“Stanford-Arrillaga Office Project Would Worsen Traffic” –
San Jose Mercury News, October 1, 2014
This week the city was finally forced to released an independent traffic study that revealed that the massive office project by Stanford and developer John Arrillaga will permanently worsen traffic on El Camino and nearby streets.
The study found that intersections of El Camino Real with Menlo and Ravenswood avenues would “operate unacceptably.” The large office project would double morning traffic and triple afternoon peak traffic delays on El Camino. Intersections will degrade to "F" grade. Neighboring streets in Allied Arts would be similarly impacted.
These facts echo the concerns of the thousands of Menlo Park residents who signed petitions to put Measure M on the ballot. Only by voting YES on M can we keep office development to a reasonable scale, restore public open space, and ensure that voters – not developers – decide what Menlo Park looks like.
Last year, the current City Council, under the influence of big developers, accepted and waived known significant negative impacts on 14 other intersections throughout the city in the Specific Plan. With the strong influence of the developers on the current City Council, we need every Menlo Park resident to donate, volunteer, and vote YES on M to protect residents, our town and our neighborhoods from traffic.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS
October 1, 2014
Latest analysis says Stanford project in Menlo Park bound to worsen traffic
by Rhea Mahbubani
The latest verdict is in.
According to an analysis for the city of Menlo Park, traffic congestion along parts of El Camino Real and several nearby streets will get worse if the mixed-use project by Stanford and developer John Arrillaga sails through as proposed.
The report, prepared by Whitlock & Weinberger Transportation, Inc. of Oakland and publicly released Monday, is the last of three studies concerning the project’s potential impact on traffic. The City Council is scheduled to review it at a special study session tonight.
Stanford and Arrillaga plan to replace vacant car dealerships on the 500 block of El Camino Real with 199,500 square feet of office space, 10,000 square feet of retail and 170 apartments. The area lies within the boundaries of the El Camino Real/ Downtown Specific Plan.
The Whitlock & Weinberger analysis states that the project could generate 3,115 new vehicle trips per average weekday 402 during the morning commute and 393 during the evening commute.
Trips to and from the new buildings would exacerbate gridlock on Middle and Cambridge avenues, Yale Road and University Drive, and would spill over to College and Partridge, the analysis says.
In addition, the intersections of El Camino Real with Menlo and Ravenswood avenues would “operate unacceptably” when project-generated traffic is thrown into the mix.
The analysis likely will further stir the Save Menlo coalition of city residents who oppose Stanford and Arrillaga’s proposed development, as well as Greenheart Land Co.’s plan to build 216 apartments, 194,000 square feet of office and 16,000 square feet of retail at 1300 El Camino Real.
Save Menlo prompted the council to place Measure M on the Nov. 4 ballot. The initiative aims to limit office space in individual developments within the specific plan area to 100,000 square feet, up to a maximum total of 240,820 square feet. It also would prevent rooftops and balconies from being calculated as open space and require voter approval prior to any changes to square footage allotments for offices.
Stanford’s project is currently on hold pending the outcome of Measure M.