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Oak Court's point plan

From: Dave Encisco <"Dave>
Date: Sun, 28 Aug 2016 18:39:07 -0700

    

        Dear Council members,
 In regard to staff report 16-157-CC that will be presented to the
City Council on 08/30/2016:
        Context:
 City Council requested the City Attorney to advise on Oak Court's
request for a legal documented agreement with the City and the Menlo
Park School District as noted in the first point of Oak Court's
"5-point plan" proposal.
 The first point of the Oak Court's 5-point plan:
 "Restricting use of the Oat Ct. gate to school buses and emergency
vehicles only - no other vehicles allowed. This was agreed to back in
2014 and has been confirmed several times as the plan of the school
district, but the city should formally and permanent(ly) restrict
this."
 In response to the City Council's request, Kevin Chen, the City's
assistant engineer has included the following in staff report
16-157-CC under Analysis:
 "Upon full execution of the agreement, the District will reiterate
its commitment to the planned use of the driveway for pedestrians,
bicyclist, school buses, emergency and service vehicles only. No
students/parents, school employees (except for service vehicles),
shall be allowed vehicular access to the Gate. The City will reserve
the right to rescind the encroachment permit allowing access to Oak
Court if the District is in violation of the Project Description and
fails to take appropriate steps to comply with the agreement."
 Argument against Oak Court's proposal:
 I do not have an issue with some of the verbiage in the 5-point plan.
What I do have an issue with is the 5-point plan's requested proposal
to permanently restrict unauthorized vehicle access from Oak Ct. to
the School parking lot, as well as the following in the Mr. Chen's
analysis: "The City will reserve the right to rescind the encroachment
permit allowing access to Oak Court if the District is in violation of
the Project Description and fails to take appropriate steps to comply
with the agreement".
 Due to the substantial aging population within the community as well
as an influx of growth, assuredly the neighborhood(s) will be
repopulated with younger families. The future increase and
redistribution of kids will potentially escalate the traffic to and
from the Upper Laurel campus.
 I would request the City Council to omit the word "permanently" and
the phase "rescind the encroachment permit"...if the School
District... "fails to take appropriate steps to comply with the
agreement" from a legal binding Oak Ct. agreement. This agreement must
include a conditional clause that allows for an increase in
"allowable" school vehicular traffic, such as buses and commercial
vehicles (emergency vehicles exempted from legal agreement). The
agreement cannot also rule out future card badge gate access for
employees if traffic circumstances dictated an alternative to the main
Elliott school entrance. An Elliott Drive/ O'Connor Street vehicular
threshold should not be overlooked. Although a vehicular threshold
would be difficult to determine at first, the subsequent Safe Routes
to School Study may or may not provide some trending data.
 Furthermore, a legal agreement with conditional stipulations, without
indelible language, would lessen Oak Court's ability to
indiscriminately preside over a public street without oversight and an
impartial analysis. All public streets must follow a similar
procedure. For example: any resident can purchase a speed radar gun
and collect data, but the data does not justify the resident's intent.
Rather it just provides evidence for an intended consideration that
may or may not be acted upon by the municipality without some sort of
utilitarian beneficial examination. A public street that has only a
self-interested agenda negates any potential solutions that may
alleviate a chronic issue on a conjoined street(s).
 I would ask that any legal documented agreement be drafted well after
the school is in session. I believe Oak Ct. is completely aware that
if such a document is agreed upon prior to the commencement of the
school, they will have the advantage to contest any stated
transgression in the agreement; thus limiting the School District from
any opposition to the allegation.
 In addition to my contract wording dispute, in the staff report under
Circulation and Parking, second paragraph, the word "limited" should
be removed from the following sentence: "The limited bus traffic to
the school would enter from Oak Ct. through an automated sliding gate
and use the outbound portion of the main parking lot loop road to exit
the site at Elliot Drive." The word “limited” could result in an
evaluative dispute. There should be no limitation to the amount of
school, public, or handicap buses carrying kids from entering the Oak
Ct./Upper Laurel campus gate.
 We have heard the Oak Ct. argument with regard to their street is an
important pedestrian thoroughfare to Menalto Ave., but yet they also
make the assertion that the street is dangerous due to a blind curb
and the lack of sidewalks. The residents fear that increasing
vehicular traffic will lead to a slippery-slope scenario, but yet if
their street is already dangerous to walk down AND it serves as an
important walking/biking corridor, than this protectionist argument
implies the street is in need of improvements and they have mistakenly
suggested a need to mitigate the problem, hence they have created
their own slippery slope.
        Unfortunately I will not be able to attend Tuesday’s City Council
meeting. I hope that my considerations have some merit.
        Regards,

        Dave Encisco

        140 Elliott Drive
Received on Sun Aug 28 2016 - 18:45:15 PDT

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