Overcrossing Project Seeks ATP Grant Funding for Final Design, Construction

City Requesting Letters of Support from Neighborhood and Regional Stakeholders

If you are following this project, you may be aware that a major grant source – the newly-developed statewide Active Transportation Program (ATP) – has a Call for Projects due later this month. The ATP consolidates a number of historic funding programs into one grant that is focused exclusively on bicycle, pedestrian, and Safe Routes to School improvements throughout California. With a heavy emphasis on serving disadvantaged communities and improving public health, as well as a $360 million budget for the current call for projects, the ATP is perhaps the single greatest opportunity to fund the construction of the proposed pedestrian and bicycle bridge in East Palo Alto.

Documenting public support for the bridge project is key to the success of the grant application.This means we need to hear from people like YOU.

Please consider taking 5 minutes to write a letter of support for this project; since all support letters must be attached to the application and cannot be sent separately, we request that all letters of support be emailed as an attachment (Word or PDF) no later than May 15 to caseyhildreth@altaplanning.com.

Template language for a support letter is provided here as a Word document as well as below. If you are writing on behalf of an organization or company, please place your letter on official letterhead whenever possible. Letters of support are preferred in English, but can be submitted in other languages if necessary.

Letter of Support – Template Language

Attention: Teresa McWilliam, Division of Local Assistance, MS-1 

Chief, Office of Active Transportation and Special Programs 

P.O. Box 942874 

Sacramento, CA 95814 

Ms. McWilliam,

On behalf of (insert name), we would like to offer our enthusiastic support for the City of East Palo Alto’s Highway 101 Pedestrian/Bicycle Overcrossing Project Active Transportation Program (ATP) grant application.

This grade-separated crossing and associated pedestrian and bikeway improvements would be a “game-changer” for the community, addressing long-standing travel safety and access issues that result from the division of the community by the U.S. Route 101 corridor. Highway 101 separates dense residential areas in south East Palo Alto (where approximately one-third of city residents live) from the majority of the city’s services, schools, parks, and jobs to the north. A narrow sidewalk on University Avenue is the only existing facility to bridge this divide between Willow Road to the north and the Oregon Expressway pedestrian/bicycle overpass to the south in Palo Alto (a stretch of over two miles).

Establishing a new Class I shared-use trail over the Highway 101 barrier – away from heavy vehicle traffic – will enhance public safety, promote walking and bicycling, and reduce vehicular trips on University Avenue and other congested roadways. The project will also improve community health by providing recreational opportunities and linkages to the Bay Trail and City of Palo Alto (as well as to the city’s only full-service grocery store); will promote safer and more direct walking and biking routes to at least five schools; and will result in a highly-visible commitment to active transportation that will forever shape future investments and travel patterns in the City.

East Palo Alto is a historically underserved community, with a legacy of disinvestment before the city incorporated in 1983. That legacy persists today, with significantly lower household incomes and rates of high school graduation than the county at-large. More than half of households in East Palo Alto have children, which is true for only one-third of households countywide. This suggests that opportunities to provide facilities and activities for youth – starting with this trail overcrossing – are especially important in East Palo Alto.

In short, this project represents the very essence of what the Active Transportation Program seeks to achieve. We strongly encourage you to fund this project and help make this long-standing vision become a reality.


(insert name and signature)


Final Feasibility Study and Preferred Alignment

City Council approves preferred alignment in November 2013

A preferred bridge alignment for the US 101 overcrossing, referred to as Alternative 2A in the feasibility study, has been approved by the East Palo Alto City Council. The alignment starts at the intersection of Newell Road and West Bayshore Road; climbs southward adjacent to the highway sound wall; crosses over the highway (at a slight angle to avoid overhead utility impacts), and makes several curves before landing on the north side of Clarke Avenue. The project would include a new traffic signal at West Bayshore Road and Newell Road, as well as wider sidewalks and new bike lanes on Clarke Avenue. The project is not anticipated to require additional right-of-way.


Conceptual illustration of the preferred bridge concept, looking northwest from Clarke Avenue toward East Bayshore Road. The project would include pedestrian and bicycle enhancements on Clarke Avenue up to O’Conner Avenue, which provides direct access to the Ravenswood City School District multi-school campus and linkages to the San Francisco Bay Trail.

Draft of Overcrossing Feasibility Study Released

City Council to Consider Study Recommendations at June 4th Meeting

The City’s Highway 101 Pedestrian/Bicycle Overcrossing Project reached a major milestone in May with the release of a draft feasibility study report. The report outlines the project’s community outreach and planning analysis to date and recommends preferred bridge landing areas and related roadway improvements that, if approved, will move into the environmental review and preliminary design phase this summer. Presentation of the document’s findings are scheduled for a City Council study session on Tuesday, June 4th at City Hall.

    The proposed over-crossing alignments between Clarke Ave & Newell Rd

The proposed over-crossing alignments between Clarke Ave & Newell Rd

Project Update

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Reminder: Community Meeting this Sunday, Dec 16

Just a friendly reminder from the East Palo Alto 101 team that we’re hosting a community workshop this coming Sunday, December 16th, at St. Francis Assisi Church from 3:00-4:30PM.

Updated 12-10-2012

Updated 12-10-2012

We understand that not everyone interested in the program will be able to attend this weekend.  So we’re sharing with you the powerpoint developed for Tuesday’s meeting at the Woodland Park Neighborhood community meeting. We’ll also post it on our Presentations page.

December 11 Study Session Presentation

December meetings for the East Palo Alto 101 Overcrossing

The East Palo Alto 101 team would like to announce two more chances for you to make your voice heard. We’re hosting public meetings this coming Tuesday, December 11th, and Sunday, December 16th.  We’ve got preliminary details for both events, and we’ll share more information with you in the days leading up to the meetings.

Help us make the East Palo Alto 101 overcrossing the best it can be

Help us make the East Palo Alto 101 overcrossing the best it can be

Refining and revising our designs

We provided some initial design concepts to the East Palo Alto City Council in October. From the comments we received, we’re working on further refinements and revisions to the project.  At our two December meetings we’re relying on you, the public, to let us know if we’re on the right track. Continue reading

September/October Update on East Palo Alto Highway 101 Pedestrian/Bicycle Overpass

The East Palo Alto 101 team would like to provide you, the public, with an update on our overpass project.  We’d like to share with you an informational presentation we recently gave to the East Palo Alto City Council.  For those of you who are new to the project, this is a great starting point.  Read below for a summary of where the project has been and where it’s headed.  We’ve also made a PDF of the full presentation available in this post as well as on our Documents page.

East Palo Alto Highway 101 Pedestrian/Bicycle Overcrossing Project presentation, September 19, 2012 (PDF)

A photo-simulation of what the overpass might look like at Newell Road

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Celebrate 29 years of East Palo Alto!

Do you like parades?  How about fireworks?

East Palo Alto will be celebrating its 29th birthday in grand style on Saturday, June 30th.  And you’re invited!

Come visit the East Palo Alto 101 Team

Helping celebrate 29 years of East Palo Alto, our team will be on hand to share information with the public about the East Palo Alto Highway 101 Pedestrian & Bicycle Overpass.  We’re working hard to incorporate the public’s comments from our first community open house & workshop, and we want to get even more feedback this Saturday.  We hope to unveil updated concepts at the East Palo Alto birthday celebration.

We also still need more input from the public on this vital project.  So please, share your ideas, hopes, and concerns with us about the project.  If visiting with us on the 30th won’t work for you, you can always submit your comments to us online.

June 7th Meeting Recap: East Palo Alto 101 Gets Started on the Right Foot

As we mentioned in our post earlier this month, the East Palo Alto 101 team held an open house and public workshop for the community on June 7th.  We got to share our initial concepts with the public and gain a lot of insightful comments from community members.  If you want to follow along at home, you can take a look at our initial concepts and the report from June 7th’s meeting on our Documents page.

Community members learned about the current options for the 101 overpass and gave their invaluable input to the project team.

We want to use the community’s input to refine and expand our ideas, and this was only the first of many chances for the community to make their voice heard.  We’ll be staffing a table at the celebration of East Palo Alto’s 29th birthday on June 30th.  Come for the parade; stay to share your ideas about the East Palo Alto 101 Overpass.

If you want to share your ideas with us right now, use the form on our Contact Us page.

Below the fold, we’ll share with you the highlights of the meeting and more…

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