Original post made by Bill Mainzer, Menlo Park, on Aug 27, 2006
When I recently drove this same street again, I could not belive the mess created by shrinking the lanes as has been done! There are some major problems with this such as the fact that the California Road Laws treat a double double yellow line as an island whether it has an actual island or not. Therefore, any homeowners who need to get into there driveway from the otherside of the street may not do so without breaking the law. Another problem created is the fact this while this is a major arterial for people who need to go from the west to 101, the traffic is now slowed to such an extent that some drivers seem to be tailgaiting the slower drivers to get to their destination faster.
Palo Alto and Menlo Park both suffer from the same problems which the traffic department seem to think can be resolved by removing traffic lanes. Traffic is not getting any less, it is getting more. Face it, it won't go away!
If you have to slow traffice and you do have to do this, how about a raised bicycle lane next to the pedestrian lane somhow demarcated to seperate from the pedestrians and two auto lanes. Slow the traffic with speed bumps, low enough to allow the fire department and ambulances to move over them but high enough to slow the traffic to move on two lanes each way.
This is just an idea which might keep the traffice flowing at a reduced rate of speed and keep the bicyclists safe and happy?