Menlo Park to consider a kindler, gentler El Camino Real

The city of Menlo Park, California transportation department invites the public to attend a community workshop on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 to discuss plans to make El Camino Real (ECR) a more accommodating transportation corridor for all road users.

el camino real map Menlo Park California from OSM

This meeting will begin a revisioning process for the El Camino Real corridor across Menlo Park. This process will review potential transportation and safety improvements to El Camino Real between Sand Hill Road and Encinal Avenue.

Currently, El Camino Real divides the city. This six lane traffic sewer splits the busy downtown business district on the west side from the Civic Center, recreation facilities and library on the east side. Menlo Park City School District schools straddle both sides. This orientation requires frequent crossings by Menlo Park residents on a daily basis, and represents a challenging situation for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists making short trips to local destinations.

El Camino Real at Sand Hill Road Menlo Park CA

The process will will closely study existing conditions, evaluate alternatives, and recommend a solution. Community input will be sought and incorporated throughout the process.

This process by the city’s transportation department is happening in the context of a wider plan to redo the Menlo Park El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan , adopted by the Menlo Park City Council in June 2012. This Specific Plan encourages transit-oriented, mixed-use and infill development.

Menlo Park also adopted a “Complete Streets” Policy in January 2013 to improve its commitment to a comprehensive, integrated transportation network that allows safe and convenient travel along and across streets for all users. Furthermore, Menlo Park participates in the Grand Boulevard Initiative, which seeks to revitalize the 43 mile stretch of State Route 82 from San Jose to Daly City.

Currently the city of Menlo Park has scribbled plans for a pedestrian tunnel to link the downtown district with the Caltrain station on the other side of El Camino Real, along with vague ideas for bike paths somewhere parallel to ECR. Some Peninsula bike advocates are href="https://www.facebook.com/events/828186443861423/828676757145725/?notif_t=plan_mall_activity">also pushing for bike lanes on this state controlled road and encourage cyclists to attend this meeting. They also note that the city is considering expanding the existing 4-lane segement of ECR to six lanes across downtown.

The meeting to discusses these options begins at 6:30 PM on Wednesday evening at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, 700 Santa Cruz Avenue, Menlo Park, CA. The first half hour is a meet and greet open house, while the remainder is dedicated to a presentation and workshop in which attendees will have the opportunity to provide their feedback.

H/T to Andrew Boone.