Proposal is designed to give Belle Haven traffic relief

Daily Post Staff Writer

Belle Haven residents for years have been coming to Menlo Park City Council meetings to complain that during commute hours, they aren’t able to back out of their driveways due to all of the cut-through traffic.

Tomorrow, city council could approve a plan to deter cut-through traffic and speeding through the neighborhood that’s seen an explosion of development since 2011, when Facebook arrived.

Curb bulb-outs, or extensions, on sidewalk corners or at crosswalks to increase pedestrian visibility and slow down cars, are planned for the corners of Terminal Avenue, Ivy Drive, Chilco Street and Newbridge Street. Some bulb-outs will also be added along Chilco Street. Adding these 50 bulb-outs would eliminate 60 parking spaces, according to a report from Associate City Transportation Engineer Kevin Chen.

However, only 35 corners may get bulbs-outs, according to Chen’s report, which would reduce the number of parking spaces the plan would eliminate. A yellow center line is proposed to be painted along Chilco.

Additionally, gateways will be built at Hamilton Avenue and Carlton Avenue, Newbridge Street and Carlton, Ivy and Carlon, and Terminal and Chilco, to get people to slow down when they enter the neighborhoods.

Willow Road from Ivy Drive to Newbridge Street can see as many as 33,100 cars a day, according to the traffic volume count done by transportation consultant Parisi. The section of Willow Road between Hamilton Avenue and Ivy Drive can get as many as 26,800 cars a day.

Most of the changes will be installed in the summer, but the improvements along Ivy need to be reviewed by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission since it has a pipe that runs under the road. Because of the SFPUC’s lengthy review process, it may take up to a year for those changes to be installed, according to Chen’s report.

This work will come at no cost to the city. The environmental impact report for Facebook’s Constitution Drive expansion calls for the company to pay for the study, design and building of devices intended to reduce traffic in the neighborhood east of Highway 101.