Menlo Park City Council Email Log

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From: Janet Davis <jadjadjad_at_(domain_name_was_removed)>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2010 13:04:03 -0800

Today’s DAILY POST had an article about a meeting to discuss the safety of the Alpine/I-280 intersection. According to the reporter, the county is apparently claiming it cannot act until resolution of who “owns” the intersection restriping responsibility, and whose “fault” the accident was. The former question should have been resolved years ago and it is unbelievable that the county is claiming ignorance of something so basic. There have been MANY years of controversy over the dangers of Alpine Road and the problems with traffic entering and exiting the freeway; the speed limit; the inadequate bike lane on the westerly or northerly side of Alpine; and the dangers trucks pose to cyclists and pedestrians. Just recently Jim Porter and Jim Eggemeyer responded to Stanford’s EIR for the proposed hospital expansion by suggesting a traffic signal at that very intersection. Jim Porter presumably did some kind of traffic study in preparation for that response. The question of “fault” in an individual accident is not the issue. Steve Schmidt, ex Mayor of Menlo Park (quoted in the article) and very frequent cyclist along Alpine Road is familiar with the inadequacies of the bike lane on the Webb Ranch side of the road and suggested a “pocket lane.” Anyone (even in a car) who has been passed by a tractor trailer has experienced the “wind wake” that sucks your vehicle in towards the trailer. Those living along Alpine Road can attest to the fact that trailers often veer into the bike lanes, especially at turns. The event could have occurred without “fault” by either party involved and those tasked with road design should be cognizant of such factors. This morning’s BOS meeting had two items for approval of STOP signs in other locations, in conformance with the county’s Shared Vision, 2025 and Vehicle Code 21351. The cost was stated to be a mere $1500. According to the Daily Post another cyclist was killed in 2009 at the Alpine/Bishop intersection. A STOP sign or light nearby might have saved that life. Other bike safety issues: * Cyclists coming east on Sand Hill, turn right at Santa Cruz and have to swing across all the lanes, to turn left onto Junipero Serra. This is a big problem if they are in front of a car in the 2nd lane from the right which is headed towards Portola Valley. * There is also no safe way for cyclists coming north on Junipero Serra from Stanford who need to turn west onto Sand Hill especially in rush hour traffic. * The inadequate bike lane and two merging car lanes at the west-bound Alpine/Junipero Serra intersection is too short, too narrow, and very hazardous. * Lack of parking enforcement at the Piers Lane is hazardous to cars and cyclists * Illegal U-turns at the Buck Estate imperil cyclists * Motorists failing to stop at the red light at Alpine/Junipero Serra endanger cyclists heading to San Cruz Avenue * Line of sight problems at La Cuesta/Alpine and at the Webb Ranch fruit stand * The speed of traffic and lack of gaps in traffic mean that residents have to zoom across Alpine to make a left turn and this frequently results in overshooting into the bike lane * Because of the unsafe westerly/northerly bike lane, cyclists frequently bike the “wrong” side of the road and residents have to watch for not only the impossible vehicular traffic but speeding cyclists going the wrong way in the walkway. Janet Davis, Alpine Road resident Received on Tue Nov 09 2010 - 13:10:36 PST

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