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Willow/101 Interchange redux

From: domainremoved <Gary>
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2017 18:01:18 -0800

Dear Nicole,
I would appreciate it if you could print this out for the city council, staff and members of the public for tonight's meeting. I'm sorry it's so last-minute. Please print this cover e-mail as well as the attached document.

Thank you,

-Gary Lauder

Dear MPCC, and MP staff,

I think I was the first person to have raised the alarm about the poor planning associated with the Willow Rd./101 interchange replacement. And I think that I may be the only member of the public to have researched the issue deeply, met with CalTrans for 5 hours, etc. etc. You would think that the issues I raised would merit some kind of response. That has not happened. In light of the dramatic decrease in safety associated with making this change, Menlo Park, SMCTA and CalTrans should study the assertions made to at least have a potential defense if y'all were sued by an accident victim.

The current fiasco, does not prove my prior claims other than that CalTrans may not be the great planners that you trust them to be. The current nightmare will — in hindsight — be considered to be NOTHING compared to the permanent problems that will result if the present plans are carried out as planned. They don't have to be. It's not too late to go back, but the longer you wait, the greater the liability — both legally and politically.

I feel as if I have the Curse of Cassandra (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassandra). Cassandra was given the ability to see the future, but cursed that no one would believe her. Unlike Cassandra, the prediction is based on rational processes. As Yogi Berra said, "You can see a lot just by looking." How many of you have bothered to drive during rush hour (≈5:45) the Hillsdale Blvd. northbound 101 exit with the intention of turning west on Hillsdale to experience the phenomenon which I named "hogging" that prevents you from getting to the traffic light to turn left? That would be a preview of what you will subject MP residents to due to your indifference and/or inattention.

I have updated the memo that I originally sent you all to add some of the additional points that I or others have made criticizing this project. Assuming that you read it before, you'll find the new stuff called out so it will be easier to consume. It is attached below and also downloadable from:

Although that memo mentions the lower throughput of parclo's compared to cloverleafs, it bears further emphasis: what you see in the Willows is a result of lower throughput. It may be lower now, during construction than later, when it's done, but it will still be LOWER then than it was when it had no traffic lights, so backups will be the norm.

Admitting a mistake is a rare heroic act among government officials. Better now than when it really is too late.

Thanks for considering this.

-Gary Lauder

PS: What is needed now is not traffic CALMING. The problem is the traffic is too calm (stationary), causing drivers and residents to be uncalm. You may recall that I warned about road rage from this project in my e-mails of 2/28/17 & 3/1/17. If the project is completed as planned, MP residents will have much higher cortisol levels than they would have had. It's avoidable.

PPS: I have yet to get a shred of evidence that my prior e-mails to you all were even read (except by Nikki). It would be nice if this led to some conversations.
Received on Tue Dec 05 2017 - 18:08:21 PST

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