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

Feasibility & Planning

The first step for the East Palo Alto 101 team was to study eight potential locations for a new pedestrian/bicycle overpass, narrowing it down to two potential locations.  The East Palo Alto team looked at a range of factors when narrowing down the candidates.  One of the tools used was modeling the projected demand for bicyclists and pedestrians on both sides of Highway 101.

Projected pedestrian demand in East Palo Alto

Site Selection

The team eventually narrowed the field down to two potential crossing locations: one at Euclid Ave & Donahoe St (to the north of the University Ave overpass) and one at Newell Rd & Clarke Ave (to the south of the University Ave overpass).  The East Palo Alto team came up with nine potential alignments at these two locations for a pedestrian/bicycle overpass.

Current conditions at the potential site of the overpass near Newell Road and Clarke Avenue

Community Outreach

Each location, and each alignment, had its pros and cons. Over the summer, the East Palo Alto 101 team conducted outreach and attended several public events to gather input on the community’s preferred location and alignment.  A workshop was held on June 7th at the East Palo Alto Senior Center, where we gathered a lot of great feedback. Later that month, the East Palo Alto 101 team helped the City of East Palo Alto celebrate their 29th birthday, getting more feedback from the community.  From  these two meetings, the East Palo Alto 101 clearly documented the public’s desire to see a new pedestrian/bicycle overcrossing at the “Option B” site – at Newell Rd & Clarke Ave.  The top priorities for the community were traffic safety, regional connectivity for bicyclists, and easy access to the overpass.

Stakeholders voting on their preferred alignment at Children’s Day

Even at the preferred crossing location, many potential alignments are possible.  The project team is currently seeking additional community input on several possible alignment options for the Newell Road/Clarke Avenue site.  The alignments from this presentation were presented at the East Palo Alto’s Children’s Day on August 25th.

Possible Alignments

Updated 12-10-2012

Updated 12-10-2012

Next Steps

The East Palo Alto 101 team is currently refining the alignment alternatives in response to community feedback and technical analysis.  On Wednesday, October 17th, we will be reviewing a draft set of new alternatives with the City’s Public Works and Transportation Committee, then presenting the final “Short List” of alternatives and new cost information at a second community workshop in early November.

Please check back later to learn more about the public workshop, as we’d love to hear what alignment you prefer.  In the meantime, download the presentation, take a look, and tell us what you think.