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Oak Grove Parking -- please consider the needs of the people who live, work, study and worship there

From: domainremoved <Erin>
Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2017 21:05:14 -0700

I am grateful to the City Council for taking a closer look at this issue;
this is a stretch of road with many people who depend on it.

As a quick aside: We have an east/west road with no parking and dedicated
bike lanes on Ravenswood-- one short block away from Oak Grove. I think
there needs to be greater education to students that this is the safest
route as there is no parking along this road. My son uses it 2-6x a day to
get to school and his activities/ practices. (I admit that he has used Oak
Grove because of a number of his friends like to travel that way as they
come up from Toyon to Oak Grove, but I've asked him to choose the
Ravenswood route with dedicated bike lanes).

Oak Grove is a street with a high school on one end, a church, a K-8
school, and countless apartment units and businesses. At any given time of
day, there are cars parked there out of necessity. At night, it is
residents / guests of the apartments. During the day, there are students,
people attending stopping to get coffee at 7-11, going to weddings,
funerals, masses, or going to dinner in Menlo Square, or parking on Oak
Grove while they wait for someone to come in from the train (like myself).

Parking has already been mostly eliminated on Laurel, completely eliminated
on Middlefield, and restricted on Marcussen, Cherry and Pine. Atherton
does not allow parking on most of their streets (Oak Grove east of Middle,
side streets like Toyon). Simply put: where will these people go?

As an example of the impact, the owner of one of the large apartment
buildings on the corner of Laurel and Oak Grove has told the city that his
residents need to have some ability to park (or have their guests park) in
front of their own homes. That is reasonable. Furthermore, he is telling
the city he has residents who are older and cannot walk great distances to
and from their home after searching for parking. The church has echoed the
same sentiments and included that many families come with babies/ small
children and all the equipment small children need. Those are incredibly
real concerns that seems to have been moved aside in this conversation.

The MAHS students will have nowhere to park and they (along with everyone
else looking for a spot) will be circling the neighborhood streets of
Cherry, Pine, Arlington, Menlo Oaks, and Colby (parking has already been
eliminated this past year on Coleman and the cars are now stacking up on
these other streets) to find a space because those are the only spots
available within a still-very long walk. That will put circling cars (with
newer drivers in a rush to get to school) on a collision course with
students trying to get to school at Laurel, Peninsula and Nativity. It
will also put those cars on a collision course with people out exercising
and walking in their own neighborhood streets. I know this because I have
seen the increase in circling traffic on our street ever since the parking
was eliminated on Coleman. So has my son while leaving our house on his
bike.

The city should consider several things (and I thank the council for being
thoughtful about unintended consequences and impacts.) First, how can the
bicycle commission work with local schools to recommend the Ravenswood
route for bicyclists? Secondly, can the city can work with MAHS to come up
with a parking plan? Eliminating the need to park on one of the last
streets that is available would make everyone safer regardless of how they
travel. In addition, there is an almost always empty parking lot at the
corner of Ravenswood / Middlefield that is for lease; could the city work
with the landlord to provide some relief parking there for MAHS students
until the property is sold? Lastly, I hope that the city can add
representatives from the Oak Grove resident community (those who live in
those apartment complexes and duplexes), businesses, schools and church to
a task force to discuss the situation more deeply. The people who live and
work on that street-- whose every day lives are directly and deeply
impacted -- should have a greater role in the decision making than they
have had to date.

I understand that the city is trying to reach a percentage of streets
dedicated to bike lanes, and doing so helps the city access grant money,
etc. Personally, I love that my family-- and my son in particular-- is
able to bike around our city. It promotes health, independence and helps
our environment. I recognize, however, that sometimes there are other
variables that come into play, and while it would be lovely to have a
dedicated bike path through Oak Grove, there are simply too many other
competing needs that also are important.

Erin Glanville
Received on Wed Apr 05 2017 - 21:10:50 PDT

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