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RE: Bike lanes and other parking issues

From: Nagaya, Nicole H <"Nagaya,>
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2015 17:36:37 -0700

Hi Ms. Ochieano,

Thank you for your message and feedback about the potential for changes to El Camino Real. There are three alternatives being considered - one would add a third vehicle lane where only two exist today (from roughly Live Oak to Valparaiso/Glenwood), the others could add bicycle facilities. However, each of these modifications would be constructed by removing on-street parking. No through-vehicle lanes would need to be removed to install any of these options. You can see a short one-page summary of each alternative and the evaluation highlights in this document: http://www.menlopark.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/7806

Thank you for the summary of alternative bike route options as well. Three possible parallel route options are assessed as part of the Corridor Study, using the Alma Street and San Mateo Avenue bike bridges and streets leading to downtown or paralleling El Camino Real.

Please let me know if you have any further questions or feedback.

Thanks again for your email,

Nicole H. Nagaya, P.E.
Transportation Manager
City of Menlo Park
P: 650.330.6781
e: nhnagaya_at_(domainremoved)

From: Bruce & Anita Ochieano [mailto:ochieano_at_(domainremoved)
Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 2015 5:00 PM
Subject: Bike lanes and other parking issues

Dear Menlo Park City Council members,
My understanding is that Menlo Park employs one or more staff members whose job is to encourage business in Menlo Park so our sales tax revenue increases. Are these business development staff members working at cross purposes to the staff members who are trying to eliminate automobile travel and parking in the downtown Menlo Park area? These staff members are proposing to eliminate a traffic lane in favor of a bike lane from Valparaiso to the creek. This will only reduce shopping in Menlo Park.

El Camino Real through Menlo Park is currently too congested, and this plan would make this worse. A few commuters ride bicycles, but the number of these bikers is much less than the number of people who go in or out of Menlo Park to work, shop, or go to school via their cars. The car drivers have few alternatives: The only exits south from the center of town are at Middlefield, El Camino Real, and Oak. The congestion on El Camino encourages them to take residential streets as much as possible. Bicycle riders have multiple alternatives: if going to Stanford, take residential streets to Oak or the San Mateo Drive bike bridge or if going to downtown Palo Alto, take Alma or Laurel to the bike bridge at Alma. These bike routes are much safer than El Camino (even with the bike lane) and also do not reduce the numbers of cars that can go through the city. The bridges are called 'bike bridges' for a reason. Let's use them when we bike.

It also makes sense to use current bike routes for biking between Oak Knoll School or Hillview School and the east side of Menlo Park. Many years ago, Middle Avenue was designated as a safe route for bicycles (Look for the signs on Middle). The bikers can take Middle across El Camino at the signal by Safeway and then go through the Big Five parking lot to Ravenswood. Then it's on to Alma for the rest of the ride. When the development is complete, they can take the bike tunnel at the new plaza. This makes much more sense than having students bike down Santa Cruz Avenue to Fremont and then get dumped into the downtown traffic on Oak Grove, Santa Cruz, or Menlo Avenues. These bikers could take Fremont over to Middle for a safe ride but if they do this, why not have them take Middle the whole way.

The city planners on the city staff seem to have too much time on their hands and keep coming up with these odd ideas. Let's reduce the number of city planners and instead the city council make common sense decisions for Menlo Park. You were elected because you were bright and had knew the city. Don't let the professionals talk you into poor choices for the city.
Best regards,
Anita Ochieano
1795 Stanford Avenue
Received on Wed Aug 19 2015 - 17:34:42 PDT

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