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Oak Grove - Tuesday (3/28/17) Night's City Council Meeting

From: domainremoved <Jennifer>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2017 10:19:53 -0700

Dear City Council Members,

I just had an opportunity to watch the video of Agenda Item I3 (Oak Grove
Metrics and Alta Contract) from Tuesday's (3/28/17) City Council meeting.
While I am sympathetic to the parking needs of those at Nativity, I am very
concerned with the action that Council decided to take at this meeting for
the following reasons:

*Moving backwards*. The City Council already approved the Oak Grove project
in December. Our hard-working staff did their due diligence, wrote and
presented their staff report, weighed the concerns of different constituent
groups and the Council had an opportunity to ask questions, did so, and
voted to approve. Directing Staff to re-investigate this project is moving
progress in the wrong direction. There is an opportunity cost of postponing
action. Staff will now have to table other critical Transportation projects
to tend to this Council directive. Will this slow down the Laurel Safe
Routes Study (which is already being slowed down for Willows Traffic)? Will
it slow down the institutionalized Safe Routes program? The safety problems
on many of our roads to schools can not wait. Action must be taken. The Oak
Grove project is a pilot. Let it happen. Try it out and see what happens.
Inaction is dangerous.

*Entire discussion off topic and therefore comments not representative*.
The discussion about the merits of the Oak Grove project was not on the
agenda. The agenda item was about metrics. Had the community been informed
about the potential conversation of the merits of the study, other
constituency groups would have had the opportunity to attend and voice
their opinions. Key stakeholders were often referred to in the discussion
as Nativity families, business owners and those along the route. From what
I watched, the alternate point of view was dismissed as that of the Bicycle
Commission. There is an extremely large and concerned constituency group of
Menlo Park residents who want a safe East/West passage, for school and for
basic bicycle transportation. My family lives east of El Camino. On
weekends, if we want to get out and bike ride, we're more likely to travel
to Palo Alto for lunch than Menlo Park because of biking safety concerns.
How many parents like me need to speak up (again) to support this project
for you to let it go forward? Please do not let recency bias direct your
actions.

*Wrong message to community about civic involvement*. I realize that you
are volunteers and thank you for your time. There are also many others in
this community who dedicate countless hours to try to improve our
neighborhoods. There are those of us who pay attention, show up and fight
for what we believe in. What message does it send when hard fought projects
can be derailed at the 11th hour? What precedent does it set when taxpayer
dollars spent on Staff time can be thrown away at a whim? How can you
expect committed residents to stay engaged when they feel undermined?

*You can't compromise safety*. I heard a lot of talk about balance. The
problem with chipping away at the integrity of the bike lanes is that at
some point the project will tip and the core of the initiative (a safe[r]
East/West route) will be lost. It's unfair to kids and parents to ask them
to ride on a "safe route" when every few blocks they are forced to swerve
into traffic and "share" the road to avoid parked cars. A false safe route
will keep parents driving one by one and continue to foster traffic
congestion on our already clogged roads. As a community we either value
safe routes or we don't. If Council does, it will need to make some
decisions that may be unpopular for some (at least until the benefits are
given an opportunity to become apparent - thus the pilot).

Transportation issues are not easy ones. As you know, I started over a year
and a half ago lobbying for infrastructure improvements on Coleman Ave. I
still want infrastructure improvements on Coleman Ave., but I also
understand now that I live in society where we have to look at the needs of
the larger community and do work for the greater good. I get that Nativity
parents are concerned about their own parking and that of their fellow
parishioners, but I would ask them to look at what they can do internally
to mitigate the situation the best they can (more carpooling, different
drop-off procedures, etc.). I would also ask them to engage with Parents
for Safe Routes and join our Community Partnership so they can see how the
needs of one school must be taken into consideration with-in a larger
context. We're all interconnected.

If we keep doing what we're doing, we're going to keep getting what we're
getting. And what we have now is a dangerous situation for those traveling
East/West.

Please direct Staff to move forward with the pilot.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Jen Wolosin
Parents for Safe Routes
jenwolosin_at_(domainremoved)
415-710-5838 <(415)%20710-5838>
www.parents4saferoutes.org
Received on Fri Mar 31 2017 - 10:25:37 PDT

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