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More Time and more information needed for General Plan Review example: Fwd: Revision to Circulation Program 3.A per GPAC recommendation not staff recommended change at September 21, 2015 meeting

From: domainremoved <George>
Date: Mon, 5 Oct 2015 14:37:49 -0700

City Council:

My email yesterday urged more time and study of the General Plan
revisions. One reason is issues such as Transportation metric availablity
in protecting quality of life in Residential Neighborhoods. In my quick
review of the 300+ pages presented by Staff for tomorrow night's meeting, I
did not see my letter to planning commission of September 18, 2015,below
and although I did see planning commissioner comments in Planning
commission minutes of September 21, 2015 supportive of the General Plan
Advisor Committee action on August 24, 2015 maintaining LOS, and
supplementing it with VMT. However the staff or consultant seem to still
being ignoring the GPAC action and is still making a contrary
recommendation emphasizing VMT and attempting to limit Use of LOS to
intersection management.

VMT simply does not deal with the routes or quantities of traffic through
residential neighborhood, only total miles traveled per capita. The
Current use of LOS in measuring traffic through the neighborhoods was
recently satisfactorily tested in the Traffic reports of the earlier
199,000 sq ft office proposal of Stanford. There is no reason for this
neighborhood protection to be withdrawn by staff or consultant, and
certainly should not be approved by you.

Thanks for helping to guide our future development in a meaning full
manner, not haphazard review of 300 pages on short notice without full
comprehension of the issues.

George C. Fisher

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: George Fisher <georgecfisher_at_(domainremoved)
Date: Fri, Sep 18, 2015 at 1:54 PM
Subject: Revision to Circulation Program 3.A per GPAC recommendation not
staff recommended change at September 21, 2015 meeting
To: planning.commission_at_(domainremoved)
Cc: Peter I Ohtaki <piohtaki_at_(domainremoved)
pohtaki_at_(domainremoved)
rmueller_at_(domainremoved)


Dear Planning Commission Member:


Change to Circulation Program 3.A should be limited to the change agreed to
at the at the General Plan Advisory Committee (“GPAC”) meeting on August
24, 2015 (D2) pursuant to Council Member Peter Ohtaki’s motion, with
Council Member Ray Mueller’s support, to insert the word “Supplement” in
lieu of “Replace” to provide:



“*Transportation Impact Metrics.* Supplemental Level of Service (LOS)
metrics with Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) per capita and greenhouse gas
emissions per capita metrics in the transportation impact and environmental
review process.”



Justin Murphy cautioned that the state might limit state environmental
review in the future to VMT, and preempt LOS by law in EIRs. LOS would
remain in Menlo Park transportation impact review other than state EIR,
including as a quality of life standard, particularly for additional
development and congestion cut through traffic in Residential
neighborhoods.



The only purpose of a VMT test is to derive a number of per capita daily
vehicle miles traveled so it can be compared with another number such as
standard, region or neighborhood to see if the average miles traveled is
more or less. No question the fewer vehicle miles traveled means less
consumption of gasoline and generation of greenhouse gas emissions.
However other than such absolute terms, no helpful information is generated
on Neighborhood traffic, such as street or route volume, necessary to
review changes in Neighborhood quality of life for protection.



The current General Plan and Transportation Impact Analysis Guidelines
(TIA) require volume predictions of new development on specific routes
through neighborhoods prescribed by the Circulation System Assessment
(CSA) document including LOS, and if necessary, reduction of traffic by
reduction in size of development. Reduction in size of development would
also reduce VMT. These standards raised issues with respect to the
quantity of traffic through the Allied Arts Neighborhood from the proposed
Stanford ECR project traffic, resulting in further traffic studies. A
revised Stanford proposal is expected.



Neither the Complete Streets Policy not the revised proposed Street
Classification Plan provides the necessary protections included in the
current general plan, TIA or CSA. The Complete Streets Policy Principle 1
only deals with serving users of the transportation system, not residents.
Principle 2 does require “in planning and implementing street projects”,
working with residents and others “to ensure that a strong sense of place
ensue.” That sense of place is needed not just in connection with street
projects, but for any development projects generating automobile trips. The
Revised Circulation Element description of street classifications does not
list volumes, daily or AM or PM peak, traffic design speeds trip caps or
any other protections to neighborhood quality of life or character.



There is no need to limit LOS use by adding the words suggested in the
staff recommended change (L3) to Circulation Program 3.A: “and utilize LOS
for identification of potential operational improvements, such as traffic
signal upgrades and coordination, as part of the Transportation Master
Plan.”



LOS use by the city Transportation Impact review, including Quality of Life
issues, such as traffic through residential Neighborhoods should not be so
limited. The change to Circulation Program 3.A agreed to by GPAC stated
above should be adopted.


Thank You, George C. Fisher
Received on Mon Oct 05 2015 - 14:39:11 PDT

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