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TMP feedback on Willow Road Corridor

From: domainremoved <Romain>
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2018 18:53:42 +0000 (UTC)

Dear Committee Members,
Beside some previous concerns at the O'Brien/Willow intersection (ref. down below), please find some additional feedback/suggestions in regards to the Willow Corridor.
There are many local improvements that can be done for the intersections along Willow Road and this should be made a priority by the city of Menlo Park with appropriate outreach and feedback request to local residents/businesses in Menlo Park AND East Palo Alto.The Willow corridor improvements need to be treated as a whole project from Middlefield to Bayfront Expressway with equal importance to the East of US101.
Thank you very much in advance for your consideration,Romain Taniere
1. No parking request in front of 965-985 O'Brien Drive, Menlo Park to ease the flow of vehicles to Willow Road. This would allow vehicles on O'Brien to be in 2 lines, up to the traffic light (right now the 2 lines, no parking zone is not even barely from 965 O'Brien to the light but just a few feet from the corner Willow/O'Brien intersection). Vehicles that are parked on the street around 965-985 O'Brien make the congestion even worse and the 2hr parking zone is not even enforced in this area. This should be very easy and fast to implement (just relocating the existing "no parking here to curb" further down the street and extending the painting strip to divide the lane further). 
2. Installation of a new sign on the far right of the large overhang Newbridge traffic light coming from US101 towards O'Brien Drive with "lane ends - through traffic merge left" would ease the traffic for locals who make a right on Willow Road to Alberni Street and O'Brien Drive. At present, through traffic on Willow Road stay on the very right lane from US101 overpass to O'Brien Drive, blocking the lane for local traffic turning right. 
3. The Willow Road and side street traffic light synchronization needs to account and take place also East of US101 right away, not just West of US101. Vehicle counts and traffic patterns on O'Brien/Ivy/Hamilton should be done/included on the on-going synchronization (also on side streets such as Kavanaugh Way (Menlo Park) and Kavanaugh Drive (East Palo Alto) in anticipation of the FaceBook Willow Campus planning). 
4. As a complement to #2, going East on CA 114 towards the Dumbarton bridge, the sign next to the sidewalk indicating that Willow through traffic must merge left near the intersection of Willow Road and O'Brien Drive is too close to the intersection/traffic light. It does not give cars enough distance to move to the left if going straight. This gives the impression that there are 3 lanes instead of 2 and at peak commute hour creates a bottle neck for people who want to turn right on O’Brien Drive. The “Through traffic must merge left” sign should be moved before Alberni Street EPA to give enough time for drivers to get off the right lane and not block it. Some additional “Right arrows” should also be painted just after Alberni Street EPA on the right lane to reinforce the message.

5. Similarly to #2, a new sign can be installed on the far right of the horizontal large overhang Newbridge traffic light pole coming from O'Brien Drive towards US101 "Right lane must turn right - US101 North SF only" (this will be useful once the far right lane re-opens for US101 north entrance after the construction ends on that portion).
 6. As a complement to #5, going West on CA 114 towards US 101, the new Willow configuration at/after Newbridge is a very nice improvement (except for the Dumbarton express bus stop footprint/location, see #3). However, the signs on the right side indicating that through traffic must merge left and that the right lane is for San Francisco US 101 are not really well placed and from a driver perspective cannot be seen very well (maybe OK if you see them from a pedestrian’s perspective or inspect the intersection on foot, but they are partially hidden by traffic light/trees if you see them from a driver’s perspective on the right or middle lane before the traffic light). May be the placement of the various sidewalk signs between Newbridge and US 101 can be revisited after before the Willow overpass construction is completed and also some “Right arrows” can be painted just before or after the “SF North” white road marking on the right lane. 7. Going West on CA 114 towards US 101, the Dumbarton Express bus stop on Willow Road, right at the corner of Newbridge MP is badly posted and very dangerous. Unlike the bus stop on the other Willow/Newbridge EPA side going East, and despite the new large sidewalk just been redone, no footprint/easement was accommodated for the bus to pull out of the "turn right 101 North Only" lane. Therefore, drivers following the bus on Willow and who are unaware of the bus stop corner location, get stuck in the middle of the Willow/Newbridge intersection until the bus moves out. Some drivers will then try to get out by partially moving in the middle lane by sharing lanes with cars currently on the middle lane and get into near accidents. At the same time there are also vehicles making a left turn on Willow from Newbridge EPA which makes the situation worse. The bus stop sign should be relocated in a more visible location and a pull out space should be accommodated on the large sidewalk to make a real bus stop aside from trough traffic. 8. In addition to the already difficult situation described on #7, and to avoid people coming from Newbridge MP from blocking Pierce Road and also creating accident situations with drivers coming from Newbridge EPA or Willow Road, there should be a “do not turn right on red” for the light at Newbridge MP. Cars should be forced to stop before Pierce Road and wait for the green light to turn right on Willow Road West.
9. Maintenance wise, several light bulbs are burned off at the O'Brien/Ivy traffic lights and many round shape light covers are missing at several location which makes some lights hard to see depending on the sun exposure. The "Do not block the intersection" sign facing O'Brien Drive at Willow Road fell of the middle traffic light and is now missing. Also the island traffic light to make a left on O'Brien from Willow has been missing and not replaced for several months.
10. Implementation of an all-red interval for vehicle clearance and traffic safety at all Willow/Bayfront intersections.   From: Romain Tanière [mailto:rtaniere_at_(domainremoved)
Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 11:04 AM
To: Baile, Renato C <RCBaile_at_(domainremoved)
Cc: Angulo, Rich F <RFAngulo_at_(domainremoved)
Subject: Re: Traffic lights synchronization issue for side streets on Willow Road east of US101   Dear Mr. Baile and Menlo Park city staff,   I was wondering if there was any status update in regards to the O'Brien/Willow traffic light timing from Caltrans (better synchronization and implementation of an all red-interval)? As you can see in the attached picture, today 29 Nov 2017 at 10AM it is impossible for more than one vehicle at the time to make a left from O'Brien to Willow unless you illegally block the intersection (sometimes at peak time, not even one vehicle can turn). Now, even in non peak hour, the traffic on O'Brien is backed up almost to Kelly Court. To ease the flow I would also suggest a parking re-zoning for a no parking zone on the right side of O'Brien drive from roughly 985 O'Brien drive to the intersection. This would allow vehicles to be in 2 lines, up to the traffic light (right now the 2 lines, no parking zone is not even barely from 965 O'Brien to the light but just a few feet from the corner Willow/O'Brien intersection). Vehicles that are parked on the street around 965-985 O'Brien make the congestion even worse and the 2hr parking zone is not even enforced in this area. This no parking-red curb painting should be easily and quickly implemented by the city of Menlo Park itself without the lengthy involvement from Caltrans.   Thank you very much in advance for your feedback. Romain Taniere   From: Romain Tanière <rtaniere_at_(domainremoved)
To: "Baile, Renato C" <RCBaile_at_(domainremoved)
Cc: "Angulo, Rich F" <RFAngulo_at_(domainremoved)
Sent: Wednesday, November 8, 2017 9:08 PM
Subject: Traffic lights synchronization issue for side streets on Willow Road east of US101   Dear Mr. Baile and Menlo Park city staff,   I previously brought up some safety/maintenance concerns that are yet to be resolved on the portion of Willow Road east of US101 (burnt light bulbs at Ivy and O’Brien, traffic light covers/black background missing which makes the lights hard to see in the full sun, traffic light on median divider not replaced yet at O’Brien, no all-red traffic light interval). In addition, it now looks like the traffic light pattern and synchronization has slightly changed in the last few weeks which creates some even more difficult situation from the side streets local traffic.   At peak hour the portion of Willow Road between O’Brien and Newbridge is now completely saturated with cars and when the O’Brien light turns green, at most a couple of vehicles can make a left onto Willow Road (sometimes it is even impossible unless people turn and partially block the intersection until the traffic flows again). Unless the section is partially cleared between O’Brien and Newbridge it is not possible for O’Brien traffic to come onto Willow. Until a few weeks ago, the situation was much better because the Newbridge traffic light had been already green for a bit and the traffic was flowing on Willow towards US101 before the light at O’Brien was turning green for cars to turn left onto Willow   I believe the new traffic lights at the US101 interchange are being tested/implemented right now so it would be great if the city transportation staff could do a field trip on site at peak hour in the morning to monitor the situation on the portion of Willow Road and the intersections east of US101 and ask Caltrans to re-synchronize the lights is a manner that it is not adversely affecting the local street traffic.   Thank you very much in advance, Romain Taniere    

Received on Tue Mar 20 2018 - 13:10:04 PDT

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