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Neighbors reopen Wilkie Way ped/bike path debate

Original post made on Nov 14, 2007

Several Charleston Meadows residents are asking the City of Palo Alto to reconsider a formerly proposed pedestrian/bike path on Wilkie Way when the city approves a map for housing on the Elks Club property in south Palo Alto.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007, 12:00 AM

Comments (9)

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Posted by Curious
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 14, 2007 at 9:58 am

I am curious, is Wilkie Way a private street or is it city owned. If it is a city street, then shouldn't be available for public parking?

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 14, 2007 at 10:18 am

Wilkie Way should be a bike blvd both sides of Charleston. It should go right across into Meadow. This would make sense as getting bicycle traffic off the more busy El Camino (and I expect, Charleston) will be safer for everyone. My own thoughts on the matter is that the city don't want to make it easier for local residents to get to San Antonio shopping center to make their purchases and give tax dollars to Mountain View.

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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 14, 2007 at 1:29 pm

An interesting point here is that ALL the streets inside both of these new residential developments (Summerhill and DRHorton) are privately owned and do NOT allow any street parking. If the residents of these developments have cars that do not fit in their 2-car garages (for example, a third car or a garage full of storage items), they will be parking their cars on public streets nearby. This puts a double burden of street-parking on the nearby neighborhoods. As we all know from experience, it is very common in Palo Alto for people to have one or more of their cars parked on the street and not ever in their garage. I imagine that the residents of these developments will have the same habits as the rest of Palo Altoans.

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Posted by Answer
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 14, 2007 at 1:32 pm

Wilkie Way is a City owned street. It is open for parking by anyone.
The Summerhill and DRHorton streets are private and don't allow any street parking by anyone....not even by their own residents.

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Posted by Curious
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 14, 2007 at 1:39 pm

Well with all the complaining about the size of the development at the former hotel site and now the parking issues, maybe Charleston Meadows should not have opposed original plan to keep the hotel and have some housing built on the site.
I guess the fruits of the neighborhoods labor (i.e. holding Hyatt hostage for so long that they eventually backed out) will be increased parking in their neighborhood.

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Posted by TJ
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 15, 2007 at 9:22 am

I am in favor of leaving open and accessible this pedestrian/bike path. The residents of Charleston Meadows live on public streets, these streets like all public streets in Palo Alto should be open and available for anyone to park on at any time. Charleston Meadows is not a gated community.

When I first moved to my neighborhood no cars ever parked in front of my house. Over the last 22 years things have changed and my street is full of other peoples parked cars. The Charleston Meadows neighborhood has been very lucky so far but things change and they better get used to parked cars on their streets like the rest of us.

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Posted by KT
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 15, 2007 at 10:16 pm

While I believe that there is a need for bigger and better bike lanes, I also think that people need to be educated on the rules of bike riding. Also, drivers must take more precautions when driving near or around bikes. I have noticed that people tend to drive halfway in the bike lane with the other half of the car in the driving lane....this is very dangerous and could cause a serious fatality. Additionally, I really get upset when a biker just assumes that they have the right of way at a stop sign or an intersection! THEY DON'T.

Web Link

Bicyclist must obey laws just as a driver of a car. I can't tell you how many cyclists I have nearly creamed because they do not stop when they need to. The horrible thing is is that if I do hit the cyclist I will probably be sued and have to pay their family for the rest of my natural born life! Plus, I will be traumatized!!!

As for the people who don't pay attention while driving.....get with could KILL someone by driving this way!!!

If we make better/bigger/safer bike lanes our insurance premiums might go down!!

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Posted by Richard
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 16, 2007 at 8:06 am

KT, this is way off the original topic, but I agree with you 100% on the educational and behavioral aspects. I don't know what you mean by "better" or "safer" bike lanes, though. Is this an engineering issue or a behavioral issue? Bigger is not always better, because at some point (wider than 12 feet) drivers see them as just another lane and drive in the middle of them. Many streets are so narrow that widening the bike lane means narrowing the other lanes, which will lead to drivers hanging out of their lane, the exact problem you are trying to solve. So..... what do you mean by a better or safer bike lane?

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Posted by KT
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2007 at 9:09 pm

HI Richard,
I realize that I was way off topic, but I just felt like I needed to get my opinion out there..what better place than a bike related debate! I am not an engineer, so I really don't know what I mean by better or safer bike lanes :-) But, I would think that having them better demarcated....possible having rubble strips that indicate a driver is veering into the bike lane or some sort of barrier like adaptation would be a start! I agree that there is a risk if the bike lane is made bigger; I already see people cut the bike lanes too close when they begin their turn about 500 feet to early!

I am so nervous everytime I drive around here...I would hate to hit or even see someone hit!!

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