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Stanford University expansion

From: domainremoved <Scott>
Date: Thu, 01 Feb 2018 08:40:54 -0800

Mr. Simitian:

I grew up in Palo Alto (moved there in 1961) and now live in Menlo Park, very close to Sand Hill Road, so I have extensive first hand experience with Stanford University and its ever-lasting construction and expansion. In fact, my husband and I jokingly refer to Stanford as the “Winchester Mystery House” of universities because they never stop building, even though the student body size remains about the same!

I understand that you are holding a meeting on Feb. 2nd to hear public comment about the newest plans for expansion on campus. I am not able to attend but, I did have a couple of thoughts that I want to share with you. (Note: I know you are not my county representative but, the County of San Mateo seems to have no interest in the subject so I am emailing you.)

First, I am a firm believer in private property rights. It's their land and they have the right to do with it what they want. That being said, the traffic in our area, specifically the Sand Hill Road corridor, is completely jammed every weekday from about 8 am until 10 am and again from 2:30pm to about 6:30pm. My observation is that 90% of that morning traffic is going to the Stanford campus or into downtown Palo Alto. All of the afternoon traffic is going to Highway 280.

Has any thought been given to the idea of making Stanford create their own off/on ramp to 280 so that their traffic could be funneled directly on to campus? Between Sand Hill Road and Page Mill Road, Stanford owns the land on both sides of the highway. They could great an exit and run a road through the open land directly to Junipero Serra Road. From there the drivers could use Stanford roads to get to what ever part of campus they need to go. I would also recommend that they widen Junipero Serra to 2 lanes in each direction. Again, they own that land and could easily do so. If there is some sort of “endangered” animals or insects in these open spaces where a road would go, they could make a it an underground tunnel. Stanford has a wonderful School of Engineering….I’m sure it would be an excellent project for them! I’m also sure that the university could afford this project. Money doesn’t seem to be an issue for them.

In the 1990s I lived in Villa Park, CA, a small city in Orange County about 10 miles due east of Disneyland. Villa Park was a very small city with little commercial services. If we needed a department store, doctor, dentist, restaurant, etc…. we went to either the City of Orange or Anaheim.
I quickly realized that if I tried to go into Anaheim during the morning or early evening, I would be caught up in the horrendous traffic of people going to and from Disneyland, especially during the summer months. When Disney announced they were planning to double the size of the park with the addition of California Adventure and Downtown Disney, the local area was alarmed. Traffic was already terrible because of the park. It would be unbearable if they increased their operations. However, a dedicated on/off ramp was built from I-5 that led directly into the Disney property. Now when you drive in that area, the surface street traffic is better than it's ever been. I don’t know if the dedicated ramp was Disney’s idea, the City of Anaheim or Caltrans but, it made all the difference in the world to the local people who live near the park.

Secondly, I really believe that Sand Hill Road needs to be 2 lanes in both direction all the way to El Camino Real and connect to Alama Road on the opposite side of El Camino Real. Most of the traffic that doesn’t turn off to the campus continues to downtown Palo Alto, either by turning right on to El Camino to go to University Ave or goes left on El Camino, makes a u-turn at Cambridge in Menlo Park and then makes the left on to Alma from El Camino. This is ridiculous. Palo Alto allowed all those office buildings to be built in their downtown area. They should also take responsibility for the traffic this causes.

It is a blessing to live near such a world-class university and my family has enjoyed the many benefits through the years. We have dealt with the traffic, the construction noise and increase in population caused by the university because of these benefits. However, with this new round of expansion, Stanford needs to be a good neighbor and try to minimize their impact on those of us living nearby.

Best regards,
Mrs. Lynn La Rue
1760 Bay Laurel Drive
Menlo Park, CA. 94025
Received on Thu Feb 01 2018 - 08:44:05 PST

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