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With safety in mind, Menlo Park reduces Middlefield Road to a three-lane road

Original post made on May 18, 2023

The lanes on Middlefield Road in Menlo Park are being restriped between Ravenswood Avenue and Willow Road to make it a three-lane street with a center turn lane as part of a pilot program.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 18, 2023, 9:45 AM

Comments (16)

Posted by CyberVoter
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 18, 2023 at 12:19 pm

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Great! Getting to/from Willow Road and Rt 101 & the Dumbarton Bridge will be more time consuming & traffic back-up will create even more pollution. Have you seen Middlefield Road from Willow to Palo Alto. It will be even safer if they close Middlefield & make it a pedestrian Mall. That will solve all the problems!!

Posted by Concerned Citizen in Menlo Park
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 18, 2023 at 12:31 pm

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To the point made by CyberVoter above, I wonder if the solution might be to (somehow?) make the third lane into a reversible lane.

Posted by Frozen
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on May 19, 2023 at 1:21 pm

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Result: more cut-through traffic in the Linfield Oaks and Willows neighborhoods. Pushing cars from multi-laned streets designed to carry traffic onto smaller streets where people are walking their dogs and kids are playing.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 19, 2023 at 2:14 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.


Are you sure? According to those who are all about "saving the world" it should force people to ride bicycles instead of drive cars. You mean it's not having that effect? There are three people on the council that need to go. They are charging blindly forward to "save the world" and creating all kinds of unanticipated problems as they do. Unanticipated by them that is. The rest of us with common sense could see these "unanticipated" problems coming a mile away.

Posted by TJ
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on May 19, 2023 at 2:34 pm

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You all really don’t understand how more lanes doesn’t equal less traffic when the lanes have to condense into one just a little further ahead. That was exact reason for the lane reduction in Palo Alto and it makes sense here too.

Posted by CyberVoter
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 19, 2023 at 2:39 pm

CyberVoter is a registered user.

Menlo Voter:

You are describing many (most) of the Council members of the peninsula's towns. These zealots are focused on changing their communities to their vision - NO matter what the residents want!!!

We need to change those (perhaps) all members!

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 19, 2023 at 6:48 pm

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Posted by Andrea J
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 19, 2023 at 9:22 pm

Andrea J is a registered user.

I drove northbound on Middlefield today from Willow to Ravenswood and loved the new striping. Drivers who need to turn left into one of the many business driveways will have a safe lane to wait in, without fear of being rammed from behind by an impatient driver. At the approach to Ringwood, where the single lane divides in two, the SUV behind me couldn't wait to pass me so as to get in front of me at the long left-turn red light for Ravenswood. I imagine that all afternoon the driver was stewing that if not for the new striping the SUV could have been TWO cars ahead of me at the long red light.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 20, 2023 at 8:41 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.


If these lane changes were actually about safety I would agree with you. They're not. They're about "save the world" zealots that are trying to force everyone out their cars. Every time they do this they pat themselves on the back. Never mind they've actually done nothing but create more problems. As to the idiot driver you talked about, they are everywhere. Part of the problem is it takes little more than fogging a mirror to get a drivers license, so many, if not most, people never really learn to drive well. You don't fix that problem by changing lane striping.

Posted by kbehroozi
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on May 20, 2023 at 9:19 am

kbehroozi is a registered user.

@MV, these changes *were* actually about safety. Check the collision database. This corridor had high speeds (40 mph in the last survey) and too many broadside and rear-end collisions as well as serious pedestrian incidents. The pilot was a staff decision – they saw an opportunity to address a persistently dangerous situation and they did it.

The trial configuration gives left-turning drivers a turn lane (similar to what they have on other roads w/ similar traffic – Willow, Santa Cruz, etc.) so that drivers coming up behind them at 40 mph don't suddenly brake/swerve/rear end them. It also improves visibility for crossing pedestrians. The ADT on this stretch is actually lower than it is on Willow Rd., which has half as many through lanes, so it's unlikely to lead to congestion. What we *should* see is slightly slower speeds (35 is plenty on that kind of street) and maybe (depending on how long the pilot lasts) fewer collisions.

It will come to council in six months. In the meantime, let's see how it works before ranting about virtue signaling. This ain't it.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 20, 2023 at 6:36 pm

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Additional, concentrated enforcement could accomplish the same thing to slow down traffic without killing the flow.

Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 22, 2023 at 9:54 pm

Brian is a registered user.

If this is about safety then please share the data. I don't believe it is about safety, it is another move to mess up the flow of traffic through Menlo Park. I am not sure why but for some reason our current majority of City Council really enjoys messing with the drivers in our City. They don't seem to care about the residents as evidenced by what they did to Middle Avenue. This looks like another poorly thought move to impact drivers.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 23, 2023 at 7:23 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.


They want to make driving a car in this city as difficult and as unpleasant as San Francisco. The goal in SF is to get people out of cars and into public transportation or bicycles. That is what this council is trying to accomplish under the guise of reducing CO2. The sad thing is they think they are actually doing something about global warming, all the while doing nothing but inconveniencing residents and causing all kinds of unintended consequences.

Posted by rtjohnson
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on May 23, 2023 at 2:38 pm

rtjohnson is a registered user.


I'd also like to see the data you mention.


When I researched the TIMS database at UC Berkeley, I only found 13 reported incidents for the affected stretch of road (Middlefield from Willow to Seminary) in the 11 years of available data, some of which includes people hitting the fixed median or pedestrians crossing with no cross-walk. Obviously, the staff are not proposing solutions for stupidity, so I will request the staff release the safety information they were using for purposes of recommending this trial.

This, the Middle Road (soon-to-be fiasco) no-parking project, and other efforts seem quite misguided, and this from an avid cyclist. I fear that we are finding solutions in search of problems.

-- todd

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 23, 2023 at 3:09 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.


They're doing it to "save the world".

Posted by Dawn1234
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 24, 2023 at 10:25 am

Dawn1234 is a registered user.

As a daily bike commuter, I can speak to the need for more protected bike lanes. I regularly encounter drivers driving in the bike lane to get around traffic, drivers driving at unsafe speeds on school bike safety routes, and drivers right turning without looking for bikes. Our town is, by design, a pain to drive across. They wanted it that way. If our streets were safe for ALL users, then high school kids wouldn't feel like they needed to ride on the sidewalks - being as how they're less risk averse than the old folks.

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