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Traffic ON Willow Road

From: domainremoved <Dnahom>
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2018 23:15:15 -0500

Dear City Council Members and Chief Bertini,

I am writing you today out of a deep frustration and a sincere hope that you will take action.

My family has lived on Willow Road (between Gilbert and Middlefield) since 1992. Moving onto Willow Road we knew there would be traffic, but at that time, it was only during peak hours. Throughout the years, traffic has become increasingly worse, longer in duration and more dangerous.

Today I was walking on Willow Road at 4pm and I witnessed driver after driver heading westbound, speeding as if our street was still part of 101. Given that there is nobody around to stop them, I reached a breaking point today and went over to the street, past the bike lane, and attempted to slow them down.

While my action today (trying to act as an enforcement officer) was new, the behavior from drivers was not. Over the years, driving with our 4 children in the car, my family has been repeatedly harassed with cars tailgating dangerously close to us, our kids in the backseat of our van scared for their lives. My kids have turned around so drivers could see their little faces in hopes they had a family too and slow down. Instead of compassion we’ve gotten the middle finger, yelled to with racist remarks, honked at, and passed on the right by cars using the bike lane.

The biggest issue is a lack of enforcement. Willow is a mini-freeway between Middlefield and Gilbert. This stretch lacks any stop lights, and because of this, commuters are able to pick up speed, many traveling 25mph above the speed limit. The lack of enforcement along this stretch (and all of Willow) is appalling, and commuters take advantage of this absence of law enforcement. Because they don’t see any ticketing taking places and/or consequences for speeding, the speed limit has no meaning to them.

In their response to my past complaints to the MPPD, I have been told that the department lacks the resources to do proper enforcement. Please explain then, how the Willows neighborhood, has been given extensive enforcement for the turn restrictions recently put into place. Why is it that those neighbors have been given relief to a problem that recently presented itself (the Willow/101 Interchange), while those of us on Willow Road have been increasingly suffering without attention for years? While we are happy that our neighbors have seen progress (both in enforcement and signage/traffic calming), we are unbelievably frustrated that our neighborhood (and yes, Willow Road residents still live in a neighborhood) has continued to be overlooked.

In addition to better (or at least some) enforcement, there are some infrastructure/engineering improvements/changes that need to be made on Willow Road:

Add speed bumps. While we have heard that the fire trucks may have a harder time with speed bumps, we know that there are speed bumps on many emergency response routes. We have seen the ones with cut-outs and we want them on our own neighborhood street.

Add crosswalks (preferably HAWK signals) on Willow Road at the intersections of Blackburn and Nash. As a driver, if you see crosswalks, it alerts you that someone could at any given time, cross the street. I’ve seen the effectiveness of the new crosswalk at Santa Monica and Coleman. I also want to point out that there is currently no way to cross Willow Road safely between Middlefield and Gilbert. This is much too long of a stretch for a pedestrian or cyclist to travel without a crossing.

Add speed limit radar feedback signs along Willow Road. If drivers know how fast they are going they may be more inclined to slow down.

I do want to point out that a few months ago some were talking about removing the bike lanes and other bulb outs to allow more capacity on Willow Road. This is a terrible idea and instead of reducing the amount of congestion, it will just invite more cars onto our street. Widening Willow Road will also be the nail in the coffin to our neighborhood. This idea is particularly offensive to me given that it prioritizes the needs of the commuters over us residents who live here and pay taxes.

As you can read, I am extremely upset by the situation on Willow Road. Please do not treat us like the stepchildren of the Willows neighborhood, or even Linfield Oaks, the other side of Middlefield. Both of those neighborhoods have been treated like neighborhoods - kids can play, neighbors can cross the street and their lives can go on without the minute-by-minute, 24/7 feeling of living on a freeway. You must take immediate action to improve our situation.

Cars are deadly weapons. The speed in which cars travel in front of my home is too fast. Please do not wait until someone is seriously hurt or killed to do something.

Alice Hom on behalf of the families on Willow Road
Received on Tue Mar 06 2018 - 20:17:44 PST

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