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.
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…
Take a Look for Yourself
We’re going to break down some of the key points of the meeting, but we also want you to be able to read the whole report yourself. Participants got to vote on which of the initial designs they liked, as well as make comments on their highest priorities, their greatest concerns, and their ideas about what would make a pedestrian & bicycle crossing the best it can be.
Option A, Option B
Meeting participants were presented with two general locations for an overpass, one north of University Avenue and one to the south. Interestingly, though most of the participants lived to the north of the existing crossing at University Avenue, the majority preferred a crossing to the south of University. This suggests that more of the places people want to get to, on both sides of the freeway, are to the south of University Avenue.
Biggest Concerns/Biggest Hopes
Meeting participants also voted on what they considered the most important issues for the design and location of the overpass. Overwhelmingly, participants voted for “Traffic Safety” and “Accessibility and Comfort”, with “Bicycle/Regional Connectivity” coming in a not-too-distant third. This was further reinforced by stakeholder comments about safety on the streets around the overpass. One stakeholder suggested that the overpass go over not only Highway 101, but also East and West Bayshore Road. Another suggested converting some of the empty parcels nearby one of the overpass alignments into a community park.
Proof: Why a Pedestrian & Bicycle Overpass is Necessary
And lest you think that a pedestrian & bicycle overpass isn’t needed in this community, we’d like to share a great video taken of a family riding their bikes along the existing University Avenue overpass. With 5-foot sidewalks and a 2-foot shoulder (that almost disappears at the end of the video!), it’s more than clear that the current overpass just doesn’t cut it when it comes to bicyclist & pedestrian needs.