change once Station 1300 starts.

Maybe we can ask for more bus service while we're at it. My Hillview kid takes SamTrans and said it was packed today.


12 people like this
Posted by U. Block
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 17, 2017 at 4:27 pm

This project will be a HUGE benefit for all residents of Menlo Park. I think it will spur many parents to allow their kids to bike to Hillview and M-A (and soccer practice, and band practice, and...) by increasing safety, which will in turn improve the awful morning traffic. It will also ease the minds of drivers trying to co-exist with kids on bikes on clogged streets by giving everyone the space they need to get where they are going.


11 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 17, 2017 at 5:31 pm

Please don't kill an entire bike-to-school safety project because of one block of NIMBYs. Democracy means we need to do what is best for the community as a whole.


5 people like this
Posted by Katie Behroozi
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Apr 17, 2017 at 6:26 pm

I applaud Jen's commitment to the Safe Routes to School movement. She is a true public servant, advocating not just for her own personal gain, but for the larger needs of the thousands of Menlo Park children who have to travel our increasingly congested streets to get to school.

The need for a safe bike route through town has been well-established and I think our city council is on board. My hope is that those advocating to delay or kill the project can take a deep breath, look beyond their own self interest and that of their neighbors, and embrace the compromise that gets us to Complete Streets. We can be a lot more creative about parking solutions than we have been, and in the meantime, as Jen has expressed so well, our kids are the ones who are paying the cost.

I have faith that our city council will make the right call for our community tomorrow night.


6 people like this
Posted by A Reeder
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 17, 2017 at 11:51 pm

Sadly, this is a solution looking for a problem, disguised by a special interest group (bicycle commission) as a safety issue for children. I attended both Hillview and MA and rode my bicycle daily around Menlo Park as a child. Not once did I have a problem sharing the road with cars. I was taught to obey traffic laws and ride with awareness of my surrounding - something that is too often lacking with many cyclists. This project is a sad waste of limited City resources and has been fast tracked with few metrics to validate the professed need/problem. There has been almost no public outreach. Thank goodness the City Council is taking an appropriate pause to reconsider this project.


5 people like this
Posted by MP parent
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 18, 2017 at 7:42 am

As a resident of Menlo Park, mother of three preschool-aged children, cyclist, and member of Parents for Safe Routes, I am urging you to move forward with the Oak Grove Bike Pilot immediately.

The "compromise" of delaying the project east of ECR is not a compromise at all. It offers only a half-safe route. As a mother and a cyclist, I would not accept this as a safe route of travel for my kids. I know many other families who will not allow their middle school- and high school-aged children to bike to Hillview/MA due to safety concerns. We are worsening traffic and impeding independence for these kids and families due to the City's lack of interest in making Safe Routes a priority.

Many families move to Menlo Park to raise their families. Kristen Gracia, the Principal of Oak Knoll School, proudly stated that Oak Knoll has the highest population of student cyclists in the district. Let's support these schools in their efforts to promote cycling as a safe route to school. Failure to do so may lead to unthinkable consequences. I do not imagine there is anyone who would choose a convenient parking spot at the cost of putting a child's life at risk. 33% of the households in MP have children under age 18, and 24% of the population of MP is under age 18. Most of these children commute to school 5 days/week and live within 1-2 miles of their schools. Let's provide these families with safe routes to school, which will benefit the whole community by reducing traffic, reducing pollution, improving health, improving road safety by bringing more awareness to cyclists, and creating a more unified feel to our city, rather than one divided by ECR.

Please prioritize the safety of families and children and move forward with the Oak Grove Bike Pilot. This is vital if we want Menlo Park to continue to be a community that values families.


5 people like this
Posted by MP Driver
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 18, 2017 at 8:54 am

My goodness. I thought this was a done deal. I don’t bike and probably never will even with the addition of safe bike lanes. But I do drive and when I drive I really do not enjoy having to share the road with the bikers. i know they have a right to share the road but we all know how frustrating it is to get stuck behind a biker (particularly in the morning rush hour). This is particularly bad on narrow roads such as University. I am always tempted to swerve around them (I know, that is very dangerous for everyone).

These bikers need their own lanes as much as possible. Council, let's remember that this is not just about bikers vs parkers. Having dedicated bike lanes makes driving less stressful for all of us who need to drive. It seems obvious that removing some parking is a small price for make driving more convenient for all of us. Let’s do it for the drivers!


1 person likes this
Posted by Jen Wolosin
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 18, 2017 at 9:17 am

Please take the time to review the Oak Grove Bike Pilot that was approved on 12/6/16: Web Link

The report outlines (p.404) the extent of community engagement that took place, including meetings with Nativity, the Chamber of Commerce and the mailing of "1,846 postcards to to residents, business owners, and property owners along the proposed route up to half a block away two weeks prior to the Council meeting." Menlo Park has a population (in 2013) of 33,071. Roughly 6% of the total population of Menlo Park was personally informed about the initiative via the postcard mailing.

There have also been numerous Almanac articles written over the last almost 2 years about the project:
Web Link
Web Link
Web Link
Web Link

Furthermore, the project was discussed repeatedly at Bicycle Commission meetings and City Council meetings, and all of these meetings have agendas, minutes and video recordings available for public viewing.

It is indeed difficult to keep up with everything that is going on in our city. That's not the fault of the hard-working Menlo Park city staff; the city can only "push" so much information out given the official methods of outreach and without infringing on people's privacy. That is partly why this project was designed as a pilot, so people could experience it and react to it. We won't know if the Oak Grove Bike Pilot will cause people to change their current forms of transportation, although that is the hope; we just know that kids need a safe East/West route NOW.

In principle, I support community engagement and working together to come up with the best solutions possible. However, with regards to the Oak Grove Bike Pilot, the due diligence was done. It's time to move forward with the pilot and see how it goes.

There is much talk in our town about safety for kids and improving traffic congestion. Reports are written and plans are made. But days turn into weeks and months and years and nothing happens. Streets continue to be unsafe, kids continue to be driven and the roads get more crowded. Joint Ventures Silicon Valley released a report that states that Menlo Park has seen an increase in bicycle collisions over the years (the only jurisdiction among its neighbors with this trend). This is unacceptable. Every day that action is not taken is dangerous.

There is so much more at stake to our community than just one bike lane. Every day, kids in Menlo Park (those brave enough) are left to compete on the roads with speeding SUVs and Minivans driven by distracted drivers, parked cars and other unpredictable obstacles. Those who don't assume these risks (and who can blame them?) either drive or are driven to school, causing more traffic and congestion on our over-burdened streets (nationally, 10-14% of morning commute traffic is school-related, likely more on streets like Oak Grove).

It's wonderful that many Menlo Park residents had children that biked safely to school when they were kids. Perhaps they were safe because they were excellent bicyclists who obeyed all traffic laws and paid wonderful attention to their surroundings (Parents for Safe Routes is also working on "Education"). OR, perhaps they were safe because there wasn't nearly as much traffic as there is now. And traffic was different...I never even heard the term "distracted driving" until relatively recently - definitely wasn't a term used when I was a kid.

It is time for Menlo Park to take a stand on Safe Routes. There will never be a perfect solution. Trade-offs will always need to be made. However, if we keep doing what we're doing, we're going to keep getting what we're getting. And what we have now is a dangerous situation for those traveling East/West.

Please join me in asking the City Council (city.council@menlopark.org) to move forward with the pilot. Better yet, show up tonight and tell them in person (City Council Chambers, 701 Laurel Street, MP)!

P.S. Many compromises were already made to get this pilot off the ground. There is still parking on the north side of Oak Grove from the Atherton town line to Laurel, on the south side of Oak Grove between Laurel and Alma, and up by Station 1300. There will also be parking on one side of Oak Grove through town to Crane. Check out the map of the pilot in my original posting to see where parking will and won't be.


5 people like this
Posted by David Roise
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 18, 2017 at 10:21 am

We also need to remember that the City Council cited the improvement of east-west bike connectivity at Oak Grove as a higher priority project when they postponed the installation of bike lanes on El Camino Real last year (Web Link).

Council members shouldn't be allowed to weasel out of a project that they so recently weaseled into. Private automobiles have been given priority over every other mode of transportation in the US for nearly 100 years, to the detriment of the strength and vitality of our communities. I would prefer that the Council revisit their decision not to install bike lanes on El Camino Real, but at least let's go ahead with the pilot study on the Oak Grove corridor.


Like this comment
Posted by Brielle Johnck
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 18, 2017 at 10:30 am

I certainly hope that the Council listens to the City Attorney regarding the liability of placing young kids in danger on Oak Grove. Imagine the liability issues when the immense earth moving trucks start removing thousands of cubic yards of soil for the creation of the underground garage. My guess is that there will be 135,000 cubic yards of soil which translates into 15,000 nine-yard dump truck trips driving away from the construction site. Following that will be more construction vehicles for close to 18 months. This is a crazy idea and that parents think this is better than nothing makes no sense. One child injured or killed will be a tragedy.


5 people like this
Posted by Angela E.
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 18, 2017 at 10:41 am

Thank you, Jen, for being the voice of Hillview and MA students who need safer means to cross El Camino and get to school. Following through with this pilot is crucial to the safety and well-being of this community, including and especially its students. Bike lanes on Oak Grove make it safer for bikers and cars (who are often stuck behind bikers, trying not to hit them). Bike lanes allow children to get to school independently so that their parents can get to work on time every morning. Bike lanes take cars off the road, reducing traffic congestion and emissions. We must provide more than lip service to Safe Routes and commit to projects that move these concepts forward.


1 person likes this
Posted by Jen Wolosin
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 18, 2017 at 10:51 am

I want to make something clear. Parents for Safe Routes is committed to getting kids to school safely. It is not committed to the Oak Grove Bike Pilot, per se. The Oak Grove Bike Pilot is a way to get kids to school safely and that's why we're behind it now. If, at any time during the pilot, it becomes evident that kids are being put at risk, we will publicly pull our support from it.

The great thing is that so many of us in the community are paying attention to this now and will be keeping an eye on things. I'll be the first one to ask for it to be stopped if the pilot isn't going well.

It's a pilot. Let's move forward and see how it goes. We'll all be watching.


7 people like this
Posted by Menlo Park Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Apr 18, 2017 at 10:56 am

Thank you Jen and all the patent leaders who are working hard to great safe passage for our community's children and other bikers! City Coubcil it's time to listen to your delegates.

A Reeder I have to wonder your age and when you were riding your bike around town. Were there as many SUVs on the roads? Did people have cell phones and talk and text while driving? If these are not representative realities of your childhood in Menlo Park I suggest you consider what it is like for today's bikers to commute on our roads.


5 people like this
Posted by Jen Wolosin
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 18, 2017 at 1:38 pm

I just got off the phone with the Project Superintendent (Jeff Coulson at W.L. Butler Construction) for the Greenheart Project (Station 1300). I found his contact info here: Web Link (all written communications to City Council are public).

According to him, construction will only be allowed to block/work on Oak Grove from 9am to 3pm. This should cover most of the school-related bike traffic:
- M-A - School starts at 8:45am on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. On -
Wednesday and Thursday school starts at 9:25am. School ends at 3:15 each day.
- Hillview - School starts every day at 8:25. It ends at 3:05 on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. On Wednesday and Thursday, school ends at 2:30pm.

So, the times when kids will potentially interact with construction vehicles will be:
- M-A - Wednesday and Thursday before school
- Hillview - Wednesday and Thursday after school

Just as with sidewalk construction on Santa Cruz, it will be the construction company's responsibility to deal with the traffic patterns (vehicles, cars, pedestrians) and to keep everyone safe. The construction company seems very prepared to deal with the conditions on Oak Grove and they were well-aware of the Oak Grove Bike Pilot. Hillview kids have continued to ride bikes down Santa Cruz Avenue during all the sidewalk construction of the past year, a section of road much longer that the Greenheart frontage on Oak Grove.


2 people like this
Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 18, 2017 at 1:56 pm

April 12, 2017

To: Menlo Park City Council

Subject: Bike Project Field Trial Must Validate Bike Safety Claims

A few weeks ago, a collision between my road bike and a white pick-up truck on Woodside Road reminded me that even well marked bike lanes afford little safety and no protection. Seeing a narrow gap in the flow of vehicle traffic, the driver shot across the two-lane highway from a service station driveway on his way to the Pioneer Inn and did not spot me riding in a well-marked bike lane until it was too late. He braked hard but ended up straddling my lane less than 10 feet in front of my front wheel and our collision was unavoidable. If the truck had arrived a few seconds later, I might have ended up underneath. My bike was badly damaged, but fortunately, I was not seriously injured. Since this incident occurred as the Menlo Park prepares a plan for a one-year, field trial of the Oak Grove – Crane – University (“Oak Grove”) bike project, my accident caused me to reexamine the primary rationale for this city investment and the trial metrics that city staff has proposed to gauge potential benefits and negative impacts. So far, the City Council has accepted the bike commission’s claim that this bike project will greatly improve bike safety - especially for students who must cross El Camino to reach their schools. But how does anyone really know? This important claim remains unexamined, and the current field trial plan does not adequately address bike and motorist safety issues. Instead, the Council, bike commission and many residents have incorrectly accepted as an “article of faith” the belief that new bike lanes always create a much safer bike riding environment. While the Council in a March review instructed city staff to better understand the impact of lost street parking, it should also require that more attention be paid to understanding the safety attributes of the project design and NOT approve a final field trial plan before safety receives greater attention both before and during the field trial.

Experienced bicyclists and bike network design professionals will readily acknowledge that other factors play a much more important role in safety than bike lanes Why? Because most bike accidents occur at places where cars and bikes cross paths - at intersections, busy commercial driveways and parking lots - rather than on the sections of streets between them. Bike lanes appeal to bicyclists not because they make a bike route safer but primarily because the separation of bikes and vehicles increases their comfort and creates the perception of greater safety. Bike lanes also have the same positive effect on motorists, as they prefer not to share lanes with bikes.

Here are a few recommendations that would help the Council acquire an excellent understanding of the bike safety benefits that this bike project might provide and ensure that the best safety measures are employed.

1. Require the consultant who designed the bike lanes and bike routes for this project also perform a safety analysis on its design. It needs to identify potential trouble spots, assess risks for different types of bike riders and recommend potential ways to reduce risk exposure. Bike network designers use five different categories for bicyclists when evaluating the suitability of bike routes and bike lanes for different types of riders on particular streets. This analysis should be performed before the trial starts.

2. The current field trial metrics submitted by city staff only requires the collection of reported collision data, an inadequate proxy for bike safety because most bike accidents do not involve collisions and bike accidents are rarely reported. For example, no one reported my Woodside collision because I did not experience a medical emergency. The safety metrics should be expanded beyond reported collisions and all potential trouble spots carefully monitored, perhaps with cameras.

There are a number of locations that warrant close attention. (see illustrations at Web Link)

1. The eastbound bike lane on Oak Grove will pass parked vehicles, and while there will be an eighteen inch wide buffer, motorists will still need to cross bike lanes whenever they enter or exit a street parking space.

2. Bicyclists will still share vehicle lanes on the two narrow and busy sections of Crane between Menlo Avenue and Oak Grove, and Crane is usually lined with parked cars. Many bicyclists do not understand that the street markings (“sharrows”) are installed primarily to encourage them to ride in the middle of the lane ride where they can avoid opening doors. Unfortunately, many motorists and bicyclists do not understand this fact and bicyclists generally do not like to “take the lane” and impede faster vehicles.

3. Three public parking plazas and six busy entrances and exits exist on Crane between Santa Cruz and Oak Grove. Vehicles will frequently cross paths with bicyclists and visibility is poor. How will bike-vehicle conflicts be minimized?

4. The dramatic redesign of the Crane-Santa Cruz-Crane intersections will create a challenging environment for both motorists and bicyclists, especially given the number of distractions at this location and the likely impatience of motorist who will need to stop at two new additional stop signs on Santa Cruz. Also, the California legislature is now considering A.B. 1103, which in its current form would authorize “a person operating a bicycle approaching a stop sign, after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way, to cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping, unless safety considerations require otherwise.” While this might make a great deal of sense in “quiet” neighborhood settings with little vehicle traffic it likely does not at this location, especially for elementary and middle school students. If this legislation passes what additional safety measures will be needed?

5. The creation of the Garwood Way extension at Station 1300 means there will be four busy intersections in a short section of Oak Grove (at El Camino, Merrill, Garwood Way and Alma) where bikes and vehicles will constantly cross paths. Are new bike and/or vehicle traffic controls needed? Where?

6. Station 1300 will generate an estimated 700 more daily vehicle trips on this section of Oak Grove, increasing the total to 10000 in 2019. How will the trial plan account for this change when this commercial development will not be completed until after the trial is over?

7. The bike route crossing at Crane might encourage more students to ride on Santa Cruz between University and El Camino. This is not safe behavior bicyclists will likely weave in and out of busy traffic, there is active parking, and the lanes were recently narrowed by the installation of outdoor street dining areas.

8. Some final thoughts: the actual crossings of El Camino at Oak Grove and Valparaiso will be similar, e.g., four-way traffic control lights, bike lanes separated from right turn lanes, pedestrian crosswalks and pedestrian light controls. The city spent more than $450,000 on pedestrian and bike safety improvements on Valparaiso and Glenwood in 2016. Were these not sufficient for bicyclists who cross El Camino north of downtown? The continuous bike lanes on these streets connect to those on Laurel and Ravenswood east of Laurel, and there is no lane sharing; no complex intersections and no parking plazas. Why is the proposed project viewed as safer than existing bike facilities? I recommend the Council ensure it fully understands this important bike safety issue before approving any final field trial plan.

I look forward to hearing how our City Council intends to address this important matter.

Dana Hendrickson

Publisher & Editor
Re-Imagine Menlo Park


7 people like this
Posted by Susie Danzig
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 18, 2017 at 9:48 pm

Please continue plans for a Safe Route to School. The bike lane would be helpful for bikers and drivers.
I have had to pick up a child with a broken wrist from a traffic accident, the driver didn't even wait with him until I got there. Our downtown area is so busy that allowing a child to ride a bike is nerve racking, so I drive sometimes when it's not necessary. I would love to help have less cars on the road
and great bike lanes will help that happen!


6 people like this
Posted by Bunyip
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 19, 2017 at 7:22 am

Last nights council meeting was an embarrassment to MP. The mayor despite significant rejection of this proposal ensured this was rammed through. While other council members stretched to say anything that appeared to look like compromising, suggesting uber or left for church goers, shuttle busses to curb the parking effect, installing a speed light, taxing unused private car parking locations at the Christian scientist church, ceasing greenheart construction for 4 hours each day to allow for bike, etc, Councilman Mueller was the only one thinking clearly with reasoned compromise. But the activist bike group obviously hounded the mayor,mexchanging admiring glances and smirks throughout the session.

I've never been into politics, but I witnessed a complete abandonment of reason and common sense. Businesses spoke out of the lack of community support, all to deaf ears. Please someone develop a legal fund and take legal action - I and many others will support this. To put aside the concerns for businesses, schools, and churches, to fulfil a small activists group agenda is outrageous.

Shame on the mayor, not your finest hour.


5 people like this
Posted by Jen Wolosin
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 19, 2017 at 11:16 am

Thank you, Mayor Keith, for your wonderful leadership last night. Menlo Park is lucky to have you looking out for our kids.

For those of you who want to see for yourselves how things went at the City Council meeting, you can watch the whole proceedings here:
Web Link
The discussion about Oak Grove occurs at approximately hour 3:35:00. Be warned that the interface to watch is not very user friendly.

Parents for Safe Routes looks forward to continuing to work with members of the community to keep our kids safe getting to and from school.

Sincerely,
Jen Wolosin
Parents for Safe Routes
www.parents4saferoutes.org


3 people like this
Posted by Group think
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2017 at 11:25 am

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.

Jen Wolosin is right. Residents should absolutely watch the meeting. It is a case study in how Groupthink develops and its pitfalls.

Last night a City Counclmember actually advocated threatening taxing a local Church to coerce it into providing parking in it's parking lot for high school students. The Mayor proposed that the attendees of weddings, funerals, and special events at Nativity Chuch be made to take shuttles to these services. And today Ms. Wolosin and her organization praises these actions.

Groupthink.



4 people like this
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 19, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Jen Wolosin and her bike activists have walked the mayor out on a plank.

Facts:
92% of MP residents drive to work. (Less than 8% walk or bike)
23% surveyed for this plan, supported it. (77% do not)
Approx. 60 bikes make the round trip on oak grove each day (yep less then a few an hour).
10,000 cars use oak grove.
Parking on this road is >70% occupied at all times.

They say it's for the kids safety, but this plan routes kids through a major construction zone - which alternatives are "51 seconds away". Clearly less about kid safety and more about ideology.

Please review the antics of the council members last night. Taxing private entities for having an empty parking lot, or forcing elderly people to uber to church are questionably legal.

Hopefully the Mayor, Jen Wolosin, and her activist friends are held responsible once the first critical incident occurs -

The council members cast multiple aspersions to the current president. Irony is lost on them. YOU are the reason he is in office. Government forcing an activist ideology on everyday Americans - the silent majority. But when you surround yourself with activists, as the Mayor has done with the numerous commissions, you get this type of public policy - ideological, polarizing, and I'll-thought out.

The bike activists may claim this as a victory, but it came at a tremendous cost to the credibility of the mayor and the council members.


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