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Stanford GUP draft EIR: SAN MATEO COUNTY (Unincorporated West Menlo) IMPACTS MUST BE CONSIDERED

From: domainremoved <Susie>
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2017 23:10:41 -0800

Dear Mr. Rader,

I am writing to you as a concerned resident of the area of Stanford Weekend Acres, which is in Unincorporated Menlo Park, San Mateo County. I have lived here for over 30 years. I live on a cut de sac right off of Alpine Road. When I moved here, Alpine Road was a sleepy lane. I could ride my bicycle and barely have to look behind me as I made a left turn across the oncoming lane into my cup de sac. Alpine Road is now a main thoroughfare for cars and trucks headed for Stanford Campus and elsewhere. I now have to stop my bike and wait, sometimes 5 minutes, for a break in traffic to cross the street. The alternative is using a very inadequate bike path that goes under Junipero Serra and puts me on the correct side of Alpine. My husband, who has Parkinson’s but still rides his bike daily to work at Stanford, was involved in in accident last April. A professional cyclist was on the path to avoid the lights and the traffic. Coming from the opposite direction, she swerved to avoid a pedestrian and plowed right into my husband. He required 15 stitches. When driving, I frequently have to wait 5 minutes or more to pull our of our frontage road to make a left turn, now, even at non rush-hour times. During rush hour I often simply turn right and go to Sand Hill Road to get to 280, even though it greatly increases my drive time.

Upon review of the EIR for the 2018 Stanford GUP, it appears that while Santa Clara County, the City of Palo Alto and the City of Menlo Park are all considered key affected jurisdictions, San Mateo County has not been given the same level of importance. The planned growth at Stanford will have an extremely significant impact on the already terrible traffic along the Alpine/Santa Cruz/Alameda de las Pulgas Corridor of unincorporated Menlo Park not just during the single am and pm peak traffic hour which currently defines the No New Net Commute Trip standard, but at all hours of the day. Traffic could worsen throughout the day and no mitigation funds would be paid.

The No New Net Commute Trip standard disproportionately disadvantages residents of the unincorporated areas of Menlo Park (including West Menlo Park and Stanford Weekend Acres), as it is unlikely that trip reductions will actually be occurring within Unincorporated Menlo Park as there are no significant efforts demonstrated by Stanford to reduce traffic congestion along the Alpine/Santa Cruz/Alameda Corridor. Trip reductions that occur in other areas may allow enough trip credits for Stanford to meet its No New Net Commute Trip standard thus allowing negative impacts to Unincorporated Menlo Park to be ignored.

Additionally, funding of off-campus circulation infrastructure improvements may qualify for trip credits as long as the improvements would enhance safety or increase mobility for pedestrians, bicyclists or transit users within the local impact area. While at face value, it seems like this could benefit West Menlo Park, a requirement for such credits is evidence demonstrating how the infrastructure project would remove vehicular trips from the local impact area. Without a commitment from Stanford to redirect vehicles away from, or off of, our congested Corridor, this will not be possible.

It does not include additional traffic related to other Stanford developments that disproportionately affect our Corridor. Specifically, it does not include hospital trips (for employees and visitors) for which many are initiated from West Menlo Park roadways feeding into West Sand Hill Rd nor trips to other Stanford development projects along Sand Hill Road.

The EIR should guarantee that funds for transportation mitigation not be given to distant transit hubs, rather funds should be directed to projects that benefit the affected neighborhoods and geographic area.

In summary, it is incumbent that the EIR acknowledge the traffic congestion that will impact nearby main roadways in San Mateo County specifically Alpine Road, Santa Cruz Avenue and Alameda de las Pulgas. Simply painting "keep clear" on sections of Alpine Road and bike lanes on Santa Cruz Avenue is not significant enough and does little to alleviate traffic jams and to make the roadways safer. The “keep clear” signs don’t help at all when there is a constant stream of traffic with a car length or two between cars, making it impossible to exit our frontage road. Rather, the funding of pedestrian infrastructure (new sidewalks, crosswalk signage and striping, re-engineering the Y intersection, adding middle turning lanes on Alpine and other more costly improvements) and increased Marguerite shuttles are examples of real mitigations that would make a difference in the safety and the lives of those in our part of town.

The draft EIR does not adequately represent the interests of those of us in San Mateo County. Even though Stanford is located in Santa Clara County, much of the traffic will be felt directly by West Menlo Park residents.

Susie Cohen & Barry Weingast
2 Wildwood Lane
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Received on Thu Nov 30 2017 - 23:15:03 PST

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