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Bring Bicycling access to El Camino Real

From: domainremoved <Bill>
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2015 13:23:11 -0700

Dear City Council Members:

I strongly urge you to follow the recommendations of your
Transportation, Bicycle and Planning Commissions and implement bicycling
infrastructure on El Camino Real.

Your community, as evidenced by the volunteer citizens on your
Commissions, are demanding bicycling access on El Camino Real, and by
extension, that bicycling be recognized for what it is to increasing
numbers of Menlo Park citizens; a viable, healthy transportation choice
that thousands in Menlo Park and surrounding cities use on a daily basis
for their basic transportation needs.

People in cars and people on bicycles and on foot must be highly
vigilant and cautious when using every street in Menlo Park. Choosing
the bicycle for transportation means accepting hazards that exist on
every road. It is up to our elected officials though to recognize and
address these hazards so that all users have access to safe and healthy
transportation options. We are growing in numbers, and will continue to
grow as we encourage our children to bicycle to school, as the younger
generation now entering the workforce, less beholden to the automobile,
demands transportation options, and as young families demand a safe and
healthy environment in which to raise families. Bicycle access on El
Camino Real will allow access to dozens of merchants along the corridor,
will shorten crossing distances for pedestrians and bicyclists, and will
move ECR towards becoming the attractive retail corridor that it could
be, instead of the high-speed throughway that today despoils our community.

It is my experience that auto speeds on Santa Cruz Ave are often higher
than those on ECR, with as many driveways and car/bicycle interaction
points as exist on ECR. Should we therefore ban bicycles and pedestrians
from Santa Cruz Ave? As a caring community, we instead address the
problem, as the City Council did in its recent vote, and build for a
future where every street is transformed over time to realize the goals
of the City Council adopted Complete Streets vision. To do otherwise is
to undermine the City Council's own adopted principles, to thwart the
guiding philosophy of multi-modal inclusion on El Camino Real embodied
in The Grand Boulevard Initiative (where Menlo Park has active
representation) and to push against the positive change for healthier,
more connected communities happening all around us (approval of bicycle
lanes on ECR in San Mateo and Mountain View, Palo Alto's aggressive
expansion of its bicycling network, the U.S. Secretary of
Transportation's Vision Zero "Mayor's Challenge" to make our roadways
safer for all users, et al).

The consultant's findings that increased auto capacity on ECR will
induce demand and in fact increase car counts is intuitive and quite
obvious to any citizen that has driven a car in the last 30 years. Look
where our addiction to increasing road capacity has gotten us: an over
reliance on the automobile for even the shortest and simplest in-town
errands, downtown streets clogged with car storage, dangerous and
unattractive pedestrian crossings and hazardous cycling conditions on
most local streets and arterials.

City Council, let's move boldly forward to re-imagine Menlo Park as a
healthy, connected community where people have priority over
automobiles. There will always be naysayers selfishly clinging to the
status quo, that would have Menlo Park remain rooted in the automobile
ideology of the 1970's, and whose few shrill voices seek to dominate the
public discourse. These few voices did not hear what they wanted to
hear from the ECR consultant's report, and from every Menlo Park
Commission that considered the ECR options.

Bring bicycling access to El Camino Real. Let's build a community that
respects all users of our public byways.


Bill Kirsch

Bill Kirsch
Costella Kirsch
Direct: 650-462-5790
Cell: 650-867-5343

3500 Alameda de las Pulgas, Ste 150
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Received on Mon Apr 20 2015 - 13:20:01 PDT

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