The Great Willows Traffic Hoax

A quick video overview.

What’s This?

This site is intended as a resource for people who live in the Willows area of Menlo Park and East Palo Alto, CA. Those who live in the Menlo Park section are about to be asked to vote on a proposal that would drastically alter the flow of traffic through this neighborhood, affecting Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, and neighboring Palo Alto.

Covered on this page:

  • What’s the Great Willows Traffic Hoax, and how long has it been going on?
  • What’s the current plan under discussion?
  • If the new plan goes through, who wins, who loses, and to what degree?
  • Is there really too much traffic in the Willows?
  • Whose voices will actually be heard when it’s time for the City Council to make a decision about implementing the plan?

If you don’t live in the Willows, chances are excellent that this is all going to be pretty boring. The whole thing is a stellar example of neighborhood politics, which is especially vicious because the stakes are so small.

If, however, you do live in the Willows, keep an eye on the City Council’s calendar:

http://www.menlopark.org/council/meeting_calendar.htm

… and the Willows Traffic Study page:

http://www.menlopark.org/departments/trn/willowstrafficstudy.html

… for progress updates and opportunities to speak out.

Contact

Project Manager: Chip Taylor
E-Mail: transportation@menlopark.org
Phone: 650.330.6770

Who Made This Site?

Willowstraffichoax.com was crafted with love in East Palo Alto, by Kent and Vickie Brewster.

About the Willows
Contrary to the oft-stated opinion of the people responsible for perpetrating the Great Willows Traffic Hoax, the Willows isn’t a homogeneous mass that was designed in one fell swoop. Central to its charm is that the Willows has grown organically over the past century or so and has many distinct personalities.
Much of the Willows originally consisted of small homes on large lots. Over the years, many of these have been repeatedly subdivided—especially on the frontage roads and cul-de-sacs in the High Willows—to greatly increase the number of homes per foot of street.
1: The Lower Willows. Chester Street and everything below. Here narrow streets frame a mix of tiny homes and genuinely unfortunate remodels. Property values and general livability here owe everything to the existence of the Highway 101 sound wall.
2: The Middle Willows. Bordered by Gilbert, Menalto, Durham, and Willow. Here’s where you’ll find your tiny setbacks and narrow streets, but most of these are on the north-south streets and—as shown on the most recent Willows Area-Wide Traffic Study—don’t have that much traffic going by.
3: The Upper Willows. Anything above Gilbert on the Willow Road side of Menalto. Wide, looping streets, fair-sized setbacks, and very nice homes from different eras. Largely insulated from traffic problems by its geography.
4: The High Willows. Three cul-de-sacs (Elliott, Oak, and Byers) that all back up against each other and the big green heart of the German-American School. Large lots, winding streets, enormous setbacks, and a very quiet neighborhood, since there’s no through traffic at all.
5: The Hidden Willows. Donohoe and the four tiny streets connecting it to Green and West Bayshore. Big trees, very narrow streets, no sidewalks, and naturally-occurring speed bumps, with an eclectic mix of homes on lots that vary from postage-stamp-sized to half an acre or more.
6: The Scary High-Density Willows. East O’Keefe, parts of Euclid, and most of Manhattan. Much of this has recently been purchased and noticeably upgraded by Page Mill Properties.
7: University Circle. Although most residents of the Willows will have zero interaction with its patrons, shutting down Whiskey Gulch and the Manhattan ramp to 101 and building a billion-dollar office/hotel conglomerate has improved the neighborhood hugely, at the minor expense of increased traffic along the frontage roads. University Circle has been specifically excluded from the neighborhood survey area by the perpetrators of the Great Willows Traffic Hoax, but it’s a major factor in terms of traffic and economic power, so it should not be ignored.
The Frontage Roads, indicated by a thin red line. Chester, Green, West Bayshore, Manhattan, and Woodland run alongside the insurmountable obstacles of Highway 101 and San Francisquito Creek. Frontage roads are a natural path for traffic, since it simply can’t go anywhere else. 
If you pay close attention to the discussion, you’ll discover that the hoaxers live on or very near the frontage roads, and are attempting to shift the natural flow of traffic along the edges inwards, to the center of the neighborhood. The point of the whole sorry exercise is to cause traffic to seem as bad as possible through those central streets, and make the closure of the connections to East Palo Alto seem to be the only possible alternative. 

Contact

Project Manager: Chip TaylorE-Mail: transportation@menlopark.orgPhone: 650.330.6770

Who Made This Site?

Willowstraffichoax.com was crafted with love in East Palo Alto, by Kent and Vickie Brewster.

About the Willows

Contrary to the oft-stated opinion of the people responsible for perpetrating the Great Willows Traffic Hoax, the Willows isn’t a homogeneous mass that was designed in one fell swoop. Central to its charm is that the Willows has grown organically over the past century or so and has many distinct personalities.

Much of the Willows originally consisted of small homes on large lots. Over the years, many of these have been repeatedly subdivided—especially on the frontage roads and cul-de-sacs in the High Willows—to greatly increase the number of homes per foot of street.

1: The Lower Willows. Chester Street and everything below. Here narrow streets frame a mix of tiny homes and genuinely unfortunate remodels. Property values and general livability here owe everything to the existence of the Highway 101 sound wall.

2: The Middle Willows. Bordered by Gilbert, Menalto, Durham, and Willow. Here’s where you’ll find your tiny setbacks and narrow streets, but most of these are on the north-south streets and—as shown on the most recent Willows Area-Wide Traffic Study—don’t have that much traffic going by.

3: The Upper Willows. Anything above Gilbert on the Willow Road side of Menalto. Wide, looping streets, fair-sized setbacks, and very nice homes from different eras. Largely insulated from traffic problems by its geography.

4: The High Willows. Three cul-de-sacs (Elliott, Oak, and Byers) that all back up against each other and the big green heart of the German-American School. Large lots, winding streets, enormous setbacks, and a very quiet neighborhood, since there’s no through traffic at all.

5: The Hidden Willows. Donohoe and the four tiny streets connecting it to Green and West Bayshore. Big trees, very narrow streets, no sidewalks, and naturally-occurring speed bumps, with an eclectic mix of homes on lots that vary from postage-stamp-sized to half an acre or more.

6: The Scary High-Density Willows. East O’Keefe, parts of Euclid, and most of Manhattan. Much of this has recently been purchased and noticeably upgraded by Page Mill Properties.

7: University Circle. Although most residents of the Willows will have zero interaction with its patrons, shutting down Whiskey Gulch and the Manhattan ramp to 101 and building a billion-dollar office/hotel conglomerate has improved the neighborhood hugely, at the minor expense of increased traffic along the frontage roads. University Circle has been specifically excluded from the neighborhood survey area by the perpetrators of the Great Willows Traffic Hoax, but it’s a major factor in terms of traffic and economic power, so it should not be ignored.

The Frontage Roads, indicated by a thin red line. Chester, Green, West Bayshore, Manhattan, and Woodland run alongside the insurmountable obstacles of Highway 101 and San Francisquito Creek. Frontage roads are a natural path for traffic, since it simply can’t go anywhere else. 

If you pay close attention to the discussion, you’ll discover that the hoaxers live on or very near the frontage roads, and are attempting to shift the natural flow of traffic along the edges inwards, to the center of the neighborhood. The point of the whole sorry exercise is to cause traffic to seem as bad as possible through those central streets, and make the closure of the connections to East Palo Alto seem to be the only possible alternative.

Contact

Project Manager: Chip Taylor
E-Mail: transportation@menlopark.org
Phone: 650.330.6770

Who Made This Site?

Willowstraffichoax.com was crafted with love in East Palo Alto, by Kent and Vickie Brewster.

What the Hoaxers Really Want
Nothing less than complete denial of access to Menlo Park by car from the East Palo Alto side of the Willows.
The image above is the 1991 “Preferred Plan,” which went down in flames when presented to the Menlo Park city council. Source: PDF attachment from Eric Doyle’s 2008 message to the Menlo Park City Council, http://bit.ly/gAWDNc
The hoaxers will tell you it’s about cut-through traffic. They’ll tell you it’s about safety. They’ll tell you it’s a completely appropriate reaction to the installation of the University Circle development by East Palo Alto, as if Whiskey Gulch was somehow better. They’ll stand in their front yard, a stone’s throw from Willow Road or 101, and tell you with a straight face that it’s about crime reduction, and noise, and air quality.  
None of this, of course, is the truth.
The truth is simple: it’s all about property values.
The people behind the Great Willows Traffic Hoax bought cheap homes on the frontage roads surrounding the neighborhood, and they’d like it very much if the city of Menlo Park turned where they live into a lovely traffic-free cul-de-sac.
For many reasons—including “we’d be cutting off dozens of homeowners in Menlo Park who live on Euclid and O’Connor,” “it would be an incredibly evil thing to do to the thousands of people who live in the East Palo Alto section,” and “we’d be instantly sued into the ground by Caltrans and the city of Palo Alto for irretrievably snarling traffic at the 101/University interchange”—the Menlo Park city council has (thus far, in this iteration of the hoax) wisely refused to consider closing the streets. 
This has not stopped the Great Willows Traffic Hoax. After the 1994 debacle, its perpetrators switched to a long-term plan: force as much traffic as possible away from the frontage roads and through the center of the neigborhood, thus eventually “proving” that the border with East Palo Alto is the problem and should be closed. 

Contact

Project Manager: Chip TaylorE-Mail: transportation@menlopark.orgPhone: 650.330.6770

Who Made This Site?

Willowstraffichoax.com was crafted with love in East Palo Alto, by Kent and Vickie Brewster.

What the Hoaxers Really Want

Nothing less than complete denial of access to Menlo Park by car from the East Palo Alto side of the Willows.

The image above is the 1991 “Preferred Plan,” which went down in flames when presented to the Menlo Park city council. Source: PDF attachment from Eric Doyle’s 2008 message to the Menlo Park City Council, http://bit.ly/gAWDNc

The hoaxers will tell you it’s about cut-through traffic. They’ll tell you it’s about safety. They’ll tell you it’s a completely appropriate reaction to the installation of the University Circle development by East Palo Alto, as if Whiskey Gulch was somehow better. They’ll stand in their front yard, a stone’s throw from Willow Road or 101, and tell you with a straight face that it’s about crime reduction, and noise, and air quality.  

None of this, of course, is the truth.

The truth is simple: it’s all about property values.

The people behind the Great Willows Traffic Hoax bought cheap homes on the frontage roads surrounding the neighborhood, and they’d like it very much if the city of Menlo Park turned where they live into a lovely traffic-free cul-de-sac.

For many reasons—including “we’d be cutting off dozens of homeowners in Menlo Park who live on Euclid and O’Connor,” “it would be an incredibly evil thing to do to the thousands of people who live in the East Palo Alto section,” and “we’d be instantly sued into the ground by Caltrans and the city of Palo Alto for irretrievably snarling traffic at the 101/University interchange”—the Menlo Park city council has (thus far, in this iteration of the hoax) wisely refused to consider closing the streets. 

This has not stopped the Great Willows Traffic Hoax. After the 1994 debacle, its perpetrators switched to a long-term plan: force as much traffic as possible away from the frontage roads and through the center of the neigborhood, thus eventually “proving” that the border with East Palo Alto is the problem and should be closed.

Contact

Project Manager: Chip Taylor
E-Mail: transportation@menlopark.org
Phone: 650.330.6770

Who Made This Site?

Willowstraffichoax.com was crafted with love in East Palo Alto, by Kent and Vickie Brewster.

What Happened When They Tried This In 1994?

Eric Doyle’s collection of clippings at http://bit.ly/gAWDNc tells the tale. Fourteen chokers, traffic circles, bulb-outs, and islands were installed in February, along with six new stop signs. Two years of public outcry followed, including a petition signed by 1100 residents stating that “the street obstacles reduce quality of life in the Willows.”

In the end, in spite of the fact that only residents within a block of a specific obstacle were allowed to vote on its fate, all but two were removed by the end of 1996. The second half of the plan, which would have installed a traffic circle at nearly every intersection in the lower Willows, was canceled.

Contact

Project Manager: Chip Taylor
E-Mail: transportation@menlopark.org
Phone: 650.330.6770

Who Made This Site?

Willowstraffichoax.com was crafted with love in East Palo Alto, by Kent and Vickie Brewster.

What’s Happened Since Their First Attempt?
From September of 1995 to November of 2004, any group of residents that could come up with a majority “affected”—meaning “owning property within one block”—by a proposed traffic diverter could see it installed by the city, no matter what the effect on emergency service response times or traffic on the surrounding streets.
The perpetrators of the Great Willows Traffic Hoax took full advantage of this on Chester, the frontage road connecting Willow to Green Street. At a cost to the city of well over $150,000, they’ve installed ten new speed bumps and chokers, and are still far from satisfied. Naturally the residents of Durham and O’Keefe, feeling the burden of extra traffic diverted from Chester, responded in kind with speed bumps of their own, and now the entire neighborhood has a single obstruction-free entrance from Willow Road, Gilbert Avenue.
Up the hill on Woodland a similar story has unfolded. Although less than fifty of the 3000+ homes in the neighborhood are actually up there, the hoaxers have prevailed upon the city to install seven speed humps and five stop signs, and are actively working to send as much of their frontage-road traffic down poor, long-suffering Gilbert as possible.
In November of 2004, the Interim NTMP (“Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan”) was replaced by a slightly more sensible plan, which requires a co-ordinated effort throughout the neighborhood to go forward. What’s working its way through the process right now is the end result of that plan.

Contact

Project Manager: Chip TaylorE-Mail: transportation@menlopark.orgPhone: 650.330.6770

Who Made This Site?

Willowstraffichoax.com was crafted with love in East Palo Alto, by Kent and Vickie Brewster.

What’s Happened Since Their First Attempt?

From September of 1995 to November of 2004, any group of residents that could come up with a majority “affected”—meaning “owning property within one block”—by a proposed traffic diverter could see it installed by the city, no matter what the effect on emergency service response times or traffic on the surrounding streets.

The perpetrators of the Great Willows Traffic Hoax took full advantage of this on Chester, the frontage road connecting Willow to Green Street. At a cost to the city of well over $150,000, they’ve installed ten new speed bumps and chokers, and are still far from satisfied. Naturally the residents of Durham and O’Keefe, feeling the burden of extra traffic diverted from Chester, responded in kind with speed bumps of their own, and now the entire neighborhood has a single obstruction-free entrance from Willow Road, Gilbert Avenue.

Up the hill on Woodland a similar story has unfolded. Although less than fifty of the 3000+ homes in the neighborhood are actually up there, the hoaxers have prevailed upon the city to install seven speed humps and five stop signs, and are actively working to send as much of their frontage-road traffic down poor, long-suffering Gilbert as possible.

In November of 2004, the Interim NTMP (“Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan”) was replaced by a slightly more sensible plan, which requires a co-ordinated effort throughout the neighborhood to go forward. What’s working its way through the process right now is the end result of that plan.

Contact

Project Manager: Chip Taylor
E-Mail: transportation@menlopark.org
Phone: 650.330.6770

Who Made This Site?

Willowstraffichoax.com was crafted with love in East Palo Alto, by Kent and Vickie Brewster.

What Are They Up To This Time?

The refined plan, to be presented on April 13th, 2011, relies on partial street closures on Chester, Durham, O’Keefe, and Woodland to funnel traffic away from Chester and Woodland and into the center of the neighborhood.

Gilbert and Laurel will carry most of the additional northbound traffic in the middle of the neighborhood, with Durham and Donohoe carrying nearly all of the southbound traffic.

The black circled arrow on Woodland Avenue is a one-way closure.

Blue circles on Willow are left-turn closures during “peak hours,” funneling traffic down Gilbert and Durham. The black circle where Durham turns into Donohoe is a permanent right-turn closure, forcing drivers who want to turn right on Menalto to do so at Laurel or Central. The clear intention of the Willow closures is to divert all traffic to University Circle or the high-density housing on O’Keefe, O’Connor, Euclid, and Manhattan down Durham to Donohoe, which is eighteen feet wide at the Menlo Park border and has no sidewalks anywhere.

The closure on Woodland between Oak Court and Euclid diverts all traffic from University Avenue up Euclid to O’Connor, and then to Menalto. This adds three-tenths of a mile and about ninety seconds to a cut-through driver’s commute through the Willows, which is still a significant savings over the grind down University to Middlefield during peak traffic.

The green squares on O’Connor and Elm/Pope are raised intersections, which will slow emergency response and greatly increase the level of noise and pollution in the area, especially on O’Connor, with the increased traffic from the Woodland closure.

Contact

Project Manager: Chip TaylorE-Mail: transportation@menlopark.orgPhone: 650.330.6770

Who Made This Site?

Willowstraffichoax.com was crafted with love in East Palo Alto, by Kent and Vickie Brewster.

What Are They Up To This Time?

The refined plan, to be presented on April 13th, 2011, relies on partial street closures on Chester, Durham, O’Keefe, and Woodland to funnel traffic away from Chester and Woodland and into the center of the neighborhood.

Gilbert and Laurel will carry most of the additional northbound traffic in the middle of the neighborhood, with Durham and Donohoe carrying nearly all of the southbound traffic.

The black circled arrow on Woodland Avenue is a one-way closure.

Blue circles on Willow are left-turn closures during “peak hours,” funneling traffic down Gilbert and Durham. The black circle where Durham turns into Donohoe is a permanent right-turn closure, forcing drivers who want to turn right on Menalto to do so at Laurel or Central. The clear intention of the Willow closures is to divert all traffic to University Circle or the high-density housing on O’Keefe, O’Connor, Euclid, and Manhattan down Durham to Donohoe, which is eighteen feet wide at the Menlo Park border and has no sidewalks anywhere.

The closure on Woodland between Oak Court and Euclid diverts all traffic from University Avenue up Euclid to O’Connor, and then to Menalto. This adds three-tenths of a mile and about ninety seconds to a cut-through driver’s commute through the Willows, which is still a significant savings over the grind down University to Middlefield during peak traffic.

The green squares on O’Connor and Elm/Pope are raised intersections, which will slow emergency response and greatly increase the level of noise and pollution in the area, especially on O’Connor, with the increased traffic from the Woodland closure.

Contact

Project Manager: Chip Taylor
E-Mail: transportation@menlopark.org
Phone: 650.330.6770

Who Made This Site?

Willowstraffichoax.com was crafted with love in East Palo Alto, by Kent and Vickie Brewster.

Has There Really Been an Increase in Traffic in the Willows?
The chart above was kindly supplied by Menlo Park Traffic Commissioner Penelope Huang. It was used to point out where in the Willows traffic had increased from 1992 to 2009.
The lines highlighted in yellow do indeed show an increase in traffic between 1992 and 2009. If you were to examine the neighborhood as a whole instead of cherry-picking only the numbers that support your argument, however, you would discover something entirely different.
Here are all the streets with available average daily traffic totals from 1992 and 2009. Lines in red have had a decrease in traffic.
Street                           1992   2009 
============================================
Blackburn (Willow - Baywood)      405    395
Central (Pope - Gilbert)          417    408
Chester (Willow - Laurel)        2460   2903 
Durham (Willow - Laurel)         1308   2470 
Gilbert (Willow - Marmona)       3135   3628     
Gilbert (Central - Menalto)      2525   1539
Laurel (Woodland - Pope)          236    283 
Laurel (Walnut - O'Keefe)         503    984    
Marmona (Blackburn - Robin)       602    463
Menalto (Elm - Walnut)           2169   2425 
Menalto (Chester - Durham)        952   1135 
O'Connor (Euclid - MP border)    1746   1589
O'Connor (Menalto - EPA border)  2097   2093
O'Keefe (Willow - Laurel)        1884   1941 
O'Keefe (Menalto - EPA border)   2545   2669 
O'Keefe (Euclid - MP border)     3069   2447
Pope (Woodland - Central)        3477   1280
Woodland (Middlefield - Baywood) 2435   2388
Woodland (Lexington - Concord)   1116   1390 
Woodland (Pope - Menalto)        2621   2559
Woodland (Menalto - Euclid)      1443   1951 
Woodland (Euclid - Oak)          1314   2024 
============================================
Total for All Streets           38459  38154

Where data exists from both surveys, half the streets in the Willows have seen an increase in traffic since 1992.
Durham at Willow is up a thousand cars, but that’s to be expected because it has a stoplight with a left-turn arrow, and Chester has had so many impediments to through traffic installed.
Chester is up, because it’s a frontage road and has the protection of the Durham left-arrow to allow safe left turns across Willow. (Because of the Durham light, Chester at Willow is the most effective way to enter the neighborhood from 101 during peak traffic.)
Gilbert at Willow is up 500 cars, because it’s also protected by a stop light on Willow, has had traffic from all sides of the neighborhood funneled onto it by diverting devices, and has no traffic diversions of its own besides a single stop sign.
The other half has seen a significant decrease in traffic since 1992.
Woodland at Middlefield is carrying a hundred cars less per day than it was in 1992, giving lie to the assertion that cut-through traffic from University has grown.
Gilbert between Menalto and Central has dropped nearly a thousand cars per day.
Pope Street between Woodland and Central is down 2200 cars per day. 
Conclusions
In spite of everything that’s happened since 1992, including an explosion in the number of young families in the neighborhood, commercial development on Middlefield, the closing of the Whiskey Gulch access to 101, and the University Circle development, there’s been a net decrease in measured traffic since 1992. Therefore:
The main effect of all the redirection in the past two decades has been to move traffic around, not to decrease it.

Contact

Project Manager: Chip TaylorE-Mail: transportation@menlopark.orgPhone: 650.330.6770 

Who Made This Site?

Willowstraffichoax.com was crafted with love in East Palo Alto, by Kent and Vickie Brewster.

Has There Really Been an Increase in Traffic in the Willows?

The chart above was kindly supplied by Menlo Park Traffic Commissioner Penelope Huang. It was used to point out where in the Willows traffic had increased from 1992 to 2009.

The lines highlighted in yellow do indeed show an increase in traffic between 1992 and 2009. If you were to examine the neighborhood as a whole instead of cherry-picking only the numbers that support your argument, however, you would discover something entirely different.

Here are all the streets with available average daily traffic totals from 1992 and 2009. Lines in red have had a decrease in traffic.

Street                           1992   2009 
============================================
Blackburn (Willow - Baywood)      405    395
Central (Pope - Gilbert)          417    408
Chester (Willow - Laurel)        2460   2903 
Durham (Willow - Laurel)         1308   2470 
Gilbert (Willow - Marmona)       3135   3628     
Gilbert (Central - Menalto)      2525   1539
Laurel (Woodland - Pope)          236    283 
Laurel (Walnut - O'Keefe)         503    984    
Marmona (Blackburn - Robin)       602    463
Menalto (Elm - Walnut)           2169   2425 
Menalto (Chester - Durham)        952   1135 
O'Connor (Euclid - MP border)    1746   1589
O'Connor (Menalto - EPA border)  2097   2093
O'Keefe (Willow - Laurel)        1884   1941 
O'Keefe (Menalto - EPA border)   2545   2669 
O'Keefe (Euclid - MP border)     3069   2447
Pope (Woodland - Central)        3477   1280
Woodland (Middlefield - Baywood) 2435   2388
Woodland (Lexington - Concord)   1116   1390 
Woodland (Pope - Menalto)        2621   2559
Woodland (Menalto - Euclid)      1443   1951 
Woodland (Euclid - Oak)          1314   2024 
============================================
Total for All Streets           38459  38154

Where data exists from both surveys, half the streets in the Willows have seen an increase in traffic since 1992.

  • Durham at Willow is up a thousand cars, but that’s to be expected because it has a stoplight with a left-turn arrow, and Chester has had so many impediments to through traffic installed.
  • Chester is up, because it’s a frontage road and has the protection of the Durham left-arrow to allow safe left turns across Willow. (Because of the Durham light, Chester at Willow is the most effective way to enter the neighborhood from 101 during peak traffic.)
  • Gilbert at Willow is up 500 cars, because it’s also protected by a stop light on Willow, has had traffic from all sides of the neighborhood funneled onto it by diverting devices, and has no traffic diversions of its own besides a single stop sign.

The other half has seen a significant decrease in traffic since 1992.

  • Woodland at Middlefield is carrying a hundred cars less per day than it was in 1992, giving lie to the assertion that cut-through traffic from University has grown.
  • Gilbert between Menalto and Central has dropped nearly a thousand cars per day.
  • Pope Street between Woodland and Central is down 2200 cars per day. 

Conclusions

In spite of everything that’s happened since 1992, including an explosion in the number of young families in the neighborhood, commercial development on Middlefield, the closing of the Whiskey Gulch access to 101, and the University Circle development, there’s been a net decrease in measured traffic since 1992. Therefore:

The main effect of all the redirection in the past two decades has been to move traffic around, not to decrease it.

Contact

Project Manager: Chip Taylor
E-Mail: transportation@menlopark.org
Phone: 650.330.6770

Who Made This Site?

Willowstraffichoax.com was crafted with love in East Palo Alto, by Kent and Vickie Brewster.

Whose Voice Will Be Heard?

In a compromise between what’s right (everyone who lives in the Willows has an equal say) and what the hoaxers want (only people who live within a block of any specific traffic diverter have a say), the current plan proposes to take a single survey response per household from all homes in the red-dotted area above.

East Palo Alto residents are cut out entirely. The reason given by the hoaxers is that Menlo Park has no jurisdiction in this area. This is obviously true, but if real traffic mitigation were what they were after in the first place, they would be working towards genuine cooperation with East Palo Alto, instead of attempting to cut it off entirely or funnel as much traffic through it as possible.

Input from residents who live above an arbitrary line drawn from the intersection of Gilbert and Willow to just past Laurel and Woodland will also be ignored. The reason given is that these residents will somehow “not be affected” by the proposed new traffic redirections. This is, of course, incorrect; residents who commute from 101 will find themselves redirected to Gilbert or Menalto.

The real reason? The Menlo Park City Council, in another wise move, has required that 51% of the surveys that are actually mailed come back with a Yes vote in order for the new traffic plan to move forward. By constraining the survey area to the streets that have had the highest increase in traffic, the hoaxers are doing their best to stuff the ballot box.

The “Boundaries not yet final” notation on this map means the line could move in any direction. As it stands, over half the households and the vast majority of the businesses in the Willows will have no voice in the final decision. If you’re one of them, speak now! 

Contact

Project Manager: Chip TaylorE-Mail: transportation@menlopark.orgPhone: 650.330.6770

Who Made This Site?

Willowstraffichoax.com was crafted with love in East Palo Alto, by Kent and Vickie Brewster.

Whose Voice Will Be Heard?

In a compromise between what’s right (everyone who lives in the Willows has an equal say) and what the hoaxers want (only people who live within a block of any specific traffic diverter have a say), the current plan proposes to take a single survey response per household from all homes in the red-dotted area above.

East Palo Alto residents are cut out entirely. The reason given by the hoaxers is that Menlo Park has no jurisdiction in this area. This is obviously true, but if real traffic mitigation were what they were after in the first place, they would be working towards genuine cooperation with East Palo Alto, instead of attempting to cut it off entirely or funnel as much traffic through it as possible.

Input from residents who live above an arbitrary line drawn from the intersection of Gilbert and Willow to just past Laurel and Woodland will also be ignored. The reason given is that these residents will somehow “not be affected” by the proposed new traffic redirections. This is, of course, incorrect; residents who commute from 101 will find themselves redirected to Gilbert or Menalto.

The real reason? The Menlo Park City Council, in another wise move, has required that 51% of the surveys that are actually mailed come back with a Yes vote in order for the new traffic plan to move forward. By constraining the survey area to the streets that have had the highest increase in traffic, the hoaxers are doing their best to stuff the ballot box.

The “Boundaries not yet final” notation on this map means the line could move in any direction. As it stands, over half the households and the vast majority of the businesses in the Willows will have no voice in the final decision. If you’re one of them, speak now!

Contact

Project Manager: Chip Taylor
E-Mail: transportation@menlopark.org
Phone: 650.330.6770

Who Made This Site?

Willowstraffichoax.com was crafted with love in East Palo Alto, by Kent and Vickie Brewster.