News

Changes for Charleston-Arastradero win green light

Palo Alto City Council approves slew of permanent traffic-calming measures for busy stretch

No traffic-calming project has caused as much road rage in Palo Alto as the city's decade-long experiment with the Chareston-Arastradero corridor, a 2.3-mile artery that passes through 11 schools, eight neighborhoods and five city parks.

Since 2004, the city has been implementing an ambitious, two-phase trial on the bustling strip. In some segments, four driving lanes had been cut to two and new turning lanes added. Other areas have received new bike lanes and traffic signals.

The reaction from the community has been mixed. Some say the effort has been a great success because it makes conditions safer for the more than 800 students who use the corridor to get to school. Others argue that it has turned an already frustrating commute into an absolute nightmare and has driven cars into residential streets.

On Monday night, the City Council enthusiastically sided with the former camp and agreed to implement on a permanent basis a broad set of changes, some of which have been implemented on a trial basis using striping and marking. The new amenities, which focus on the area between El Camino Real and Gunn High School, are expected to cost close to $9 million, and will affect almost every block of this critical route.

Councilman Pat Burt was one of several council members who commented Monday on the city's long history with the Charleston-Arastradero project.

It has already had an "exhaustive trial," he said, longer than any other proposal he could think of either in the city or in neighboring jurisdictions. The fact that the number of bicyclists on the corridor has been steadily rising makes the project all the more pertinent from a safety standpoint, Burt said.

"It's a project well worth doing," he said. "As in all beneficial projects, there are some trade-offs but I think in the end it's a very clear positive, and I look forward to seeing it landscaped and in its final version."

The long list of improvements includes the elimination of "pork chop" islands near Gunn and a new multiuse pathway on the east side of Arastradero, leading from Gunn to an existing trail to Los Altos. There would also be a new bicycle cross-walk from the trail to Gunn. The westbound bike lane would be painted green as it approaches the high school.

Terman Middle School would also be adorned with new bike amenities, including a dedicated right-turn lane into Terman from eastbound Arastradero. There would also be a green bike lane between the through lane and the right-turn lane, as well as a bike ramp leading to the sidewalk, allowing bikers to get to the sidewalk without weaving through traffic.

The new design also calls for a bus bay and a larger sidewalk area on the corner – amenities that would be accomplished by shifting the eastbound lane merge and removing 19 parking spots on westbound Arastradero, between Georgia Avenue and Wilmar Drive.

On Coulombe Drive, there would be a wider sidewalk and, as a result, a shorter crosswalk. The sidewalk would also be widened on both sides of the street near Clemo Avenue and Suzanne Drive and on the eastbound side of the street near Juana Briones Park.

The redesign would also include a host of changes to Charleston's interactions with the city's two primary north-south arteries: El Camino and Alma Street. Near El Camino, there would be new bike lanes going in each direction, while the pork-chop island on the intersection's southeast corner would be eliminated. Meanwhile, a crosswalk would be raised near this corner to slow down speeding cars trying to turn right.

On the west side of Alma, leading up to the train tracks, there would be a new concrete median preventing left-turn lanes from and onto Park Boulevard, which is one of the city's emerging bike boulevards. The goal is to improve flow of traffic on Charleston, according to a report from the planning department. The median may, however, have an opening for bicyclists to cross. There would also be four "quadrant gates" and other safety improvements at the railroad crossing, according to staff.

The project has already secured $1.45 million in grant funding, according to planning staff. The city's infrastructure plan also budgets $7.5 million for the improvements.

Though past changes to the corridor have been extremely controversial, the latest slate of traffic amenities received a mostly warm community reception, with dozens of residents, parents of students, bike advocates and PTA officials attending Monday's hearing and dozens more sending emails in support of the changes.

Robert Neff, chair of the Palo Alto Bicycle Coalition, wrote to the council that his group supports the improvements and suggested that the changes at the El Camino intersection will "improve safety and reduce stress for cyclists and pedestrians with a bike lane and thoughtful redesign of the corners on the south side of Arastradero, and by making space for a full bike lane on the north."

PTA chairs from several schools along the corridor have likewise submitted letters in support of the project.

Penny Ellson, a leading advocate for biking improvements in school corridors, noted in her letter that the groundwork for the project was set in 1994-95, when south Palo Alto neighborhoods became alarmed about increasing traffic and requested a study.

Though it's controversial and "not perfect," the plan is "the best solution to accommodate increasing auto traffic volumes while creating safer conditions for the people who must drive, walk and bike on this street, especially large numbers of school-bound children," Ellson wrote.

On Monday night, she attended the meeting to thank staff for a "robust and wonderful outreach process," which led to various design refinements.

"It's exciting to see this important project – a central piece of South Palo Alto's transportation system and especially our bicycle and pedestrian network – moving toward construction," Ellson said.

While the school community overwhelmingly supports the changes, the reaction from residents in nearby neighborhood has been more mixed.

Ronald Pyszka, who has lived on East Charleston Road for more than four decades, attested to the fact that the re-striping "has reduced excessive speed very significantly" and said he strongly supports the new proposal.

"I think safety has improved," Pyszka said. "I think the final implementation of the plan will improve the safety even more."

Others were less thrilled. John Elman said the traffic-calming project has created dangerous conditions in the neighborhood, sending cars that wish to avoid Arastradero into once-quiet residential streets.

Lydia Kou, a resident of Barron Park, said there is a "large majority" of neighbors who aren't OK with being "barricaded" and are "concerned about how emergency vehicles would access their neighborhoods."

For the council, it wasn't much of a debate. Vice Mayor Greg Schmid noted that the project has been "15 years in the making" and enthusiastically backed it.

Councilman Marc Berman added his own endorsement and cited the high number of emails the council had received from residents favoring the permanent switch.

"There's no doubt in anybody's mind that it makes it so much safer for the kids in the 11 schools in the corridor, and I'm a big supporter," Berman said.

Councilman Eric Filseth, meanwhile, cast his vote with a measure of reluctance. By approving housing insSouth Palo Alto, the city effectively chooses to bring more traffic to Arastradero, he said.

At the same time, Filseth said, the city is acting to restrict this traffic, which seems inconsistent. He urged his colleagues to consider traffic issues on Arastradero in a more "system-oriented" way.

"We need to understand and address it that way and not just hope that the TMA (Transportation Management Association) and technology will make it all go away for us," Filseth said.

Comments

30 people like this
Posted by Support Traffic Calming
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 29, 2015 at 6:59 am

The traffic calming along the Charleston corridor has improved safety for cars, pedestrians, and cyclists. Our family travels this corridor for school and work at all times during the day.

The next phase of planned changes look to ease congestion and improve safety. The City's planning department has gone to great lengths to build a strong plan with input from the different interest groups in the Community.

Much of the traffic growth seems to be from the business park growth on the west side of foothill. More responsibility should be placed on these businesses to provide alternatives to single rider vehicles.

Going backwards to supporting faster car traffic is not a long term solution.


85 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 29, 2015 at 7:39 am

These cars vs kids newspaper articles just encourage road rage. In reality, kids have few options for cross-town school routes. Cars can easily use San Antonio or El Camino or Page Mill instead. We applaud the city for striving for safe routes to schools.


14 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2015 at 7:51 am

Any discussion about the Fabian/Charleston intersection?


67 people like this
Posted by SteveU
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 9:01 am

SteveU is a registered user.

Insane. Screw up traffic when there is a decent, NEARBY alternate route
(Right up there with the sanity of riding the length of ECR)

A bike can easily get to Gunn without ever riding ON Arastradero.

(at ECR)Maybell to Donald, Right to the Georgia, left to the pedestrian/Bike path that ends at the Gunn Parking


10 people like this
Posted by Those poor poor raging lunatics
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 29, 2015 at 10:04 am

"These cars vs kids newspaper articles just encourage road rage."

I disagree. I think over inflated ego, selfishness, entitlement, impatience and a general lack of self confidence/self worth, are what encourage road rage. Road rage is the symptom of an emotionally broken human being. If they had a test for road-ragers, they would be prohibited from having licenses...or should be.
The road-rager is responsible for his road rage. When 95% of the populace CAN and DOES deal with their emotions on the road, it makes it clear that that removing the road-rager's ability to operate a dangerous vehicle is the most prudent move to protect society.
There are no road-ragers that can point the blame at anyone or anything but themselves. They are ANYTHING but victims, they are the real problem.


20 people like this
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 10:05 am

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

Hats off the process of soliciting and responding to input from residents on the detailed impacts of the proposed plan along the corridor. By the time this went to PTC and the the council for approval there had been multiple neighborhood meetings aimed at showing the public how the project looked at a point in time and getting additional feedback to improve it.

Thanks to the PTA, the PA Bicycle Advisory Committee, the Green Team, Penny Ellison and others for their work over the years, against steady opposition from those who wanted a return to the Arastradero/Charleston Corridor of 2003.

With a 9-0 approval from a City Council that is pretty evenly divided between the new "residentialist" forces and others with a different take on how the city should develop, it's reassuring that, despite the critics, the city will move forward to give us all the option of biking instead of driving for many of our daily needs.


57 people like this
Posted by wasteofmoney
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 29, 2015 at 10:42 am

[Portion removed.] I grew up in the area of Charleston and can't imagine putting a cement barrier from carlson to Nelson. I can't imagine how the people who live across from the school feel. There will be lots of u-turns out of the driveways. But in normal city fashion the squeaky wheel wins


11 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Gunn High School
on Sep 29, 2015 at 10:48 am

A drop off area could be developed/designed that is located a small distance from the schools. For example, for the kids who attend Terman, Juana Briones and Gunn, an area from which they can walk to/from school could be built on Maybell at Juana Briones Park? There is already a road that is blocked over there by the play ground structure that might be able to be incorporated into a drop off turn around if there is a well designed and widened area that would not be intrusive to neighbors and traffic flow?? Just a thought.

This type of drop off could be developed on the Charleston side of El Camino as well.

This way, the car pool cars would not be trapped in the small school parking lots (particularly Terman's lot!), and the kids can walk/bike to the alternative pick-up/drop-off spots which can be designed for this purpose. Maybe??

I know some families/parents already have designated spots for pick up and drop off within the surrounding neighborhoods so they do not get trapped in the parking lots at the schools.


66 people like this
Posted by Lydia Kou
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:30 am

Lydia Kou, a resident of Barron Park, said there is a "large majority" of neighbors who aren't OK with being "barricaded" and are "concerned about how emerging vehicles would access their neighborhoods."

I am sorry I wasn't clearer, I said "emergency" vehicles...

The leadership of this city is narrowly focused on a single demography rather than the whole. Just because a project has been ongoing for a decade or more is not a good reason to move forward on the plan, it should involve further evaluation along side, land use; anticipating the pipeline and anticipated development projects.

While there were indeed an effort by staff to have community outreach meetings, it was very much one sided with pro re-stripping persons speaking over persons trying to voice that this is no a long term solution and would like to further explore options given today's densification. There were also others in the meetings who just threw up there arms and said "they're going to do it anyways".

Is this really about safety for the children?


10 people like this
Posted by gsheyner
a resident of another community
on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:37 am

gsheyner is a registered user.

Hi Lydia,

I heard you loud and clear. I just mistyped. Sorry for the error.

-Gennady


58 people like this
Posted by Cheryl Lilienstein
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:41 am

The best longterm outcome of this paradoxically ungreen "traffic calming" effort should be to stop permitting more development that uses the roadway. I do remember when I moved to Palo Alto and felt so relieved to be living in a place that had ease of movement. Sadly that's not present any more.

I'm in Bilbao presently: there are two way bike lanes along ONE side of very busy streets, separated from traffic by very low rubber markers with reflectors embedded. Nobody is riding in the roadway with autos. Bike lanes have their own stop lights, too. Perhaps the "professional cyclists" who have determined that bikes must have access all parts of the roadway would be willing to consider that this access comes at a cost to motorists and possibly is less safe for all.

Everybody needs flow.



62 people like this
Posted by skeptical
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Bikers have literally dozens of pathways to choose from and cars do not. There are many streets leading from El Camino to Gunn: Maybell, Los robles, Matadero, La Para to name a few. They do not need to make a mess of Arastradero. they just need to learn their way around.


39 people like this
Posted by Shutttle Me Safely
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2015 at 12:34 pm

It would be nice if the City Council would back up their concern for students that have to travel this corridor by adding an Arastradero/Charleston crosstown shuttle. This would help ease the issues of student commute and also would allow the southwest part of Palo Alto access to a community center/library which was removed from this part of town years ago.

Imagine how much safer it would be for those students if they did not have to cross El Camino in the rush hours but instead could hop on a shuttle (that runs several times after school/sports) and return to Mitchell Park to access the amazing new library and community center or pick up their bicycle that could be locked there.


55 people like this
Posted by Old But Wise
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:07 pm

Well, for selfish old me, I have to sit in horrible traffic every time I visit my friend on Aratradero, Often the traffic turning left from EastMadow Dr onto El Camino South has to wait 2 lights because its blocked, sometimes 3 lights crossing El Camino at Aratradero. The parking out side my friends house was limited and now will be eliminated. And heavens help me if I am there at "rush hours" there is a whole hour ,3 times a day, when we cannot get out into traffic. I also think the Maybell corridor was not explored enough.


9 people like this
Posted by nicklittlejohn
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Traffic calming like this betters the community and livability for all and increases our property values city wide. We need more of these projects!


13 people like this
Posted by BP Parent
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:50 pm

Thank you Penny Ellson, PA Bicycle Advisory Committee, etc, for your hard work and persistence in keeping our children safe!


7 people like this
Posted by Barron Parker
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 2:21 pm

I have read this over several times.... please clarify how Barron Park will be "barricaded". From what I understand, the basic traffic flow on Arastradero will remain the same? How are we being barricaded -- did I miss something? We already avoid Arastradero if at all possible -- it's always a nightmare -- one lane, two lanes, one lane, two lanes.


4 people like this
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 2:39 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

I went to all the Maybell outreach meetings and most, if not all, of the Arastradero/Charleston corridor meetings. The complaint that they were one-sided is correct as regards the basic question: should the city move forward with a plan to improve bike/pedestrian access and safety before we have data to adequately assess the potential impacts on traffic of all possible/likely development projects

The staff led the meetings with the assumption that the answer was yes, and the task was to combine technical expertise of the staff with detailed knowledge of street conditions held by residents to make the best plan possible. Some came to the initial meetings eager to challenge staff on the answer to the basic question, but most initial skeptics seemed primarily worried that the staff would not be responsive to their suggestions for improving the project. Moving to tables for close examination of visuals, sharing observations with neighbors and staff and then marking suggestions on the visuals was good for reducing anxieties that specific concerns wouldn't be addressed. Not so good for issuing challenges to the concept before the whole group.

With each meeting on Maybell and then Arastradero/Charleston fewer people showed up. Some of that probably came from a realization by opponents that they were not going to be able to turn it around at the neighborhood meetings. But I believe a bigger reason is that as people saw their concerns addressed they felt no need to come to more meetings.

The overwhelmingly positive emails cited by council member Berman as even better evidence of public response to the final plan than the strong approval expressed during oral communications last night suggest that the council's 9-0 approval was the right decision.


9 people like this
Posted by Shutttle Me Safely
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2015 at 3:44 pm

"please clarify how Barron Park will be "barricaded". From what I understand, the basic traffic flow on Arastradero will remain the same? How are we being barricaded "

I believe they are addressing the hundreds of homes that are on the south side of Arastradero whose neighborhoods can only exit their neighborhood by turning right or left onto Arastrdero. When traffic is backed up on Arastradero it is very difficult to leave the neighborhoods (this effects more than one neighborhood). Arastradero has become more heavily used at more than the typical rush hour. As we all know that with flex scheduling the rush hour has become rush hours. VM Ware doubled their offices off of Arastradero. This road is a connecter to 101 and 280 which impacts many residential neighbors.


60 people like this
Posted by jerry99
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 4:49 pm

Going from four lanes to two was a [portion removed] mistake. It takes at least 15 minutes to now turn left onto El Camino because of the two lanes. It takes at least 10 more minutes to go to 280 because of the traffic and only two lanes. [Portion removed.]

GO BACK TO FOUR LANES AND DECLARE THE ENTIRE FIASCO A COMPLETE DISASTER. It is a major inconvenience to get onto 280 and so many people get onto 280 that using Page Mill Road or San Antonio is impossible.


17 people like this
Posted by Another perspective
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 6:17 pm

"With each meeting on Maybell and then Arastradero/Charleston fewer people showed up."

Some of us asked at early meetings about incorporating impacts of developments in the pipeline and future developments, and staff said they could not do that. (They were directed from above not to do that.) It seemed as if they were happy for input that confirmed what they already wanted to do or new ideas consistent with what they already wanted to do, but they were just going to ignore anything else. Hence, Jerry Underdal was happy, and others saw no point in attending further meetings.


16 people like this
Posted by Another perspective
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 6:30 pm

"At the same time, Filseth said, the city is acting to restrict this traffic, which seems inconsistent. He urged his colleagues to consider traffic issues on Arastradero in a more "system-oriented" way. "

This is why I voted for Filseth, to push the council to a more systems-oriented approach which we badly need.

The removal of the "pork chop" at El camino and Arastradero will increase congestion and make an already difficult right turn even more difficult, increasing congestion along Arastradero between El Camino and Foothill. Instead, the turn should have been redesigned and lights used to improve flow and safety (coordinated with the exist at that new giant hotel the City allowed to be built way above zoning right by that busy intersection). If it wasn't done because of money, then Council isn't charging enough offset fees for development.


24 people like this
Posted by Another Perspective
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 6:33 pm

P.S. I have been here for years and have never seen cars "speeding" through that pork chop. You do have to gun it from a stop in order to get safely into traffic speeding through on El Camino. Making people turn a hard right and get onto El Camino is only going to make that situation worse, not better.


Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2015 at 7:32 pm

Oregon and Embarcadero should be converted to two lanes to calm traffic and rampant speeding :-)


5 people like this
Posted by Robert Neff
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 29, 2015 at 7:48 pm

Another Perspective: At El Camino/Arastradero, the pork chop for the El Camino -> Charleston direction is removed. The pork chop and right turn from Arastradero to El Camino is retained.

I am thrilled to finally have complete bike lanes across El Camino in the plan. Thanks to PTC and City Council for passing this.


4 people like this
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 8:39 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

@Another perspective

"Some of us asked at early meetings about incorporating impacts of developments in the pipeline and future developments, and staff said they could not do that. (They were directed from above not to do that.)"

Question: Were they incorrect in saying they could not do that? It seems to me that their job was not to set policy but to carry it out to the best of their ability. Turns out that even with the changes on the council the policy of building out the bicycle network as expeditiously as possible hasn't been repudiated. Clearly some people aren't happy, but just as clearly many are.

I liked Cheryl Lilienstein's comment that "the best longterm outcome of this paradoxically ungreen "traffic calming" effort should be to stop permitting more development that uses the roadway." I'll follow that with interest.


38 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 29, 2015 at 10:17 pm

I still don't see how "paint" protects bicycles, and how any parent would consider this a solution for their kid to ride on Charleston.

I also don't see how adding traffic lights helps the vast majority of people, cars and cyclists. Traffic lights only impede traffic flow, as one car can cause 30 to stop. A new traffic light at Louis?? Can this be in the headlines??

I don't see how this tangibly helps any major constituency. The kids from my neighborhood (Greenmeadow) commute to Gunn by Maybell, and will continue to do so. And now my daily car access has been impeded with more traffic lights.

Not a very beneficial plan.


42 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 29, 2015 at 10:18 pm

"It seemed as if they [city staff] were happy for input that confirmed what they already wanted to do or new ideas consistent with what they already wanted to do, but they were just going to ignore anything else."

That's no surprise to any veteran of citizen-city staff interactions. Staff decides in advance what the outcome of a citizen outreach will be. Contrary citizen input is superfluous and staff does not care to waste its time listening to it.


3 people like this
Posted by Another perspective
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 10:55 pm

@Robert Neff,
Yes, continuing the path across El Camino is huge. It was always so ridiculous and dangerous that the bike lane simply disappears there.

@Jerry Nderdal,
Maybe it's late, but I'm sorry, I can't understand anything you just said. The staff said they were prohibited from taking into account future developments even empty lots based on zoning limits.


47 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2015 at 7:34 am

Just wondering if anyone has taken into account what may happen if ECR has lane reduction for BSR?

VTA are hoping that many vehicles presently using ECR will find alternative routes. This means that there will be more traffic aiming to get to parallel routes and as a result they will need to get across town to access these routes. My assumption is that there will be more traffic on all our major arteries as a result.

Making our arteries inefficient is not helping traffic flow. Traffic will not disappear. The people who can use buses or Caltrain are not the ones who presently drive around Palo Alto. Those who need to use the Arastradero/Charleston corridor are those who live/work in that neighborhood or are trying to get out of town for their commutes. Improving bus/shuttles on this corridor may make a better difference so that those using all those schools may not need to do it by car. Bike traffic is fairly constant and most school kids will not use the corridor in favor of safer neighborhood streets.

Making bottlenecks rather than helping traffic flow will not do anything to help people get where they need to go.


49 people like this
Posted by Johnny
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 30, 2015 at 7:43 am

Can we stop using "safety" as an excuse for inefficiency? This is a sickening cultural epidemic.

You are never safe.


6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 30, 2015 at 8:51 am

I have been hit by a car 3 times. This project will help me and my kids feel safer in our own neighborhood. Many thanks to Mark Thomas and Company for listening to everyone's comments and responding with the plan line. This concept plan line has incorporated all the concerns of everyone involved in the planning process. The Engineers there understand the balance between safety and efficiency and have come up with design solutions for everyone. If we wanted efficiency I would have to give up my front yard to make it a 6 lane arterial. I like my city lets make it more livable.


36 people like this
Posted by Johnny
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 30, 2015 at 9:59 am

They are moving forward with this, in spite of incomplete data, so people can FEEL safer. They have fetishized safety and major decisions are being made with religious-like fervor/no objectivity because the opposition is antagonized as "reckless and uncaring".


10 people like this
Posted by Great!
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Sep 30, 2015 at 6:12 pm


As 28 year resident who raised 3 kids who attended Terman and Gunn and had to navigate Arastradero during
peak traffic times I fully support these measures to reduce car traffic along this corridor making it safer for
bikes and pedestrians. Ideally city buses should be provided along this corridor during peak times taking
most kids out of parent driven cars and for those rainy days when everyone is driving their kids to school.


26 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 30, 2015 at 6:28 pm

@ Great

Most longtime residents that I have spoken to disagree with your statement. Also, in my 40 years of living here, I have never heard of an area in Palo Alto that was called Palo Alto Orchards, Terman maybe,Gunn High School, Barron Park, but never Palo Alto Orchards. You never know what to believe on social media.


1 person likes this
Posted by Great!
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Sep 30, 2015 at 8:18 pm


Web Link

We do exists!


Like this comment
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 30, 2015 at 8:32 pm

[Post removed.]


28 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 30, 2015 at 8:38 pm

We need a left hand turn lane on Charleston at Fabian. The left hand turn lane is going east. Lot of traffic going to SSL. Oshman, other business and residential in this area.
I saw the discussion on the PCC and they were questioning a left hand turn lane going west. We don't need that.


33 people like this
Posted by Norman
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 1, 2015 at 7:31 am

Menlo Park had a Santa Cruz Ave 'Traffic Calming' fiasco which was just a cover for giving bicyclists an advantage; PA just recycled that. In MP we finally ripped out their obstructions. Too bad PA didn't research what happened here.


13 people like this
Posted by Tired
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 1, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Tired of cars vs bikes vs pedestrians. We all need to take responsibility for our part that we play in the traffic commute.

On this note, I would like to point out that most kids biking to and from school rarely bike safely. They ride in large groups weaving about the road. I had stopped at a stop sign when a large group of kids came around the corner taking over the entire road, one kid looking backwards talking would have hit my car if I had not hooted to get his attention. He swerved at the last moment.

So, to all the parents out there who are trying to make this city safer for your kids make sure YOUR kids are biking safely on the road, make sure your kids are not stepping off the side walk into the road texting without looking. No-one wants to hit anyone in a car or bike or on foot. No matter how slow we might drive, not matter how vigilant we might be while driving kids need to pay attention because drivers are NOT always to blame.


13 people like this
Posted by SteveU
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 2, 2015 at 7:10 am

SteveU is a registered user.

Palo Altans are 'entitled' to ignore the practices that were pounded into my thick skull as a child

1)Walk in the roadway (even if there are walkways).
1b) Walk in a Pack (occupy more of the roadway).
1c) Walk straggled out over a large span without a gap
2)Walk with your back to traffic (in or at the edge of the road)
3)Run off the curb without looking right or left. (I am in a cross walk, I am bullet proof)
4)Start crossing on any green light (green lights overrule don't Walk signs)
5)Walk in the narrow Bike Lane, forcing bikes into the traffic lanes. [Portion removed.]
6)Wear cool (Goth) dark clothing at night while performing: 1-5. (extra points)




Like this comment
Posted by parent of 2
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 5, 2015 at 3:00 pm

@ SteveU.
I find this statement coming from a resident of Barron Park hilarious
2)Walk with your back to traffic (in or at the edge of the road)
Have you guys thought of maybe making SIDEWALKS so that those kids & parents that are walking their kids to school don't have to do it in the gutter? When My kid starts at Terman or Gunn they will have to bike through your area coming down Matadero/Margarita
5)Walk in the narrow Bike Lane, forcing bikes into the traffic lanes. (I might get dirt on my designer sneakers)
What bike lanes?


4 people like this
Posted by merry go round
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2015 at 10:42 am

Just in time! Looks like the recommendation for the school board is to add 100 new students to Briones from Los Altos Hills that must use Arastrdero and Maybell to access the school. They are also considering turning Barron Park School back to a choice school so that the entire neighborhood can have the pleasure of people driving from outside the neighborhood to drop their students off there as well.


11 people like this
Posted by Terman mom
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 6, 2015 at 10:57 am

Completely nuts. It's already waves of kids on bikes and on foot competing with cars. Who in their right mind would ask for more of that? Where is the City Council on this?


10 people like this
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 15, 2015 at 11:48 am

"Cars can easily use San Antonio or El Camino or Page Mill instead." - posted by Parent

Well, I was just on El Camino at the intersection of Del Medio (by the car wash) and guess what, I saw a huge Google type white bus (Google or similar corporate) turn off of Del Medio towards Palo Alto on El Camino Real AND I saw another such bus turn ONTO Del Medio. These two huge busses were clearly avoiding San Antonio Rd - well, the intersection of San Antonio and El Camino Real.

I know they are carrying young social media workers, not kids, but this shows how even huge busses will cut through neighborhoods (in this case the Monroe Avenue/Del Medio area) to avoid busy roads.

I disagree with the lane narrowing of Charleston/Arastradero and similar unnecessary make work projects that merely shift drivers onto side roads and neighborhoods. It has the same effect as the driver of a huge corporate bus realizing that he should cut through a neighborhood to avoid a busy intersection as I witnessed today.


2 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jan 12, 2016 at 1:11 pm

I encounter multiple tech buses during my morning commute up Charleston/Arastadero. They are adding to the traffic on this road and they are tying up the Foothill/Hillview intersection when they use Miranda as another shortcut. And they are often parked on Miranda by the VA hospital delivery driveway on both sides of the street.


2 people like this
Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jan 12, 2016 at 1:39 pm

Anyone who has lived in PA for over 15 years must be crazy if they honestly think that the traffic calming experiment was a success. Arasterdero/Charleston traffic has only gotten worse and will continue to get worse. (Expect more speeding cars on residential streets. Los Altos/Maybell come to mind)

I belive as the time has gone on so many in PA cashed out and left for greener pastures that there are few residents left who remember the days before this fiasco.


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