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Two-lane bridge option back on the table for Newell

Original post made on Mar 12, 2014

A fifth option for replacing the Newell Road bridge, previously scrapped by the City of Palo Alto and announced at a Feb. 27 community meeting, has been put back on the table for environmental review after a request from the City of East Palo Alto.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 9:38 AM

Comments (54)

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Posted by using my brain
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 12, 2014 at 11:23 am

THE REASON THE BRIDGE APPEARS OUT-OF-LINE IS BECAUSE WHEN NEWELL ROAD WAS REPAINTED, THEY PAINTED THE MEDIAN LINE A FOOT TO THE LEFT FROM WHERE IT USED TO BE!!!!!

The whole friggen bridge does NOT need to be re-aligned...instead, simply repaint Newell road FOR THE 4TH TIME IN 3 YEARS back to the way it used to be.


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Posted by bridge not flood prone
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 12, 2014 at 11:28 am

I have lived at the intersection of Newell road and Woodland ave for 8 years. Only ONCE has water risen within a foot of the bridge bottom. Please STOP calling this bridge flood-prone...it is not.


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Posted by Raymond
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 12, 2014 at 11:48 am

I am an East Palo Alto resident that uses the bridge daily. Usually on a bicycle. It wouldn't bother me if the bridge was strictly for bicycle and pedestrian use. Vehicles can use the frontage road next to the freeway to go around. I am ALWAYS on the look out for suspicious cars and people that may not belong in the Palo Alto neighborhood south of the bridge.


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Posted by Edgewood Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 12, 2014 at 11:59 am

This decision from PA staff and EPA staff is quite disturbing. There has been a public process for debating and vetting these issues as the bridge has a considerable impact on many people in both cities. EPA staff states that they want to work in concert with PA staff and with the residents of PA yet their actions are nothing more than self serving.

Newell Road is accessed daily by school children going to Duveneck Elementary and Jordan Middle School. The alligned massive two laned bridge will put these kids at considerablel risk and it's completely unnecessary. If EPA is really willing to work on finding a solution that works for everyone they need to demonstrate that they understand the needs of PA residents and put forth constructive solutions in a public forum.

Additionally the entire need for replacing the Newell Road bridge seems unnecessary in light of the San Franciso Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board's decision to deny the JPA's permit for work on the creek downstream from highway 101. The rationale for the permit denial cited the need to solve flooding issues upstream on Stanford land. If such solutions are found there is no need to replace the Newell Road bridge at all.


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Posted by Jim H.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 12, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Not sure how the bridge will put school children at risk. Assumption is that there will be more traffic. It's not going to turn Newell into Oregon Expwy. There are other ways to mitigate traffic and still make the bridge safe. As it is, the bridge is unsafe for pedestrians/cyclists going over the bridge. Oh, but those are people from East Palo Alto, so I guess "Edgewood Dad" is concerned about their safety.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 12, 2014 at 12:59 pm

The bridge IS and WILL BE flood prone when enough waters gets to it and backs up.

That will happen if we get big rains and the Chaucer St. bridge when it is fixed so Newell would back up water.

There is no reason for a bridge to be on Newell St. and many reasons for there not to be.

One overriding BS political reason is that somehow it will be perceived or possibly called racist or classist if the bridge is removed as it should be in order to reduce traffic and prevent people from speeding through residential neighborhoods or parking in Palo Alto and then walking across the creek to the apartments without enough of their own parking.

Also, people speed down Woodland with no regard for the people who live there just to use this route to some place they want to go. The bridge is misaligned with Newell by about 50 feet and 30 degrees ... it's silly to think there is a good way to design this so it will be easier to manage and less traffic problems. A better bridge and road means more traffic ... through two relatively nice residential areas. Bad idea.

Get rid of this ugly bridge. Save the people who live on Woodland from speeders, save the kids who ride on Newell from speeders and too much traffic. Fix the flood problem, and make the little spot on the East side a quiet and desirable place to live again instead of just a short cut that no one cares about.


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Posted by revdreileen
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 12, 2014 at 2:18 pm

revdreileen is a registered user.

Sigh. Those of us who live in that neighborhood of EPA have said repeatedly that the bridge is an essential artery. This is a joint project between the two cities and it is only right that the needs and desires of EPA residents be given at least an equal opportunity to be vetted as are the needs and desires of our across-the-creek neighbors. While I do not personally care whether the bridge aligns with Newell, I care very much that there is a drivable and walkable bridge there and that the flood issues are addressed as soon as possible. I am impatient with the sense of entitlement I discern from some PA residents who repeatedly insist that the bridge should be removed. I hope that we will all grow in our capacity to love ALL of our neighbors as ourselves.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 12, 2014 at 5:14 pm

> Those of us who live in that neighborhood of EPA have said repeatedly that the bridge is an essential artery.

Sorry, that does not make it true. Where can you get faster using Newell than you can using University or Embarcadero?

[Portion removed.]


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Posted by You've Got to Be Kidding Me
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 12, 2014 at 9:45 pm

So if alternative 8, which did not meet the adopted "criteria," can so easily be put back on the table because "many members of the East Palo Alto community have indicated a desire ..." let's put back on the table another alternative that failed to meet the "criteria" - that of taking the bridge out entirely. Many members of the Palo Alto community have indicated a desire for this alternative as the simplest, cheapest and fastest way to solve any potential flooding problem at the Newell Bridge. Too extreme for folks in EPA? Well, alternative 8 is too extreme for many of us living on the Palo Alto side of the bridge. Let's not lose sight of the fact that this is about solving a flooding problem; it is NOT about creating a new traffic corridor into Palo Alto. Alternative 6 and 7 reflect comprises both cities might be able to live with. Alterntive 8 is as extreme as as removing the bridge entirely. Shall we just draw lines in the sand on this or are we going to be able to work together to find an acceptable compromise?


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 13, 2014 at 12:47 am

Hmmm is a registered user.

"EPA staff states that they want to work in concert with PA staff and with the residents of PA yet their actions are nothing more than self serving." Enjoy it while the shoe's on the other foot!


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Posted by revdreileen
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 13, 2014 at 1:29 pm

revdreileen is a registered user.

What makes it true, Crescent Park Anon, is the fact that many EPA residents have said it, in public meetings and in comments on this website.

While it is not the only alternative to access places in Palo Alto, it is an important one for those of us who live in the neighborhood. For example, one day W. Bayshore was blocked by the police. In order to get to my church in Triple El, I backtracked to cross the bridge. Going to University and getting on the freeway would also have been possible, but would have taken more time. Similarly, it is faster for me to visit with church members in Crescent Park, St. Francis, or Community Center by crossing the bridge.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 13, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Having ongoing vehicle access at Newell Road, to cross the creek, is critical.


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Posted by No Bridge Replacement
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 13, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Finding a faster way to cut through a quiet residential neghborhood and put children at risk and add traffic is not a priority! If there were no down sides to providing slightly more convenience, I might be willing to consider this or any other 2 lane bridge as a reasonable option.

City Council Members of Palo Alto, and city staff - listen to your own residents! Even though this is a bridge the connects two cities and two counties, there is nothing wrong with the current bridge, and there are many negative consequences of expanding it.

Given the recent information about the lack of serious consideration of up stream flood controls, and the statements made that the bridge is actually quite sound - a better option is to leave the bridge alone!


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 13, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Where have you been, No Bridge? They've said repeatedly that leaving the bridge as is, which many are fine with, is not an option.

I still don't understand why people think taffic will suddenly explode. The bridge has been there 100 years and traffic is very manageable on both sides. Of course, Univ Ave and Embarcadero are different matters...


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 13, 2014 at 8:59 pm

You throw that word, "explode" in there like you think by itself it will discredit the argument that traffic will increase. Well, traffic will increase.

Personally, I don't know if traffic will explode, but current trends mean that traffic will monotonically increase into the future, housing will get denser, cars will get more, and all the problems that exist now will just increase. The easier that bridge is to negotiate, the better the roads are to it, the more people live on the EPA side, the more cars they have per household , the more people know about that route into Palo Alto if they want to go some place on the other side, the more use it will get, the more traffic there will be.

More traffic from Embarcardero and University cutting fast through Woodland, faster and along a road that it is already unsafe to bicycle or walk on now. Without that bridge Woodland will become a nice residential street again, as will the East end of Newell.

If the bridge is removed - all, every single problem under discussion reduces ... that is something no other solution can claim ... and yet we are still discussing it .... WHY?


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 13, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Hmmm - > Having ongoing vehicle access at Newell Road, to cross the creek, is critical.

OIK, you make the claim ... but why?


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 13, 2014 at 9:12 pm

revdreileen ... you were talking about "one" day. That does not make that bridge critical, or even necessary.

[Portion removed.]
There is just no need for this bridge, and several reasons for it not to be there.

1. Any bridge will make traffic easier to flow, and therefore divert traffic from other routes and increase the traffic on Newell. There's just no way around this. If you make a special point to make this route easier and better, people will use it.

2. Right now, even a footbridge will not solve the problem of people from EPA parking in PA residential neighborhoods. It doesn't look good, people don't like having their residential roads filled up or a lot of strangers from another area walking through their neighborhoods, [portion removed.]

3. Removing the bridge will make the water flow under it the best it can possibly be. The way both cities have been managing themselves, I don't even think it is possible that PA & EPA and whoever else is in on this can design bridge that will last through whatever variables global warming throws at us ... and I can just foresee a time when there more runoff from the hills, less retention by Stanford and whatever bridge they put in there will again have to be looked at, or will lead to flooding. The one sure thing that can be said is that getting rid of this bridge will be the first "concrete" no pun intended step towards reducing the possibility of flooding.

4. Traffic by people who just want to use this bridge to cut through EPA will increase if the bridge is better and the road is improved. That will undoubted add to traffic along Newell, but also on Woodland which is a narrow curving small residential road that really should not be used as a traffic artery.

I have been following this discussion for many years, and since I used to live in the Tan Apartments in EPA 30 years ago I used to be for keeping the bridge just out of sentimental reasons ... but there are no good reasons I've heard to keep this bridge, other than some people just want it and will use it's removal as some sort of personal affront to their self-worth if they do not get it. By the facts, and all the reasons, the best solution is to remove the bridge and add some peace and quiet to two residential areas that need not be connected and will both benefit from less traffic.


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Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 13, 2014 at 10:43 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 14, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 14, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Perhaps we should agree to disagree - Palo Alto residents "don't need or want" the bridge, people that work in Palo Alto and live elsewhere "want" a bridge for easier commuting, East Palo Alto residents "need" the bridge for commuting and for easier emergency vehicle access.

Sniping doesn't help.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 14, 2014 at 10:53 pm

> PA Resident said,
> Sniping doesn't help.

Agreed.

Agreement or disagreement should be civil and based on facts. Nothing wrong with challenging or asking for clarification though that I can see.

You said:

> people that work in Palo Alto and live elsewhere "want" a bridge for easier commuting, East Palo Alto residents "need" the bridge for commuting and for easier emergency vehicle access.

That needs to be qualified. The part of East Palo Alto where this bridge is - is a very small sliver of the whole city of East Palo Alto, and the Newell bridge serves only some fraction of those people. Embarcadero and University provide equivalent alternate routes. So, to say "East Palo Alto residents "need"" is inaccurate, a number of EPA residents from the West of 101 "want" might be more accurate.

There are very few places, if any, where commuting is easier because of that bridge and not for very many people. The argument of emergency access has also not been qualified. Under what circumstances? Why build a whole bridge to serve a few people that will bring with it increased traffic and allow other problems to exacerbate - such as the parking issue.

I live in Crescent Park, and on occasion, when there is a lot of traffic on Embarcadero I will cut over to the bridge and go up Newell from 101. This really does not work from Univerisity, at least getting to Crescent Park because it is already so close. It really doesn't save much time and I do it mostly for a change of scenery and to keep moving instead of being stuck in traffic and choking on exhaust on Embarcadero.

The alternate route is to just cut over at Greer or Saint Francis and proceed down Channing ... where there are also children and schools and bicyclists, etc. The idea of cutting through residential areas to "commute" is a problem. If you watch people on these roads they often speed and do not pay close attention. This is likely to be the case -even more than it is now - on Newell and all up and down Woodland Ave ... the narrow, curvy road adjacent to the creek with lots of cars parked on it and people walking on it, and bicyclists. Look into the future and you can see car density increasing, which means that Woodland and Newell will both be bearing more cars. These roads are simply not meant or designed for that purpose.

These are not roads that are meant for bearing traffic, they are in the heart of residential areas of both cities, and that bridge is a problem - not a solution. I've asked over and over for someone to name some routes that are significantly faster for a significant number of people, and I've heard virtually nothing ... nothing but sniping. If the bridge was not there, both areas would be nicer, quieter, safer and would not have people hot-rodding up and down them.


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Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 14, 2014 at 11:02 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2014 at 7:12 am

If there's a complaint here it's about process.

The public is invited to a meeting. An outcome is announced. A couple weeks later it's reversed. It undermines citizen involvement.

If the bridge choice will be determined by traffic studies and bilateral negotiation, why go through the charade of public meetings and announcing options are on or off the table?


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Posted by Comm
a resident of Duveneck School
on Mar 15, 2014 at 8:16 am

Err, what makes it an essential artery is being able to visit friends on the other side of the creek. It's part of the community.you may not have friends but other people do.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 15, 2014 at 10:23 am

[Portion removed.]

It's just as easy to use University or Embarcadero to visit friends than it is to build a million dollar bridge and bring more traffic into these residential areas. The area of EPA by the freeway is long and thin, which means that if people have friends there there is a 1/3 chance that they will be near the bridge, and 2/3 chance they will be near either Embarcadero or University. Again, a small fraction of people want to drive the whole of both cities to cater to them on something that is really a negative overall for both cities.

Both areas would be quieter, safer, better and nicer if there was no bridge there. Woodland road would be walkable, rideable by bike, quieter and safer without the speeding crosstown traffic trying to save a few seconds by zipping over this bridge. Newell would be safer and quieter as well and kids going to school on their bikes would not have to face through traffic.


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Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 15, 2014 at 11:26 am

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 15, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Anonymous says: "If there's a complaint here it's about process.

The public is invited to a meeting. An outcome is announced. A couple weeks later it's reversed. It undermines citizen involvement.

If the bridge choice will be determined by traffic studies and bilateral negotiation, why go through the charade of public meetings and announcing options are on or off the table?"

What outcome was reversed? The outcome that ignored the input of many East Palo Alto residents?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 15, 2014 at 1:06 pm

I'm a longtime Palo Alto resident who lives quite near the bridge and drives over it perhaps once a week. I'm cheered that East Palo Alto pushed for the fully-aligned option to be studied and hope that helps everyone better understand the tradeoffs for that configuration. I'm very aware of the concerns that a fully-aligned bridge may encourage additional traffic. On the other hand, it may prevent accidents at the Newell-Woodland intersection by improving visibility. The current alignment certainly feels very unsafe every time I drive through it.

One neighbor has warned me of extra traffic on my street if the bridge is rebuilt. But I suspect that most drivers (including me) who can save time using the bridge are already doing so. No one plans to erect signs to encourage more drivers to use the bridge. Widening it to normal standards and aligning it will shave only a few seconds off trip times and even that can be offset by further traffic calming on Newell. So full alignment may have no significant downside and prove safer than partial alignment.

So I'd like to thank East Palo Alto for its leadership on this.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 15, 2014 at 2:07 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 15, 2014 at 2:44 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 15, 2014 at 8:47 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Comm
a resident of Duveneck School
on Mar 15, 2014 at 8:56 pm

"It's just as easy to use University or Embarcadero to visit friends "
No it's not. My kids can currently walk across the bridge, though it is dangerous in its current form. You're now telling them to walk to Embarcadero or University and all the way back? What don't you understand about community?


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Hmmm: you're being intentionally obtuse. A meeting is held. The City Manager announces one of the options is off the table. Then a few weeks later it's back on the table. The process problem here is that Palo Alto residents are also being asked to participate in a Comp Plan visioning process. But what confidence can we have that a staff-led process is reliable?

This is not a point about whether a particular meeting led to the right or wrong answer. The point is that the public needs confidence that public comment matters. Apparently public input and announced directions from the City Manager are subject to be overturned by staff deal-making with adjacent jurisdictions or with developers. A staff decision to change an announced decision makes the game look rigged.


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 15, 2014 at 9:53 pm

@Resident of Crescent Park - You say a fully aligned bridge would reduce accidents at the intersection of Woodland and Newell. How many accidents are there a year? Why would more traffic, driving faster lead to fewer accidents? It surely would lead to more accidents. The one good thing about the current bridge is the it forces traffic to move slowly and carefully.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 16, 2014 at 8:41 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

I wasn't being obtuse at all, intentionally or not. My perspective is that one of the options was important to a number of residents who had to make themselves heard all over again in order for that option to be back on the table.


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 17, 2014 at 9:59 am

My prediction is that any option which will allow a faster flow or an increase in number of cars traveling into Crescent Park will result in a lawsuit. And then the project will be held up for at least another year for another set of studies and meetings.

The path of least resistance is a replacement bridge that solves the creek bottleneck without changing or allowing an increase in traffic or speed on either side of the bridge. An improvement in ped and bike safety will be the icing on the cake.

How tough can this be?

If necessary pepper the darn bridge with more speed bumps than you can find in a high school parking lot.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 17, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

^^^This!^^^


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Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 17, 2014 at 2:09 pm

As an added fact to those who think that there are not many people on the EPA side of the bridge affected by this decision, although that area is small and narrow, it is the most densely population area of EPA (per US Census data) and 35% of EPA residents live on the west side of 101.

Again, this is a bit about needs vs. wants

Anyone potentially affected by the creek flooding feels a change is a NEED
Palo Alto residents who live near the bridge feel that easy access over the bridge is NOT A NEED
East Palo Alto residents feel it is NEEDED for commuting and easier emergency vehicle access
For everyone else, any change is a want not a need

I'm going to guess that the majority of people who use the bridge are either from EPA heading into Palo Alto or commuters who have discovered this as a cut through. The Palo Alto residents living near the bridge probably seldom or never use it. Therefore, the Palo Alto residents who live near the bridge want flood safety and reduced use of the bridge and preferably a similar footprint. While this may seem selfish, it also makes sense.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 17, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

palo alto resident - you would be wrong. Many Palo Alto residents use the bridge.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 17, 2014 at 9:57 pm

Crescent Park Dad's logic is sound, but think about what he is asking ... to build a broken bridge just to keep the bridge from doing more than it is doing now. It's so absurd it is ridiculous, that is why the bridge should just be demolished. Build a new bridge and no one is going to want it to be built broken - so traffic will end up increasing monotonically into the future on both sides making both neighborhoods worse in terms of kid's safety, walkability and bicycling riding safety.

Both sides of this bridge are fairly quiet residential areas and a cut-through for commuters to speed through when they are late is a lose-lose for everyone.

East Palo Alto has a nice area over there, but people fly down Woodland Ave. a windy and narrow road with people parked on it at all angles, going to get to that bridge. If the bridge was removed it would quiet that residential street to the nice pretty scenic road it could be. People could walk and bike along Woodland without taking their lives into their own hands.

On the other side Palo Altans are tired and resentful of people from outside their area, their city, coming to park in front of their houses, and though I don't live in that particular area, I don't blame them. There is no law that says people cannot park where they want to park, but now Palo Alto has to put another silly parking restriction in place ... and we know everything Palo Alto does it spends too much money on and does badly. So, let's not do it at all. I've lived on both sides of this bridge over the decades and have an objective concerned vision that clearly few others do from either side.

Let's do what really should be done - demolish the bridge as the best, cheapest and best enhancer of life for both communities.

Why should this decision be driven by a few people who want to speed from Palo Alto through EPA to save a few commute minutes, or vice-versa? Or who want to hang onto parking spaces they should not be using in the first place? Why should people who can already use Palo Alto's facilities get to demand a red carpet route on top of that?

One person said their kids can walk across that bridge. That bridge as it is - is a danger, I know because I have ridden over it on bikes and walked over it by foot. It's scary and unpleasant, and if it needed to be replace would need to be replaced with a bridge that by its very nature would induce more traffic and more problems ... and ever more problems as population and density grows. I would not want any kids to have to walk over that bridge.

Things are moving fast these days, you cannot just design something for the present thinking that nothing will change, we are in an era of constant and rapid change, increasingly rapid.

Palo Alto Resident, you talk about numbers of people in this area of EPA, but I was talking before about relative numbers. Then, you switch to talk about density, which is misleading also because that sliver of EPA on the southernmost part of EPA hardly appears to be 5% of the total area of EPA, so unless it's population density is close to Hong Kong or Tokyo it really does not make significant in terms of car drivership over the Newell bridge.

Look at the map ... it is about 1/4 mile from that bridge to University, and perhaps slightly over that to Embarcardero. An easy bike ride and quick drive to 101 or to Palo Alto in either direction. The distance can be covered even by a walk.

Look at the map! If this bridge was not already there, built long ago for the needs of a community almost 100 years gone, there is no way anyone would decide to build it now. There is simply no need for it.

To me those who are trying to push a replacement bridge are just "boondoggling" a wasteful project at someone else's expensive something that doesn't add much value and detracts just as much from others.

It is way past time for that bridge to be removed and the Chaucer bridge to be modified to avoid floods. Additionally whatever needs to be done in the way of diversion at Stanford or levees near the bay needs to get started on ... for real necessities of flood control.

It's disconcerting to see the nasty personal comments and wild baseless claims of this and that, but those who live here, and those who know Palo Alto can simply look at the map and try to imagine what would be the feelings of the people of both cities if that bridge was not there and someone was suggesting, out of the blue, to build one and trying to justify it. No one would vote for it, and especially no one would vote for it if their taxes actually had to pay for it.

The more the facts are presented, and the more people think about this - if they are honest, and fair in terms of costs, burdens and benefits, I think any objective person would come to the conclusion there is no reason to build this bridge and important reasons to demolish it.


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Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 17, 2014 at 10:11 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 17, 2014 at 11:27 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 17, 2014 at 11:31 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

CPA - you're once again wrong - it's more than 1/4 mile from the bridge to Univ. Ave.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 18, 2014 at 12:52 am

Point goes to Hmmm, I get 0.41 miles. Might be shorter at velocities a significant fraction of the speed of light (oblique reference to Cosmos).


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 18, 2014 at 8:58 am

On Google maps at scale it shows about 1400 feet .... 1/4 mile is 1320 ... yeah,I could be slightly off, but it's not a significant difference. So much a focus on a minor detail is "interesting". The point is that it's a short distance easily walkable, bike-able or drivable. And without speeders trying to shave time off their commutes there would be less traffic and it would be safer as well - for both communities.

A new bridge will degrade both communities quality of life, add traffic and make the roads are both sides less safe. Looking into the future this would be more true over time. People say they are against development, but that is exactly what an upgrade to this bridge would add to.

Finally, the point that you both fail to address, while concentrating on how many inches it is from the bridge to the nearest artery is that if there was no bridge there now trying to get one built would be almost laughable. There is no need for a bridge in this location and it does not fit. This does not even appear to register with those who defend this bridge and it shows they do not care how much money other people have to spend so they can save a second or win a point. The priorities and values of those defending this bridge upgrade are seriously skewed.

The only change that really NEEDS to be made is to get rid of the bridge to let water flow freely so it does not back up and flood.


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Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 18, 2014 at 10:44 am

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 18, 2014 at 10:58 am

I will point out an obvious impact that certain people have avoided discussing or acknowledging.

There are many EPA families.and individuals who use the the Newell Bridge to walk/bike over to Pardee Park, the Library and Rinconada Pool & Park. Removing the bridge will most likely serve as a means to prohibit or significantly limit EPA access to these PA facilities.

The other impact is that there are many EPA families who use the bridge to get back and forth from the St. Elizabeth Seton School on Channing.

My skeptical mind would say that there may be some individuals out there who would prefer that these EPA access scenarios be removed for reasons that they wouldn't dare admit to in a public setting.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 18, 2014 at 11:03 am

@CPA, thank you for recalibrating my pedometer. Except I still get over 2100 feet. Which scale are you using on Google Maps? Are we talking about the same bridge? Even a straight line on the map not following the curves of Woodland shows greater than 2000 feet. Sorry for the quibble but too many people here have their thumb on the scale when quoting figures to support their points of view, whether its budgets or crime rates or numbers of cars or minutes idling at stoplights.

Regarding the big picture, I expect some compromise will be reached, leaning toward development and heavier use like everything else around here. The result might well be "No Bridge" for a number of years during construction.


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Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 18, 2014 at 12:22 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 18, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Crescent Park Dad:
>> There are many EPA families.and individuals who use the the Newell Bridge to walk/bike over to Pardee Park, the Library and Rinconada Pool & Park. Removing the bridge will most likely serve as a means to prohibit or significantly limit EPA access to these PA facilities.

First of all the removal of the bridge does not prohibit anyone's access to anywhere. All the imagery here from those who are defending this bridge plays right into racist stereotypes. I'm sorry if anything I've said or done has provoked anyone's feelings of that sort. It is nothing I've said or intended, rather it is the natural fallback argument for someone who has nothing else offer.

The statements used to argue against the considerations I put out there for people to think about are all such hyperbolic exaggerations of the sort .... "because a very few people might have to take a route that is a small distance further, or make a trip that is a minute or two longer their access is prohibited, or significantly limited." In the words of Joe Biden, that's malarkey!

Then, if one dares to question this they are continually attacked and name-called by the few, and because this bridge happens to be across culturally and economically divergent neighborhoods - that card is played in ominous Orwellian ways ...

>> there may be some individuals out there who would prefer that these EPA access scenarios be removed for reasons that they wouldn't dare admit to in a public setting.

There "may" be, but since you are responding to my post which responded to yours based on logical arguments, are you accusing me of something you do not have the guts to come out and speak clearly about because it would be so ridiculous?

CPD, do you think if this bridge did not exist today there would be any constituency at all to build one?

If not, why is a replacement bridge being pushed on everyone that is an unnecessary waste of money that will most likely make neighborhoods on both sides of the creek worse off? I'd estimate it is because a few people have the all too understandable human emotion of losing something and are working it up into some kind of major insult or resentment and in order to sooth those feelings the State of California and God knows who else is being asked to pony up a bunch of cash to build an unnecessary bridge ... in other words the cost-benefit analysis is being skewed political in exactly the kind of unproductive way everyone says we should avoid ... and yet we are probably not going to be able to avoid it because of foolish politics.


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 18, 2014 at 1:15 pm

CPA. No, not talking about you specifically. I don't know you and cannot presume to know you. But I do believe there are people out there who would rather keep PA facilities for themselves so to speak.

Honestly, you don't think permanent removal of the bridge would prohibit some people from visiting PA parks, etc.? Those without cars and who have small children would disagree...adding at least a mile or more to their travels.

It doesn't matter if the bridge didn't exist and we want to pretend that it would be a new, never before structure. The reality is that the bridge does exist, people use the bridge and some may have chosen their apartments or homes based upon bridge access.

Just as there would be distinct advantages to CP residents by removing the bridge (traffic reduction)m there would be some distinct disadvantage (loss of access) to EPA residents. You cannot deny that.

What is more important and to whom is the debate.

Honestly, I would love for the bridge to disappear. I never use the bridge and I only see it as a means to invite cut through traffic on Newell and the new satellite parking on Edgewood. But I also know that my POV could be a bit selfish when you consider the others who use the bridge for non-automobile access to PA parks, etc. My choice would be a ped/bike bridge with emergency vehicle access - which can be opened for the public during an emergency as well. But I know that won't fly or get funded.

So I'm trying to be realistic and trying to keep other people's needs in mind beyond my own.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 18, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 18, 2014 at 5:18 pm

>> But I do believe there are people out there who would rather keep PA facilities for themselves so to speak.

Well considering that we are talking about not only a different city but a different county, I don't see what is so unspeakable about that? I don't think it is necessarily elite, classist or racist to have that opinion. I don't hold that opinion, but It is a matter of degree.

Second though, the bridge is not going to do that; gone or in any suggested format people still have the right and the ability to go where they want.

>> Just as there would be distinct advantages to CP residents by removing the bridge (traffic reduction)m there would be some distinct disadvantage (loss of access) to EPA residents. You cannot deny that.

Well, as to that, I would remove the word "distinct" and I would put the word significantly in there and then I would deny that. The number of people who are in this group that you are projecting is bound to be small and able to use other routes to get where they want. Maybe on foot it is a bit further ... so, use a bike ... and with traffic "calmed" on both Newell and Woodland that bike ride would be much safer and nicer.

>> Honestly, I would love for the bridge to disappear. I never use the bridge and I only see it as a means to invite cut through traffic on Newell and the new satellite parking on Edgewood.

EXACTLY, if one gives this a bit of thought we can positively know that traffic is going to go up in the future of both Palo Alto and East Palo Alto. Making that bridge easier to navigate is going to cause people to do the same thing they do everywhere else around the city, speed and run the stop signs. Contrast that with both neighborhoods without the bridge and they would both be better off in my opinion.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 19, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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