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Re: Petition Urging Stop Signs on Central Ave. in the Willows

From: domainremoved <Tracy>
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2018 18:49:27 -0700

Hi Nikki,

Thank you for your prompt response to our neighborhood’s concerns about the need for stop signs on Central Ave at one or both of the intersections at Central Ave./Elm St. and Central Ave./Walnut St. We appreciate the City taking steps to address the problem and believe the measures you have proposed will help. However, we do not believe these go far enough to resolve the significant dangers that these intersections pose and believe that stop signs are urgently needed.

We understand the importance of adhering to state and federal guidelines and to ensuring their consistent application across our community. However, we urge you and the City Council to consider the following concerns regarding the application of those standards — which we believe underscore the need for stop signs here.

* Traffic Volume. You indicate that the traffic volume at these intersections does not meet the requirements for an all-way stop sign. However, we note that the intersection of Gilbert Ave. and Central Ave. similarly did not meet the state volume requirements (combined vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian volume entering the intersection from all approaches averages more than 2,000 units per day) when the recommendation <https://www.menlopark.org/DocumentCenter/View/10390/I5---Stop-Sign-Installation?bidId=> was made to the City Council to install stop signs in June 2016. We commend the City on this installation and the positive impact it has had.

* Collision History. You indicate that stop signs on Central Ave. would not have made the two recent crashes — in which bicyclists crossed Central Ave. without stopping and were hit by cars — “correctable.” We draw the opposite conclusion. We believe that, if there is concern about bicyclists and pedestrians ignoring stop signs (and this happens frequently, from our neighbors’ observations), then it would be safer if the cars that are often speeding down this straightaway had to stop.

* Other Site-Specific Issues. We appreciate your point about sight lines at these intersections being problematic and agree that pruning or removing landscaping that is obscuring views will help to a degree. However, we think the problem extends beyond just basic pruning or limited vegetation removal. We also note that there have been multiple conversations among neighbors with the City about this issue for months and the problem remains.

In closing, thank you for the opportunity to share our concerns. We greatly appreciate all that your department does for our city and that you have made it a priority to address these intersections given the two near-tragedies in the past several weeks, combined with the ongoing accidents and near misses.

Sincerely,

Tricia Barr, 650-867-8301
Tracy Morris, 650-380-4413
Chris DeCardy
Stephanie Zeller


> On Jun 27, 2018, at 12:00 PM, Nagaya, Nicole H <nhnagaya_at_(domainremoved)
>
> Thank you, Kirsten. I’m happy to share an update as discussed.
>
> Hi Tracy and all,
>
> As Kirsten mentioned, one of our staff members and myself went to the intersections on Monday afternoon (it was nice to run into you, Tracy!) to look for short-term solutions. We are installing:
>
> · Installation of “cross traffic does not stop” signs at Elm and Walnut
> · Replacing the stop sign on southbound Walnut at Central (its faded and leaning)
> · Painting four new crosswalks at each intersection
> · Adding two new in-street pedestrian warning signs (“yield to pedestrians”) at each intersection, for the crosswalks across Central Ave
>
> We’ve also been coordinating with the Police Department and they are targeting placing the speed trailer on Central and doing targeted enforcement in the area.
>
> I’ve shared with several of you in the past, but to summarize - the overarching request for an all-way stop sign is governed by a set federal and state criteria called “warrants”. We look at the total traffic volume (vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians) during peak and typical daily conditions (when school is in session); the collision history; and any other issues that might affect safety like sight distance. The status of our evaluation of each of these is summarized below:
>
> · Traffic Volume. Based on our last review in the fall shortly after Laurel Upper opened, the volume does not meet the requirements for an all-way stop sign. We anecdotally think the turn restrictions have further reduced the volume, making this unlikely to meet the volume warrants.
>
> · Collision History. The collision history evaluation requires that the collisions be “correctable” by installing a stop sign. The two most recent crashes occurred when the bicyclists did not stop at the stop signs. While it’s very hard to see anyone hit, these are not considered “correctable” collisions. The Safe Routes to School program that the City is initiating currently will help reinforce the educational aspects biking to lead to safer behavior in the long run as well.
>
> · Other Site-specific Issues. We are continuing to look at other issues that may warrant a stop sign, with an emphasis on the sight distance at both intersections. Code enforcement is scheduled to complete this week work on the corner of Elm/Central to remove landscaping that is restricting sight distance at the intersection. Following completion of that work, our staff will be working on a sight distance evaluation to see if any other changes are necessary (parking restrictions or stop sign installation). This evaluation should be done in the next few weeks.
>
> Ultimately, the City Council makes the decision about all traffic control installations in Menlo Park. If stop signs are warranted, we’d look to bring an evaluation forward to the Complete Streets Commission for a recommendation followed by the City Council. This process typically takes 3 to 4 months, in order to schedule meetings and send notifications in advance.
>
> If stop signs are found not to be warranted, staff would not recommend their installation to the Commission or Council. Unwarranted stop signs are demonstrated to reduce the frequency that drivers stop at all stop signs – and we already hear this complaint frequently in Menlo Park. They can also increase the likelihood of other types of crashes, and will also increase the City’s liability if future collisions occur, as the stop signs were installed against standard requirements which can be readily challenged in case of an incident.
>
> I know this is a lot of information; hopefully this helps explain our current status and next steps clearly.
>
> Thanks,
> Nikki
>
>
>   <>
>
> <CMP_Email_Logo_100dpi_05d92d5b-e8e3-498f-93a6-d0da509bd602111111111.png>
> Nicole H. Nagaya, P.E.
> Assistant Public Works Director
> City Hall - 1st Floor
> 701 Laurel St.
> tel 650-330-6781
> menlopark.org <http://www.menlopark.org/>
>
> From: Kirsten Keith [mailto:kkeith_at_(domainremoved)
> Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2018 10:37 AM
> To: Tracy Morris <tracymorrispr_at_(domainremoved)
> Cc: Chris DeCardy <cdecardy_at_(domainremoved)
> Subject: Re: Petition Urging Stop Signs on Central Ave. in the Willows
>
> Hello,
>
> I just spoke with Nikki Nagaya, who was at the site on Monday, and she’s going to come up with some short-term solutions quickly. She will be sending something out to you hopefully before 5 PM tonight.
>
> Than you to all the neighbors who signed the petition and to Nikki Nagaya for responding by going to the site so quickly.
>
> Please feel free to call me anytime on my cell at 650-796-1009.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Kirsten Keith
>
> On Tue, Jun 26, 2018 at 11:34 PM Tracy Morris <tracymorrispr_at_(domainremoved)
> Good Evening,
>
> We are among a wide group of neighbors who live in the Willows near Central Ave. and are deeply frustrated about the growing traffic safety problem at the intersections of Central Ave./Elm St. and Central Ave./Walnut St. On June 16, a woman on a bicycle was hit by a car at the intersection of Central and Elm. A few weeks earlier, on May 7, a young girl on a bicycle was hit by a car as she was crossing Central Ave. at Walnut St. on her way to school at Willow Oaks. There are near-accidents at these intersections on an almost daily basis. The widely expressed concern has been that it is not a matter of if an accident will end in tragedy, but when.
>
> Attached is a petition signed by a majority of neighbors (over 75 total) close to these two intersections urging the City to take immediate action and install stop signs. We have also attached a coded map so you can see the homes represented by the signatures. This is not a time for extended monitoring and studying. It needs to be resolved now and we urge you to make that happen. Thank you for your prompt attention and consideration.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Tricia Barr, 650-867-7301
> Tracy Morris, 650-380-4413
> Chris DeCardy
>
> --
> Best regards,
>
> Kirsten Keith,
> Councilmember and former Mayor, City of Menlo Park
Received on Tue Jul 03 2018 - 18:50:32 PDT

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