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Mountain View North Bayshore trip caps and relevance to Menlo Park

From: domainremoved <Adina>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2016 13:44:41 -0800

Honorable Council Members and staff,

The City of Mountain View has zoned for substantial office development in
the North Bayshore area, according to a 2012 General Plan and 2014 North
Bayshore Precise Plan. Mountain View is currently updating the 2014 precise
plan to allow up to 10,000 units of housing.

The North Bayshore area has highly constrained access. Therefore, in order
to ensure that the transportation can function with the growth, Mountain
View instituted trip cap and mode share goals.

The North Bayshore Precise Plan has established a vehicle trip cap of 8,100
two-way vehicles for morning peak period trips. If the trip cap is
exceeded, further development is not approved (see p. 49)


When considering housing, preliminary staff analysis showed that the trip
cap would be exceeded at the desired level of housing, so the council has
authorized further study, including the package of transportation
improvements that would allow for the housing. In other words, the trip cap
is being used as a problem-solving tool.

Based on professional study, the Council has set a mode share target of 45%
drivealone trips, which would enable the growth without exceeding the trip
cap. The plan has mode share targets of 10% rideshare (carpool/vanpool),
10% active transportation (biking/walking), and 35% transit (public and

The mode share goals and trip cap are used to guide the plan for
transportation improvements. The North Bayshore Precise Plan outlines a
package of $180 million in transportation improvements to enable the area
to grow while keeping below the trip cap and adhering to the Mode Share

However, precise plan package as originally defined did not yet include
plans for further transit improvements that are in the process of being
fleshed out: an automated guideway transit system between the Transit
Center and North Bayshore, a VTA light rail extension from NASA, and an 85
corridor transit program, all of which are receiving further study. The 85
corridor has achieved $350M of funding from VTA measure B thanks to active
subregional cooperation and lobbying.


Also see the focused Shoreline Corridor plan which outlines $41 million of
improvements for the Shoreline corridor. See attachment, and pages ES-3 to

Relevance to Menlo Park

Mountain View's situations has some similarities and differences to Menlo
Park. Menlo Park has already set a 20% vehicle trip reduction goal
(roughly 66% SOV mode share), with options to strengthen when stronger
transit is in place. Menlo Park could also implement a trip cap for M2
development and condition future development on keeping to the total.

However, most of the traffic affecting North Bayshore is going to North
Bayshore. Most of the traffic affecting the M2 area is passthrough
traffic. There are two (possibly complementary) approaches that could be

One is to attempt to divert vehicles off of Menlo Park and East Palo Alto
streets to a direct connection to 101. While this could be helpful, there
are several limits and challenges to this approach. If this approach does
speed traffic, it is possible that the route would attract drivers from
other crossings (92, 237) and away from transit, reducing or eliminating
congestion relief. Due to the large amount of vehicle traffic that is
headed to Palo Alto and Stanford Research Park the 5 mile detour would take
them to Marsh/101, and then up the congested Oregon or Embarcadero
connections. With use of Waze and similar tools, it is not clear how much
benefit the detour would provide, even with a minute saved at the 84
lights. The Bayfront Bypass needs to be studied with modern models in
order to assess how much relief would be provided.

A second (and possibly complementary) approach considers that the majority
of this traffic is headed to major jobs centers in Palo Alto, Stanford
Research Park, Mountain View, Redwood City. These cities are all facing
traffic problems, and are all advancing transportation demand management
programs to reduce vehicle trips. New technology using cellphone data
already makes it much easier to assess the destinations of the regional
trips and the percent going to each employment center. A visionary,
regional approach would be to partner with the other employment centers to
accelerate TDM programs increasing the use of existing transit, and
building shared support for improved regional transit (HOV lanes, Dumbarton
Rail). Note that Stanford already has 50% of its East Bay workers using
existing buses and carpools due to good transit benefits and priced

This approach could set a Mountain View-like mode share goal for the
Dumbarton Corridor, reducing the drivealone mode share from 80% to 50% or
less. This would require regional collaboration, and would have the
strongest benefit for climate goals.

Menlo Park could set development "gates" based on vehicle trips on Willow,
and/or based on progress in shifting overall mode share on the Dumbarton
corridor with regional partners.

While plans to improve Dumbarton Corridor transportation are developed, I
would urge the council not to halt the Menlo Park General Plan, since it
allows housing near jobs, which is one of our most powerful tools to reduce
vehicle trips and regional traffic.


- Adina
Adina Levin

(image/png attachment: shoreline-transpo-package.png)

Received on Wed Nov 16 2016 - 13:49:40 PST

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