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300-550 El Camino Project Traffic

From: domainremoved <George>
Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2013 15:28:30 -0800

Dear Menlo Park City Officials and Staff:

         The Stanford University redevelopment plan for 300-550 El Camino
Real not only generates a 17% increase in El Camino traffic (6,407 added
daily trips), but also consolidates and concentrates this traffic in and
between two intersections at Cambridge and Middle Ave. This traffic will
pour into and out of this bottleneck creating significant problems. Please
help resolve the issues posed. More than scotch tape and baling wire is

The Final Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) for the Menlo Park El Camino
Real and Downtown Specific Plan concludes that the El Camino Real South
portion, substantially the portion presently proposed to be redeveloped by
Stanford, generates an *additional* six hundred and fifty seven (657) auto
trips per peak PM hour, an *additional* five hundred and twenty seven (527)
auto trips per peak AM hour, a total of six thousand, four hundred and
seven (6, 407) *additional* average daily trips[1] <#_ftn1> (“ADT”). (See
EIR 4.13.38, a copy of which is attached as exhibit A, attached to copy of
this letter attached to this email). Please analyze and advise how this
additional traffic, which will cause delays and neighborhood cut-throughs,
can be mitigated or removed.

            The EIR does not focus on the specific location of the added
traffic, however it is concentrated and focused on El Camino Real (“ECR”)
between Middle and Cambridge. There is no cross ECR street access at
Partridge or College. See my sketch, Exhibit B and aerial photo, Exhibit
C. All additional site traffic has to ingress or egress the site via ECR
between Cambridge and Middle.

This access will create huge traffic and cut through problems. Although
the EIR addresses the two intersections, it understates the additional
traffic. See intersections 8 and 9 (EIR 4.13-19 and 41), interpolated to
find additional peak PM traffic of 482 ADT and AM traffic of 429 ADT .
However, even with this minimized traffic, the EIR concludes that the
Middle intersection with PM traffic will be Level of Service (LOS) category
F (4.13-45), which it described: “Operations with extreme congestion, and
very high delays and long queues unacceptable to most drivers” (EIR
4.13-17). The EIR does call for Right of Way acquisition to add lanes at
the El Camino Middle intersection (EIR 2-33; 4.13-79).

The intersection of Middle and ECR is particularly in for big trouble.
Accessing the Safeway parking lot is already difficult. There will, of
course, be added auto traffic to and from the project in addition to
pedestrians and bicyclists attracted to the proposed undercrossing to the
Menlo Park Civic Center and Burgess Park. Visualize cross traffic with
autos and pedestrians and bicyclists attracted by the proposed passage to
Burgess Park, plus the many U turns from those egressing the Stanford
Project across from College and Partridge and trying to go south on ECR,
particularly if another left turn lade is added on ECR. After cutting
across two or three lanes of traffic to get into the proper left turn or U
turn lane they will create a huge clog. There is no sidewalk to help with
bicyclist’s safety. I don’t know how pedestrians will be able to safely
cross ECR. More importantly, the project’s plaza opposite Middle Street
has driveways to and from garages on both the North and South Sides, a
significant safety issue. People visiting the Stanford Project Site will
have difficultly accessing the Menlo Park businesses, which is the only
benefit I see to Menlo Park from this project.

Perhaps, no egress should be allowed at either College or Partridge, but
ingress should be allowed there both to the site, and to the parking
garage, instead of the garage access to the new plaza across from Middle
Street. Egress from parking garages should be located and directed toward
Cambridge, which should have two left turn lanes for heading south on ECR
as well as one right turn lane for north ECR traffic and one lane for
crossing onto Cambridge. No Ingress or Egress should be allowed at the
Middle street site location, such ingress or egress would only raise
confusion and difficulty. This might slow down traffic out of the Stanford
Project, but better delay there than on ECR. Both Santa Clara County and
Palo Alto, who benefit mightily from Stanford, have restricted Stanford
on site development and the number of daily car trips allowed on campus,
which is why it is being sent to Menlo Park. Note the Sand Hill
intersection with ECR in Palo Alto has two left turn lanes into Menlo Park,
one Right hand turn lane onto ECR south, and no cross ECR traffic to Palo
Alto Ave and downtown Palo Alto. Menlo Park does not have to accept the
undue traffic burden on its residents, pedestrians and bicyclists,. In
Short ingress to the site should be at Cambridge, and ingress driveways
across from Partridge and College, and egress from site only at Cambridge.

I would be pleased to personally meet, explain, discuss and help attempt to
arrive at common sense reasonable solutions. Thinking “outside the box” is
needed; otherwise traffic will choke ECR and the neighborhoods and impede
and endanger pedestrians and bicyclists. Something must be done. Thank

                                    Very Truly Yours

                                                George C. Fisher.


[1] <#_ftnref1> These numbers are the net added trips, after deducting the
trips generated by the existing buildings being removed, specifically auto
dealership buildings. (EIR table 4.13-4, p 4.13-36) The usages are
generated by the square footage of the type of space. The additional trips
by the project substantially exceed the auto dealership prior usage,
contrary to speculative statements by proponents of the Stanford

George C. Fisher
1121 Cotton Street,
Menlo Park, CA, 94025
(650) 799 5480
Fax (650) 475 1849

Received on Thu Jan 17 2013 - 15:28:54 PST

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