The following list of comments that the community has provided County Public Works (DPW) in the past, is tabulated here to provide a perspective of community feedback on safety at the intersection of Santa Cruz Ave & Alameda de las Pulgas.   While DPW would not allow the Community Safety Option 10.5 to be presented in past public meetings and surveys, it should not be ignored.  Many of the features of the Community’s 10.5 design can be separated and used to provide a much safer intersection that we can more easily live with for the next 20+ years compared to a county design that is not willing to improve safety.

To keep the current intersection layout, a design that was meant for an expressway like road, seems to mock reason.   Elements of the Safety Option 10.5 would greatly improve safety and reduce speed for all that use this intersection:

  • Crosswalks  – Much shorter – over half the distance as county’s design and at 90° angles
  • Intersection angle – Corrected per FHWA, NACTO, Vision Zero, to be a safer 90° angle
  • Reduced Speed – accomplished by removing the 50 mph turn, replacing with a 25 mph turn
  • Residential Safety – Provides buffer between traffic lanes and driveways
  • Pedestrians – safer sidewalks with significant buffer from traffic, improved crosswalk
  • Cyclists – Greatly improved merge zone, greatly improved separation from traffic, calmer traffic flow with guaranteed slower traffic 
  • Addresses many of intersection’s safety issues:  blind corners, confusing traffic lights, greatly reduces size of intersection from a massive expressway feel to one that is more residential
  • Simpler access to intersection for all directions from Campo Bello and nearby residential properties

Community Comments:

“I think the community task force has worked hard and represented the regions and stakeholders of the community well.  They came up with an alternate design they call “10.5a”.  10.5a is full of very thoughtful and safety-promoting design features.     I really like the traffic calming that the curb/plantings aesthetic creates.      I like not having to go diagonally through an intersection where I’m halfway thru the intersection when it turns red (shorter, orthogonal intersections).      I like shorter crosswalks with great visibility of the pedestrians (mothers with walkers, children going to school, and me and my family and friends).      I like the ability of residents to safely pull out of their driveways into a buffer lane without fear of getting t-boned by a motorist in a hurry.      

“I am most confident in the safety of the community proposal 10.5 which will physically and naturally reduce the speed of travel through the intersection, which would otherwise remain unresolved.” (ds)

“I prefer the community option 10.5 to any of the options provided by county.   My primary concern is the flow of traffic. Additionally, looking at all of the county design, the poor design of the crosswalks. They are long and awkward, and seem extremely unsafe in every design shown in the survey.    Also, this survey is very confusing and poorly designed. It was hard to visually parse the differences between the options.” (cj)

“Prefer option 10.5.  This is the best solution that provides safety to pedestrians, cyclist, drivers, and the home owners.” (rz)

“Please consider inclusion of option 10.5 in the evaluation”  (gf)

“Outstanding job on Community Safe Option 10.5.  Kudos to the community task force for coming up with such a well-thought out, creative and solid design. Plans like the 10.5 are of the sort that truly encourage more and more people to bike and walk, supporting not only their own health but also the health, safety and connectedness of the entire community. When one more person bikes, walks or rolls, the entire community benefits. Please make ‘whatever needs to happen’ happen in order for this 10.5 plan to become a reality for the people of Menlo Park. The community deserves it.”  (se)

“We would most like to see the community’s “Safety option 10.5” for the intersection.”  (re)

“I like not having high-speed (large radius) turns to get people to slow down.    I like having traffic lights pointing at the correct lanes (not having to guess which light is mine since the County has a hard time pointing and shrouding the lights to limit visibility to only the intended drivers and cyclists).    Doesn’t this 10.5 look like the way the intersection should look and function?  It does to me.    Great job and a shout out to the Task Force for continuing to work toward the best solution!      10.5 has my vote!  “    (cj)

“While I’m happy for your willingness to invite comment from the community, I find county notable lacking in that it fails to present any room for alternative input from the citizens and people affected by the subject.  I’d would greatly prefer the additional presenting of some community options such as option 10.5 which has the support of many of our neighbors most impacted by the proposed changes.     One of the great things about American democracy is the ability to chose an option we believe is best. We do not vote by plebiscite but allow every individual a change to render their input, however unwelcome it is to the current elected officials. 

Please follow the principles that are foundational to our great nation and allow a discussion on these issues that is not hamstrung by limitations on our options. So far I have seen little reason to support the current management of our local infrastructure, something I will certainly keep in mind on election day.     Doing your job means having a physical impact, it means taking deliberate and intelligent action, not arguing for years to put forth plans scrapped of foresight or consideration without community input. It means standing up and being counted and doing what we have entrusted you to do. Democracy moves slowly, but your failure to provide a well considered option nor to convince the very people most effected by your proposed changes of their efficacy is not something that inspires confidence. I hope that county DPW will pay greater attention to the role you were appointed to and a renewed sense of good faith and trust in the community and the people whom you are meant to serve.”  (ss)

“The alternatives for the Y intersection all seem to have major flaws.  The best alternative that I see, is the community’s option 10.5.  This 10.5 seems to have the best solution and should be the preferred alternative.”  (rc)

“The community proposal 10.5 is significantly better than the three choices offered by county.  I urge the county to include this configuration which is superior to all others and meets the needs and desire of our community. This survey was very frustrating because it required answering every question – even if you preferred none of the options, which is not the same as preferring the current configuration.  The comment section should have been at the beginning with the option not to choose any of the choices provided. NONE OF THESE should have been an option, while still wanted a change from existing layout.   Please do another survey that includes the community’s choice 10.5”  (ss)

“I like the community 10.5 design for the safety benefits for bicyclists and pedestrians.”  (dg)

“County design at the Y is not an improvement of what we have now. It does not address the speed of cars coming through the intersection and makes it harder to get into the homes in the Y.

As a pedestrian, this is not an improvement. I have witnessed most pedestrians continuing north on Alameda from the East side of Santa Cruz Avenue and walk directly into the street to follow the road instead of cross at the appropriate locations.

As a resident in the Y, I do not want an island right outside my front door. We cannot get into our property from the north and would have to navigate south past all the lane switching and make a u-turn to get into our driveway. This is worse than our current situation.

I also do not want a crosswalk coming directly into my house. I want to know exactly where street lights will be located to assure they are not in front of my property or line of sight through windows. If I take down my fence, the current plan has a crosswalk going directly into our home and I will not be able to reconfigure our driveway if we plan to remodel the property. Why would a crosswalk be permitted to direct people into the middle of a property.

10.5 has so much more improvements for calming and safety. I think we can move crosswalks and reduce the size of the island but the configuration makes more sense. Bike safety can be adjusted a bit for those going North and the sharp turns into Santa Cruz can be made more smooth. The turn from Santa Cruz onto Alameda can be improved as well.   There are two versions of 10.5 and it would be great to get the city planners to give recommendations on improving this option as it is the best option presented. 

Thanks for putting these options together.”  (cc)

“Please adopt Plan 10.5. This design calms traffic far more efficiently and is more clear to drivers in all directions about where to turn, etc. Further, this design allows for better speed control.

The County must also figure out how to monitor excess speeding in the Y area, both on Santa Cruz Ave. and on the Alameda.”  (lm)

“This great safety 10.5 option  is a thoughtful and safe plan.
It provides safety for residents, pedestrians and cyclists.
It slows traffic.
It is easy for drivers to follow.
Count design is a confusing, complicated plan that does not slow traffic, impedes residents access to their own driveways.
The long crosswalks are dangerous for slow walkers. The multiple lanes will confuse drivers and increase accidents as they cut into other lanes.
What can we do to get the county to look again at 10.5?
A big thank you to those who came up with 10.5!”  (ss)

“After more than 20 years living near the Y, I still have bad moments driving there. 10.5 is a wonderful solution and also in keeping with the times.
So many more people are out walking, jogging, biking this area since the pandemic. I think that trend will continue, especially if facilitated by the 10.5 design. Cities are closing streets, we can slow traffic.”  (kw)

“The 10.5a community design should be considered as an option. Looks like the best option.”  (dc)

“Please consider the community’s Safety Option 10.5 as a design alternative for the Santa Cruz/Alameda Y intersection. This is my preferred option.’  (pm)

“the 10.5a community design should be considered as an option, and seems better than the alternatives provided by county”  (ds)

“Please include Option 10.5 – this is my MOST preferred option – above A/B/C described in earlier survey”   (cw)

“ The 10.5a community design should be considered as an option. I think this is a better overall option. One possible suggestion, however, would be to make the right turn onto Santa Cruz northbound a smoother transition, meaning not such a sharp right turn.“  (ct)

“The options provided for the Alameda-Santa Cruz intersection all seem to have serious safety issues.  I think the option 10.5 that the community offers seems much safer and slows traffic – please make this 10.5 option a choice — Thank you”  (db)

“the 10.5a community design should be considered as an option”  (ac)

“The 10.5a community design should be considered as an option for the Y”  (ms)

“prefer 10.5 configurations  parking, safety for walkers and bikers of concern.  Full stop at red light as people seem to cruise through it at times.”  (lp)

“I would like you to seriously consider “the 10.5a community design” as an option (see”  (ac)

“The range of alternatives studies is inadequate. Options to reduce intersection skew should have been considered. See link below for rough sketch of one example to enhance intersection geometry.  ”  (tl)

“I believe that what is being called Safety Option 10.5a is MUCH better than any of the options on which I just voted!  PLEASE give 10.5 SERIOUS CONSIDERATION.  Thank you.”  (sr)

“Please consider community alternative 10.5”  (jw)

“County has offered several alternatives as no votes – non-starters.  For instance, two of the alternatives didn’t provide bike lanes on SCA, that is a non-starter if this solution is dictating road configuration for the next 20+ years.   Totally against County transportation planning.   These are non-starters.    Past surveys should have provided a “none of the above” and/or allow a “Other” with associated comment entry.   

County alternatives for the Y are all complex and problematic, keeping the underpinning dangerous configuration instead of correcting that skewed intersection is a fundamental problem.   Correcting this design to be a much safer and probably significantly cheaper perpendicular intersection by making the northern Santa Cruz segment intersect at 90.  

This is recommended by FHWA/DOT, Traffic Safety & Traffic Calming organizations, and recommended specifically for this intersection.   Such a corrective alignment has all the advantages of safety while still supporting the volume of traffic projected for this corridor.  Modifying this intersection to remove the skew addresses all of the documented safety issues at this intersection, reduces conflict zones, provides significant safety for pedestrians, residents, and cyclists, eliminates problematic complexity of traffic lights, line of sight issues, removes high speed elements, and so much more.   This is our community’s option #10.5 and it should be considered, if not all then at least some of the important aspects like a NB Santa Cruz turn design for 25 mph speeds rather than the 50 mph turn in the design.”  (rs)

“its very dangerous for bikers mostly on the return on the Y going to Avy. this needs to be dealt with”  (rm)

“When Santa Cruz is able to go separate to ADLP you get cars changing lanes at the last second to drive down Santa Cruz. Safer to make cars stop in both lanes.”  (ie)

“After years of participating in polls and meetings and voicing our concerns that the NB section of Santa Cruz Avenue is missing completely in this discussion.  It is frustrating and disheartening to see that again, there is still a 30 mph speed limit sign for the unsafest, narrowest part – single lane! – of this whole corridor, and not even a safety consideration regarding missing sidewalks and street lighting!  We wrote to County and others to no avail.  County residents are clearly, sadly second class.  We will still participate but it is beyond frustrating to be left out.”  (hs)

“Does it make sense to use the expressway layout or change to a safer smaller intersection?  Using the same criteria and comparing Safety Option 10.5 to County’s design, the distance between the Campo Bello driver and the driver stopped on the SB Santa Cruz stop line is a meager 11′ differential between to two designs, much smaller than a car length.   That is, Safety Option 10.5 measures out to be about 185′ between the two drivers; for County Alt-C, it is 174′ between the drivers.  That is such a nominal distance, that if there is a concern, the concern should be applied to both designs.  

I see that the SB Alameda distance to Campo Bello is, in the 10.5 option, about 2 car lengths longer than the current configuration.  From a line of sight perspective that is longer, but from an effective sight linel difference perspective that may be a minor issue.   In any case, that distance can be reduced by minor adjustments to how SB Santa Cruz enters the intersection.  The goal is to make a much slower curve on continuing Santa Cruz Ave connection, by  eliminating the current dangerous and high speed slip lane curve.   The additional 10.5  improvement of reducing the skew approach, as recommended by FHWA and other Traffic/Pedestrian safety organizations, allows the entire intersection to be less complex and much narrower intersection.  That allows for the woonerf pathway, makes for a calmer intersection overall, with much shorter crosswalks and addresses the blind corner, amongst other significant safety improvements.

Additionally, AASHTO states that skewed approaches should be avoided, with the safest angle at 90° to 75°.  It appears that the severe angle of the Alt-C skew is NOT recommended by AASHTO.   Also, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)  states that skewed intersections should be corrected to 90° (aka ‘T’ intersections) as skewed intersections have higher accident risk and resulting in more severe injuries, along with line of site issues.

Add to this that cars on the Safety Option 10.5 will be naturally restricted to a slower 25 mph max turn speed and the County Alt-C, based on the current faulty design, often has cars traveling well above 40 mph.  In this case, the Intersection Decision Sight Distance comes into play:  The computed sight distance for Safety Option 10.5 would be 152′, well within the 185′  design parameters.  However, the County Alt-C has the potential, based on current speed experience, of having a computed 300′  to 400′ decision sight distance because of the higher speed drivers often use in that configuration, well over twice that of Option 10.5.   

FHWA-Signalized Intersections 4.5.2 

If you compare the safety improvements incorporated in the 10.5 design with County’s latest design (2023) you will find that that many of the key safety goals achieved in the 10.5 design are not incorporated in the County design. So 10.5 addresses speed, pedestrian safety, short crosswalks, residential safety, and a much safer bike lane layout.: Unfortunately all of these elements are missing from the County design.”   (rs)

Updated April 2023,

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