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Traffic in The Willows...

From: domainremoved <EDUARDO>
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2017 19:46:23 -0800

Dear City Council


We have been residents of The Willows since 1998. We love many things in The Willows but traffic is a problem that is getting worse. We need your help to address this problem.


I believe we have three levels of problems, all inter-related. There is a general Bay Area metropolitan problem, there is a local area around Redwood City, Menlo Park, Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, and there are issues related to The Willows itself.


At the top level, we have public transportation systems that do not work well together and do not provide a compelling solution to the needs of commuters. When these issues are addressed, like with the WiFi-enabled company buses from Google, Facebook and others, we see significant ridership - having a good public transportation system is not just less stressful but you can easily get work done (or decompress) during the trip. When the solutions fail, people jump into their cars.  I’d encourage whatever you can do to increase the collaboration among all the entities responsible for traffic in the area. I’d also encourage you to consider the changing transportation landscape, from autonomous cars and people movers, to cheap yet capable electric bicycles.


At the second level, a large part of the traffic we get in The Willows is an immediate consequence of congestion on Willow Road and University Avenue, in the connections of those with 101, Bayshore Expressway and Dumbarton Bridge. We need your help, together with Palo Alto and East Palo, and Caltrans, etc, to smooth out these roads and connectors.


The third level, The Willows, is one we can address within the city of Menlo Park. There are two main issues: volume and speed. Mapping software like Waze, et al, are leading drivers through the residential streets in The Willows to bypass the congested Willow Road and University Avenue. Commuters are driving through our streets, while looking at the latest congestion data in their smartphones, rushing to get ahead of the congestion. Stop signs are being ignored, as are speed limits. This creates safety issues as well as impacts the quality of our neighborhood.


We need your help to work together to address these local issues. You can help try out changes in traffic flow; updates to the solutions discussed in the traffic analysis considered in the past.  The community can help in many ways, starting by trading some convenience for safety, but also by crowd-sourcing traffic data and solutions like community pace cars, while you provide some coordination, technical assist and in some cases some funding.


I believe we need to attack the traffic problem at these three levels, at the same time. Some solutions will start yielding results today, others will take years to happen. Together we can improve The Willows.


Thanks for your attention,

  - Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart

Received on Sun Feb 26 2017 - 19:49:08 PST

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