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Transportation Meeting Notes

Transportation Meeting Notes

Dear GESC board members,

I attended the transportation & circulation commission meeting on 11/17, from 7pm till end (around 10:25pm.) The following is a summary of what was discussed,

1. The consulting group went over the 9 options (A to I) again. Additionally, they presented a matrix comparing each option in diferent aspects (e.g., traffic flow, pedestrian & bike access, cost)  against the PAMF mitigation as baseline, giving an score of 1 if the option was deemed better than the baseline, 0 if it was neutral, and -1 otherwise. Then they assigned weights to each aspect and calculated an overall score for each option. There was some doubts from the commission about the usefulness of these ratings, as, say in the cost aspect, an score of 1 for an option could represent savings of $100.000 compared with the baseline, while a  score of -1 for another option could represent an additional cost of $3M. With this understanding,  the options with the highest scores were C, D, H, and I (different order, but I forgot to take note of the actual scores.)

2, Initially, the commission decided that going forward, the analysis would narrow down to the four options listed above. However, later in the meeting (around 10pm) there was a discussion about how the final recommendation would be presented to the city council, and it was decided that rather than focusing on one specific option, the final recommendation would likely include elements from multiple options. Therefore, it was decided that for the next meeting (12/15) the consulting group & Robert will present a list of the “individual components” included on each option, and the commision will focus on creating a recommendation that includes the “best components” from the 9 original options.

3. The following are some tidbids from the commission discussion and the public feedback:

a. In general, the commission and the public seem to like the idea of the roundabout on Industrial & Holly. However, there are some reservations about traffic flow, especially on a two-lane roundabout.

b. The commission & public like the idea of the bike boulevard on East San Carlos Ave, so it is likely the final recommendation will include one.

c. The commission & public like the idea of a central bike lane on Holly, but there are some reservations about how it would connect to the bike lanes on the Redwood Shores side.

d. Robert stated that personally he is not fond of exercising eminent domain on private property, unless the public benefis are compelling.

e. Frank Addiego stated multiple times the idea of creating an overpass to connect any bike lane on East San Carlos Ave with Skyway Rd on the other side of US 101.

f.  If the commission is unable to reach an agreement on the 12/15 meeting, they will have a “study” session afterwards to get further information from the consulting group, in any case, the deadline to present a recommendation to the city council is around 2/3/10, so it is certain the commission will have it ready by then. Notes

One Comment

  1. A few additional observations:

    I did not get the impression that the GESC letter was forwarded to the commission. I referenced it when I spoke to them but I did not get the feeling that any of them had seen it. I think Mr. Weill forwarded the Web feedback but not the GESC letter, in any case I asked that the commission get the GESC letter from Mr. Weill. Perhaps we should forward it to them ourselves? I think we should include the E. San Carlos bike blvd concept as an additional choice give the unanimous support that proposal seemed to receive last night. We could push for a Bike Blvd in the north side of the neighborhood to connect to the Holly overpass as well in that option.

    The idea of moving a traffic signal on the east side of the overpass to before the northbound 101 traffic right turn (that came up in the community meeting discussions) was rejected as unfeasible by the traffic consultants. They didn’t give a reason why.

    Mr. Addiego brought up the idea of leaving the overpass as is and making a bike pedestrian skyway. The costs (10 million) evidently are roughly double the budget, but no one brought up the possibility of splitting the costs with Redwood city. Even if the costs were split I don’t see how this would work since it doesn’t address the traffic impact of PAMF and growth. A grant for something like this was also not specifically discussed.

    I felt that the meeting was a rehash of the earlier community meeting with no real changes based on the feedback from that meeting. So that was disappointing to me.

    A new proposal to create a separate from traffic bike lane for one of the more dangerous crossings that would go underneath (tunneled) was presented by the consultants with no prior review from Mr. Weill or anyone else. There was also no discussion of how that would affect the cost other than a commission member stating that it looked like it would be very expensive to do. I think it would unintentionally become a shelter for the homeless, who deserve better accommodations than that from society.

    The matrix analysis by the consultants was deeply flawed and very subjective. They did not take into consideration the impact to pedestrians crossing old county through the train station for example or the impact to the neighborhood with making Holly one way westbound and E. San Carlos one way east bound. Ivan brought up a great point on how that would adversely impact kids trying to walk to Laureola Park crossing East San Carlos during rush hour.

    I was concerned that some of the commission members were taking the two – one way street proposals – seriously. But again the matrix analysis did not take neighborhood impact adequately or budget impact. I feel that the weightings by the consultants need to be redone.

    I also felt that the consultants were pushing the one-way proposals a bit during the meeting and had a bias towards vehicles as opposed to pedestrians. That was just my impression and I might be wrong.

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