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City Council Agenda Item 17-294-CC - December 5, 2017 - Willow's Traffic Calming - Menlo Fire Comments

From: Schapelhouman, Harold <"Schapelhouman,>
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2017 02:57:09 +0000

Menlo Park City Council

Willow's Traffic Calming - Agenda Item 17-294-CC - December 5, 2017
The current traffic congestion on Willow Road is unacceptable and may lead to a potential public safety crisis because of its effect on the Fire Districts ability to effectively respond to emergencies, specifically from Fire Station 1, located at 300 Middlefield Road and other West Side Fire Stations. The amount of cut-through traffic in the Willows Neighborhood has reached an unacceptable level that has created even further congestion and potential problems for first responders during emergencies.

Short Term Recommendations:
The Menlo Park Fire Protection District supports the short term recommendations outlined in the staff report.

Mid-Term Recommendations:
The Fire District would like to have further dialogue regarding the proposed mid-term items.

Other Considerations:
The Fire District would like to have further dialogue regarding these items and potentially taking even stronger and further action such as:

* As recommended for years, completely removing all center Islands on Willow Road to create a continuous center lane for public safety use (This would include the new overpass which will have four bike lanes and NO lane dedicated for emergency response - That is unacceptable)

* Install camera's for use by Public Safety on Willow Road, Marsh and Bayfront Expressway - For improved situational awareness!

* Completely closing off Middlefield Road at San Francisquito Creek, as well as other routes into the Willows from Palo Alto, during peak commute hours for a period of one week as a test.

* Partner with Caltrans to use Drones, from pre-designated areas (Nests), to fly over roadway accidents for emergency first responder information gathering and situational awareness. The Fire District will sponsor this initiative!

* As the Fire Chief, I will be proposing to the Fire Board, at its December 19 meeting, to change deployment and increase the number of East Side Fire personnel and units to insure public safety in Belle Haven, M2 and East Palo Alto by January 2018. This would create a large enough effective force to responsibly protect these already very busy and difficult to serve areas, which has only been made more difficult by these developments.

Thank you

Harold Schapelhouman, Fire Chief
Menlo Park Fire Protection District
Received on Tue Dec 05 2017 - 19:02:17 PST

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