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tragic tale of two cities: a willowly cloverleaf

From: domainremoved <Neilson>
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 08:00:38 +0000 (UTC)

----- Forwarded Message -----
 From: Neilson Buchanan <cnsbuchanan_at_(domainremoved)
 To: Neilson Buchanan <cnsbuchanan_at_(domainremoved)
Cc: Dave Price <price_at_(domainremoved)
 Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2017 11:40 PM
 Subject: tragic tale of two cities: a willowly cloverleaf
Kudos to Mr. Wobber and Mr. Cline,
See honest exchange in email chain below.
Lets use new cloverleaf at 101/Willow as a learning opportunity. 
Ironically, this past weekend Menlo Park and Palo Alto Councils began setting new priorities with resources mismatched to their ambitions.  
Has anyone published on the public square the post construction impact on Ravenswood, Woodsland, Chaucer, Willow, University, Hamilton, Forest, Channing, Everett and Hawthorne?  Only Palo Alto Avenue will escape negative impact because it is impossible to access. 
If there could be an Oscar for "Willful Blindness", Menlo Park would win the Oscar with Palo Alto as runner-up.
The issue is not the net impact from the cloverleaf. The issue is failure to notify the electorate about lag between transportation solutions and the accumulative negative impact of over-development.  Cloverleaf may benefit 101 traffic for a short period, but negative impact on Willow and downstream will be instantaneous. 
A new clover leaf for horseless carriages is only a temporary salve.  This late blooming cloverleaf is a expensive distraction from local government's failure to plan and fund  transportation infrastructure.  
Furthermore, failure of the Peninsula's grade crossings within a few years will dwarf this one cloverleaf.   If I am overstating the situation, I welcome your feedback.  Neilson Buchanan155 Bryant StreetPalo Alto, CA  94301 650 329-0484650 537-9611 cellcnsbuchanan_at_(domainremoved)


From: Ted Wobber <ted_at_(domainremoved)
Subject: Fwd: pending Willow interchange disaster
Date: January 29, 2017 at 9:03:39 PM PST

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Cline, Richard A <RACline_at_(domainremoved)
Date: Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 4:14 PM
Subject: Re: pending Willow interchange disaster
To: Ted Wobber <ted_at_(domainremoved)

Hello Ted, thanks for your note.

There are a few different points of view on this project. The three council members who were first approached by Caltrans (state agency owns the interstates and highways and overpasses) were told in 2011 that the overpass is deemed unsafe and needed to be repaired or reengineered. The kickers was that Menlo Park would have to foot part of the bill - several millions of dollars.

If we did not comply, no retrofit and no improvements - and exposure to litigation should there be failure.

We spent a year fighting this and getting state reps on board and we secured funding from state agencies.

Caltrans came in 2012 to MP with three designs - and held meetings to discuss the designs with staff and public.

After debate - Caltrans determined the current design and the council approved having no data that showed increased delays. We were told this was safer and since we did not want to lose the project we acquiesced. Again, we don't own it. But new info from a resident has shown that recent projects, such as the Marsh interchange, have resulted in more traffic accidents. No data shows delays.

The decision for MP to demand a new review when Caltrans has invested into design and engineering and the bid is ready to out - is a decision whether we want to risk losing the funding.

I have asked staff to pursue a meeting to formally address new data we have now seen. I did not agree that a vote by our council would effectively send a message. It doesn't work that way.

Long answer - we need to sit down with Caltrans and get right on the data. We need to understand impacts of proposed changes and construction.

We need to communicate to our community those impacts.

I hope this helps, Ted. It's not the answer you want, but it is an honest summary of where we are today. I don't see how this project will be built without major negative impacts for 2 years.

It may cut all traffic from Willow for a long time and could change traffic patterns.

Half full take.


Rich Cline

On Jan 25, 2017, at 3:53 PM, Ted Wobber <ted_at_(domainremoved)

Dear Councilmember Cline --

I just learned about the proposed partial cloverleaf Willow Road interchange remodel and I can't believe what I read.  Is it really the plan to inflict 15-20 minute delays on Menlo Park residents traveling north on 101 then westbound on Willow?  This will double the time for my commute, and it won't do anything about the root cause of eastbound traffic.  I expect the line for exit at Willow will now extend back beyond University Ave.  It is your intent to force commuters onto surface streets rather than 101?

Was there any attempt to reach out to Menlo Park residents who actually use this interchange on a daily basis?

(I regret that I learned of this too late to attend the meeting last night.)


Ted Wobber
Santa Monica Ave.


Received on Mon Jan 30 2017 - 00:03:49 PST

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