All of Santa Cruz Avenue is 25 mph with one short exception: That short section between Avy Ave and the “Y” intersection of Santa Cruz and Alameda. For the city of Menlo Park, this section is about 800′. It is about the same distance for the County section.

NEW! Opportunity to gain safety on this section of road this year: Please read Opportunity section below.

This section has serious problems with high speed traffic. This is a residential area, with dozens of driveways. This is a school route and thus frequently used by children and families. It has a dangerous offset intersection that has a long history of frequent accidents. Bike and pedestrian paths are inconsistent, with the city having them and the county not. The crosswalk is in an unusual location. Funerals at the adjacent cemetery add to the traffic woes. In short, a segment of road with lots of challenges for safety.

First and foremost, speed! It is a serious issue as all that walk, bike, and live on this section can attest. It makes no sense to raise the speed limit, as is currently done, on this short section of road: Why would we want motorists to accelerate and drive at a faster speed when we are trying to lower speed as a step towards achieving a safer roadway? All of Santa Cruz is 25 mph, so why should this section of road, with all its safety challenges, be a higher speed limit?

Second, the intersection of Sharon Rd and Oakdell Dr: This section of Santa Cruz Ave is a constant problem with rear end collisions, most that go unreported, and an unexceptable number of near misses. It is a sad state of existence that families don’t feel safe crossing this road at that location, nor do they feel there kids are safe crossing on their way to school. While lowering the speed limit to 25 here won’t solve the problem of the offset intersection, it will help slow the traffic and improve driver awareness and reaction times.

Impact of a lower speed limit? The driving time difference between 25 and 30 mph for each of the City and County sections is about 3 seconds each. With a stop light on one end and a four way stop on the other, this hardly makes a difference in commute time; however, a lower speed will make a big difference in safety. Well worth a few seconds.

Lowering the speed limit to be consistent with all of Santa Cruz Ave will have a positive impact on safety. Rather than directing drivers to speed up on this section of road, the 25 mph limit will instead keep motorists at consistent and safer speed.

While speed is probably the most important safety issue, there are other changes that could be done to improve safety even more. Please review the webpage on, where there are several safety issues identified and discussed: Adding a southbound up hill bike lane, safer crosswalk, address offset intersection, reducing the extra wide traffic lanes to a narrower traffic calming width, are just a few of the changes that can make a big difference in improving Santa Cruz Ave safety.


County is doing a Pavement Preservation Project that will do minor repairs on this section of Santa Cruz Ave, between the “Y” and the Oakdell intersection). This means that the entire roadway will get a new top level coating. The opportunity is that with this new coating, county will re-stripe the road, and that provides the ability to make the road safer and calmer.

One of the reasons for the high speed traffic in the area is that the current road uses freeway wide lanes. Santa Cruz downtown and the new lanes that will be on Santa Cruz towards Sand hill will all be 10′. So narrowering these wide lanes on this short section of Santa Cruz is in line with the rest of the roadway.

In the Action items below, please not only ask for a slower speed limit, but also ask that county re-stripe for 10′ traffic lanes. If that were done the extra space gained by the narrower 10′ lanes would be enough for a dedicated bike lane without any shoulder space impact or sacrifice. Cyclists have identified that the up hill direction — towards the Y intersection (SB) — would make the most safety sense.

This is described in the Community’s Safety Report: Safety Option 9 – Safer Santa Cruz Ave & Bike Lane

Action – Ways to Help

Two ways to help support safety action for the north Santa Cruz Ave segment: 1) Send an email to City Council and to County Public Works and to our County Supervisor and executive management. You can use this email link to address an email that you can then write your note and send.

The other way to help get action is to leave a comment below. Your comment will be available for public view and be sent to both Menlo Park City and County management.

Thank you. Our community voice can make a difference for quick action from County.



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