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Writing On Behalf Of The Proposed Closing of Alma St

From: domainremoved <John>
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2019 21:27:46 +0000

Dear Members of Menlo Park City Council and Transportation department,
I am writing to you to request that you Vote NO on Alternative A for grade separation. I have several concerns that I feel strongly should be considered.

  1. First and foremost, Menlo Park has already tried closing Alma St. and it was an unmitigated disaster. It was clear from the first day, that no one spent any time researching traffic patterns or understanding the impact of closing the main road used for traffic to travel from El Camino (or west of El Camino) to the 101 freeway (or East). Closing Alma completely gridlocked Ravenswood St; even to the point where cars were backed up onto the train tracks, which was the main reason that was given to close it in the first place. It created ridiculous traffic down Laurel St and caused numerous ‘commute’ vehicles to start looking for alternate routes such as Linfield, East Creek and Sherwood Way. This became a serious safety issue with speeding cars going down neighborhood streets where numerous children live. Honestly, Menlo Park is lucky there were no serious accidents and should be held responsible for creating the circumstances had there been any. Really the only question is why it took several weeks for Menlo Park to admit to the horrendous mistake that was made and re-open Alma. Traffic resumed back to normal immediately once Alma was re-opened. To even consider closing Alma again is mindboggling – why make the same mistake a second time?
  2. As mentioned above, closing Alma would create a significant safety issue. The effect of closing the main commute road would force cars to neighborhood streets. Alma is a very wide street that has sidewalks and NO houses on either side of the street and a few apartment buildings on the latter part of the East side. Alma is literally the perfect street to bypass neighborhoods for cars traveling from West to East across Menlo Park. Likely 10x the amount of cars will be going down Linfield Dr, Laurel St, Sherwood Way, East Creek, etc, It is only a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ a serious accident happens. Those streets are not meant to handle that amount of traffic. Personally, I believe the City would be at a huge exposure to litigation for knowingly creating this type of safety issue.
  3. There is currently no representative on the MP Council dedicated to District 3, which includes Linfield Oaks. It is inappropriate for the members of the City Council to make a decision that would impact the neighborhood’s safety and quality of life without a representative or someone that has spent the time living in the area or speaking to the people that do.

We elected the City Council and generally I have faith the council will make the right decision. I cannot stand by on this one without saying something. To even consider closing Alma leaves me scratching my head. In almost 30 years living in Menlo Park, I cannot remember a worse and short sighted decision as when it was decided to close Alma the first time. And, while it took less than a day to realize what a disaster that decision was, it took several weeks to correct it. Please do not make the same mistake again!
I urge you to vote NO on Option A!
Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or would like to discuss further.
Thanks for your consideration,
John Henze
Menlo Park resident since 2001

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Received on Thu Jan 03 2019 - 13:24:48 PST

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