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Slowed-down Stop Light at Embarcadero and Greer

Original post made by Local Resident, Triple El, on Jul 29, 2014

I live off Embarcadero near Greer. A few months ago I noticed that the traffic was backing up at Greer and Embarcadero when it hadn't before. Today, I timed the lights. The one at Louis and Embarcadero and the one at Waverly and Embarcero were both 30 seconds long and traffic flowed smoothly. The one at Greer, though, was 45 seconds long. Given that Louis and Greer are close to one another, this means more noise, more traffic jams and more pollution for everyone living near that part of the Embarcadero corridor. For the residents of c-shaped Morton Way, it means being unable to make a left turn and sometimes even a right turn for several hours a day.

I'm quite sure the Greer light used to be 30 seconds like the one at Louis.

So, what gives, City of Palo Alto? This is really unpleasant and the turn situation at Morton is dangerous.

Comments (12)

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Posted by Lighten Up
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 29, 2014 at 5:34 pm

For every long red light, there is a long green light.
We can cry that rose bushes have thorns, or we can rejoice that thorn bushes have roses. Abe Lincoln said that, and so did I, just now.

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Posted by pedestrian
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 29, 2014 at 6:53 pm

The differences for car drivers are pretty minimal. For pedestrians, however, the changes are dramatic. Many of the new Oregon signals now have dedicated left turn arrows where pedestrians are banned from crossing in all directions. Green lights for cars may be longer, but for pedestrians they are the same 10 seconds with dramatically longer no-walking times in between (guessing more than 5 minutes of waiting now, after you push the beg button).

Also, some crosswalks were removed (Waverley Street comes to mind, maybe others). Are these going to be repainted of is that permanently dead? For people that live on Waverley Street, how are they supposed to walk to the Bryant crosswalk since there is no sidewalk along the south side of Oregon)?

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Posted by Palo Altan
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 29, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Unfortunate news for Morton Way, but same as someone who buys near a church or school, it shouldn't be surprising.

I grew up here back in the day when we would bike all over town with no need to be concerned about being hit by a car. Now, the traffic is miserable, a lot of it due to commuters and choice schools. It's even worsened in the last 4 years, where Louis Rd. is backing up in the weekday mornings during the school year. The morning traffic driving on Embarcadero towards Paly is mostly commuters (not Paly students). And commuters are clogging Churchill during the morning hours too.

The solution is to vote this November for Filseth, Kau, DuBois, who are anti-development. Our current City Council is responsible for the overdevelopment of our city.

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Posted by Another Long Time Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 29, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Private schools bring A LOT of commuter traffic into our neighborhoods. Many years ago, people walked their kids to these schools or let them walk there alone. Now parents drive their kids to these schools. The old schools like Garland, Our Lady of Rosary, Challenger, Eichler Greenmeadow Montessori, Seton (St. Albert's), and many more. Just so they can say their kids go to school in Palo Alto.
I have lived here almost 60 years and can remember the days when there were no traffic jams. People would walk and bike over to the baylands to watch fireworks back in the day when our city put on their own show.

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Posted by Mom
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Jul 30, 2014 at 12:24 am

The 15-second change leads to more pollution?

I live near these intersections, and am commenting on roads perpendicular to Embarcadero. I and find the light on Louis Rd. (waiting to turn left onto Embarcadero) is timed differently, depending upon the time of day. There are some days when the wait is very long (several minutes) while other times, it turns green fast. The chosen length of wait has no correlation with the amount of traffic on Embarcadero. On school mornings, on Greer (crossing Embarcadero towards Channing), the green light only allows 4 cars. And on school days - Tuesdays/Thursdays, Louis Road backs up at North CA (driving northbound).

Agree to stop developing Palo Alto. I'm voting for Lydia Kou, Tom DuBois, and Eric Filseth this November for City Council. We are no longer a family city, but a cut-through city for non-residents.

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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 30, 2014 at 9:55 pm

@Another Long Time Resident - private schools are not the problem, unless you mean Stanford. It is the increased office space and housing density that is the issue.

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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 30, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Whomever ordered the "top soil" for the new center divide, at Oregon expressway should be fired. This "topsoil" comes from Stevens Creek Quarry.When this material is dry and sifted it is excellent for grading. However, when it is compacted and dried it forms a concrete like consistency.
Not conducive for plant life.

If they would have spent more time in the field and not in college they would known this.

Plants need drainage.

These are the people running this city?

Just a small example of what is wrong.

Get a clue college boys!

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Posted by Local Resident
a resident of Triple El
on Aug 1, 2014 at 6:22 pm


More pollution because more cars are sitting at the light.

Lighten Up,

There aren't a bunch of cars waiting on Greer when this is going on.

Point is, the city changed the timing and created traffic jams that weren't previously there. It was an abrupt change. I'd like to know why.

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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 1, 2014 at 6:43 pm

@ neighbor, your quote: "These are the people running this city? Just a small example of what is wrong. Get a clue college boys! "

Um, you do know that the county is in charge of this project, right? Not CPA...

Oregon Expressway is a county road...

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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 1, 2014 at 8:08 pm

@ Crescent Park Dad

I read about the construction project on the consent calender. I remembered that one of the details caught my eye: the closure of the left hand turn onto Indian street. So I assumed since it was on the consent calender, it was a Palo Alto Project. Are you sure that this project is financed %100 by the county? Either way the County or City should not put the bad topsoil (that dries like concrete) in the median. Tax dollars are tax dollars and should not be misspent.

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Posted by Nieghbor
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 1, 2014 at 8:30 pm

@ Crescent Park Dad

You are right, the county is responsible for the replacement of the traffic lights. The median landscaping might be a different story.

I will rephrase the sentence in my original post to:

This is a small example with what is wrong with our city, county, state and federal government.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Greenmeadow

on Jun 5, 2017 at 11:15 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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

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