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Look to Palo Alto Traffic Calming Plans

From: domainremoved <Brielle>
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2017 13:48:08 -0800

Menlo Park Council,

Palo alto in the ‘80s closed streets to protect the College Terrace neighborhood. This was done because Stanford built its Industrial Park and a sweet eclectic neighborhood was being used by commuters who wanted to by pass El Camino Real. Next Palo Alto blocked off Evergreen Neighborhood, south of Paly High at Churchill. Both these neighborhoods are now a maze of closed streets that the residents have worked around for the last 35 years.

A few years ago Palo Alto also installed turn restrictions on Alma and Middlefield to protect all of the North Palo Alto Neighborhood.

More recently Palo Alto has also restricted parking in all the streets around downtown extending all the way into Crescent Park. This was done because the Council approved thousands of sf of office in the downtown area, which brought in hundreds of commuters.

The Palo Alto Staff and Council do more than listen.

On the other hand Menlo Park created a Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan, (NTMP) in which it is nearly impossible for a neighborhood to get the City to protect residential neighborhoods from commute traffic. The requirements imbedded in the Plan state that a majority of households must approve a proposed solution but if a homeowner does not vote, the vote is considered a vote against the solution. Landlords of rentals tend not to vote. The NTMP is a bust.

The Council is currently being asked (begged) by residents of the Willows to protect them from cut through traffic. Council Member Rich Cline, when running for his third term stated at a public forum in 2014 that it was his goal to work with Palo Alto so that its downtown office workers would not be allowed to use the Willows neighborhood as their daily route between 101 and downtown Palo Alto. Neither he nor any of his colleagues has taken any action.

Today’s Willows cut through traffic problem calls for immediate action. Soon Menlo Park will experience a more serious traffic issue when the 200,000 office complex at 1300 El Camino real is built; the 150,000 sf office building at 500 El Camino Real is built; the 1 million sf Facebook expansion is built; the 694,700 sf Bohannon office building is completed. Office buildings always bring commute traffic into a city. We must brace ourselves for what our council has approved.

Increasing capacity of roads such as Willow Rd. will require the taking of private homes, side walks, trees, and bike lanes. The road will fill up and the congestion will remain.

Whatever the City calls our current growth plans (prosperity, vitality, innovation?) the downside will be a deterioration of the quality of life for families who have put their faith and life’s investment in a town they want to call their home.

Be bold. Install trial restrictions. See if they work. Protect the residential neighborhoods. Protect the families with children who are frustrated and are beginning to take matters into their own hands. Listen to the voters who put you in office.

Brielle Johnck
Received on Sun Feb 26 2017 - 13:50:45 PST

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