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October 10 City Council Meeting: Agenda Item I1, Ravenswood Avenue Grade Separation

From: domainremoved <Verle>
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2017 22:14:36 -0400

I am out of town on travel and am unable to attend the upcoming City Council Meeting where the Ravenswood Avenue Grade Separation alternatives will be considered by the Council. Normally I would attend the Council Meeting and give my input during the public comment period. I have attended previous Council and Study sessions considering this topic. This email constitutes my input to the Council.

I would like the Council to consider the following input to the decision on this issue and why Option 2: Alternative C: Hybrid with Three Grade Separated Crossings should be selected as the preferred option.

1. Option 2 provides the best safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and cars by separating these uses from Caltrain at three intersections versus one intersection for Option 1. In particular this is critical with the recent conversion of Oak Grove to a bike route to school. Grade separating only Ravenswood (Option 1) does not achieve this key goal of the project.

2. Option 2 does not cutoff access to Alma Street from Ravenswood. Option 1 would cutoff access to Alma from Ravenswood making access to the Library (potentially slated for replacement) and the Recreation Center and Gym much more difficult for West Menlo Park residents. The town has made major investments in Burgess Park and its facilities and traffic flow should be managed to improve access, not reduce access. Option 2 accomplishes this goal with improved access to Burgess Park due to the traffic signal that would be installed at the Ravenswood / Alma intersection in this Option and maintenance of the Ravenswood / Alma connection.

3. Option 2 will provide the best east / west connectivity and improved traffic flow across Menlo Park. The increased number of trains that Caltrain plans to operate with the electrification of Caltrain will further snarl traffic at the intersections if left at Grade due to the increased amount of time that the gates will be down. Option 2 addresses this issue and is a plan focused on the future traffic flow needs of Menlo Park as urbanization continues.

4. Option 2 would result in the biggest noise reduction from the trains by removing 3 at grade crossings which require Caltrain to sound its horn.

5. Finally I attended the Community Meeting on June 7, 2017. 85% of the approximately 55 community members in attendance supported Option 2 over Option 1. I hope that the Council takes this extremely strong support for Option 2 into significant consideration when deciding this important issue to Menlo Park. Many of the attendees at the meeting were from the neighborhoods that will be most impacted by the construction project which will be considerably more substantial for Option 2 relative to Option 1. Even so the community clearly felt that the benefits of Option 2 over Option 1 significantly outweighed the inconvenience of a longer construction project.

Regards,
Verle Aebi
220 Laurel Street
Menlo Park, CA
Received on Mon Oct 09 2017 - 19:19:46 PDT

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