March 9, 2015
Menlo Park Friends & Neighbors
I would like to call your attention to an important study and an online survey currently being conducted by the City of Menlo Park that could significantly impact your safety and convenience when traveling on El Camino Real. I recommend that you learn about the changes that are being considered and share your concerns and preferences directly with our city council at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The El Camino Real Corridor Study is evaluating three alternative ways to reconfigure the lanes on El Camino Real (ECR) and would like resident feedback. Alternative 1 would provide three vehicle lanes each way on its entire length by adding one north of Ravenswood Avenue. Alternative 2 would provide two vehicle lanes each way on its entire length by eliminating one south of Ravenswood AND adding bike lanes. Alternative 3 would be similar to Alternative 2 except physically separate bike paths would be provided.
Unfortunately, there are many fundamental problems with this study and survey. First, it asks residents to express their preference without providing adequate information about how the alternative designs would impact the safety and convenience of pedestrians, drivers and cyclists. Instead, residents are left on their own to assess these important considerations, and I believe too few residents are knowledgeable enough to do so. Next, the study does NOT assess how changes in the number of vehicle lanes would likely impact traffic patterns including neighborhood “cut-thru” traffic. This should be a big concern, as the actual traffic impacts of the planned Greenheart and Stanford development projects at 1300 and 500 El Camino Real will remain unknown until these projects are completed. Also, a fourth alternative, leaving the vehicle lanes unchanged for now and focusing on the safer bike route included in the Specific Plan, has NOT been presented as a viable option. And finally, too few residents are even aware of this study and survey so polling results will likely NOT represent the views of most Menlo Park residents. Instead, experienced cyclists who might confidently ride on El Camino will likely be well represented, as will non-cyclists who simply want to constrain vehicle traffic on this primary artery.
I recommend that you directly contact your city council to express your concerns with this study and survey and ask they consider a fourth alternative, leaving ECR as is, and carefully weigh the impact of all four alternatives on safety and convenience of all potential users.
You can view an in-depth analysis of the four alternatives and my personal recommendations for making Menlo Park more bike-friendly.
Please also share this message with your Menlo Park friends, family members and neighbors to ensure all resident voices are heard.
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