Menlo-Ravenswood-University Bike Corridor Proposal

New Interactive Google Map:

Recommended Menlo Park Bike Network Improvements

(Published January 2017)

This online interactive map illustrates the existing Menlo Park bike network and improvements recommended by Re-Imagine Menlo Park. When completed the “core grid” of east-west and north-south bike corridors would enable bicyclists to travel to all popular destinations in Menlo Park and neighboring communities – conveniently, safely and comfortably.

The map has multiple layers; any combination can be displayed together.

The layers include (1) Existing bike lanes; (2) Existing sharrows (street markings)*; (3) Existing bike routes (signage); (4) Critical “gaps” in the existing bike network; (5) Recommended new bike facilities**; (6) New bike facilities developers are required to install; and (7) Other streets popular with bicyclists***

* Bicyclists and motorists share vehicle lanes     ** Separate bike lanes and bike paths     *** No bike facilities are needed

Safe, Convenient, Comfortable (Low Stress) … and Beautiful.

Bike Path Collage

New Bike Path & Protected 2-Way Bike Lanes

M-R BN Map

Dark Blue = Existing Bike Lane        Red = New Bike Facilities           Light Green = Existing Popular Routes w/no Bike facilities

Future Bike Network

The recommended future bike network would consist of a system of bike lanes, bike paths and recommended bike routes marked by wayfaring signs that are accessed by bicyclist-friendly neighborhood streets like San Mateo and Wallea Drives, Fremont, Olive and Johnston Streets.

Future Bike Network August 2016

Red = Menlo-Ravenswood Bike Corridor         Dark Blue: Existing Bike Lanes     Light Blue: Future Bike Facilities        Green = Informal neighborhood streets (some might become signed bike routes)


Download the Menlo-Ravenswood bike corridor proposal.  Includes detailed descriptions, illustrations and photos. (50 pages = 31 MB pdf)

Popular Destinations

Note: The San Mateo County Bike Map is shown below.

Blue = Bike lanes        Yellow = Bike Routes (lines separate bikes and vehicles)

Orange  = Recommended routes (no separation of bikes and vehicles)

Red dots = Retail   Green dots = Civic   Yellow dots = offices   Blue dots = Housing

Red dots w/black spot = Schools

A Closer Look at Downtown

Projected Service Levels

Letter to City Council – August 8, 2016

Time To Get East-West Bike Network Connectivity Right.

I am pleased to learn that the City is taking advantage of the expertise of Alta Planning & Design as it evaluates the desirability and feasibility of an Oak Grove Bike Corridor. This highly respected firm knows Menlo Park well having assisted the City with its first bike network comprehensive plan in 2005, and much more recently, many neighboring cities including Palo Alto. I hope the city will not only evaluate a possible Oak Grove bike corridor but also develop a complete east-west bike connectivity strategy and plan including a clear set of 5-Year investment priorities. The approach of evaluating bike facilities on a piecemeal rather than a system perspective that carefully considers best alternatives was a major shortcoming of the recent El Camino Corridor Study, one I hope will not be repeated.

Menlo Park has three natural locations for east-west bike corridors that improve access to downtown and other popular destinations on the opposite sides of El Camino.

  • Valparaiso and Glenwood between the Alemeda and Laurel best serves bicyclists at the north end of El Camino. This will be completed in 2016.
  • Menlo-Ravenswood between University and Middlefield best serve bicyclists at the central section of El Camino. I have already recommended a design that would correct existing problems and enhance the bike riding experience between University and Laurel. This could be completed in 2017.
  • Middle Avenue between University and Alma best serves bicyclists at the south end of El Camino. This will be undertaken during the construction of the Middle Plaza and likely not before 2020. However, the section between University and the Safeway Plaza at El Camino should be completed well before then – perhaps in 2017 or 2018.
  • Protected bike lanes, i.e., cycle tracks, on University and a connector between Santa Cruz and Menlo Avenues via Fremont Park are also
  • needed to ensure the safety and comfort of bicyclists riding on these main approaches to Downtown and the Menlo-Ravenswood bike corridor.

I believe an Oak Grove bike corridor is not needed and offers no improvement over the nearby existing Valparaiso-Glenwood bike corridor. However, many negative impacts are foreseeable.

  • An Oak Grove bike corridor would duplicate the nearby Valparaiso-Glenwood bike corridor that was recently upgraded at a cost of over $400,000 and largely funded by a county agency. This work was specifically designed to serve students who must access schools on the other side of El Camino Real, e.g. Hillview Middle School, M-A High School, Menlo School, Sacred Heart, St. Raymond’s, and Encinal. Why fund a redundant facility?
  • This project distracts the City from pursuing a much more important east-west bike corridor based on Menlo and Ravenswood Avenues. This bike corridor would BOTH improve bike access to downtown and travel across El Camino Real.
  • The Oak Grove design either relocates or eliminates more than 100 street parking spaces. This is a significant loss given resident concerns about downtown parking availability midday.
  • The design encourages bicyclists to share vehicle lanes on Santa Cruz between University Avenue and Crane Streets, a solution that will be inconvenient and stressful for motorists and unsafe and stressful for bicyclists. The vehicle lane is too narrow to allow motorists to safely pass bicyclists so they must slow down. The speed limit on Santa Cruz is currently 25 mph and few bicyclists ride more than 12 mph – 50% less than vehicles.
  • The proposed design eliminates the eastbound, right-turn lane on Oak Grove at El Camino. This will significantly impede traffic on Oak Grove especially during evening commute times. This will worsen when station 1300 is built in 2019.

I appreciate the City’s recent installation of green bike lane markings at key locations in Menlo Park, welcome the big bike lane improvements on Valparaiso and Glenwood, and am pleased with your decision NOT to add bike lanes along El Camino. Now it’s time to shift the focus from being only on an Oak Grove bike corridor to the broader study of east-west bike connectivity. I believe the City would find that COMPLETING a central east-west bike corridor on Menlo-Ravenswood Av would greatly benefit both bicyclists and motorists. And the projects could be implemented in naturally separate phases. Concerns about uncertain future high-speed rail and re-configuration of an El Camino intersection should not be viewed as obstacles because smart solutions can always be found and only a small part of the Menlo-Ravenswood bike corridor would potentially be affected.

Both our local economy and city financials remain strong, and it’s impossible to foresee a better time to achieve the Specific Plan objective of greater east-west bike connectivity. I always welcome the opportunity to discuss my ideas and yours.

Additional Resources:

Lets Build A Safe, Convenient And Beautiful Menlo-Ravenswood Bike Corridor

How To Make Menlo Park Truly Bicyclist-Friendly.

The Top Trouble Spots in the Menlo Park Bike Network