Town Square

Caltrans: Two more weeks to fix El Camino Real traffic lights in Menlo Park

Original post made on Feb 1, 2013

Feel like a long time since traffic streamed smoothly along El Camino Real in Menlo Park? It's not your imagination. Caltrans has yet to finish repairing the traffic light snafu it created in October.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 1, 2013, 10:13 AM


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Posted by Martin Engel
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Feb 1, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Life appears to be full of trade-offs. When traffic flow is improved, traffic is increased.
When traffic flow is obstructed, traffic volume decreases.

Attention Menlo Park: Would you rather have increased traffic on ECR or less?

ECR is approaching freeway sized traffic loads. Our town is fly-over country for many drivers who prefer to stay off 101 and ECR is their preferred alternate route.

To get a "walkable" city, there needs to be more sidewalk width and fewer traffic lanes. El Camino is nearly a pedestrian barrier, and crossing is a survival sprint.

The downtown El Camino blocks need pedestrian safety islands at all their intersections.

We will never be a real bicycle town without a superior bike-lane network. El Camino is a bike nightmare.

You get the drift here? Be careful what you ask for, you may get it.

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Posted by Valparaiso Neghbor
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Feb 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm

OK, Martin, suppose we narrow El Camino, and make it almost impassible to through traffic for much of the day, as you seem to think is desirable. What effect do you think this is likely to have on the amount of cut-through traffic driving through Menlo Park on residential streets to avoid the gridlock?

Now, add the Stanford development of the car dealership properties, in line with the new, and ever so clever master plan, and the accompanying trips those medical offices will generate. Combined with yuor narrowed steet, the result will be a permanent gridlock situation on El Camino, and even more cut-through traffic using residential streets.

This paln might make it easier for those in walking distance to get around, but watch your local busnesses fail and fold up, on-by-one, as shoppers from outside of Menlo choose not to endure the resulting disastrous traffic, and choose to shop elsewhere.

Your vision is charming, walkable and calm, but will also result in lots of boarded up storefronts.

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Posted by Mrs. B.
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Martin, are you CRAZY? Do you live in the 21st century in the Bay Area? People use automobiles here to get between towns, and they will NOT just hop on their bicycles if we narrow El Camino. They will avoid Menlo Park entirely, and we will become a town no one wants to visit, and where no one wants to patronize businesses. Menlo Park is perfectly fine for bicycling and walking WITHIN the town - I do so every week myself. But when I need to get to San Carlos or Mountain View or South Palo Alto, sorry, I won't bicycle, I take my car. I want to be able to get into and out of Menlo Park with reasonable speed on El Camino Real. This road is a STATE HIGHWAY for a reason. What do those words mean to you? We need to WIDEN El Camino to three full lanes all the way through Menlo Park, not narrow it!

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Posted by santa cruz
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 5, 2013 at 5:18 am

Agree with widening El Camino. The daily crush of cars is never going away, I hope, as it's a sign of a robust economy and employed workforce. 101 is nearly impassable these days during rush hour, and people avoid it when then can.

I made the mistake of taking 101 to San Jose at 6pm the other day and it was a crawl, so I diverted to Central and other streets, and still it took me nearly 2 hours to get to downtown. Never again, will take the train next time. Wish more people would too!