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Considerations on Alternative A for Grade Separation at the Tracks

From: domainremoved <Ann>
Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2019 10:57:02 -0800

City Council and other interested parties-

     I live on Laurel Street and I would like to share with you what I
observed when the turn off from Ravenswood to Alma was closed for a number
of months and why I think doing so permanently would be a hazard both to
children on the main bike route to school and to public safety generally.

     Laurel has no dedicated bike lanes, but is a main artery by which
children ride to school and to activities at the Burgess recreation
centers. They pass by my house in clusters of three to eight children who
often ride side by side rather than one behind the other. This means, when
cars travel down this street, children are at risk of being hit. I saw it
actually happen once at the Laurel and Linfield intersection (which really
could benefit from a stop sign and crosswalk on Laurel). Fortunately, the
child dusted himself off and rode on. When the Alma turn off was rerouted,
there was a significant increase of traffic on Laurel. Since the trial took
place at a time when school was not in session, we did not have the chance
to better understand the dangerous effect of crowding more cars and
children on the same route.

     My biggest cause for concern is that Laurel is also the route used by
police officers from the main station rushing with sirens on to
emergencies. When this happens, cars must pull over on Laurel to let them
pass, but they often don't do so as quickly as the officers would like,
slowing the time necessary for police to respond to an emergency across
this side of the city. And, during the high school traffic time, it
increases the odds of a car attempting to pull over for the police car and
pulling into one of the many children biking to and from school. Menlo
Park's Safe Routes to School program put a lot of thought into deciding
that Laurel was the best route for school children to take to get to school
safely and there is not an obvious choice for rerouting this bike traffic.
However, it is my assessment that routing the traffic from the Ravenswood,
Oak Grove and Glenwood Crossing down Laurel without a significant
rethinking of bike routes will significantly increase the likelihood of a
fatal bike accident in the community. It will also slow the response time
of police officers to emergencies across the broader community.

I ask the city to take the time to more fully consider grade separation
alternatives that less negatively impact the high traffic area around our
city center.

Thank you for you consideration,

Ann Diederich
Laurel Street
Received on Wed Jan 02 2019 - 10:54:08 PST

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