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Re: Oak Grove Bike Pilot

From: domainremoved <Derek>
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2017 20:35:39 -0700

Councilman Mueller,

I would like you and the City Council to know I still strongly support the Oak Grove bike pilot and am glad to see it moving forward on its original schedule. Thank you for the clarifications.

Gratefully,
-Derek

> On Apr 19, 2017, at 6:55 PM, Mueller, Raymond <RDMueller_at_(domainremoved)
>
> ​
> I have been asked to send out a clarifying email to the email I sent you earlier today, and what my concerns are with respect to the proposed Oak Grove Bike pilot.
>
> I am happy to do so.
>
> First this comes from verbatim from the City Transportation Department today:
>
> “Along the Greenheart frontage, the plan is to install one-way bike lanes on each side of the street. The parking area I described last night is an area where Greenheart had previously proposed to widen the street to provide both bike lanes and parking along their frontage; but since they’ve encountered utility issues they now may want to remove some or all of that parking (but they will keep both bike lanes)."
>
> This clarification from staff does not change my concerns with respect to the safety of this section of the bike pilot.
>
> First, it is important to note, as I stated in my prior email, Greenheart has not committed to remove parking. The current development plans call for parking along the street. Last evening Council refused to commit in this pilot to installing a bike lane with removed parking from the development's side of the street. Staff has not committed definitively to Greenheart removing the on-street parking. What this means is near the construction site a child will be faced with the decision of staying on their side of the street in a bike lane that interacts with parked cars and a construction site, while traveling either to or from train tracks, or have to make the decision to cross the street to join the other bike lane to avoid parked cars but then face oncoming traffic and oncoming bikes. It's not acceptable or safe in my opinion.
>
> But wait, it get’s worse. Because prior to the train tracks, according to staff verbatim: “At the Dec 6 meeting, the Council direction was to add parking back in on the south side of Oak Grove between the Caltrain tracks and Laurel Street. This was accomplished by narrowing the proposed buffer zone from 3’ to 1.5’ on each side of the street, but bike lanes stay on both sides.”
>
> What this means is a child can neither stay on the south side of the street, nor the north side of the street, to stay in a bike lane that avoids interacting with parked cars. If a child wants to stay in a bike lane without parked cars, going in either direction, they will need to cross the street to other side. And what separates these two areas? The train tracks.
>
> But it is fair to say technically, as pointed out by one of our well intentioned bike commissioners, there are bike lanes on both sides of the street throughout the pilot area. That is true. In my humble opinion however, because of what actually is occurring in this section of the pilot, this area is too dangerous to invite young riders to navigate given the interaction of El Camino Real, the construction site, the train tracks, and the inconsistent conditions of the bike lanes and their interaction with parked cars.
>
> I hope this email clarifies my prior email.​
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: Mueller, Raymond
> Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 1:25 PM
> To: Derek Pecson
> Subject: Re: Oak Grove Bike Pilot
>
>
> ​I encourage to watch last nights meeting. The protected bike lane with no parking ends as the kids approach the El Camino, Greenheart, and railroad tracks area. The kids will have to navigate parked cars, construction, and the rail tracks on one side of the street.
>
> ________________________________
> From: Derek Pecson <derek.pecson_at_(domainremoved)
> Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 12:57 PM
> To: Mueller, Raymond
> Subject: Re: Oak Grove Bike Pilot
>
> Councilman Mueller,
>
> I attended last night's City Council meeting and enjoyed hearing your perspective. Thank you for considering this topic so seriously. And I am extremely grateful for your thoughtful response in this note.
>
> However, I am a little confused by your description of the bike route. The version of the Oak Grove Bike Pilot I was referring to is accessible via hyperlink from last night's City Council agenda: http://www.menlopark.org/DocumentCenter/View/13410
>
> In the drawings at the end of the report, the detail of the intersections you reference is available in L-2 (page 11 of 16). I interpret the drawings to indicate bike lanes on both sides of Oak Grove from west of El Camino to east of Alma street. I don't see any place where kids would need to cross the street to continue - because I agree - that would be irresponsible. Am I looking at an outdated version of the plan? And if so, how can we help advocate for the important safety changes you requested?
>
> Thanks again.
>
> -Derek
>
> On Apr 19, 2017, at 11:04 AM, Mueller, Raymond <RDMueller_at_(domainremoved)
>
> Thank you for your email.
>
> Candidly, while I supported a pilot proceeding immediately, I don’t support the pilot design that was approved by the City Council and pushed for by advocates at the City Council meeting on Tuesday night.
>
> Why?
>
> The present pilot design requires kids, as they approach El Camino Real, the Train Crossing on Oak Grove, and the Greenheart development, to determine that they need to cross the street as their bike lane ends, to join a singular bike lane for bike traffic traveling both directions, on the opposite side of the street. Frankly, if you wanted to make a pilot more cartoonishly dangerous for kids, I can't imagine one where you would reduce bike lanes from two sides of the streets to one side next to railroad tracks, a construction site, and a state highway.
>
> The design I advocated for would have placed lanes for bikes on both sides of the streets. While it is true I also advocated for no parking from 7:30 to 9:00am and 3:00 to 4:30pm, during school commute hours, I dropped that request when Council refused it. But I could not drop my request for two lanes in this dangerous area, due to safety concerns.
>
> Those who have advocated for this design may tell you Greenheart might opt not to seek street parking for their project. However, last evening staff said very clearly Greenheart MAY want to remove parking due a utility issue, but it could not confirm whether Greenheart would do so. The current development plans call for parking along the street. Additionally, regardless whether Greenheart ultimately decides to eliminate street parking or not as a result of the utility issue, there still won't be a bike lane along the project under the current pilot. Moreover, it’s odd to me advocates and the Council are relying on Greenheart to make this decision. Why can’t the City Council require it?
>
> Last night I also pushed for restrictions on construction near the street during school commute hours, which the Council did then adopt in the pilot. I told the Council I would vote for the pilot with bike lanes on each side of the street instead of one. That request was refused. Ultimately I can't vote for a pilot to proceed I don't think is safe enough for other peoples kids, when I don’t believe it safe enough for mine. I can only hope I am proven wrong.
>
> With best regards,
> Ray Mueller
> ________________________________________
> From: Derek Pecson <derek.pecson_at_(domainremoved)
> Sent: Sunday, April 16, 2017 6:55 PM
> To: _CCIN
> Subject: Oak Grove Bike Pilot
>
> City Council,
>
> Please move ahead with the previously approved Oak Grove Bike Pilot. Our family lives on the west side of El Camino Real. My younger children are enrolled in the Spanish immersion program and ride their bikes to and from Encinal Elementary every day. My older daughter will be a freshman at Menlo-Atherton High School next year and bikes to school every day as well. My wife and I both take our bikes on Caltrain on our daily commute. Every one of us crosses El Camino every day (rain or shine) - and will make use of a safer bike route across town from the first day it is available. Please do not delay! I will attend this week’s City Council meeting to represent my perspective.
>
> Thank you for taking this feedback into consideration.
>
> Sincerely,
> Derek Pecson
> 912 Rose Ave
> Menlo Park, CA 94025
Received on Wed Apr 19 2017 - 20:41:07 PDT

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