Attendance: Steve Schmidt (Chair), John Langbein (Scribe), Colin Hayne (SVBC staff), Jesse Quirion (Menlo Park Transportation Manager), Al Meckler, Kirsten Keith (Menlo Park Council), Karen Davis, Marc Beban, Catherine Carlton (Menlo Park Council), Sabrina Brennan, Adina Levin, and Jim Cogan (Menlo Park Economic Development Manager).
Meeting called in session ~ 6:30PM
June minutes – Modified by correcting location of bike share program from SSF to Mountain View.
Stanford in Menlo Park; 500 El Camino Project. Steve lead this discussion with input from Kirsten Keith and Cat Carlton. The Stanford building project (a combo of medical offices, retail and apartments) presents an opportunity to construct a bike/ped tunnel under the Caltrain tracks to connect the neighborhoods located on the west side of ECR/Caltrain to those east of the corridor. There are two possible locations of the tunnel: 1) a tunnel that is an extension of Middle Ave which would “land” near Burgess Park, and 2) a tunnel that is an extension of Cambridge which would “land” near Willow RD. Steve presented conceptual drawings of both alternatives which are based upon the design of the Homer tunnel in Palo Alto as it has similar geometric constrains as the Menlo tunnels; the east portal of the tunnel is adjacent to Alma which leaves little room to accommodate a mechanism to enter/exit the tunnel which is located below grade. Steve and Kirsten discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each. Middle has the advantage of being closer to “activity centers” especially Burgess Park. On the other hand, Middle will cost perhaps twice as much as Cambridge because the tracks are 5 ft above grade at Middle but the tracks are raised to 12ft farther south (Cambridge) – less digging is required if the tracks are higher. In addition, for the Middle location, there is a second property adjacent to the east side of the tracks – an easement or some other accommodation would be required. Cambridge has the advantage of being cheaper, and its connecting street to the west of ECR, has lower traffic volume than Middle, which is a plus with kids. The disadvantage of Cambridge is that it might be considered too close to the existing crossing in Palo Alto between Alma and the bike path around Stanford Shopping center. Menlo Park has done studies of both sites, one in 2002 for Cambridge and one in 2009 for Middle (another study for Middle is planned for the 2017-18 Capital Improvement Program). In addition, MP will be conducting a traffic study for ECR with emphasis on the impact of the Stanford Project. Steve believes Cambridge to be better in terms of price and the possibility of getting Stanford to make a substantial contribution. Kirsten believes that Middle is better in terms of utility and believes that additional funding could be arranged from various sources. The main message, especially from Kirsten and Cat, is that Menlo Park looking for input from the community.
Alpine RT280 project. Board of Sups approved the contract for this project. (Kirsten Keith)
Santa Cruz Ave in “west” Menlo Park (or unincorporated County). John Langbein reviewed the status of this problem area in particular reviewing the content of a letter written (~15 months ago?) by Menlo Park to County Public works. The letter asked the County to consider short-term and long-term solutions. To date, the County has been evaluating long-term solutions including a lane diet and restricting parking in the north bound direction. For the obvious, short-term solution, sharrows, the County has initially rejected that possibility because they feel the speeds limit, 35 mph is close to the “design” limit, 60 kph, for sharrows; actually, 35 mph < 60 kph and, sharrows are technically OK. Kirsten will follow-up with the County as she sees County staff periodically on another SVBC initiative that brings together various groups to discuss bike-safety improvements. (AKA “Vision Zero”)
Willow/RT 101 interchange. Bob Cronin drafted a letter to Caltran/SMC—Transportation Authority concerning the conceptual re-design of this interchange. John Langbein presented the letter to the Committee for endorsement and a request to have SVBC send that letter to Caltrans and SMCTA – group endorsed the letter.
Ralston Ave in Belmont. Mark Swire drafted a letter to the City of Belmont requesting better accommodation of cyclists along this “east-west” corridor. John Langbein presented the letter, with some small revisions to the Committee for endorsement and a request to have SVBC send that letter to the City. – group endorsed the letter.
San Mateo Bicycle Coordinator position: The Board of Sups will have a “study session” on July 23 which, as part of the session, will consider the bike coordinator position. (Adina Levin)
Atherton Bike Ped plan. (Adina Levin)
Hillsdale shopping center – The shopping center will be “upgraded” which presents an opportunity for better bike/ped accommodation (Adina Levin)
Bike Share for the SF Bay Area: Colin stated that the start date could be late August, but he would not be surprised if the date slipped. Website is http://bayareabikeshare.com/
Colin updated the Committee about SVBC's new hire; an advocacy person with prime responsibility for San Mateo County.
The “joint powers board” for San Francisquito Creek is considering a flood control project which could have some impact for cycling in the area between Middlefield and RT 101 (the border between Menlo Park and Palo Alto). Possibilities including widening of two bridges (Middlefield and Pope) and a “creekside” trail built on the levee. There was general agreement that widening the Middlefield bridge would be good for cycling (currently, it has two, narrow lanes). As the project is only in the “notice of preparation” (NOP) stage, there is a long way to go.
The meeting adjoined at around 8:30PM