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Transportation Master Plan's top 3 priorities--please keep them the same

From: Lydia W. Lee <"Lydia>
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 2019 20:47:03 -0700

Dear Councilmembers,

At this Tuesday's council meeting, you'll be voting on the Transportation
Master Plan's goals and how to prioritize projects. The Complete Streets
Commission hasn't had a chance to weigh in on this yet, so I'm writing here
as a resident. I'm confused as to why, at this stage of the game, there is
a new priority being proposed for the TMP, aka "congestion management." I
don't see the need for adding this 4th priority for these reasons:

1.) *Respect the process. *Staff and community members have been working on
the Transportation Master Plan since 2017 and have come up with three
overarching goals: safety, sustainability, and mobility choice (aka
multimodal transportation). These three goals were arrived at through a
careful process involving much community outreach.

2.) *Congestion relief is already one of the prioritization criteria.* The
proposed prioritization system already includes "congestion
relief/management," which presumably covers measures designed to reduce
cut-through traffic in our neighborhoods. in the proposed system, safety
would be the top priority and is weighted at 20 points, but congestion
management and a host of other considerations come in second, each weighted
at 10 points. The proposed system is detailed in this staff report:

https://www.menlopark.org/DocumentCenter/View/21090/I2-20190326-TMP-CC?bidId=

3.)* Potential conflicts between existing 3 goals and "congestion
relief."* Congestion
relief is an amorphous term that could cover a lot, including regressive
approaches for managing traffic. What happens when the most obvious way to
relieve congestion is to add an additional lane to a road instead of adding
bike lanes (even though the extra lane will result in induced demand and
ultimately increase congestion)? That is why the top 3 priorities--safety,
sustainability, and multimodal/alternative transportation--must remain our
city's top priorities. These 3 goals also address congestion relief by
making it safer and easier to get around town in ways that reduce the
number of single-occupancy vehicles on our roads.

4.) *True congestion relief needs to be tackled on a regional basis*. If
one road is widened, the bottleneck just moves somewhere else. To have a
real impact, it makes sense to work on making it easier to get around
within city limits.

Thanks so much for your consideration,

Lydia Lee
Complete Streets Commissioner
Received on Sun Mar 24 2019 - 20:42:54 PDT

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