East Palo Alto Capital Improvement Plan discussion tonight

Our bike advocate in East Palo Alto (EPA), Andrew Boone, reports the city of East Palo Alto will discuss their Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) during a budget study session tonight at the EPA Government Center at 2415 University Avenue. The city will review, among other things, how to spend the $1.5 million the city received from Facebook as part of the social media company’s transportation impact settlement.

University Avenue resurfacing and signal upgrade

University Avenue is the main north-south thoroughfare for the city of East Palo Alto with 29,000 vehicles per day on a four lane divided road. University is one of the major roads for access between jobs at Stanford and Palo Alto to East Bay bedroom communities via the Dumbarton Bridge. Willow Road in Menlo Park is the more direct route for motoring commuters from Highway 101 to Facebook.

The city of East Palo Alto plans to spend $900,000 for long overdue pavement resurfacing, striping and intersection improvements. $600,000 of this budget will come from the Facebook Settlement fund. EPA will overlay the existing pavement on University Avenue with 1.2 inches of asphalt concrete. The city will also add bike lane signs and striping along University from Woodland Avenue (just south of Hwy 101) to Notre Dame Avenue at the northern city limit. University Avenue north of Notre Dame Avenue is within the city of Menlo Park.

EPA also plans to install bicycle loop detectors at all signalized intersections along University Avenue.

University is a crumbling mess, to be sure, but I think most cyclists prefer Pulgas Avenue, a parallel road to the east. Andrew lives there, though, and I don’t. I think he plans to speak out against the project in favor of projects that will more directly benefit cyclists.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements

As part of the proposed University Avenue repaving project, the city plans to spend an additional $50,000 from the Facebook fund for bicycle and pedestrian improvements. Improvements include the installation of enhanced signage, striping and loop detectors for bicycles.

University Avenue Bridge over Highway 101

The city plans to seek state and federal funding to widen University Avenue over Highway 101 for safer pedestrian and bicycle travel and “more efficient vehicle travel.”

Another $8.1M is needed for a planned pedestrian bridge over Highway 101 near Clarke Avenue, which is just east (nominally “south”) of University Avenue. The city currently has $300K available for this project.

Euclid Tunnel Assessment

Old timers know about the Euclid Avenue Tunnel, a long closed pedestrian tunnel underneath Highway 101 adjacent to Highway 101. EPA proposes spending $30,000 to assess the tunnel to determine what it would take to restore and open it again.

Rail Spur Rail to Trail

The city budgets $79K of city money to complete construction of a rail to trail conversion of the rail spur that runs from Bay & Clarke to Pulgas Street betweek Weeks & Bay.

The Capital Improvement Plan budget workshop happens tonight in the East Palo Alto government center in the City Council Chambers at 2415 University Avenue. Meeting begins 6:30 PM. Public comments on budget items are allowed during the budget session. CIP available as a PDF download here. Thank you to Andrew Boone for the heads up on this. Comments and discussion on the University Avenue traffic signal plan on his Facebook page.

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