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Re: Santa Cruz Avenue Sidewalks

From: domainremoved <Patti>
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2015 17:46:32 -0700

Thanks, Nikki.
Sometimes not all consequences of decisions are known at the time of the decision. When there is good information that something adverse and unexpected has been a consequence, then the decision could be and should be revisited rather than insist the original decision is the last word. I believe the decision to designate the lane as bicyclist-priority is just such a decision. Pedestrians have no other place to walk.

Not much of the gravel was removed. Glad to hear it will be. In the future for interim restricting, please consider repainting rather than grinding up the pavement. That ruins the surface until the street is repaved.

Sorry to hear that the no-parking was not a trial, especially near St. Raymond school and church (I am not a parishioner) where some street parking is important.
Patti

Sent from my iPad

> On Jun 24, 2015, at 5:14 PM, Nagaya, Nicole H <nhnagaya_at_(domainremoved)
>
> Hi Ms. Fry,
>
> Thank you for your message and apologies for the delay in returning your email. Please see responses to your questions below. Responses are prefaced by ** before the inserted text for readability. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.
>
> Best,
> Nikki
>
> 1. Why was the buffered bike lane implemented before the sidewalks were installed? This change forces pedestrians and bicyclists to share the steepest part of the street (parts of Santa Cruz have a high crown), closer to the gutters. Previously, the separate bike lane allowed pedestrians to travel, some with strollers or wheelchairs, in a wider lane on the street. Pedestrians only occasionally needed to go around parked cars, on either side.
> BTW yesterday and today, that same now-shared lane also contains lots of recycling/garbage bins.
> **The buffered bike lanes were part of the recommendation included in the design concept approved on March 10, 2015. The bike lane changes were implemented as a first phase of the project construction based on requests that came during public comment at the March 24, 2015, City Council meeting. Staff hosted a community meeting on May 11, 2015, and mailed postcards to residents near the project area to share information about the approved concept plan, and this first phase installation. Here are links to find the Council meeting agendas and recordings of the Council meetings:
> http://www.menlopark.org/AgendaCenter
> http://www.menlopark.org/694/Watch-Public-Meetings
> A copy of the presentation from the May 11 community meeting is available here:
> http://www.menlopark.org/974/Santa-Cruz-Avenue-Sidewalks
>
> 2. Who has the right-of-way when bicyclists and pedestrians (some with strollers or shopping carts) approach each other, each traveling in opposite directions? This question was answered by Jesse Quirion last evening (thank you for asking him to provide an update). He said that the lane is a marked bike lane, so bicyclists have the right-of-way. This means that pedestrians have the lowest priority.
> He also said that these changes already make walking on Santa Cruz safer. His rationale was that removal of parked cars makes it easier and safer for pedestrians. Our neighbor, with 54 years of daily Santa Cruz walking experience, heartily disagrees with this conclusion. It previously was easy to walk around the parked cars in the sections where there are no sidewalks and easy to avoid bicyclists because they were in their own lane. She says now the only option to avoid bicyclists is to quickly move over and walk in an undesignated pedestrian "sliver along the gutter".
> **As Mr. Quirion described at the Council meeting in response to the question, the area is designated as a bicycle lane, so bicyclists have priority. As the Police Department confirmed at the meeting, pedestrians can walk in the bicycle lane, but bicyclists have the right-of-way.
>
> 3. When will the debris from scraping the street be removed? When will the new dents from that scraping be smoothed out? These make the road surface very uneven for both pedestrians and bicyclists.
> **The contractor crew removed as much of the debris as possible during the initial installation, but the City street sweeping crew will follow up on Santa Cruz to remove any residual material tomorrow (Thursday, June 25). The street will not be resurfaced until the sidewalks are constructed, so some uneven areas will exist. This occurs with nearly any lane striping removal.
>
> 4. Will utilities be undergrounded? If that doesn't happen now as part of the new sidewalk installation, it isn't realistic to think that it will ever happen when that would require digging up the sidewalks. Aren't there ways to finance this when interest rates are low? This kind of infrastructure investment makes sense for our community.
> **The City is currently working with PG&E to assess the cost and timing of undergrounding utilities within the project area. We anticipate to have a more detailed update on the potential to do this work in conjunction with the sidewalk construction by early fall.
>
> 5.What is the plan for evaluating the design choice that removed parking? These next several months represent opportunities to assess some of the intended and unintended consequences of that design decision, which by the way was a result of a survey that went only to Santa Cruz Ave. property owners, not all of whom even responded -- not to a broader community of users of sidewalks and bike lanes.
> **We welcome feedback on the parking removal at transportation_at_(domainremoved)
>
> 6. Will there be any measures taken that would make the "bulbout" corners more visible during this pre-sidewalk phase? These were oddly installed out of sequence, years before the sidewalks that would connect to them will be installed. The new bike lanes narrow considerably where these stick out into the street. Some of these corners are in the shade during the day and not lighted at night. While adult bicyclists can be observant, we worry about the safety of kids who may not be attentive enough to notice that they cannot go straight ahead in the full lane where these protrude into the new marked bike lanes.
> **The corners that are updated with curb ramps and pedestrian facilities are required in order to conform with state and federal Americans with Disabilities Act requirements every time a street project is completed, and while they currently result in an interim condition, their purpose is to ultimately work towards installation of a consistent pedestrian area (sidewalk, walking path, etc.). We will take a look at the corners and see if there is reflective material that can be added facing oncoming traffic to make them more visible as you suggest.
>
> 7. What kind of code enforcement can we expect? This question was not asked last evening, but came to mind as we left the Council chambers on our way home when we noticed a car parked along the red curb. Earlier yesterday there was a truck parked in a different place along the red curb. Some of the vegetation near the street frequently hangs over what is now the new shared lane.
> **The no parking area can legally be enforced 30 days after installation (this is consistent with any new traffic control – e.g., stop signs, etc.). We will share your concern about vegetation overhanging the street with the City’s Code Enforcement officer for review as well. Feel free to forward specifics if you have any further concerns.
>
> 8. When can we expect the sidewalks? There has been little communication.
> **The sidewalks are currently moving through detailed engineering design. The first step of this was to conduct the right-of-way survey, which was completed in early June. We are working with the engineering contractor on a schedule, and will share that information on the project website (http://www.menlopark.org/974/Santa-Cruz-Avenue-Sidewalks) when available.
>
>
> Nicole H. Nagaya, P.E.
> Transportation Manager
> City of Menlo Park
> P: 650.330.6781
> e: nhnagaya_at_(domainremoved)
>
> From: Patti L Fry [mailto:pattilfry_at_(domainremoved)
> Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 9:28 AM
> To: _CCIN
> Subject: Santa Cruz Avenue Sidewalks
>
> Dear Honorable Mayor and Council Members,
>
> As stated last evening during Public Comment #1, we thank you for your support of implementing new sidewalks on both sides of Santa Cruz Avenue from Olive to Johnson. These are long overdue and eagerly awaited! I was prompted to speak out after listening to the outrage of a dear neighbor Teresa. She has been waiting for sidewalks all 54 years she has resided in her nearby home, all the while walking downtown daily to work or to shop, and walking on Santa Cruz for exercise or to visit friends. While my husband and I have lived in west Menlo for only 24 years, many times/week we each use Santa Cruz Ave. while walking or bicycling. We share her deep disappointment at the current state of implementing sidewalks. Rather than improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety, recent changes worsen it.
>
> We know this project was not on last evening's agenda and that you couldn't respond to our questions of the city, which are:
> 1. Why was the buffered bike lane implemented before the sidewalks were installed? This change forces pedestrians and bicyclists to share the steepest part of the street (parts of Santa Cruz have a high crown), closer to the gutters. Previously, the separate bike lane allowed pedestrians to travel, some with strollers or wheelchairs, in a wider lane on the street. Pedestrians only occasionally needed to go around parked cars, on either side.
> BTW yesterday and today, that same now-shared lane also contains lots of recycling/garbage bins.
> **The buffered bike lanes were part of the recommendation included in the design concept approved on March 10, 2015. The bike lane changes were implemented as a first phase of the project construction based on requests that came during public comment at the March 24, 2015, City Council meeting. Staff hosted a community meeting on May 11, 2015, and mailed postcards to residents near the project area to share information about the approved concept plan, and this first phase installation. Here are links to find the Council meeting agendas and recordings of the Council meetings:
> http://www.menlopark.org/AgendaCenter
> http://www.menlopark.org/694/Watch-Public-Meetings
>
> 2. Who has the right-of-way when bicyclists and pedestrians (some with strollers or shopping carts) approach each other, each traveling in opposite directions? This question was answered by Jesse Quirion last evening (thank you for asking him to provide an update). He said that the lane is a marked bike lane, so bicyclists have the right-of-way. This means that pedestrians have the lowest priority.
> He also said that these changes already make walking on Santa Cruz safer. His rationale was that removal of parked cars makes it easier and safer for pedestrians. Our neighbor, with 54 years of daily Santa Cruz walking experience, heartily disagrees with this conclusion. It previously was easy to walk around the parked cars in the sections where there are no sidewalks and easy to avoid bicyclists because they were in their own lane. She says now the only option to avoid bicyclists is to quickly move over and walk in an undesignated pedestrian "sliver along the gutter".
> **As Mr. Quirion described at the Council meeting in response to the question, the area is designated as a bicycle lane, so bicyclists have priority. As the Police Department confirmed at the meeting, pedestrians can walk in the bicycle lane, but bicyclists have the right-of-way.
>
> 3. When will the debris from scraping the street be removed? When will the new dents from that scraping be smoothed out? These make the road surface very uneven for both pedestrians and bicyclists.
> **The contractor crew removed as much of the debris as possible during the initial installation, but the City street sweeping crew will follow up on Santa Cruz to remove any residual material tomorrow (Thursday, June 25). The street will not be resurfaced until the sidewalks are constructed, so some uneven areas will exist. This occurs with nearly any lane striping removal.
>
> 4. Will utilities be undergrounded? If that doesn't happen now as part of the new sidewalk installation, it isn't realistic to think that it will ever happen when that would require digging up the sidewalks. Aren't there ways to finance this when interest rates are low? This kind of infrastructure investment makes sense for our community.
> **The City is currently working with PG&E to assess the cost and timing of undergrounding utilities within the project area. We anticipate to have a more detailed update on the potential to do this work in conjunction with the sidewalk construction by early fall.
>
> 5.What is the plan for evaluating the design choice that removed parking? These next several months represent opportunities to assess some of the intended and unintended consequences of that design decision, which by the way was a result of a survey that went only to Santa Cruz Ave. property owners, not all of whom even responded -- not to a broader community of users of sidewalks and bike lanes.
> **We welcome feedback on the parking removal at transportation_at_(domainremoved)
>
> 6. Will there be any measures taken that would make the "bulbout" corners more visible during this pre-sidewalk phase? These were oddly installed out of sequence, years before the sidewalks that would connect to them will be installed. The new bike lanes narrow considerably where these stick out into the street. Some of these corners are in the shade during the day and not lighted at night. While adult bicyclists can be observant, we worry about the safety of kids who may not be attentive enough to notice that they cannot go straight ahead in the full lane where these protrude into the new marked bike lanes.
> **The corners that are updated with curb ramps and pedestrian facilities are required in order to conform with state and federal Americans with Disabilities Act requirements every time a street project is completed, and while they currently result in an interim condition, their purpose is to ultimately work towards installation of a consistent pedestrian area (sidewalk, walking path, etc.). We will take a look at the corners and see if there is reflective material that can be added facing oncoming traffic to make them more visible as you suggest.
>
> 7. What kind of code enforcement can we expect? This question was not asked last evening, but came to mind as we left the Council chambers on our way home when we noticed a car parked along the red curb. Earlier yesterday there was a truck parked in a different place along the red curb. Some of the vegetation near the street frequently hangs over what is now the new shared lane.
> **The no parking area can legally be enforced 30 days after installation (this is consistent with any new traffic control – e.g., stop signs, etc.). We will share your concern about vegetation overhanging the street with the City’s Code Enforcement officer for review as well. Feel free to forward specifics if you have any further concerns.
>
> 8. When can we expect the sidewalks? There has been little communication.
> **The sidewalks are currently moving through detailed engineering design. The first step of this was to conduct the right-of-way survey, which was completed in early June. We are working with the engineering contractor on a schedule, and will share that information on the project website (http://www.menlopark.org/974/Santa-Cruz-Avenue-Sidewalks) when available.
> When will these questions be answered?
>
> In our opinion, the current situation is less safe for pedestrians who would be served by sidewalks. We all want to work with you to make this long-awaited project a success and to make Santa Cruz Avenue a safer place for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages, with particular attention to the children going to schools and churches and our downtown.
>
>
> Respectfully submitted,
> Patti Fry
Received on Wed Jun 24 2015 - 17:43:53 PDT

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