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One Menlo Park crosswalk accounts for nearly a quarter of pedestrian collisions. The city is trying to fix it

Original post made on May 30, 2023

Menlo Park’s most dangerous crosswalk is undergoing a pilot program to improve safety. The downtown intersection accounts for nearly a quarter of all the city's vehicle collisions with pedestrian collisions last year.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 26, 2023, 9:22 AM

Comments (4)

Posted by Parent
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 30, 2023 at 2:04 pm

Parent is a registered user.

I am concerned about removing the right turn lane on Menlo Avenue onto University Drive. While I support the intention to make the crossing safer, I am quite worried by how this change would increase East-West traffic. For those of us driving from Eastern Menlo Park (we're in the Willows) to Hillview and other destinations in Western Menlo Park, this is already a very slow bottleneck. I wonder if a stoplight at that intersection would improve both traffic flow and pedestrian safety.

Posted by Ivan
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 30, 2023 at 6:42 pm

Ivan is a registered user.

I wonder if planners may consider a mini-roundabout there.

Roundabouts have been proven to reduce rates / lethality of collisions + resulting in smoother flowing traffic vs stop signs

Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 31, 2023 at 3:37 pm

Brian is a registered user.

I wonder if the city has considered a flashing crosswalk like they have put in on Middlefield by the fire station and like they had on Ravenswood at Alma. When the lights are flashing people have to stop for pedestrians. That would not constrict traffic like the other options seem to do.

Posted by PH
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jun 1, 2023 at 11:44 am

PH is a registered user.

@Parent "I wonder if a stoplight at that intersection would improve both traffic flow and pedestrian safety."

I knew at once from reading the headline what intersection this was referring to.

My recollection is that council did approve a stoplight for this intersection in the 2002-2004 time frame, over what seemed like clear staff resistance. I also recall staff having a pet solution that they strongly favored. My recollection is also that studies showed the stop light could be configured to improve existing traffic flow. There may have been a capital budget shortage from the recession after the burst of the tech bubble.

By 2006 all five council members would have left office.

Staff could have dragged its feet with budgetary excuses, and dropped the project entirely after the 2006 election. Yes, I have seen staff completely reverse its "logic" in staff reports issued weeks before an election and then again almost immediately after a new council is seated, presumably to influence a tabula rasa council to adopt polices more favored by staff.

It's a great lesson in institutional memory, and staff agenda.

I wonder how many people have been hit since 2004 and how, why, and when staff got the stoplight decision reversed.

In case the award-winning Almanac staff wanted to research this alleged recollection it might be a good idea to start with the then sitting City Attorney who might also recall the decision and subsequent reversal. It's not nearly as sexy to awards judges as writing about teacher housing, but its the stuff that local government is made of. People are still getting hurt at this intersection and I sincerely remember authorizing a stoplight sometime between 2002 and 2004.

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