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Homeowner Feedback: Middle Ave Bike Lane and Street Parking Ban

From: domainremoved <Erica>
Date: Sun, 19 May 2019 23:39:35 -0700

Esteemed Members of the Menlo Park City Council,

My name is Erica Hsu and I live on the corner of Middle Ave/Olive Street. I
would like to share my feedback and points of concern around the removal of
street parking in order to make way for a dedicated bike lane.

I previously shared thoughts with Mayor Mueller, who graciously took the
time to hear my concerns. I'm sending this urgently because it was not
communicated to homeowners there will be a public review with the City
Council this Tuesday – I only heard of this last minute from a local news
writer.

As a homeowner on the corner of Middle/Olive, there are 3 main points of
concern around this proposed direction:

   1. *Does Not Solve Speeding Issue*
   2. *Street Parking Usage and Bike Lane Only Concerns*
   3. *Homeowner Equality*

Please see below for breakdown of these three points.

*Does Not Solve Speeding Issue*
This is commonly known and continuous issue. The severe increase in drivers
speeding down both Middle and Olive put pedestrians, bikers and cars
backing out from their home driveway at risk. Living on the corner of
Middle and Olive, I am able to see the traffic behaviors from all sides of
the intersection. Each time when I hear engines revving at high speeds or
tires peeling out, it makes me feel very uneasy at home.

It's quite often cars barely stops at the Middle/Olive stop sign then fully
speeds forward or their tires peel out as they turn onto the intersecting
road. What happens if a driver loses control and slams into a house
surrounding the intersection? There is no speed enforcement to prevent this
dangerous behavior, which highlights the second concern below.

*Street Parking Usage and Bike Lane Only Concerns*
On average during my weekday drive home around 6pm, I see about 10-15 cars
parked on Middle from San Mateo Dr to Olive St for a long duration of time
(as oppose to bikers who use the lane for a much shorter duration). Our
neighborhood utilizes the street parking quite often for guests, gardeners,
service trucks, etc. Most of our personal driveways do not allow the extra
space for additional parking.

I completely understand and support the bike lane need for the safety of
kids biking to school and for bike enthusiasts. However, if the bike lane
is restricting street parking, this will be a completely open lane, which
will encourage cars to speed even more down an open road. Currently, there
is a lot of more cars utilizing street parking – more than bikers. Parked
cars creates a buffer between the speeding cars since they tend to slow
down when passing a parked car or when someone is exiting their car.

If street parking is completely banned, what is the contingency plan for
homeowner's guests and service truck parking? The only place left to park
is in the side streets, such as Hobart, Cotton, etc. This will only lead to
more pedestrians jaywalking in order to reach their destination since the
convenience and safety of parking nearby has been banned. Keeping in mind,
there are many speeding and distracted drivers who floor the gas pedal down
Middle Ave, which would be putting even more people at risk.

*Homeowner Equality*
We are all equal members of this community, however this ban would divide
the equality. Homeowners on one half of Middle Ave are able to enjoy the
luxury of street parking when the other half of homeowners on Middle Ave
have this benefit banned. We all pay property tax, therefore we should all
have the same benefits and be offered a discussion before a decision is
made on our behalf.

There is no doubt the safety of bikers is important. However, there is
plenty of space to compromise both street parking and a bike lane. I would
be interested to see the data that justifies the need for a fully dedicated
bike lane since I see more parked cars and pedestrians on a daily basis.

Here is an article
<https://www.almanacnews.com/blogs/p/2019/05/13/street-parking-should-not-be-removed-for-bicyclists-on-middle-avenue>
that sheds light onto why street parking should not be removed, where I
fully agree with the points made. In one of the comments, an Oak Knoll
Parent mentions:

*"Street parking is not permitted when kids are riding bikes to and from
Oak Knoll School and this appears to work well. Bicyclists, pedestrian and
passing motorist all benefit, and I doubt nearby residents are upset about
NOT parking on the street on school days for a 30-minute period in the
morning and 45-minute period in the afternoon. “No Parking, 7:45 am to 8:15
am and 2:30 pm to 3:15 pm" signs exist on parts of Oak, Oak Knoll and White
Oak. This is a great compromise. Why doesn't the city take a similar
approach on Middle?"*

Another Middle Ave resident notes:

*"What plans does the city have the section of Middle between San Mateo and
University? Bike Lanes? More parking bans? Too fast traffic is the real
problem on Middle; the 30 mph speed limit is a joke. No one complies. Why
not simply add a stop sign at San Mateo where bicyclists cross to reach the
bridge at SF Creek and Hillview students can safely ride to the bike lanes
on Santa Cruz. And ban street parking only on weekdays for an hour or so in
the morning and afternoon? That should be sufficient!"*

We are a community. A community comes together to fix problems, not have
decisions made for us. A true community shares the road – I hope this can
be the case for Middle Ave.

Thank you for your time. Please let me know if any additional information
is needed and I will happily provide.

Best Regards,
Erica Hsu
Received on Sun May 19 2019 - 23:34:25 PDT

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