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From: domainremoved <Sue>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2019 01:54:40 -0700

As a long-time Menlo Park resident, I am asking that the Middle Avenue bike
tunnel be put on hold until a survey is made of who would actually USE this

Previous surveys have asked if people think a tunnel is a good idea, but
nobody has yet gathered data on how many people would use it. A few months
ago, I did an informal survey of people using the library, skateboard park,
gymnastics facility, gym, Burgess Park, child care facility, and the
medical offices on Burgess Drive. Virtually none of the hundreds of people
that I spoke with said that they would use a tunnel. There is no Palo Alto
Medical Foundation on one end to generate lots of traffic.

The $20M cost of the tunnel will benefit a few dozen people. That amount
of money should be spent in a manner that benefits thousands or tens of
thousands of residents, not just a few vocal and ardent bicyclists.

Instead, people are currently using, and will continue to use, the
crossings at Ravenswood and Alma Street near El Palo Alto. My calculations
show that the cost of the bike tunnel, spread over the likely users, would
end up costing $15 per person per trip over the life of the tunnel, not
counting the maintenance costs. (For that price, the city could pay for
Uber rides for all these people and still have money left over.) Speaking
of maintenance costs, someone in Menlo Park city hall should talk to Palo
Alto and find out how much their Homer Street bike tunnel costs for
cleaning, maintenance and policing, to help Menlo Park figure out the true
cost of a bike tunnel.

Before spending more time designing a bike tunnel, please do a real survey
of people who would actually USE this tunnel. Don't ask, "would you like a
tunnel?" That's like asking a child if they want a pony. Most people will
say, "Sure - why not?" Instead of an email survey aimed at everyone in the
city, such a survey should target people in the Civic Center area, in the
Safeway shopping center, and in other area businesses and schools. This
survey should include a map showing the existing crossings in Menlo Park
and Palo Alto, the location of the proposed crossing, and likely
destinations (Safeway, City Hall, library, Burgess pool, etc.) so people
can visualize the proposal.

The survey should ask these people if they would they actually to USE the
tunnel, and if so, how for how many trips per month.

The tunnel is currently designed to end in the parking access area for the
new Stanford project. This means that bikes would need to cross busy
driveways where cars are entering, exiting, and parking. Very few parents
would want their young children to ride their bikes through such a
dangerous area. It's much safer for kids to go in a car, or to use the
car-free pedestrian-only crossing at Alma at El Palo Alto.

The most likely users of the bike tunnel would be employees or residents of
the new Stanford project who would park along Alma or in front of
residents' houses and walk through the tunnel to get to work. This, of
course, would cause the residents to ask for a preferential parking
district, adding more cost and hassle to the project.

Please let me know if you would like my assistance in designing the survey
or if you would like me to provide you with volunteers with clipboards to
gather the answers to your survey.

-Sue Kayton
1854 Doris Drive
Menlo Park
Received on Thu Jun 13 2019 - 01:48:59 PDT

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