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Agenda Items H1, H2, and H3 for December 5 Council meeting

From: domainremoved <Bianca>
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2017 13:24:14 -0800

Dear Mayor Keith and Members of Council,

I am a member of the Complete Streets Commission, but I am writing to you
today as a resident.

I have served on the Transportation Commission since 2011, and for my
entire tenure considering traffic and transportation issues in Menlo Park,
the Willows has been a constant area of concern, and this is a subject
about which I have learned a great deal.

I write to you today about three items on tonight's agenda that are
interrelated: H1, H2, and H3. Traffic in the Willows is a symptom of a
larger problem, and the solution is regional, not local. I urge Council to
be wary of quick fixes that have not been thoroughly studied and may have
unanticipated consequences.

Signage will not fix the problem. It may temporarily ease the pain, but it
will not fix anything.

Widening Willow will not fix the problem. A wider Willow will simply
attract more drivers, thus exacerbating the problem. (
https://www.wired.com/2014/06/wuwt-traffic-induced-demand/)

The solution to the problem of Willows traffic is a regional one, that
requires cooperation among the cities of Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Redwood
City, Mountain View and also Stanford University. It requires providing
efficient and effective alternatives to single-driver vehicles. It requires
subsidizing transit passes so that commuters can leave their cars at home.
The ample free parking commuters enjoy at many corporate campuses in the
area create the wrong incentive; how can cities change that? Encouraging
the construction of more housing near transit corridors, so that people can
live closer to their employment, would ease the amount of through-
traffic. Congestion pricing on the Dumbarton Bridge would go a long way to
encouraging commuters to explore alternatives to driving alone. The funds
generated from congestion pricing could be used to subsidize transit
alternatives. All of these things combined could go a long way to easing
the gridlock our city experiences every weekday evening.

The city cannot, acting alone, do anything about through traffic, and it
would be unfair to blame Council for not fixing a problem of this
magnitude. There are, however, actions that are well within the power of
City Council to implement. Vigorous support of Transportation Demand
Management programs for the benefit of folks working downtown is one such
step. Another action the city can take is to provide its residents with the
ability to walk and bike safely throughout the city; a safe and attractive
bicycle network would many residents a feasible alternative to getting
behind the wheel of their car. Induced demand works in a positive sense
for bike lanes as well, and for short trips bicycles are much more
efficient than cars.

To this end, for item H1, I urge the Council to make mindful choices about
short-term fixes.

For item H2, I would ask Council to include a package of Dumbarton Corridor
TDM investments such as transit pass discounts, concierge services to help
employees choose nondriving options, shuttles where needed, and other
transportation alternatives in the *Get Us Moving* San Mateo County
Expenditure Plan.

For item H3, please urge SamTrans to strengthen TDM on the Dumbarton
Corridor to relieve local congestion.


thank you,


Bianca Walser
Received on Tue Dec 05 2017 - 13:29:41 PST

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