GENERAL NOTES – Compilation of DTNNA meetings held on 9/18, 9/24 and 9/25 (One General Meeting and 3 sectional meetings)

 

These notes are a recording of the minutes from four DTNNA meetings.  The purpose of these meetings was to

1) give everyone an opportunity to be heard and

2) to start to identify what isn’t working.  

With trends and issues identified, then the Traffic Dept can use these comments to begin to formulate a recommendation on the trial.  What is documented here are summarized statements from individuals, recorded by a volunteer note-taker.

What this document is not: 

It is not a thorough poll of all residents. 

It did not limit comments from residents.  Therefore some residents recorded multiple comments/concerns. 

The document first has the compilation of individual comments.  They were developed at the general meeting on 9/18 and in 3 regional meetings held on 9/24 and 9/25.  The regional meetings divided the neighborhood as follows:

·        Easterly Region: Cowper to Middlefield and Palo Alto Ave to Lytton.

·        Center Region:  Kipling to both sides of Bryant and Palo Alto Ave to Lytton.

·        Western Region: Ramona to Alma and Palo Alto Ave to Lytton.

·  General Thematic Comments: developed from topics that transcended specific sections of the neighborhood.

These regions also participated in an exercise where every person had an opportunity to place a colored dot in front of their residence indicating whether there were traffic/speed was worse (RED); traffic/speed was better (GREEN) or that there was an increase in inconvenience (BLUE).  The composite map showing the results of this exercise is attached in a jpeg file.

Individual comments were also collected and grouped for the streets that connect Middlefield with Alma: Palo Alto Ave, Hawthorne and Everett.

In addition to the individual comments based on a geographic grouping, there are also comments grouped by a theme.  They were developed from topics that transcended specific sections of the neighborhood.  These thematic comments cover 1) Emergency Response times; 2) Lytton Ave; and 3) Bulb-outs.

If there are any questions about these minutes, please contact Dan Lorimer, Geoff Ball, Tricia Dolkas and Sally-Ann Rudd since they were the meeting facilitators and note-takers.


Regional Comments:

Easterly Region:  Cowper to Middlefield

1. Middlefield (Area A of issues in the Easterly Region of DTN – see attached jpeg.)

-         Since Middlefield does not satisfy the requirements for a "slow" street, it is not legal to enforce the speed limits on it.

-         There has been a shift of the line on Middlefield 20 feet back, why. It causes major uncertainty in turning.

-         We are told that the intersection can not be widened because there is property there that does not allow a widening.

Easterly Region:  Cowper to Middlefield

2.  Byron between Lytton and Everett (Area B of issues in the Easterly Region of DTN – see attached jpeg.)

Easterly Region:  Cowper to Middlefield

3.  Hawthorne between Middlefield and Webster (Area C of issues in the Easterly Region of DTN – see attached jpeg.)

·        Middlefield - Everett - Byron - Hawthorne

·        Palo Alto Ave - Webster - Hawthorn - Middlefield

·        Webster or Tasso – Lytton

·        Middlefield - Hawthorn -- Byron or Webster - Ruthven

 

Easterly Region:  Cowper to Middlefield

4.    Tasso St. – between Palo Alto Ave. and Ruthvan  (Area D of issues in the Easterly Region of DTN – see attached jpeg.)

·        Getting more traffic and fast speed but still pro the current plan. Are there increased accidents on Middlefield now?

Easterly Region:  Cowper to Middlefield

5. Cowper Ave. (individual comments. In these meetings, Cowper was not identified as a street that has significant issues)

6. General comments from Easterly Region:  Cowper to Middlefield:

1) There are 6 million people in the bay area and a plan based on rough neighborhood considerations will not be correct, we need a scientific study, set of metrics, plan, implementation, measurements, etc.

 

2) Typical maximum observable traffic was from 100 to 3,899 Vehicle Trips Day and the reasonable that Stoffel stated was 2,500

3) There is a classification of varieties of streets: Freeways, Expressways, Arterials, Residential Arterials, Collectors, and Local streets.  DTN has only local streets surrounded by a creek and arterials.

4) We need to be informed, resolute so that we can know where we are -- we need a timely scientifically study and plan not based on feelings and need to know what we are discussing.

5) Is there money for modifying the plan, e.g. did the city think there would be modifications?

Answer from DTNNA officer: the next City Council will be needed to allocate money to tune or remove. The plan was budgeted at $95,000, and to implement it has cost $45,000.

7. Suggested Solutions from Easterly Region:  Cowper to Middlefield:

1)  Temporary signs telling people that of the best streets to use to cut thru the neighborhood.

2) There is a large consistency who believe in Law enforcement, not re-routing -- we should insist on police both local and others.

2.1) Palo Alto only has 4 full time police

2.2) If the residents demand endorsement, then they can get it. It requires that we call the police regularly.

3) Move the bulb-outs back from Middlefield

4) Prevent turns into the neighborhood by having no right turns into Hawthorn or Everett, perhaps only during rush hour and no left turns out of the neighborhood EVER.

Another point - reduce volume -- how many during rush hour on Everett.

6) Can we get more blockages?

Answer from Dan Lorimer: The original plan was to Install the plan, see what problems it cause, tune it by moving things, etc., measure the traffic and then determine how is was working.  Then a recommendation, based on measurements, surveys, feedback, proposals, will be given to the city. The TUNING of the plan was eliminated in the budget, thus not permitting us to improve it before the final recommendation is made.

Even then, it is felt that only incremental changes can be made.

Perhaps we could get turn restrictions during the trial, but probably we could not add closures during the Trial.  The original plan was to synchronize lights during the trial, making traffic easy during the morning westward and then during the evening changing the lights to make the traffic easer eastward -- It was agreed that we did not see this and wanted to have the Lytton lights improved to make it easier to travel on Lytton.

There was a proposal for what was REALLY desired:

7) MOST DESIRABLE -- move the barriers to where they should be, e.g. to Middlefield  and Alma rather than to be within the neighborhood. -- The plan as implemented is a maze makes it difficult to get within the neighborhood and at the same time, as we see, there are sneak paths, parts of the neighborhood that are not "in" the neighborhood, etc. --

The neighborhood wants to block traffic from Middlefield

The simple proposal is to Block Middlefield and Alma -- WHY NOT

If there is a blockage at Middlefield and Alma then there is also a parking problem for the people who live on Middlefield,

Every trip to and from the neighborhood would require one to go to Lytton, thus increasing the traffic on Lytton too much. The streets should be "filters" used for Neighborhood traffic not cut thru traffic. If the barriers are moved to Alma and Middlefield then this also defeats the "filter" option.

This blockage plan was not thought to be able to "win" as it would be labeled as making the neighborhood a "gaited" community. Note: It was felt that this objection would be made both by the rest of the city as well as by some of the neighborhood residents.

We gain simplicity if we block the streets at each end.   Comment from Dan Lorimer: We did want to block at the ends by everyone we talked to said don't try to propose it, it will not be accepted.

If we rip the barriers our and replace them it would be more expensive that if we move some of the barriers.

8) If we can't get a correct plan, then a more effective plan would be:

 8.1) No right turns from Middlefield on to Hawthorne or Everett during rush hour.

8.2) No left turns off Hawthorne or Everett to Middlefield

 8.3) Move the Everett blockage from Byron to Webster

The No Left-Turns may not work -- people tend to ignore them unless there is active enforcement and that costs money.

They are good, they may be a violation of the state law, they can be tested and then if they don’t work, they can be removed

9) We need to know what restrictions the state would place on the plan,

We want to recognize that we want to do the "right thing" and not be tied up with considering if a solution is "not likely" As in normal life we need to push past where we want to go to get what we really want.

10) The result is like gaited, but the real solution is to build the willow expressway to provide an adequate path for the traffic.

11) In fact most of the traffic excess is cut thru, most of the traffic does go thru Lytton

12) But there is still some neighborhood traffic.

13) Remove the Palo Alto Barrier so that some of the traffic would be shifted to that street.

 

15) Remove the Everett - Byron barrier

16) Put up a Light Radar, e.g. a sign that shows the speed at Middlefield at Palo Alto Ave, as people enter Palo Alto

16.1) This will remind people that Palo Alto considers speed important.

 16.2) Kids enjoy breaking the lights and running the radar

16.3) We need some way to slow traffic down on Middlefield



Regional Comments:

Center Region:  Kipling to both sides of Bryant and Palo Alto Ave to Lytton

1. Bryant Street:

200 block of Bryant

100 block of Bryant

200 block of Bryant

200 block of Bryant

100 block Bryant (@ Hawthorne)

Center Region:  Kipling to both sides of Bryant and Palo Alto Ave to Lytton

2. Bryant & Palo Alto Ave

Center Region:  Kipling to both sides of Bryant and Palo Alto Ave to Lytton

3. Bryant Street – General Comments/ Proposed Solutions

Center Region:  Kipling to both sides of Bryant and Palo Alto Ave to Lytton

4. Bryant Ct

Center Region:  Kipling to both sides of Bryant and Palo Alto Ave to Lytton

5. Waverley

Center Region:  Kipling to both sides of Bryant and Palo Alto Ave to Lytton

6. Kipling:

1.      good to track down places where traffic is better or worse

2.      Colleague who lives at 280/ Page Mill. He used to commute through neighborhood but now cannot. He is considerate driver. But, seems only way to improve driver behavior is through coercion which means closing streets.

Center Region:  Kipling to both sides of Bryant and Palo Alto Ave to Lytton

7. Poe Street:

·        Back to DTN (On Poe) after being gone to Seattle. Loves traffic calming.


Regional Comments:

Westerly Region:   Alma to Bryant and Palo Alto Ave to Lytton

1. Emerson Street:

Westerly Region:   Alma to Bryant and Palo Alto Ave to Lytton

2. Ramona Street

Westerly Region:   Alma to Bryant and Palo Alto Ave to Lytton

3.  Suggestions/General Comments:

Regional Comments: Streets connecting Middlefield with Alma:

1. Everett Ave.

2. Hawthorne

3.  Ruthven

4.    Palo Alto Ave.

·        300 block of Palo Alto Ave – more crime due to police not capturing criminals – that’s an issue

·        400 block of  Palo Alto Ave. – law officer says that the # of drunks leaving (driving out of) DTN is reduced

1.      minimal inconvenience outweighed by safety, quietness brought about by calming measures

2.      extra 2 minutes to get out of neighborhood, even with kids in the car, is not an inconvenience.

3.      We make 2-4 trips per day, which means 8-10 mins per day extra in the car. Not a problem.

1.      speeding on Palo Alto Ave greatly reduced.

2.      Menlo Park car dealers used to use Palo Alto Ave for test drives, now stopped.

3.      SamTrans bus used to go down Palo Alto Ave; now stopped.



General Thematic Comments:

These were developed from topics that transcended specific sections of the neighborhood.  These thematic comments cover 1) Emergency Response times; 2) Lytton Ave; and 3) Bulb-outs

Emergency response

Bulbouts/Gateways:

Lytton Avenue – General Comments/Ideas of how to Improve:

·        People are confused about new stopping point on Middlefield.

·        Remove parking spaces on Lytton and make it 4 lanes

·        Make Lytton & Hamilton into 1-way streets

·        Time lights better on Lytton

·        Take out parking spaces on 1 side of Lytton, make it 3 lanes in commute direction, maybe switch 3rd lane like Golden Gate Bridge

·        Remove some lights on Lytton

·        Make Lytton less resistant to traffic

·        Lytton / Bryant residents can't park on street now

·        If Lytton is fast traffic, if too many lanes, Lytton will cut DTN off from downtown. Difficult to walk across

·        Have to look at whole of downtown, not just Lytton. If fix Lytton, should also fix Hamilton & University at same time. Not just a DTN problem.

·        No problems with traffic on Lytton

·        Traffic flow issue - people coming on Everett and circling park to continue on Everett. This is not right, it's creating more traffic on Kipling and near park.

·        We should be considerate of our neighbors. Some streets cannot take a lot of traffic, so we residents should avoid them and should not speed.

·        Lytton lights are not synchronized well enough. Too unpleasant, too slow. Not working.

·        Lytton stinks -- the lights were to be synchronized but they are not and thus the traffic flow is bad and pushes people off to the neighborhood.

·        Lytton left turn lane on southbound Alma has greatly reduced drive time.

·        Improve timing of lights on Lytton. Lytton could be designed better for high volume of traffic.

·        Lytton very noisy.

·        Traffic lights on Lytton still need improvement


Attachments from residents:

Comments from David Adams, 167 Bryant St.

650-787-9817

General thesis: