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Oak Grove Bike lane trial

From: domainremoved <Terri>
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2017 22:01:48 -0400

Dear Council,

I am writing about the plan to put in a bike lane on Oak Grove from
Middlefield to University.

I am deeply concerned over the safety of bikers on the road between
Middlefield and Laurel on the westbound lane during both the morning
(and afternoon) school commute. As a parent and a biker, I would
never send my kid westward on Oak Grove in the morning between 7:40am
and 8:10am knowing that 100+ cars are going to be crossing over the
bike lanes--twice--to get into and out of Nativity School not to
mention another 30-40 cars leaving Nativity Church around 8am-8:15am.
Personally, I think it's irresponsible to send a kid into that
situation, and it makes me sad that there are parents who think it's a
great idea to try. Unfortunately painted bike lanes don't change the
situation--cars need to cross the path of bikers to get into
Nativity's parking lot to drop the kids off painted lines or not.

Unfortunatley, Menlo Park seems intent on moving this forward, so let
me ask some questions:

* Will you be putting up signs to make it clear that this is a
trial--aka an "experiment"--to test the safety of this route so that
both parents and kids understand their lives are literally the measure
of the feasiblity of having this as a bike route--that there is no
reason to believe that it is safe?

* Are you considering doing anything to try to add a level of traffic
control near the entrance/exit of Nativity especially at the time
Nativity parents are dropping off their kids in the morning which
seems to have the most traffic? Is it possible to put in a stop sign
at the exit so that bikers can take turns with people pulling out of
the parking lot? How about a traffic light? How about a crossing
guard who can direct traffic?

* Is it really a good idea to remove parking from any part of the road
if it means *more* drivers will cross the westward bike lane because
they will choose to drive-through and drop off rather than park on
street and walk their kid(s)? If even 15 parents decide not to park
on the street, that's 30 more crossings--at least one more per
minute--over the westward bike lane.

* Have you considered putting both bike lanes directions on the
opposite (ie south) side of the road so that no biker ever has to
cross paths with the Nativity traffic on Oak Grove? (Yes, at some
point they have to cross over Oak Grove--maybe at Laurel, or maybe at
the lit crosswalk near El Camino)? Or only putting in a bike lane
going East so that you're not implying that going West is safe?

* Will you refrain from adding Oak Grove westbound between Middlefield
and Laurel to the "Safe routes to school" map so as not to mislead
children and parents regarding the safety of riding along Nativity's
frontage during the very times it is most used? Or would you make a
note that there is heavy traffic at 8am and 3pm there so that parents,
especially those new to the area, can make an educated decision?

Personally, I love biking, but I don't believe in pushing myself into
a dangerous situation just to assert my right to bike. When cars and
bikes collide, the biker loses. Always. Sometimes they lose a life.
So I plan my bike routes on lesser travelled paths. I don't
understand why there isn't an attempt to get the bike lanes connected
from Middlefield to El Camino via Glenwood. Yes it would require a
stop light or stop sign on Middlefield, but it would definitely be
safer than just marking up a lane in front of a busy business and
crossing your fingers that nothing bad happens. Frankly some sort of
light/stop sign at Glenwood&Middlefield is long overdue for kids
trying to cross there anyways.

On a different note, I highly approve of doing separate light cycles
for Laurel Ave. going North/South. I think this would improve safety
and traffic flow for both bikers and cars since a lot of the cars are
trying to make a turn. It would allow for smoother flow of traffic
for Nativity parents and Encinal parents, and possibly M-A parents too.
I hope that you will move forward with the plan to separate the light
cycles regardless of the decision on the bike lanes.

Thanks for reading,

Received on Fri Apr 07 2017 - 19:07:25 PDT

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