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					       Draft Final Report:
South Palo Alto School Commute
          Safety Study

                    June 2004




               Prepared for:
      The City of Palo Alto
                    1021-1839




        F EHR & P EERS
        T R A N S P O R TAT I O N

           3685 Mt. Diablo Blvd. #301
             Lafayette, CA 94549
                925-284-3200
              Fax: 925-284-2691
                                                  TABLE OF CONTENTS


                                                                                                                                Page
I.     INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................... 1

II.    SUMMARY OF ISSUES .................................................................................................... 2

III.   DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS............................................................................ 13
       Evaluation Techniques..................................................................................................... 13
       Data Collection ................................................................................................................ 20
       Data Evaluation ............................................................................................................... 27
       Evaluation Summary........................................................................................................ 30

IV.    ANALYSIS FINDINGS AND EVALUATION OF
       ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS .......................................................................................... 31
       Findings Based on Data Analysis..................................................................................... 31
       Alternative Solutions ........................................................................................................ 34
       Recommendations........................................................................................................... 40


       Technical Appendix is a separate document.




                                                                                                                                             i
                                                   LIST OF FIGURES

                                                                                                                                 Page

1    Study Area and School Locations ...................................................................................... 4

2A   Elementary School Attendance Areas ................................................................................ 5

2B   Middle School Attendance Areas ....................................................................................... 6

2C   High School Attendance Areas........................................................................................... 7

3A   Comments and Recommendations, Barron Park Elementary School.................................. 8

3B   Comments and Recommendations, Juana Briones, Terman and
     Henry Gunn Schools.......................................................................................................... 9

3C   Comments and Recommendations, El Carmelo Elementary School ................................. 10

3D   Comments and Recommendations, Fairmeadow, Hoover and Jane Lathrop
     Stanford Schools ............................................................................................................. 11

3E   Comments and Recommendations, Ohlone and Palo Verde Schools ............................... 12

4    Study Corridors and Intersections .................................................................................... 14

5    Average Daily Traffic Volumes ......................................................................................... 21

65   Vehicle Speeds................................................................................................................ 22

7A   Bicycle Volumes Observed by School Crossing Guards ................................................... 25

7B   Pedestrian Volumes Observed by School Crossing Guards ............................................. 26




                                                                                                                                         ii
                                                   LIST OF TABLES

                                                                                                                           Page

1    Summary of Comments from All Meetings.......................................................................... 2

2    Corridor Performance ...................................................................................................... 27

3    Signalized Intersection Performance ................................................................................ 29

4    Unsignalized Intersection Performance ............................................................................ 29

5    Master List of Potential Improvements.............................................................................. 35

6    Corridor Improvement Recommendations ........................................................................ 41

7    Signalized Intersection Improvement Recommendations.................................................. 42

8    Unsignalized Intersection Improvement Recommendations.............................................. 44

9    Corridor Performance – Bicycles and Pedestrians............................................................ 45

10   Signalized Intersection Performance – Bicycles and Pedestrians ..................................... 46

11   Unsignalized Intersection Performance – Bicycles and Pedestrians.................................. 47




                                                                                                                                      iii
                                                  LIST OF EXHIBITS

                                                                                                                            Page

1    Eastbound Arastradero at Gunn....................................................................................... 48

2    Maybell eastbound........................................................................................................... 48

3    Amaranta northbound ...................................................................................................... 49

4    Los Robles looking westbound......................................................................................... 49

5    Los Robles looking eastbound ......................................................................................... 50

6    Barron looking westbound at LaDonna............................................................................. 50

7    Matadero westbound at Julie ........................................................................................... 51

8    Matadero eastbound at Julie............................................................................................ 51

9    El Camino Way north of Meadow ..................................................................................... 52

10   El Camino Way south of Meadow .................................................................................... 52

11   Waverly / Meadow northwest corner ................................................................................ 53

12   Waverly / Meadow northeast corner ................................................................................. 53

13   Waverly looking northbound, north of Meadow ................................................................. 54

14   Waverly / Loma Verde from southeast corner................................................................... 54

15   Waverly / Loma Verde from southeast corner................................................................... 55

16   Waverly / Loma Verde from northeast corner ................................................................... 55

17   Charleston / ECR: pork chop, southeast corner................................................................ 56

18   Terman / Arastradero, from southeast corner ................................................................... 56

19   Terman / Arastradero, from southeast corner ................................................................... 57

20   Alma looking southbound toward Meadow ....................................................................... 57




                                                                                                                                       iv
                                                                                             Final Report
                                                              South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                               June 2004


I.         INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this study is to review conditions that affect the safety of travel to and from schools in
the southern part of Palo Alto. This study is the second of two phases; Phase I resulted in a Citywide
School Commute Safety Study report in 1996 that focused on schools in the northern part of the City.

This study focuses on physical changes to the transportation system to improve school commute
safety, and presents alternative solutions and defines the tradeoffs between their costs, impacts, and
benefits. Changes discussed here may include a number of physical improvements using both
traditional and non-traditional traffic engineering techniques, such as modifying lane widths and
configurations, changing traffic signal timings, installing signage, or constructing special street
treatments such as textured crosswalks or curb extensions. Education of students and parents,
methods and strategies to encourage modal shifts, and citywide strategies, objectives, and policies
designed to improve safety are not considered in this study, as they were addressed in the 1996
Citywide School Commute Safety Study.

Ten school sites were included in this South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study:

     1.    Barron Park Elementary
     2.    El Carmelo Elementary
     3.    Fairmeadow Elementary
     4.    Gunn High
     5.    Hoover Elementary
     6.    J.L. Stanford Middle
     7.    Juana Briones Elementary
     8.    Ohlone Elementary
     9.    Palo Verde Elementary
     10.   Terman Middle

Extensive data collection and independent research has been completed regarding traffic volumes on
streets near schools, accident experience, and potential methods for improving pedestrian, bicycle,
and vehicle safety. This study involved interviews with representatives from all of the school sites,
the School District, and various City agencies to identify issues of concern regarding student safety
while traveling to school. In addition, a Study Advisory Committee (SAC) was established to review
the results from each stage of the study and provide feedback and direction for later stages.

The following sections of this report address the following topics:

     •     Chapter II - Summary of Issues
     •     Chapter III - Data Collection and Analysis
     •     Chapter IV - Analysis Findings and Evaluation of Alternative Solutions




                                                                                                       1
                                                                                           Final Report
                                                            South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                             June 2004


II.     SUMMARY OF ISSUES
The first stage of the South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study involved meeting with
stakeholders to compile a comprehensive list of the school commute safety issues perceived within
the community. All of the schools studied in this process are located south of the Page Mill
Road/Oregon Expressway corridor. The study area and schools are shown on Figure 1. Figures 2A,
2B, and 2C show the school locations and attendance areas for the elementary, middle, and high
schools, respectively.

As described in the Introduction, the study team met with representatives from all ten school sites, the
School District, and the Palo Alto Police and Fire departments to identify specific issues, corridors,
and locations perceived as problems for students commuting to and from school. Information
collected at these meetings was presented to the Study Advisory Committee (SAC) for review and
comment.

Issues Raised by City Staff and Site Representatives

Over 60 comments and recommendations were gathered at the meetings with City departments and
representatives from each school. The comments were then summarized and classified into discrete
categories. Table 1, Figures 3A through 3E, and Appendix A present the meeting findings in different
forms to clarify common issues and identify issues specific to each school. Table 1 provides a
summary of comments from all meetings, while Figures 3A through 3E capture location-specific
comments that can easily be mapped. Appendix A provides an exhaustive list of all the comments
received, categorized by topic and by school.

                                           TABLE 1
                             SUMMARY OF COMMENTS FROM ALL MEETINGS

                                     Topic                                 Number of Comments
  Bicycle/pedestrian safety and improvements                                       22
  General/other comments                                                           14
  Traffic calming/congestion/control                                               14
  Education/encouragement                                                          11
  Parking restrictions/traffic and law enforcement                                  9
  Drop-off program/restrictions                                                     8
  Signage/striping                                                                  5
  Design modifications                                                              2
  Intersection improvements                                                         2
  Neighborhood-friendly road                                                        2
  Reverse traffic flow                                                              2
  Signal coordination                                                               2
  Turn restrictions                                                                 2
  Curb/sidewalk design changes                                                      1
  City sanitation schedule change                                                   1
  Vegetation control                                                                1
  Visibility improvements                                                           1




                                                                                                      2
                                                                                           Final Report
                                                            South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                             June 2004

There is substantial overlap between many of the issues summarized above, which can generally be
aggregated into the following themes.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Improvements: This theme was consistently raised at the meetings
and had the highest frequency of comments.         Bicycle lanes along Maybell Avenue were
recommended. Pedestrian pushbuttons, enhanced crosswalks, ramps, crossing guards, and
additional signage were requested at heavily traveled intersections in the Briones, El Carmelo,
Fairmeadow, Palo Verde, and Barron Park Elementary attendance areas. West Charleston Road,
Arastradero Road, Maybell Avenue, Charleston Road, East Meadow Drive, Colorado Avenue,
Amarillo Avenue, El Camino Real, and Matadero Avenue were identified as streets needing these
improvements.

Traffic Volumes, Speeds and Enforcement: This theme included comments on arterials, traffic
volumes, and traffic enforcement. There was consensus that many routes taken to school are on
busy arterials or collectors with heavy traffic volumes and average speeds well above the posted
speed limits. Many of the comments reflected concerns that traffic speed and volume issues were
directly related to: (a) lack of signals and/or stop signs, (b) lack of speed limit and turn restriction
enforcement, and (c) spillover or bypass traffic from more congested corridors.

The traffic volumes and speeds on Arastradero Road, West Charleston Road, Foothill Expressway,
and Maybell Avenue were concerns from Juana Briones Elementary and Gunn High representatives.
Barron Avenue was identified as a high-speed corridor. Loma Verde Avenue in the El Carmelo
attendance area and Rorke Way in the Palo Verde attendance area were identified as streets
needing traffic calming measures.

Design Modifications, Signing and Striping: This theme included comments on changes or additions
to roadways, driveways, street signs, and striping. Signing and striping changes were suggested to
improve bicyclist visibility in bike lanes and pedestrian visibility in crosswalks. Signs to add turn
restrictions, advertise the speed limit, or modify parking restrictions were also recommended. The
need for design modifications at Gunn High and Briones Elementary driveways was identified.

Intersection Improvements: This theme is related to traffic volumes, speeds, and enforcement
focusing on intersections with the highest student bicycle/pedestrian activity. Comments included the
need for: (a) improved signal operations, (b) crossing guards, (c) turn restrictions, and (d) handicap
ramps.

Primary and secondary crossing guards at intersections with heavy bicycle and pedestrian activity
were requested in all elementary attendance areas. Comments on turn restrictions were also noted
from Middlefield Road to East Meadow Drive, and at various locations on Georgia Road, Charleston
Road, and Rorke Way. Signal coordination allowing for easier bicycle/pedestrian crossings at
intersections on Arastradero Road south of Gunn High School was also mentioned.

Parking/Drop-off Restrictions: Most school drop-off areas do not easily accommodate the vehicle
volumes they are required to serve. A number of parents disobey turn and parking restrictions in the
areas immediately surrounding the schools. The major concern is the need to ensure bicyclist and
pedestrian safety in these areas, rather than improving traffic flow. Enforcement of posted signs and
drop-off rules was the main recommendation to improve safety.




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                                                                                                                                                                                                            STUDY AREA AND SCHOOL LOCATIONS
February 2004
1021-1839\gid\study_roads.mxd
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                       T




                                                                                  Barron Park
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                                                                                                                                                                                O
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       TO
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                                                                                  Elementary
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                                                                                                                                                                                WA




                                                                        LA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  AN
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                                                                                                                             UE A
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      Barron Park
                                                                                                                                                          Y




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                                                                                                    Juana Briones                             CO
                                                                                                                                                   UL
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Palo Alto School Study
                                  A VE
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Elementary School Attendance Areas
                                      NU E




                                                                               AD
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                                                                             RO
                                                                      ER
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                                                                                                                        FO
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                                                                                                                           O
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  0           0.25
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Attendance Areas
                                                                                                                               ILL




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                                                                                                                                  EX
                                                                                                                                     P
                                                                                                                                     PR




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                                                                        E
                                                                                                                                        ES
                                                                                                                                          SW
                                                                                                                                              AY




                                                                                                                                                                                                ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AREAS
February 2004
1021-1839\gid\elementary2004.mxd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          FIGURE 2A
                                                                                                                                                                                                            UE
                                                                                                                                                                                                        EN
                                                                                                                                                                                                   AV
                                                                                                                                                                                              LO
                                                                                                                                                                                           IL
                                                                                                                                        AD




                                                                                                                                                                                       AR
                                                                                                                                      RO




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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YS
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         S
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         E
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                                                                                                                                            Jane Lathrop Stanford
                                                                                                                     AV
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  E
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                                                                                                                                                TR




                                                    SW
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                                                                                                                                            AS




                                                         AY                                                                                                          M.S.
                            IL




                                                                                                                                         AR
                               VIEW
                                  W




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Palo Alto School Study
                                 AV E
                                    E




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Middle School Attendance Areas
                                     NUE




                                                                                AD
                                                                              RO

                                                                  AD
                                                                     E   RO                                                                                                                                                                                                           School Buildings
                                                              R
                                                   A     ST
                                                AR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      School Grounds
                                                                                                                         FO
                                                                                                                            O




    0              0.25
                                                                                                                              T
                                                                                                                              TH




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Attendance Areas
                                                                                                                                 IL
                                                                                                                                 IL




                      Miles
                                                                                                                                  LE
                                                                                                                                   E  XP




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                                                                       RE
                                                                                                                                           S
                                                                                                                                           SS
                                                                                                                                            WA
                                                                                                                                            W
                                                                                                                                                Y
                                                                                                                                                Y




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                MIDDLE SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AREAS
February 2004
1021-1839\gis\middle2004.mxd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      FIGURE 2B
                                                                                                                                                                                                            UE
                                                                                                                                                                                                        EN
                                                                                                                                                                                                   AV
                                                                                                                                                                                              LO
                                                                                                                                                                                           IL
                                                                                                                                        AD




                                                                                                                                                                                       AR
                                                                                                                                      RO




                                                                                                                                                                                   AM




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       BA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A
                                                                                                                                     L




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YS
                                                                                                                                  IL




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         S
                                                                                                                                M
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          GR




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            HO
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                                                                                                                          G




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 RE
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                                                                                             EX


                                                                                                                                                           ID
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                                                                                                                                                                                       Y
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            RE
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                                                                                                                                                         O
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                                          PR
                                               ES
                                                                                                                                                TR




                                                    SW
                           HILL




                                                                                                                                            AS




                                                         AY
                            IL




                                                                                   Henry Gunn
                                                                                                                                         AR
                               VIEW




                                                                                      H.S.
                                  W




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Palo Alto School Study
                                 AV E
                                    E




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             High School Attendance Areas
                                     NUE




                                                                                AD
                                                                              RO
                                                                     E   RO                                                                                                                                                                                                                School Buildings
                                                              R   AD
                                                   A     ST
                                                AR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           School Grounds
                                                                                                                         FO
                                                                                                                            O




  0            0.25
                                                                                                                              T
                                                                                                                              TH




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Attendance Areas
                                                                                                                                 IL
                                                                                                                                 IL




                  Miles
                                                                                                                                  LE
                                                                                                                                   E  XP




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                                                                       RE
                                                                                                                                           S
                                                                                                                                           SS
                                                                                                                                            WA
                                                                                                                                            W
                                                                                                                                                Y
                                                                                                                                                Y




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          HIGH SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AREAS
February 2004
1021-1839\gis\high2004.mxd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              FIGURE 2C
                                                                                                                                                                                            UE
                                                                                                                                                                                        EN
                                                                                                                                                                                       AV
                                                                                                                                                                                   O
                                                                                                                                                                                   D
                                                                                                                                                                                RA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               VE




                                                                                                                                                                            DO
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        CO                                                                                                              DR




                                                                                                                                                                           EL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 W                                                                                                  W
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     PE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             A   DO
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          R                                                                             ME
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ST
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      RE                                                           ST
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    W                                                      ET                                                 EA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         AV
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ER
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   LY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BR                                ST
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Y                                   RE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             AN                                      ET
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               T
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ST
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        RE
                                                                                                                   EL                                                                                                                                        ET
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                                                                                                                           M                                                                     PA            M
                                                                                                                               IN                                                                     RK           A
                                                                                                                                    O                                                                                  ST
                                                                                                                                        RE                                                                 BO               RE
                                                                                                                                             AL                                                                 UL               ET
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   E
                                                                    Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety Improvements:                                                                                                            VA




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 W
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            RD




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          IV D O
                                                                             Add a Crossing Guard




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       DR E A
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             E
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           M
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        T
                                Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety Improvements: Add Sidewalks/Bike Lanes




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ES
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  W
                                                      Intersection Improvements:
                                             Create a More Pedestrian-Friendly Intersection                                                                                             Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety Improvements:
                                                                                                                                                                                              Create a Safe Walking Route




                                                         A D IL L




                                                                                                                                         UE
                                                       RO E M




                                                                                                                                        EN


                                                                                                                                                          A
                                                                                                                                                        UE
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Vegetation Control: Reduce Vegetation in Alley




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          D
                                                        G




                                                                                                                                                   JO SIN
                                                                                                                                    AV




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A
                                                      PA




                                                                                                                                                  AV E N




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      O
                                                                                                                                                                    UE
                                                                                                                             RO




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  R
                                                                                                                                                                  EN




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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          L
                                                 PA Sanitation Schedule Change:                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Y




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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 T
                                                  Collect Trash/Recycling during                                        Barron Park




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ES
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            M IN O




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            W
                                                   Non-School Commute Hours                                             Elementary                                                  Traffic Calming: Reduce




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  WA
                                                                                                                                                                                Speeds from La Donna to Laguna




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Y
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Y
                                      Intersection Improvements: Improve Visibility
                                                                                                                               LA
                                                                                                                                        GU                                   Signage/Striping:
                                                                                                                                             NA




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     E
                                                                                                                                                                         More Visible School Zones




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   NU
                                                                                                                                                  AV
                                                                                                                                                       EN




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               VE
                                                                    Parking Restriction Enforcement:                                                     UE




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             LA
                                                                                                                                                                                                 AM
                                                                        No Parking in Crosswalk                                                                                                     A




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           EL
                                                                                                                                                                                                 AV R A
                                                                                                                                                                                                   EN NT




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                                                                                                                                                                                                      UE A




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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      AD
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     School Buildings




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  0                  0.25
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                        Miles                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Elementary Attendance Areas
                                                                                  IE W
                                                                                    AVE




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                       NUE
                                                                                        U




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        COMMENTS & RECOMMENDATIONS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BARRON PARK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
February 2004
1021-1839\gis\barron2004.mxd                                                                                                                                                                                                                               FIGURE 3A
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                                                                                                                                                                                            RE




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                                                                                                                                                                                                          IN O
                                                                                                                                                                                                AL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         AY




                                                                                                                                                                                                            WA
                                                                                                                                           Bicycle Safety: Bike Lanes Needed




                                                                                                                                                                                                             A
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Y
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Pedestrian Safety: Pedestrian Push Buttons

                                                                                           LA
                                                                                              G   UN




                                                                                                                                                                                            UE
                                                                                                       A
                                                                                                           AV                                                                                                                                              Bicycle Safety: Bike Lanes Needed




                                                                                                                                                                                           EN
                                                                                                                EN




                                                                                                                                                                                       AV
                                                                                                                     UE




                                                                                                                                                                                      LL
                                                                                                                                                                                 BE
                                                             Reverse Traffic Flow:                                                                                                                                                        Pedestrian Safety: Signs to Cross to Sidewalk




                                                                                                                                                                                  Y
                                                                                                                                                        AM




                                                                                                                                                                               MA
                                                        Change Exit/Entrance to Driveways                                                                  A
                                                                                                                                                        AV R A
                                                                                                                                                          EN N T
                                                                                                                                                             UE A
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Pedestrian Safety: Crossing Guards

                                                                                                                                                    Juana Briones                                     Traffic Calming: Speed Humps
                                                                                                                                                     Elementary
                                                                                                                                                                          CO
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Pedestrian Safety: Enhanced Crosswalks for Visibility
                                                                                                                                                                           UL
                                                                                      Traffic Control: Turn Restrictions                                                  DR O M
                                                                                                                                                                            I V E BE


                                                 Bicycle Safety: Bikes will be Blocked by Cars                                                                                         Bicycle Route Improvements: Bike Lanes along Maybell

                                             Traffic Congestion: Traffic from HS may block Terman entrance                                                                        Neighborhood Friendly Road:
                                                                                                                                                                                   Bicycle/Pedestrian Friendly
  FO                                                                    Parking Restrictions: No Parking
     O   TH
              ILL
                                                                                                                                                                                            Pedestrian Safety: Safe Passage Needed
                    EX




                                                                                                                                                                    O
                         PR




                                                                                                                                                                 AD E R
                              ES
                                   SW


                                                                                                                                                               RO A D
                                        AY         Traffic Congestion: Drop-off Area Changes                                                                                      Terman
                                                                                                                                                                TR                Middle
                                                                                                                                                            AS
                                                                                                                                                          AR
      HIL
      HILL




                                                                                                                                   Henry Gunn               Traffic Congestion: Change Schools Start Time
         VIEW
          IE




                                                                                                                                      High
                                               Signal Coordination: Shorter Wait Time                                                                   Design Modifications: Both Exit Lanes Should Turn Left
             AV E




                                                      for Bicycles/Pedestrians
              V
              N UE




                                                                                                                                                       Design Modifications: Add Capacity for Right Turns
                 E




                                             Signal Coordination: Shorter Wait Time                                                                                  into School Driveway
                                                    for Bicycles/Pedestrians                                                                                                                                                                                             Legend
                                                                                                                                                Traffic Congestion: Drop-off Area Changes

                                                                                      AD                                                                                                                                                                                            School Buildings
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                                                                  A   DE
                                                        AS
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                                                   AR
  0                                          0.2
                                               Miles                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Elementary Attendance Areas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      COMMENTS & RECOMMENDATIONS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     JUANA BRIONES, TERMAN AND HENRY GUNN SCHOOLS
February 2004
1021-1839\gis\briones2004.mxd                                                                                                                                                                                                                            FIGURE 3B
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                                                                                                                                                                                               AD                                                                     RO
                                                                                                                                                                                       L     OR                                                                            AD
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            VE




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           AM
                                                                                                         Signage/Striping: Reverse Stop Signs                                                                                                           A
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    M
                                                                                                          to Reduce Speed on Waverly Street                                                                                                      LO



                                                                                                                                         Signage/Striping: Install Stop Sign




                                                                                                     UE DO
                                                                                                   EN A
                                                                                                                                             at El Dorado and Waverly




                                                                                                AV OR
                                                                                                   D
                                                                                                EL
                                                                                                                                                                             Parking/Traffic Law Enforcment:
                                                                                                                                                                              Clearly Mark Hydrant Area and
                                                           Signage/Striping: No U-Turn Signs                                                                                      Enforce Stop Sign Law
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            E
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       IV
                                                                                                                                                                                                           CO                                                                                                                        DR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                W                                                                                                               OW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      PE                                                                                                   AD
                                         Signage/Striping: No U-turn Signs                                                                                                                                                 R                                                                                            ME
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ST                                                                                  ST
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    RE                                                                           EA
                                                                                                               El Carmelo                                                                                                              E   T
                                                                                                                                                                                   W
                                                                                                               Elementary                                                           AV
                                                                                                                                                                                            ER
                                              Traffic Calming: Through Traffic Restrictions                                                                                                      LY                   Signage/Striping: Install Stop Sign
                                                            and Radar Trailer                                                                                                                         ST                 on Loma Verde at Waverly
                                                                                                                                                            BR                                             RE
                                                                                                                                                               Y                                              E   T
                                                                                                                                                                   AN
                                                                                                                                                                      T
                                                                                                             AL                                                             ST
                                                                                                                M                                                                RE
                                                                                                                 A                                                                  E   T
                                                                                                                     ST
                                                                                                                          RE
                                             EL                                                                              E   T
                                                  CA
                                                    MI                                                           PA                                    Signage/Striping: Install 4-Way
                                                      NO
                                                           RE
                                                                                                                   RK
                                                                                                                                                         Stop Sign with Crosswalks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Legend
                                                              A                                                             BO
                                                                  L                                                              UL
                                                                                                                                    E   VA                                                                                                                                              School Buildings
                                                                                                                                             RD




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   W
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             IV DO
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        School Grounds




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           DR EA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               E
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TM
    0                             0.25
                                     Miles                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Elementary Attendance Areas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ES
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     W                                                South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       COMMENTS & RECOMMENDATIONS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      EL CARMELO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
February 2004
1021-1839\gis\elcarmelo2004.mxd                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           FIGURE 3C
                                                E
                                             ENU
                                          AV
                                         DO
                                       RA                                                                 CO
                                                                                                               W                                                                                                                E
                                                                                                                   PE                                                                                                      IV
                                   DO


                                                                                                                        R
                                                                                                                            ST                                                                                           DR
                                  EL




                                                                                                                              RE                                                                                    OW
                                                                                                                                    ET                                                                            AD
                                                                                                                                                                                                             ME
                                                                                                                                                                                                       ST
                                                                                                  W
                                                                                                      AV                                                                                             EA
                                                                              BR                         E     RL                   Traffic Enforcement:
                                                                                YA                               Y
                                                                                     NT                                 ST                No U-Turn
                                                                                          ST                                 RE
                                                                                               RE                               E   T
                                                    AL                                            E                                                                                                                           Turn Restrictions: No Turn on Red
                                                                                                      T
                                                       M
                                                           A
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               During School Commute Hours
                                              PA               ST
                                                RK                  RE
                                                     BO                  ET
                                                          UL                        Drop-Off Restrictions:                                                             Fairmeadow
                                                            EV                Enforce Restricted Drop-Off Rules                                                        Elementary
                                                                    AR                                                                                                                                                      Curb/Sidewalk Design Changes:
                                                                      D                                                                                                                                             No Rolled Curbs to Restrict Parking on Sidewalks




                                                                                                                                                              W
                                                                                                                                                        IV DO
                                                                                                                                                                              Jane Lathrop                                    ON




                                                                                                                                                      DR EA
                                                                                                                                                                             Stanford Middle                             ST




                                                                                                                                                          E
                                                      Pedestrian Safety Improvements:                                                                                                                                E
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  RL


                                                                                                                                                       TM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                MI
                                                        Additional Crossing Guards                                                                                                                              HA AD                DD

                                                                                                                                              ES
                                                                                                                                                                                       Hoover                T C RO                     LE
                                                                                                                                              W                                                           ES                               F   IE
                                                                                                                                                                                     Elementary       W                                             LD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         RO
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              AD

                                                                                                 Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety Improvements:                                                                             Turn Restrictions: Allow for Left Turn
                                                                                                         Better Lighting Along Path                                                                                    into School Driveway from East
                 A
                UE




                                                                                          Drop-off Program: Encourage Parking Lot                                                                             Visibility Improvements: Relocate Bus/Shuttle Stop
            JOSIN
           AVEN



                              E




                                                                                                at Park for Drop-Off/Pick-Up
                            NU




                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety Improvements:
                           E




                                                             U E ES
                        AV




                                                                                                                               W                                                                        Improve Safety at Exit Driveway
                                                           EN B L




                                                                                                                                   IL
                  ON




                                                                                                                                     K
                                                                                                          E
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                                                                                                                                         IE
                RR




                                                                                                                                              W




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            UE
                                                                                                          C AM




                                                                                                                                                  A
                                                          S
              BA




                                                                                                                                                      Y
                                                       LO




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          EN
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                                                                                                               I NO
                                                                                                               IN




                                                                                                                                                                                    Pedestrian Safety Improvements:




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      O
                                                                                                                                                                                      Additional Crossing Guards




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   NI
                                                                                                                   W
                                                                                                                   WA




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             TO
                                                                                                                    Y




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           AN
LA




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           N
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         SA
   GU
      NA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Legend
                                                                                                   E
                                                                                                NU




           AV
              E   NU
                                                                                               VE




                    E
                                                                                        LA




                                                     AM
                                                        A
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       School Buildings
                                                                                      EL




                                                     AV RA
                                                       EN NT
                                                                                   YB




                                                          UE A
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       School Grounds
                                                                                 MA




                        0                 0.2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Elementary Attendance Areas
                                                                                                                                                          EL




                                            Miles
                                                                                                                                                           LCA
                                                                                                                                                              MI




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                                                                                                  NO
                                                                                                                                                                   RE




                                                                                                                                                                                                                           COMMENTS & RECOMMENDATIONS
                                                                                                                                                                      AL
                                                                                                                                                                       L




                                                                                                                                                                                                  FAIRMEADOW, HOOVER AND JANE LATHROP STANFORD SCHOOLS
                   February 2004
                   1021-1839\gis\fairmeadow2004.mxd                                                                                                                                                                                           FIGURE 3D
                                                                                                                      AD
                                                                                                                   RO
                                                                                                                  L
                                                                                                              IL
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                                                                                                      E
                                                                                                  G
                                                                                                PA




                                                                                                                                            UE
                                                                                                                                          EN
                                                                                                                                         AV
                                                                                                                                                                                   Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety Improvements:




                                                                                                                                     LO
                                                                                                                                                                                    Crossing Guard and Handicap Ramps




                                                                                                                                  IL
                                                                                                                                AR
                                                  Traffic Law Enforcement:




                                                                                                                           AM
                                                         No U-Turns



                                      Pedestrian Safety Improvements:                                                    Ohlone                                                                Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety Improvements: Crossing Guard
                                                                                                                       Elementary




                                                                                                                                                                                                                        BA
                                              Handicap Ramps




                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Y
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          YS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           H
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           HO
                                                                                                                                                                       GR
                                                                                                                                                                          E




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                RE
                                                                                                                                                                              ER




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 E
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  F
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  FR
                                                                                                                                                                                   RO
                                                                                                                                                                                        AD




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    E
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    EE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       W
                                                                                                                              UE




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         AY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         A
                                                                                                                           EN                    LO
                                                                                                                      AV                              UI
                                                                                                        DO                                               S                Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety Improvements: Crossing Guard
                                                                                                                                                             RO
                                                                                                      RA
                                                                                                 LO                                                               AD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   E
                                                                                              CO                                                                                                                 NU
                                                                                                                                                                                                             E
                                                                                                                                                                                                          AV
                           AY




                                                                                                                  RO
                                                                                                                       SS                                                                             E
                       SW




                                                                                                                               RO                                                                  RD
                                                                                                                                                                                              VE
                      ES




                                                             M                                                                      AD
                                                                 ID                                                                                                                       A                                            Traffic Law Enforcement: Periodic Police Patrols
                  PR




                                                                   DL                                                                                                                 M
                                                                                                                                                                                   LO
                 EX




                                                                     EF
                                                                          IE
             N




                                                                               LD
             O




                                                                                                         Neighborhood Friendly Road:
        G




                                                                                    RO                                                                                                                                                           Parking Restrictions: Restrict Parking
         E




                                                                                                          Bicycle/Pedestrian Friendly
      OR




                                                                                         AD




                                                                                                                                                                                          E
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  on Left Side of Road by Crosswalk




                                                                                                                                                                                        AV
                                                                                                                                                                                   ES
                                                                                                                                                                               AM
                                                                                                     Pedestrian Safety Improvements:                                                         Palo Verde
                                                                                                             Crossing Guard                                                                  Elementary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Drop-Off Restrictions:
                                                                                         Traffic Calming: Reduce Speeds                                                                                                Enforce Restricted Drop-Off Rules
                                              E




                                                                                    Traffic Congestion: Restrict 2-way Traffic
                                            NU




                                                                                              During Certain Hours
                                           E
                                        AV
                                       DO




                                                                                                CO                                                                                                                                                              Legend
                                     RA




                                                                                                     W                     Turn Restrictions: No Turn on Red                                                                                 E
                                                                                                         PE                                                                                                                             IV
                                 DO




                                                                                                              R             During School Commute Hours                                                                               DR
                                                                                                                  ST                                                                                                              W                                         School Buildings
                                EL




                                                                                                                    RE                                                                                                     A   DO
                                                                                                                           ET                                                                                           ME
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ST
                                                                                          W                                                                                                                      EA                                                         School Grounds
                                                                                              AV
                                                                  BR                             E   RL
  0                             0.25                                YA                                 Y
                                   Miles                                  NT                                  ST                                                                                                                                                            Elementary Attendance Areas
                                                                                ST                                 RE
                                                                                     RE                               E    T
                                                                                        E   T                                                                                                                                                                            South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              COMMENTS & RECOMMENDATIONS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            OHLONE AND PALO VERDE SCHOOLS
February 2004
1021-1839\gis\paloverde2004.mxd                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  FIGURE 3E
                                                                                           Final Report
                                                            South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                             June 2004


III.       DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
The second stage of the South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study involved compiling available
traffic data collected and provided by the City of Palo Alto, and field studies conducted by Fehr &
Peers staff. The purposes of the task were to (a) identify traffic concerns related to student safety
and recommend ways to improve pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle safety, and (b) reduce accident
potential and traffic congestion along the intersections and corridors identified by the SAC as a result
of their review of the Summary of Issues presented in Chapter II.

Evaluation Techniques

Study Locations

The following roads and intersections in the southern part of Palo Alto were identified by the advisory
committee as needing further study. The study corridors and intersections are also shown in Figure
4.
       Corridors
       •   Arastradero Road - Charleston Road from Foothill Expressway to Middlefield Road
       •   Meadow Drive from El Camino Way to Middlefield Road
       •   El Camino Way from Meadow Drive to El Camino Real
       •   Matadero Avenue from El Camino Real to Josina Avenue
       •   Los Robles Avenue from El Camino Real to Laguna Avenue
       •   Louis Road from Loma Verde Avenue to Greer Road
       •   Ames Avenue from Louis Road to Rorke Way
       •   Rorke Way from Ames Avenue (Loop)
       •   Barron Avenue from El Camino Real to Laguna Avenue
       •   Maybell Avenue from El Camino Real to Donald Drive
       •   Amaranta Avenue from Maybell Avenue to Los Robles Avenue
       •   Waverly Street from Meadow Drive to El Dorado Avenue
       Signalized Intersections
       •   El Camino Real at Matadero Avenue
       •   El Camino Real at Maybell Avenue
       •   El Camino Real at Charleston Road
       •   Arastradero Road at Terman Access
       •   Arastradero Road at Coulombe Drive
       •   Alma Street at Meadow Drive
       •   Meadow Drive at Waverly Street
       •   Meadow Drive at Middlefield Road
       •   Carlson Drive at Charleston Road
       •   Oregon Expressway at Louis Road
       •   Oregon Expressway at Greer Road
       •   Arastradero Road at Gunn Access
       •   Alma Street at Charleston Road




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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study


                                                                                                                                                                                                   STUDY CORRIDORS AND INTERSECTIONS
February 2004
1021-1839\gid\study_roads.mxd                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                FIGURE 4
                                                                                              Final Report
                                                               South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                                June 2004



    Unsignalized Intersections
    •   Meadow Drive at El Camino Way
    •   Ames Avenue at Rorke Way
    •   Waverly Street at El Dorado Avenue
    •   Waverly Street at Loma Verde Avenue
    •   Bryant Street at Loma Verde Avenue
    •   Coulombe Drive at Maybell Avenue
    •   Louis Road at Amarillo Avenue
    •   Greer Road at Amarillo Avenue
    •   Georgia Avenue at Amaranta Avenue

Evaluation Approach

A primary objective of this study is to develop a rational, systematic, and objective approach to
evaluating the relative safety of intersections and streets along school commute corridors in the
southern part of Palo Alto. A definition of the term “safety” is important, for consistency and fairness
in the study process. This study builds on past traffic engineering efforts to develop an objective
measurement of safety so that the City of Palo Alto and its citizens can evaluate the relative condition
of roads and intersections.

There is inherent risk in all transportation modes, whether in an airplane, in a car, or on foot. No
transportation facility can be made entirely safe for all users. The most common means of measuring
safety is counting the number of accidents, injuries, and deaths per person using that mode. The
scale of relative safety is based on this measurement, meaning that some modes (e.g., flying in a
commercial aircraft) are considered safer than driving an automobile, because the rate of accidents
per airplane passenger is lower than the rate per automobile driver. Unfortunately, while automobile
accidents are fairly common, other types of accidents involving commercial aircraft or school children
have high visibility, thereby eliciting a strong emotional response. There is a difference between
public perceptions of a facility or travel mode being unsafe based on highly visible incidents, versus
the reality reflected by carefully tabulated accident data.

This study attempts to remove the subjectivity of perception from the evaluation to identify those
facilities that rank lowest according to a variety of measurable criteria. It is not the intent of the study
to guarantee that school commute routes can be made completely safe. Should children be
encouraged to walk or ride their bicycles to school if there is no foolproof method for guaranteeing
their safety? This decision must be made by parents alone. Unfortunately, the alternative – driving
children to school – not only involves some risk, but also contributes directly to the safety of
pedestrians and bicyclists.

Evaluation Methodology

There are standards for the design and implementation of crosswalks, pedestrian signals, minimum
signal clearance intervals, signing, and other items that have been developed by Caltrans, the
Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the
Transportation Research Board (TRB), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Cities such
as Palo Alto generally adhere to these standards, although they are advisory in many cases and
cities may develop their own standards as needed.




                                                                                                         15
                                                                                            Final Report
                                                             South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                              June 2004

The methodology used in this study incorporates many of the concepts identified in the Citywide
School Commute Safety Study. These concepts were developed from the available guidelines and
research and generally address convenience, exposure and protection at each study road and
intersection.

A scoring mechanism for each criterion was developed in the Citywide School Commute Safety
Study, reflecting the relative importance of that criterion. This study maintains this basic scoring
mechanism. Each road and intersection was independently tested based on the available data
collected and field investigations. Scoring of each road and intersection, using consistent criteria,
identifies the relative differences between study locations and answers the question, “How does this
facility rank compared to other similar facilities?”

Evaluation Criteria

The following definitions explain the applicability of the characteristics used in evaluating the
pedestrian and bicycle performance measures at intersections and along corridors. These criteria,
and the maximum number of points assigned to them, are presented in the Performance Measure
worksheets provided in Appendices B, C, and D.

Please note that there is no evaluation criterion for accident rates. Accident statistics, as discussed
previously, can be misleading. This is especially true for pedestrian- and bicycle-related accidents,
since these types of incidents: (a) may not occur frequently enough to be statistically reliable; (b) may
or may not be related to physical or operational attributes; and (c) do not reflect the background
activity of bicyclists and pedestrians.

No Bike Route (Bicycle Corridors) – refers to the presence or absence of on-street Class III
(unstriped) bike routes. Class III bike routes are generally acceptable on low-traffic-volume collector
and residential streets, but are less desirable when travel lanes are 14 feet wide or less. Wider curb
lanes (greater than 14 feet) provide more clearance between vehicles and bicycles, thus reducing
potential conflicts.

Bike Lane With or Without Parking (Bicycle Corridors) – refers to on-street Class II (striped) bike
lanes on streets with or without curbside parking. The presence of the lane provides a visible
separation between vehicle and bicycle flows. The standard width of Class II bike lanes varies from
four to five feet, with a four-foot width generally acceptable only on low-traffic-volume streets.
Narrower bike lanes on streets that permit curbside parking are less desirable. Ideal bike lanes on
streets would be six feet wide, regardless of the traffic volume and curbside parking. Wider bike
lanes can be interpreted by drivers as parking or even travel lanes.

Bike Lanes in Relation to Traffic Volumes (Bicycle Corridors) – refers to the likely friction between
vehicles and bicycles, and is related to daily traffic volumes on the street. Generally, streets with less
than 5,000 vehicles per day (vpd) and wide travel lanes do not require bike lanes. As traffic levels
increase, bike lanes become more important, particularly if curb lanes are narrow (less than 14 feet).
Bike lanes are more desirable at traffic volumes exceeding 10,000 vpd.

Corridor Traffic Volumes (Pedestrian Corridors) – refers to the relationship between average daily
traffic along a corridor and the comfort level for pedestrians traveling along the corridor. Average
traffic levels lower than 10,000 vpd provide a relatively comfortable pedestrian travel experience.
When traffic exceeds 10,000 vpd, pedestrians become less comfortable due to congested crossings,
motorist impatience, and noise.



                                                                                                       16
                                                                                              Final Report
                                                               South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                                June 2004



Continuous Sidewalks (Bicycle and Pedestrian Corridors) – refers to sidewalks on both sides of the
street that are continuous throughout a corridor. Continuous sidewalks enable pedestrians and
young bicyclists to travel safely through a corridor without entering vehicular travel lanes or other
unsafe areas. Conflicts on continuous sidewalks are limited to intersecting streets, paths and
driveways.

On-Street Parking (Bicycle and Pedestrian Corridors) – refers to parking in the street adjacent to the
curb. Parking in this area creates many conflicts for bicyclists such as vehicles performing parking
maneuvers, motorists opening doors, and restricted line of sight approaching intersections and
driveways. For pedestrians, however, curbside parking provides a buffer between the sidewalk and
vehicle lanes and is considered a positive characteristic.

Street and Crossing Width (Bicycle and Pedestrian Corridors and Intersections) – refers to curb-to-
curb width either along the corridor or at intersecting streets. Along corridors, a width of 40 feet or
less (typical residential street width) is desirable, particularly for pedestrians crossing at uncontrolled
intersections. Widths greater than 40 feet are tolerable when a median refuge is provided, which
enables pedestrians to cross the roadway with less vehicle exposure than without a median. Widths
greater than 60 feet with a median refuge five feet or wider are generally tolerable, but may be
uncomfortable for children. Intersection crossings greater than 60 feet in width without a median
refuge are typically considered undesirable for pedestrians.

Street Lighting (Bicycle and Pedestrian Corridors) – refers to overhead street lights. Adequate
lighting enables motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians to see each other at night and during the critical
dusk and dawn periods.

Good Maintenance (Bicycle and Pedestrian Corridors) – refers to the condition of the road in terms of
pavement condition, transverse ridges, debris in bike lanes and shoulders (street sweeping), trimming
of foliage, etc. A well-maintained facility is more apt to be used and is generally safer for all users.

Transit Interface (Pedestrian Corridors) – refers to the availability of transit facilities such as bus stops
along established pedestrian corridors.          Providing transit facilities increases the corridor
attractiveness for pedestrians.

Maximum Spacing of Controlled Intersections (Pedestrian Corridors) – refers to the availability of
controlled pedestrian crossings along the corridor. Controlled pedestrian crossings provide an
additional level of safety for pedestrians as they are given priority over vehicle and bicycle traffic.
Controlled crossings for the purposes of this study include signalized or all-way stop-controlled
intersections and intersections with crossing guards.

Barrier Free (Bicycle and Pedestrian Corridors and Intersections) – refers to facilities free of
impediments to bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Barriers to safe pedestrian and bicycle flow might
include lack of handicap ramps at intersections, signal and utility poles and mailboxes on sidewalks,
and the presence of rolled curbs, which permit motorists to mount and partially block sidewalks.

Corridor Speeds (Bicycle and Pedestrian Corridors) – refers to the prevalent travel speed of vehicles
along a corridor (not the posted speed limit). Studies have shown that pedestrian and bicycle
accident severity is generally minor when vehicles travel 25 miles per hour (mph) or less; moderate
with speeds between 25 and 35 mph; and severe or fatal at speeds greater than 35 mph.




                                                                                                          17
                                                                                             Final Report
                                                              South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                               June 2004

Priority and Protection (Bicycle and Pedestrian Corridors) – refers to exposure to vehicles along the
corridor and at intersections. Dropping bike lanes, uncontrolled turning movements, cross-traffic
priority, and the lack of bike and pedestrian facilities along the corridor and at intersections all expose
pedestrians and bicyclists to vehicle traffic. Priority and protection enables pedestrians and bicyclists
to proceed through intersections protected or without stopping, thus reducing delay and potential
conflicts. Corridors with priority and protection are generally more desirable than corridors with partial
or no priority or protection.

Sight Distance (Bicycle and Pedestrian Corridors and Intersections) – refers to adequate sight
distance not hindered by foliage, parked cars, utility poles, street geometry, etc. Along corridors,
numerous sight distance restrictions (e.g., road curvature and overgrown vegetation) can increase the
potential for conflicts. At unsignalized intersections, adequate sight distance from the stop bar
enables motorists to look for gaps in traffic without creeping into the crosswalk and forcing
pedestrians and bicyclists to go around into the travel lane.

Detached Sidewalk (Bicycle and Pedestrian Corridors) – refers to a separation of at least five feet
between the sidewalk and the adjacent curb. This separation allows for tree planting and provides a
buffer zone between vehicular traffic and the sidewalk, thus increasing the safety and comfort level
for pedestrians and bicyclists using the sidewalk.

Bike Clearance Interval (Bicycle – Intersections) – refers to the time required for bicyclists who enter
a signalized intersection lawfully to clear the intersection before the signal changes. About
six percent of urban car/bike accidents are attributed to bicyclists who are unable to clear an
intersection.

Bike Signal Controls (Bicycle – Intersections) – refers to the presence of loop detectors at the
approaches of signalized intersections that allow bicyclists to trigger a green signal for them to cross
when no vehicles are present on the street. Loop detectors with queue areas allow the bicyclist to
trigger a green signal while stopped adjacent to the curb. These devices reduce impatience and
delay and also reduce the potential for unlawful crossing against the signal light.

Signal Phasing (Bicycles and Pedestrians – Signalized Intersections) – signal phases are divided into
four classifications with increasing potential for conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians and
bicyclists:
    1. All-Pedestrian Phase offers the most protection for pedestrians (and bicyclists, if they are
       walking their bikes through the intersection), as all traffic must stop during this phase to allow
       pedestrians to cross the street. Right turns on red may or may not be prohibited.
    2. Protected Left-Turn Phase (i.e., left turns get a green arrow) offers less protection for
       pedestrians and bicyclists. While they are protected from left-turning vehicles, they are
       subject to conflicts with right-turning vehicles on the green.
    3. Split-Phase, allows all movements from one intersection approach to proceed while all other
       intersection approaches are red. Bicyclists and pedestrians are protected from the left-turn
       movement similar to the protected left-turn phase condition. Split-phase operation does offer
       less protection as right turns are given the green to proceed through the intersection and
       drivers may be less attentive to pedestrian and bicycle activity than protected left-turn phase.
    4. Single Phase (e.g., permitted left turns) offers the least protection to pedestrians and
       bicyclists as they are exposed to both left- and right-turning vehicles. Furthermore, left-
       turning drivers are often inattentive to pedestrians and bicycles because they are watching for



                                                                                                        18
                                                                                            Final Report
                                                             South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                              June 2004

        gaps in oncoming traffic. Inattentiveness and impatience increases as volumes increase, the
        intersection becomes more congested, and left-turning delays increase.


Right Turn Speeds (Bicycles and Pedestrians – Intersections) – refers to right-turning vehicle speeds
at intersections. Intersection designs that have “free” right turns are not controlled by intersection
controls and generally have higher speeds. These designs generally have “pork-chop” islands, which
require pedestrians and bicyclists to cross over an uncontrolled high-speed movement. These
movements can be made at speeds up to 30 or 40 mph on major roadways. The “pork chop” island
can be designed to slow traffic and increase pedestrian visibility to motorists. Standard small radii (20
to 30 feet) intersections generally force right turns to slow.

Crosswalks (Pedestrians – Intersections) – refers to crosswalk provisions on each approach at an
intersection. The crosswalk alerts drivers to the potential for pedestrian activity.

Right-Turn Restriction (Bicycles and Pedestrians – Intersections) – refers to how right-turning traffic is
controlled at intersections. Vehicle right turns can have a high potential for conflicts with pedestrians
and bicycles because motorists are often looking to their left for gaps in vehicle traffic and fail to
observe pedestrians and bicycles to their right. Prohibiting right turns on red provides pedestrians
and bicyclists a level of safety reducing this potential conflict. Permitting right turns on red provides
the minimum level of safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Right-Turn Conflicts (Bicycles and Pedestrians – Intersections) – refers to the level of exposure
pedestrians and bicyclists are subject to from right-turning traffic. Generally, less than 200 vehicles
per hour (vph) (i.e., three to four per minute) turning right is safe. Between 200 to 500 vph (4 to 8 per
minute) turning right is less safe, but tolerable. Right-turn activity greater than 500 vph is considered
undesirable for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Pedestrian Signals (Pedestrians – Intersections) – refers to the existence of pedestrian signal heads
showing the “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” symbols. These devices reduce confusion for pedestrians and
bicyclists by providing them with a definite indication of when to proceed. Further benefit is achieved
with pedestrian countdown signals. These signals show both the “Don’t Walk” symbol plus the
remaining time for pedestrians to cross the intersection. Pedestrian activation buttons, like vehicle
and bicycle detection loops, convey the presence of a pedestrian waiting to cross the intersection.

Crossing Guard Present (Pedestrian – Intersections) – refers to intersections with an adult crossing
guard. Crossing guards provide increased safety (through increased crossing visibility and traffic
control) for children to cross the intersection. However, crossing guards are present during very
limited hours, typically at school start and end times.

Adequate Crossing Allowance (Pedestrian – Intersections) – refers to the time allotted to the
pedestrian phase so that pedestrians can cross the intersection. The pedestrian crossing time
incorporates a 7-second start-up time plus time required to cross the intersection (from curb to top of
far ramp) at a walk speed of 3.5 feet per second.

Signal Cycle Length (Pedestrian – Intersections) – refers to the amount of time required for a signal to
cycle through serving all intersection traffic movements. Signal cycles greater than 120 seconds
result in increased impatience and inattentiveness by motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians waiting for
their respective signal phases.




                                                                                                       19
                                                                                            Final Report
                                                             South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                              June 2004

ADA Accessibility (Pedestrian – Intersections) – refers to intersection features that accommodate
handicapped users, such as accessible pedestrian push buttons, handicap ramps, special sidewalk
scoring, sidewalks without obstructions, etc.

Data Collection

Traffic Counts

The City of Palo Alto provided a map of the major street traffic flows for 1999. This information,
combined with select road segment traffic counts conducted by the City, is presented on Figure 5.
Daily vehicle traffic levels are a good indication of the likely comfort level for pedestrian and bicycle
users. Corridors with less than 5,000 vpd are conducive to both pedestrian and bicycle activities.
As daily traffic volumes increase toward 10,000 vpd, pedestrian and bicycle comfort levels decrease
and bike lanes are considered to separate bicycle and vehicle activities. Corridors with more than
10,000 vpd are not conducive to pedestrian activities and bike lanes are recommended to
accommodate bicycle activities. As shown on Figure 5, the Arastradero-Charleston, Middlefield, and
El Camino Real corridors are not conducive to pedestrian activities, and bicycle facilities (including
bike lanes) are important roadway components. The other study facilities generally carry less than
5,000 vpd, indicating conditions consistent with pedestrian and bicycle activities.

Corridor Speed Surveys

The City provided speed survey data at 14 locations in the study area. The survey locations and the
resulting 85th percentile speeds are shown on Figure 6. The 85th percentile speed indicates the
speed that is exceeded by no more than 15 percent of passing vehicles. The California Vehicle Code
indicates that 85 percent of the driving population travels at a speed which is considered safe and
prudent for the particular conditions of any given roadway. The setting and enforcement of speed
limits is often based on the 85th percentile speed. The importance of corridor speeds as an
evaluation criterion is that higher speeds result in more severe injuries when accidents between
vehicles and pedestrians or bicyclists occur.

Posted speed limits in the study area are generally 25 mph. Site-specific speed survey data was
extrapolated to identify general corridor speed characteristics within the study area. Field
observations were used to assess reasonableness of the speed characteristics. Corridors with 85th
percentile speeds equal to or greater than 35 mph include:
    •   Arastradero Road – Charleston Road
    •   Oregon Expressway
    •   El Camino Real
    •   Alma Street
    •   Middlefield Road
                 th
Corridors with 85 percentile speeds between 30 and 35 mph include:
    •   Maybell Avenue
    •   Los Robles Avenue
    •   Meadow Avenue
    •   Loma Verde Avenue
    •   Waverly Street
    •   Louis Road




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                                   EX                                                                                                                                                      Average Daily Traffic
                                     PR                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          School Building Codes
                                          ES
                                               SW                                                                                                                                                               Greater than 20,000 Vehicles
                                                    AY                                rq                                                                                                                                                                                                                         BP - Barron Park Elementary
                                                                                                                             20,000                                                                             10,000 to 20,000 Vehicles                                                                        EC - El Carmelo Elementary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                5,000 to 10,000 Vehicles                                                                         FM - Fairmeadow Elementary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 HG - Henry Gunn High
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Less than 5,000 Vehicles                                                                         HV - Hoover Elementary
                                                      AD                                        20,600                                                                                                                                                                                                           JB - Juana Briones Elementary
                                                 RO
                                        ER
                                             O                                                                                                                                                                 Approximate Location of Volume Survey                                                             JLS - Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle
                                   AD
                              TR                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 OH - Ohlone Elementary
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                   AR                                                                                                                                                                                                      Source:                                                                               PV - Palo Verde Elementary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           1999 Major Street Traffic Flow Map                                                    TM - Terman Middle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              AVERAGE DAILY TRAFFIC VOLUMES
March 2004
1021-1839\gis\data\volumes8x11.mxd                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   FIGURE 5
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                                  EX
                                       PR
                                                                                                                                                                                                  85th Percentile Speeds                                                                                                                   School Building Codes
                                            ES
                                                 SW
                                                                                      rq
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         35 mph and Greater                                                                                                BP - Barron Park Elementary
                                                      AY
                                                                                                                             37 mph                                                                                      30 to 34 mph                                                                                                      EC - El Carmelo Elementary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           FM - Fairmeadow Elementary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Less than 30 mph                                                                                                  HG - Henry Gunn High
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           HV - Hoover Elementary
                                                       AD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Approximate Location of Speed Survey                                                                                   JB - Juana Briones Elementary
                                                  RO
                                     E      RO                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             JLS - Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle
                                  AD
                          TR                                                                                                                                                 Source:                                                                                                                                                       OH - Ohlone Elementary
                        AS
                 AR                                                                                                                                                          Corridor Speed Characteristics Extrapolated                                                                                                                   PV - Palo Verde Elementary
                                                                                                                                                                             from Select Speed Surveys and Field Observations                                                                                                              TM - Terman Middle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  VEHICLE SPEEDS
March 2004                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               FIGURE 6
1021-1839\gis\data\speeds8x11.mxd
                                                                                            Final Report
                                                             South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                              June 2004

                 th
Corridors with 85 percentile speeds less than 30 mph include:
    •   Amaranta Avenue
    •   El Camino Way
    •   Colorado Avenue
    •   Amarillo Avenue

Vehicle speeds generally exceeded 30 mph except along the shorter corridors. Typically, speeds up
to about 35 mph can be expected along street corridors with posted speeds of 25 mph. Speeds
greater than 35 mph on a 25 mph-posted facility indicate that drivers do not perceive the posted
speed limit as appropriate. The Arastradero-Charleston corridor represents this situation as the
                                        th
corridor is posted for 25 mph and the 85 percentile speed is 35 mph or greater.

Bicycle Corridor Activity

Bicycle counts were provided by the City of Palo Alto. Extensive bicycle counts were conducted in
1997 at several intersections within the study area. These counts were conducted for the morning
period between 7:00 and 9:00 AM and during the afternoon period between 2:30 and 6:30 PM. The
intersection turning movement count data was used to quantify the level of bicycle activity along the
road corridors being studied.

The greatest morning bicycle activity generally occurred between 7:30 and 8:30 AM, which coincides
with school times. Meadow Drive bicycle activity during the morning ranged from 100 to 140
bicyclists with the greatest concentration in the vicinity of the Fairmeadow and Jane Lathrop Stanford
schools. Bicycle activity was lowest along the Arastradero-Charleston corridor with about 30 riders,
except near Gunn High School where about 70 riders were counted. Volumes in the remaining study
corridors were generally between 50 and 70 riders.

Afternoon bicycle activity peaked either between 2:45 and 3:45 PM, which coincides with school end
times, or between 5:15 and 6:15 PM, coinciding with commute and recreational riders. The level of
PM peak hour activity was similar to the AM peak hour activity along each corridor. Bicycle volume
characteristics along Charleston Road west of El Camino Real coincided with school end times. East
of El Camino Real, however, bicycle activity peaked during the evening commute period, indicating
that bicycle riding associated with the Hoover, Fairmeadow, and Jane Lathrop Stanford schools is
limited.

The level of bicycle activity within the study area generally indicates a healthy environment for
bicyclists. The exception is along the Arastradero-Charleston corridor, especially in the vicinity of the
elementary and middle schools. Vehicle traffic along the corridor is about 20,000 vpd and vehicle
speeds exceed 35 mph. These conditions contribute to bicyclists, especially school children, avoiding
the corridor by using alternative routes or, more likely, alternative travel modes such as a passenger
in a vehicle.

School Crossing Guard Location Activity

Recent bicycle data from fall of 2003 were obtained from school crossing guards who counted
students using bicycles. Data are available only during the times that the crossing guards are on
duty, generally from 7:30 to 8:30 AM and from 2:30 to 3:30 PM. The results are shown on Figure 7A.
The data indicate relatively heavy student bicycle activity along East Meadow Drive near Fairmeadow
Elementary and Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle, along Coulombe Drive near Juana Briones
Elementary, and along Arastradero Road in the vicinity of Terman Middle and Gunn High. Relatively


                                                                                                      23
                                                                                         Final Report
                                                          South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                           June 2004

small numbers of student cyclists were observed at crossings near the Ohlone, Palo Verde, and
Barron Park elementary schools.

Data were also available about students walking to and from school, as observed by the crossing
guards. The patterns for student pedestrians were similar to those for student cyclists, as shown on
Figure 7B. Relatively high numbers of pedestrians were observed along East Meadow Drive,
Coulombe Drive, and Arastradero Road, with somewhat lower volumes on Charleston Road and
Loma Verde Avenue.




                                                                                                  24
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Bicycle Volumes
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                                                                                                                                        Y




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study

                                                                                                                                                                                                       BICYCLE VOLUMES
                                                                                                                                                                                   OBSERVED BY SCHOOL CROSSING GUARDS
February 2004
1021-1839\gid\bikes2004.mxd
                                                                                                                                                                                                              FIGURE 7A
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                                                                                                                                           AY
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study

                                                                                                                                                                                                      PEDESTRIAN VOLUMES
                                                                                                                                                                                      OBSERVED BY SCHOOL CROSSING GUARDS
February 2004
1021-1839\gid\peds2004.mxd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                FIGURE 7B
                                                                                                Final Report
                                                                 South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                                  June 2004


Data Evaluation

Corridor Performance Measures

Corridor performance measures were calculated for 12 corridors using the evaluation criteria listed
previously in this section. All corridor scores were normalized to 100, representing the percent of
potential points available. The scoring was sub-divided into categories including Very Good, Good,
Tolerable, and Undesirable. This scoring system is consistent with that used in the Citywide School
Commute Safety Study. The weighting of each criterion was accomplished by an initial allotment of
points based on relative importance to other criteria, and then multiplied by a weighting factor which
reflected: (a) convenience, (b) exposure, or (c) protection. Characteristics primarily for convenience
are given less weight than those for protection.

The normalized scores themselves are the most important output, showing the relative ranking of
corridors. A high score and “Very Good” ranking does not mean that the corridor is 100 percent safe
or ideal for school commuters; rather, it indicates that the facility provides a better environment for
pedestrians and/or bicyclists relative to other study facilities. Table 2 summarizes the corridor
performance measures.

                                            TABLE 2
                                     CORRIDOR PERFORMANCE

                                                         Pedestrian                        Bicycle
                  Corridor
                                                     1                                 1
                                             Score            Performance      Score          Performance
Arastradero Road/Charleston Road                67              Tolerable        69             Tolerable
Meadow Drive                                    71               Good            79              Good
El Camino Way                                   71               Good            47             Tolerable
Matadero Avenue                                 32             Undesirable       42             Tolerable
Los Robles Avenue                               50              Tolerable        69             Tolerable
Louis Road                                      80               Good            89              Good
Ames Avenue                                     63              Tolerable        66             Tolerable
Rorke Way                                       63              Tolerable        63             Tolerable
Barron Avenue                                   29             Undesirable       40            Undesirable
Maybell Avenue                                  38             Undesirable       35            Undesirable
Amaranta Avenue                                 41              Tolerable        51             Tolerable
Waverly Street                                  79               Good            74              Good
Performance Classifications              1
                                             Scores are normalized to 100.
90 to 100   Very Good
70 to 89   Good
41 to 69   Tolerable
0 to 40   Undesirable                    Source: Fehr & Peers, July 2003.




                                                                                                             27
                                                                                           Final Report
                                                            South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                             June 2004

Pedestrian Evaluation

Pedestrian conditions for each corridor were analyzed using 11 different criteria. Evaluation
categories such as facility conditions, intersection spacing, and priority and protection had 12-point
scoring potential. Categories with 9-point scoring potential included on-street parking provisions and
barrier-free. The remaining categories each had a 6-point potential.

Four corridors ranked as “Good,” scoring at least 70 out of 100 points (normalized). Five corridors
ranked as “Tolerable.” The remaining three locations, including Matadero Avenue, Barron Avenue,
and Maybell Avenue, scored “Undesirable.” These three corridors do not provide sidewalks, the road
conditions are poor, and there is no priority or protection for pedestrians.

Bicycle Evaluation

Bicycle conditions are strongly correlated with the level of traffic volume on the roadway combined
with the type of bicycle facilities available. Traffic volume levels in combination with lane widths
and bike lanes represent a 50-point scoring potential. Facility conditions represent a 15-point
potential while priority and protection represents a 12-point potential. The remaining categories are
represented by a 6-point potential, with the exception of parking which is represented by an 8-point
potential.

Three corridors ranked as “Good” while seven corridors ranked as “Tolerable.” Two corridors,
Maybell Avenue and Barron Avenue, ranked “Undesirable.” The Matadero Avenue corridor, while it
scored as “Tolerable,” is on the threshold of being “Undesirable.” The scores for these three corridors
are low because there are no sidewalks or bicycle facilities and there is no priority and protection for
bicyclists.

Intersection Performance Measures

Intersection performance measures were calculated for 22 intersections (13 signalized and nine
unsignalized) using the evaluation criteria described previously. A similar scoring system was used
for intersections as for corridors, with scores normalized to 100 points and an associated ranking
(Very Good, Good, Tolerable, and Undesirable) assigned. A summary of intersection performance
measures is shown in Tables 3 and 4.

Pedestrian Evaluation

Pedestrians at signalized intersections were analyzed using 12 criteria, while unsignalized
intersections were analyzed using eight criteria. Pedestrian signals had an 18-point potential score
while signal operations and crossing allowance each had a 12-point potential. Several categories
had 9-point potentials including crosswalk provisions, right-turn restrictions, presence of crossing
guards, and barrier-free. The remaining categories had 6-point potentials.

Five signalized intersections and one unsignalized intersection ranked as “Good” while six signalized
and six unsignalized intersections ranked as “Tolerable.” The two study intersections on Oregon
Expressway (at Louis Road and Greer Road) each ranked as “Undesirable,” primarily because of
inadequate pedestrian crossing times, signal operations and lack of ADA accessibility features. The
unsignalized intersections of East Meadow Drive/El Camino Place and Ames Avenue/Rorke Way
ranked “Undesirable” due to accessibility issues such as lack of crosswalks and ramps.




                                                                                                     28
                                                                                                    Final Report
                                                                     South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                                      June 2004



                                               TABLE 3
                                SIGNALIZED INTERSECTION PERFORMANCE

                                                               Pedestrian                         Bicycle
                    Corridor
                                                           1                                  1
                                                   Score           Performance       Score           Performance
El Camino Real at Matadero Avenue                     70               Good             57             Tolerable
El Camino Real at Maybell Avenue                      67             Tolerable          52             Tolerable
El Camino Real at Charleston Road                     65             Tolerable          49             Tolerable
Arastradero Road at Terman Access                     88               Good             79                  Good
Arastradero Road at Coulombe Road                     49             Tolerable          45             Tolerable
Alma Street at Meadow Drive                           65             Tolerable          45             Tolerable
Meadow Drive at Waverly Street                        83               Good             79                  Good
Meadow Drive at Middlefield Road                      80               Good             70                  Good
Carlson Drive Charleston Road                         79               Good             75                  Good
Oregon Expressway at Louis Road                       37            Undesirable         27            Undesirable
Oregon Expressway at Greer Road                       37            Undesirable         27            Undesirable
Arastradero Road at Gunn High School                  67             Tolerable          64             Tolerable
Charleston Road at Alma Street                        71               Good             63             Tolerable
Performance Classifications                1
                                               Scores are normalized to 100.
90 to 100   Very Good
70 to 89   Good
41 to 69   Tolerable
0 to 40   Undesirable                       Source: Fehr & Peers, July 2003.




                                               TABLE 4
                               UNSIGNALIZED INTERSECTION PERFORMANCE

                                                               Pedestrian                         Bicycle
                    Corridor
                                                           1                                  1
                                                   Score           Performance        Score           Performance
East Meadow at El Camino Way/Maybell                  32            Undesirable         75                  Good
Ames Avenue at Rorke Way                              40            Undesirable         83                  Good
Waverly Street at El Dorado Avenue                    68             Tolerable          83                  Good
Waverly Street at Loma Verde Avenue                   74               Good             79                  Good
Bryant at Loma Verde Avenue                           68             Tolerable          79                  Good
Coulombe Drive at Maybell Avenue                      63             Tolerable          75                  Good
Louis Road at Amarillo Avenue                         49             Tolerable          58             Tolerable
Greer Road at Amarillo Avenue                         65             Tolerable          83                  Good
Georgia Avenue at Amaranta Avenue                     51             Tolerable          83                  Good
Performance Classifications                    1
                                                   Scores are normalized to 100.
90 to 100   Very Good
70 to 89   Good
41 to 69   Tolerable
0 to 40   Undesirable                       Source: Fehr & Peers, July 2003.




                                                                                                                   29
                                                                                            Final Report
                                                             South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                              June 2004

Bicycle Evaluation

Bicycle performance measures at signalized intersections incorporated seven criteria; unsignalized
intersections incorporated four. The most heavily weighted criteria were bicycle signal controls, with
a scoring potential of 16 points. Signal operations and bicycle clearance intervals each had scoring
potentials of 12 points. Right-turn restrictions were represented by a 9-point potential and the
remaining categories each had 6-point scoring potential.

Eleven signalized and all nine unsignalized locations scored either “Good” or “Tolerable.” The two
signalized intersections on Oregon Expressway (at Louis Road and Greer Road) ranked as
“Undesirable.” Bicycle clearance intervals, bicycle signal controls, and barriers all contributed to the
poor ranking at these two intersections.

Evaluation Summary

The application of the performance measures was successful, assisting in the stratification of
intersections and corridors according to objective performance measures. Readers should note that
scoring could be manipulated by adjusting criteria weighting, and that the scores are often so close
that actual differences between locations may be non-existent.

It is recommended that the performance measures continue to be refined based on the SAC’s input,
and that further comparisons with actual field conditions and recorded observations be performed.
The benefit of the performance criteria is that they lend themselves to isolating the types of
improvements (slowing traffic, installing a crossing guard, constructing bike lanes, etc.) that will
improve a location’s score. They also provide the City with flexibility in seeking different solutions at
each location based on physical and operational constraints.




                                                                                                      30
                                                                                            Final Report
                                                             South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                              June 2004


IV.     ANALYSIS FINDINGS AND EVALUATION OF ALTERNATIVE
        SOLUTIONS
The final stage of the South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study involved reviewing the results of
the data analysis presented in Section 3, drawing conclusions about issues in specific study
locations, and evaluating improvements that may be applicable to the problems identified.

Findings Based On Data Analysis

The following paragraphs review the results of the analysis for both corridors and intersections, and
provide discussion of the issues raised through the earlier stages of the study process. Following
each section, tables list potential improvements that could be considered to address the problems
identified for each study location. These improvements, identified either through field investigation or
as a result of the performance measure analysis, would generally raise the corridor and intersection
performance measures. Most of the improvements are simple to implement (e.g., improved
maintenance, handicap ramps, speed enforcement, pedestrian signal controls, etc.). However, some
of the improvements (e.g., adding bike lanes and continuous sidewalks, widening roads, replacing roll
curbs with barrier curbs), while effective, may be more difficult to implement due to cost, right-of-way
availability, or other concerns.

Corridors

The Arastradero Road–Charleston Road corridor carries higher levels of traffic at higher speeds than
any of the other study corridors. The higher speeds are generally not observed around school start
and end times when traffic turning to and from the corridor is heaviest and traffic congestion levels
are substantial. The inter-relationship between commute and school traffic along the corridor is best
observed in the vicinity of Gunn High School. Turning traffic demands to and from the high school
exceed the practical turning capacity. The result is vehicle queues that extend west to Foothill
Expressway and east to about Coulombe Drive, which also serves Terman Middle School. Typical
solutions would be to provide additional turning capacity to and from Gunn High School. Additional
turn capacity exiting the school is a practical solution that would require traffic signal modifications.
Additional turning capacity into the high school is more problematic as there is inadequate right-of-
way to add lanes on Arastradero Road. Further compounding the problem is the entry drive to the
high school, which narrows from two lanes to one. This narrowing results in congestion that extends
back to Arastradero Road, thereby reducing entry capacity.

In addition to the problems observed around Gunn High School, the Arastradero Road–Charleston
Road corridor also experiences traffic congestion in front of Hoover Elementary immediately around
school times. Traffic congestion on the school site is substantial, but does not cause back-ups onto
Charleston Road. In general, high traffic volumes and the relative location of the school driveway to
Carlson Drive limit opportunities for left-turn pocket installations. The driveway and Carlson Drive
intersections are too close to install a left-turn pocket that would provide sufficient vehicle storage
without adversely impacting traffic turning to and from Carlson Drive. In order to install a left-turn
pocket, the on-site school circulation would need to be reversed. Left-turn pocket installation would
better separate school and non-school traffic and reduce driver frustration. The City Council adopted
a plan to reduce the number of through lanes along the corridor based on a careful study. Other
options that focus on pedestrians include such items as intersection bulb-outs. These ideas and
others should be developed through the local neighborhood/school group with city facilitation. The




                                                                                                      31
                                                                                           Final Report
                                                            South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                             June 2004

group should be responsible for identifying candidate solutions and associated issues (both positive
and negative) and then, as a group, deciding which potential solutions merit further study.

Maybell Avenue has increased in importance as the Terman Middle School opens and the corridor is
used to access Terman, Juana Briones, and, to a lesser extent, Gunn High. The Maybell Avenue
corridor provides an alternative route to Arastradero Road, as the two corridors run parallel to one
another. The Maybell Avenue corridor is typified by varied cross-sections, discontinuous sidewalks,
and haphazard parking, which reduce the corridor’s attractiveness to pedestrian and bicycle users.
Focused improvements, such as sidewalk gap closures, are relatively easy to install; however, the
corridor lacks a consistent theme that alerts drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists to corridor
prioritization. Corridor changes are dependent on right-of-way availability and cost. The Los Robles
Avenue corridor represents one low-cost option to consider in upgrading Maybell Avenue. Corridor
prioritization is achieved on Los Robles Avenue by dividing the paved roadway into a single vehicle
travel way with a striped shoulder on either side. Vehicles are parked outside the paved area. The
minimum right-of-way to achieve this theme is 46 feet. A theme that incorporates sidewalks, parking
lanes, and bike lanes requires approximately 58 feet of right-of-way.

The importance of Los Robles Avenue to school-related activities is expected to vary with the number
of school-age children living in the area. The corridor does not rank well for pedestrians as there are
no sidewalks and there is parking along the corridor. The corridor does illustrate an innovative
approach to road design in a semi-rural environment. Typical design features would incorporate
pavement for vehicle lanes, bike lanes, curb / gutter, sidewalks and landscaping. These features are
costly and, as in the case of Los Robles, are not consistent with the character of the area. In the
case of Los Robles, the roadway cross-section respects the lower traffic volumes (i.e., less than
5,000) by incorporating narrow lanes, striped non-motorized areas, and parking off pavement. These
features define the corridor uses while maintaining a rural character consistent with the
neighborhood.

Barron and Matadero Avenues are generally in poor condition as much of the corridors are
unimproved (i.e., no sidewalks, poor pavement conditions, no bike lanes, inconsistent parking
layouts). These corridors do not appear to provide the same opportunities as the Maybell Avenue
corridor as both have curves that limit improvement opportunities such as narrow lanes. Major
reconstruction would be necessary to incorporate a consistent theme along these two corridors. Low-
cost changes such as those along Los Robles would require elimination of parking used by the
adjacent residential users.

East Meadow Drive is maintained well and has a cross-section that includes vehicle lanes, bike lanes,
parking lanes, and sidewalks. The rolled curb allows parked cars to encroach into the sidewalk area;
however, replacing them with barrier curbs is a costly alternative. Parking and the bike lane are
shared on one side of East Meadow Drive. While this situation is not ideal, it does recognize the fact
that adjacent residents do require on-street parking and that during the day the area is generally kept
clear for school children. There are a few locations along the corridor where handicap ramps are not
provided. Observations suggest that this is more of an issue for older residents using the corridor for
recreation and exercise. Nevertheless, installation of handicap ramps would enhance the corridor’s
pedestrian function.

Intersections

Signalized intersections in Palo Alto are generally supportive of pedestrians and bicyclists: vegetation
is trimmed regularly on most corridors with signalized intersections, most intersections have



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pedestrian signal heads, and many have right-turn-on-red restrictions. Bicycle detection could be
improved at some locations by better defining the detection area, extending the loop detector to the
curb, and/or installing bicycle push buttons. These could be effective treatments for minor street
approaches to signalized intersections. Extending the initial green time at side streets to signalized
intersections could also serve to benefit bike riders. Overall, the greatest improvement to signalized
intersections would be to install pedestrian countdown heads and “No Right Turn on Red When
Children Present” signs.

Unsignalized intersections tend to work well for vehicles, but typically cause sight distance issues for
cyclists, who often need to move into the intersection to confirm that they can safely proceed across.
Pedestrian sight distance is usually adequate at unsignalized intersections, as long as parked cars
are not present near the intersection. Sight distance can be further improved with the use of red-curb
and curb extensions. These treatments are often more effective for pedestrians and bike users as
they take longer to negotiate an intersection from a stop-controlled approach.

Other potential improvements for both signalized and unsignalized intersections are briefly identified
below:
•   The intersections along Oregon Expressway are classified as “Undesirable.” Improvement of the
    intersections would require an engineering study that focuses on intersection design alternatives
    and features to enhance pedestrian and bicyclist crossings. Improved median treatments,
    upgraded signal systems, and possibly geometric changes would be addressed in the study.
•   Intersections along El Camino Real would benefit from slower-speed right turns. This is
    especially true at the Charleston Road intersection, which permits high-speed right-turns
    independent of the intersection signal system.
•   The short frontage road segment at the northeast corner of the Meadow Drive/Alma Street
    intersection is an uncommon design feature in that it is immediately adjacent to the signalized
    intersection and accommodates both left- and right-turning traffic movements. The right-turn
    movement is made at high speeds requiring pedestrians and bicyclists to use extra caution when
    traveling on Meadow Drive. Solutions such as closing the frontage road segment or prohibiting
    specific turn movements would improve the intersection performance ranking; however, the
    frontage road does provide access to residential and business areas, so close coordination with
    affected users would be essential before implementing changes.
•   Additional turning capacity to and from Gunn High School at Arastradero Road is an essential
    component in reducing traffic congestion. Limited congestion relief can be achieved in the
    morning by extending the two-lane entry cross-section further into the high school. Lane
    restriping at the high school exit with applicable traffic signal changes would reduce congestion
    leaving the high school. Improving the bike lane on Arastradero Road approaching Gunn High
    School should also be considered; the current bike lane is narrow and makes bicycle riding
    uncomfortable.
•   Barriers at the Meadow Drive/Waverly Street intersection have the greatest impact on the
    performance measure ranking. Specifically, a utility pole located in the sidewalk at the
    intersection impedes pedestrian flows. Relocating the utility pole – a costly change – may be
    constrained by the available right-of-way. Foliage at the intersection limits sight distances and, to
    a lesser extent, constrains pedestrian flows. Trimming the foliage is a straightforward and low-
    cost improvement.
•   Arastradero Road at Coulombe Road and Charleston Road at Carlson Drive represent typical
    intersections along the Arastradero-Charleston corridor in that they provide a four-lane cross-



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    section with a combination bike/parking lane on one side of the street and a bike lane only on the
    other side. Uses near both intersections are predominantly residential, with the Terman School
    near Coulombe Road and the Hoover School near Carlson Drive. Signal upgrades (except
    countdown pedestrian signals) and right-turn restrictions have been incorporated into the Carlson
    Drive traffic signal, while there are limited signal upgrades at the Coulombe Road intersection.
    For pedestrians and bicyclists, both intersections could benefit from reducing the Arastradero-
    Charleston cross-section from four to two lanes and installing left-turn lanes and/or center
    medians as adopted by the City Council in January 2004.
•   The unsignalized intersections studied can all be improved with either handicap ramps and/or
    sight distance improvements such as foliage trimming, red curb, and/or curb extensions. For
    example, a red curb at the Louis Road/Amarillo Avenue intersection would improve sight distance
    and intersection operations by relocating vehicles that now park at the intersection and block
    sight distance and maneuverability.

Alternative Solutions

Based on the data analysis presented above, as well as field investigations and the outreach efforts
to the local community, a master list of potential physical improvements and traffic engineering
solutions has been developed. The solutions are derived from the desirable attributes of corridors
and intersections identified in the performance measures worksheets, and are reflective of those
discussed above. The potential solutions are summarized in Table 5, which also identifies alternative
implementation techniques and the type of facility to which each solution may be applicable.
Following the summary table is a discussion of the relative advantages and disadvantages of each
improvement, along with possible feasibility issues.

Widen Outside Lane or Provide Separate Bike Lane

Narrow travel lanes shared with motor vehicles can present hazards for inexperienced cyclists.
Providing travel lanes greater than 14 feet wide increases cyclist comfort and safety. Alternatively, a
separate bicycle lane can be provided, which further increases cyclist safety and encourages driver
attentiveness to the possibility that cyclists may be present. A striped bike lane requires 6 feet from
curb face on streets without parking, and at least 12 feet on streets with parking.

Advantages
    •   Increases comfort and safety of cyclists
    •   Striped lane provides visible delineation between bicycle and vehicle traffic

Disadvantages
    •   Allocating roadway width to cyclists may result in trade-offs for other users, such as reduced
        parking or travel lanes
    •   Widening street to accommodate bike lane or wider outside travel lane may be expensive,
        depending on right-of-way availability

Feasibility Issues
    •   Physical feasibility may be limited by available roadway capacity or right-of-way availability
    •   Restriping travel lanes may be done at moderate cost, while adding pavement width would be
        a higher-cost option




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                                                   TABLE 5
                                   MASTER LIST OF POTENTIAL IMPROVEMENTS

                                                                                                      Applicable
No.          Potential Improvement                      Implementation Methods                         Facilities
1.        Widen outside travel lane or    • Restripe existing lanes to separate bike lane from         Corridors
          provide separate bike lane        travel lane or parking
                                          • Narrow travel lanes
                                          • Eliminate or restrict parking
                                          • Implement “road diet”
                                          • Widen street
2.        Reduce speeds                   • Install radar speed monitors                               Corridors
                                          • Reduce free right turns
                                          • Install traffic calming elements
3.        Provide pedestrian support      • Install crosswalks                                          Corridors/
          facilities                      • Construct sidewalks to close gaps                         Intersections
4.        Improve sight distance          • Remove on-street parking at corners                         Corridors/
                                          • Trim/remove obstructing vegetation                        Intersections
                                          • Install curb extensions, advance limit lines, or
                                            advance yield lines
5.        Reduce street crossing width    • Install curb extensions                                   Intersections
                                          • Construct median refuge
6.        Provide good maintenance        • Institute consistent striping/sign maintenance             Corridors
                                            program
                                          • Provide consistent vegetation control
                                          • Establish pavement repair program
                                          • Increase scheduled street sweeping on major
                                            bicycle routes
7.        Remove barriers to access       • Install curb ramps and accessible push buttons            Intersections
                                          • Relocate utility poles or other obstructions on
                                            sidewalks and bike lanes
                                          • Establish standards for sidewalk furniture
                                            placement
8.        Improve accommodation for       • Install pedestrian countdown signal heads                 Intersections
          pedestrians at signalized       • Increase minimum green time
          intersections                   • Improve vehicle signal head visibility
                                          • Provide crossing guard where warranted
9.        Reduce conflicts between        • Remove uncontrolled right turns                           Intersections
          pedestrians and turning         • Install “No Right Turn on Red when Children
          vehicles                          Present” signs or other right-turn restrictions
                                          • Prohibit all right turns on red
                                          • Provide crossing guard where warranted
10.       Improve accommodation for       • Provide separate bike queue areas with loop               Intersections
          bicyclists at signalized          detection and loop detection stencils
          intersections                   • Extend bike lanes through intersection
                                          • Increase minimum green time
11.       Define consistent theme for     • Provide a uniform cross-section along entire                Corridors/
          corridors and intersections       corridor                                                  Intersections
                                          • Clearly define areas for different users, such as left-
                                            turn pockets or medians
      .




Source: Fehr & Peers, 2004.




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Reduce Speeds

High travel speeds affect the safety of all road users, including motorists as well as pedestrians and
cyclists. Speeds can be moderated by strict enforcement of speed limits, although that typically
requires an ongoing commitment of staff resources by local law enforcement. An innovative method
used to make motorists aware of their speed is to install radar monitors that display the speed of
passing cars in conjunction with a speed limit sign. Other options include installation of traffic calming
devices designed to reduce vehicular travel speeds, such as speed humps or traffic circles. At
intersection locations, the availability of “free” right turns for vehicles and wide corner radii
accommodate higher speeds for turning vehicles. Compact intersection design, including small
corner radii and the elimination of free right turns can mitigate this concern.

Advantages
    •   Improves safety by reducing accident frequency and severity
    •   Reduces traffic noise as speeds are reduced

Disadvantages
    •   Cost of installation and maintenance
    •   Radar monitors should not be overused, or they may lose effectiveness
    •   Compact intersection design may impact larger vehicles

Feasibility Issues
    •   Generally physically feasible and relatively inexpensive

Provide Pedestrian Support Facilities

Support facilities encourage walking by creating a more attractive and supportive environment. Such
facilities can include crosswalks at intersections, sidewalks in areas that currently have gaps in the
pedestrian walkway system, or amenities such as benches, water fountains and transit shelters.

Advantages
    •   Improves the walking environment and pedestrian safety

Disadvantages
    •   May increase capital and maintenance costs

Feasibility Issues
    •   Subject to limitations of available space and location of existing utilities
    •   Crosswalk installation is inexpensive
    •   Installation of new sidewalks and other amenities may involve moderate costs

Improve Sight Distance

Some intersections require drivers and/or cyclists to creep forward to view oncoming traffic and
assess gaps in flow. This can create an unsafe condition for cyclists, who may be forced into the
path of oncoming traffic, and also for pedestrians when crosswalks are blocked by stopped vehicles.
Sight distance can often be improved by trimming overgrown vegetation or by prohibiting on-street


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parking immediately adjacent to the corners of the intersection. Curb extensions improve sight
distance for pedestrians at intersections by extending the sidewalk further into the crossing location.
Advance limit lines are lines painted at signalized intersections at least eight feet before the
crosswalk, instructing motorists to stop before obstructing the crosswalk. Advance yield lines are
similar to advance limit lines, but are typically installed at mid-block crossing locations.

Advantages
    •   Improves safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians

Disadvantages
    •   Removal of on-street parking may inconvenience neighborhood residents or businesses

Feasibility Issues
    •   Parking removal is generally physically feasible and inexpensive
    •   Curb extensions are more expensive and may also require parking removal, and must be
        carefully designed to avoid conflicts with cyclists

Reduce Street Crossing Width

Long street crossings increase exposure time for pedestrians and cyclists, and may trap slower
individuals in medians or in travel lanes. Reducing crossing width increases safety and reduces
accident potential. The objective can be accomplished by providing a median refuge on relatively
wide streets, or by installing bulb-outs at street corners to reduce overall distance between sidewalks.

Advantages
    •   Reduces exposure time for pedestrians and cyclists
    •   Increases safety for children and those who require extra time to cross the street

Disadvantages
    •   May create obstructions for vehicles and cyclists if improperly designed

Feasibility Issues
    •   Bulb-outs are most appropriate in areas with on-street parking
    •   Bulb-outs may require utility relocation or drainage work

Provide Good Maintenance

Facilities in poor condition not only have the potential to increase accidents, but to also discourage
use. Consistent maintenance of streets, sidewalks and bicycle lanes benefits all users. Improvement
measures can include consistent vegetation control, striping and sign maintenance, overlay and
pavement repair, and a comprehensive approach to reporting and prioritizing maintenance problems.

Advantages
    •   Improves safety for all users
    •   Removes barriers to walking or cycling




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Disadvantages
    •   Increased costs

Feasibility Issues
    •   Physically feasible, but requires budget commitment

Remove Barriers to Access

Obstructions that compromise access to a sidewalk reduce the usefulness of the facility, and may
conflict with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. The most common improvements to
access are installation of curb ramps at crossings, accessible signals at signalized crossing locations,
or removal of obstructions (e.g., utility poles) that block passage on a sidewalk. One strategy to
create accessible travelways is to implement an ordinance that defines guidelines for the installation
of newspaper racks and other sidewalk furniture.

Advantages
    •   Improves safety for pedestrians
    •   Meets ADA standards for disabled access
    •   Reduces conflicts between pedestrians and other users

Disadvantages
    •   Relocation of obstructions may be expensive

Feasibility Issues
    •   Installation of ramps is generally physically feasible at relatively low cost
    •   Relocation of utilities may be quite expensive, and depends upon the availability of nearby
        locations

Improve Accommodation for Pedestrians at Signalized Intersections

Intersections controlled by a traffic signal can provide a safe environment for pedestrians who cross
with the light. However, certain improvements can make an even more inviting and supportive
environment for pedestrians. For example, reducing signal cycle lengths can improve the pedestrian
experience. Signal cycle lengths greater than 120 seconds encourage pedestrian violations when
gaps in traffic occur. Ideally, pedestrians should wait no more than 30 seconds to cross. Similarly,
signals should be timed to allow an adequate amount of green time for pedestrians to safely reach
the far side of the intersection. Installation of pedestrian signal heads that countdown the seconds
remaining in the crossing period can further improve the level of information pedestrians have about
when it is safe to cross a street. Finally, signals that allow an “early release” of pedestrians may
reduce conflicts with turning vehicles.

Advantages
    •   Improve safety for pedestrians by reducing accident potential

Disadvantages
    •   May affect capacity of intersection for vehicle movements
    •   Isolated changes in signal timing may not work along corridors with synchronized signals set
        to a master cycle length



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Feasibility Issues
    •   Physically feasible and relatively inexpensive

Reduce Conflicts Between Pedestrians and Turning Vehicles

Right-turning vehicles turn into crosswalks during the pedestrian crossing phase and increase
conflicts and accident potential. Reducing or eliminating right-turn conflicts can be desirable,
particularly where there is significant pedestrian and bicycle traffic. This can be accomplished by
prohibiting right-turns on red entirely or during certain times of day. Conflicts can also be reduced by
converting “free” right turns to controlled movements, by converting exclusive right-turn lanes into
shared through-right lanes (see “Reducing Speeds” above). Pedestrian signals that allow an “early
release” (see above) allow pedestrians to establish themselves in the crosswalk before motorists get
a green light.

Advantages
    •   Reduces conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles
    •   Can work well in conjunction with all-pedestrian phasing

Disadvantages
    •   May reduce capacity of intersection, particularly on approaches with high right-turn volumes
    •   Increases potential for violations and cost of enforcement

Feasibility Issues
    •   Generally physically feasible and inexpensive
    •   Operational effects require evaluation on case-by-case basis

Improve Accommodation for Bicyclists at Signalized Intersections

Intersections controlled by a traffic signal can provide a safe environment for cyclists who cross with
the light. However, certain improvements can make an even more inviting and supportive
environment for cyclists. For example, signals should be timed to allow an adequate amount of green
time for cyclists to safely cross the intersection when the minimum phase time is triggered.
Installation of bicycle loop detectors and loop detector stencils can provide a signal phase for cyclists
without having to dismount or use the sidewalk. Application of this technique consistently throughout
a corridor can encourage bicycle use of that corridor. Where bicycle or multi-use paths intersect
signalized locations, a separate bicycle signal may be desirable. Where intersection locations have
dedicated right-turn lanes and bicycle lanes, the bicycle lane should be striped to the left of the right-
turn lane, and combination through/right-turn lanes should be discouraged.

Advantages
    •   Improve safety for cyclists by reducing accident potential
    •   Permit signalized control for cyclists even when no vehicles are present

Disadvantages
    •   May cause minimal increase in vehicle delay

Feasibility Issues
    •   Physically feasible and relatively inexpensive


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Define Consistent Theme for Corridors and Intersections

Corridors made up of segments that vary in width, striping, presence of parking, or other
characteristics can be confusing to motorists, as well as pedestrians and cyclists. There may be no
clear area defined for the non-motorized user groups, so drivers do not know where to expect
pedestrians and cyclists to be located. Clarifying the road areas available for different user groups
can be accomplished in a number of ways. Turn pockets can be installed at intersections to separate
turning vehicles from through vehicles. Medians can be constructed to provide a refuge for
pedestrians as they cross the street. On a corridor level, benefits can be derived from providing a
uniform cross-section, so there is a continuous set of travel lanes, bicycle lanes, sidewalks, parking
and other facilities along the entire length of the corridor.

Advantages
    •   Produce consistent expectations among all user groups
    •   Improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians by providing a defined area for them to travel
        along an entire corridor

Disadvantages
    •   May require additional right-of-way, and thus may affect adjacent uses (e.g., fences,
        landscaping, etc.)
    •   May cause a loss of parking capacity if adequate right-of-way is not available
    •   Construction cost

Feasibility Issues
    •   Subject to right-of-way limitations
    •   Cost may be high, particularly if additional right-of-way is acquired

Recommendations

Based on the data collection efforts, field observations, analysis, and input from the technical
committee, a number of site-specific recommendations have been identified.                  These
recommendations are presented in Table 6 for corridors, Table 7 for signalized intersections, and
Table 8 for unsignalized intersections. The tables also include the estimated schedule to complete
the recommended improvements (ST= short-term, less than one year; MT=mid-term, 2 to 3 years;
LT=long-term, 4+ years.) Preliminary cost estimates are also provided in the tables. The unit cost
assumptions are included in the technical appendix. The resulting performance scores are provided
in Tables 9 through 11.

Improvements common to the general area include:
    •   Maintain and enhance signage at school areas
    •   Change sanitation schedules to occur outside school commute periods
    •   Trim vegetation
    •   Increase traffic enforcement at school sites during bell times
    •   Infill street lights at un-lit intersections and trim vegetation to ensure lighting efficiency




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                                                                        TABLE 6
                                                         CORRIDOR IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

Corridor                      Improvement Recommendations / Notes                                                                                     Schedule   Cost
Arastradero Road /      • Install radar speed monitors at El Camino Real, Alma Street, and Middlefield Road to supplement those at the eastern          ST       $42,000
Charleston Road           and western ends of the corridor (three locations, one in each direction)
                        • Implement the Charleston/Arastradero Corridor plan, including:                                                               MT--LT     TBD
                           • Separate parking and bike lanes with striping.
                           • Color bike lanes.
                           • Reduce all travel lanes to 10 feet.
                           • Construct medians with left-turn pockets where needed.
Meadow Drive            • Install curb ramps at select locations without ramps (estimated 20 new ramps)                                                 MT       $50,000
                        • Narrow lanes to 10 feet.                                                                                                      MT        TBD
El Camino Way           • Install curb ramps at intersecting streets: James Road, Camino Court, West Meadow Drive (estimated 6 new ramps).              MT       $15,000
                        • Resurface road.                                                                                                               MT        TBD
                        • Repeat road cross-section that currently exists on the north side of Meadow Drive, including parking removal on one side      MT        TBD
                          of the road and bike lane installations; or implement bike boulevard improvements.
Matadero Avenue         • Resurface road.                                                                                                               ST         TBD
                        • Install radar speed monitors (one in each direction).                                                                         ST       $14,000
                        • Plan for continuous sidewalk along south side from El Camino Real to Josina Avenue.                                           LT         TBD
Los Robles Avenue       • Conduct feasibility study for a sidewalk or path along one side of the roadway.                                               LT         TBD
Louis Road              • Install curb ramps at Ames and other intersections along the corridor (estimated 22 new ramps).                               MT       $55,000
Ames Avenue             • Install curb ramps (estimated 10 new ramps).                                                                                  MT       $25,000
                        • Install crosswalks on stop-controlled approaches.                                                                             ST       <$1,000
Rorke Way               • Remove some on-street parking at the corners to improve sight distance.                                                       ST       <$5,000
                        • Define student loading area on the school frontage with signs.                                                                ST        $1,000
Barron Avenue           • Resurface road.                                                                                                               ST         TBD
                        • Deploy mobile radar speed trailers.                                                                                           ST         TBD
                        • Consider reducing the 2-way vehicle travel lane to 18 feet to better-define the boundary between vehicles and bicycles/       ST         TBD
                          pedestrians.
                        • Plan for a continuous sidewalk or path along one side of the street.                                                          LT        TBD
Maybell Avenue          • Evaluate feasibility of implementing a corridor theme such as a 30-foot paved area (two 5-foot non-motorized areas and a      MT        TBD
                          20-foot vehicle travel way). Parking would occur outside the paved area. Requires right-of-way analysis and future study.
                        • Close sidewalk gap between Coulombe Drive and Amaranta Avenue.                                                                MT       $16,000
                        • Restripe between Thain and El Camino Real to include a 20-foot travel way and two 6-foot bike lanes.                          MT        $3,000
                        • Implement bike boulevard changes along the corridor from El Camino Way to Terman School (e.g., bicycle-friendly/traffic       MT         TBD
                          calming treatments). Study underway.
                        • Install radar speed monitors (one in each direction).                                                                         ST       $14,000
Amaranta Avenue         • Upgrade street lighting.                                                                                                      MT        TBD
                        • Consider a corridor theme similar to Maybell recommendation (see above). Requires right-of-way analysis and future            MT        TBD
                          study.
Waverly Street          • No additional recommendations beyond the traffic calming measures recently implemented.                                       ST        N/A
Source: Fehr & Peers, 2004.




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                                                                   TABLE 7
                                           SIGNALIZED INTERSECTION IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

Location                Improvement Recommendations                                                                                              Schedule       Cost
El Camino Real at     • Bike stencil over side street detector loop.                                                                                ST         Staff time
Matadero Avenue       • Adjust signal cycle length to minimize pedestrian wait times, without sacrificing optimal vehicle traffic congestion        ST         Staff time
                        management.
                      • Increase minimum green time to seven seconds (if not already done).                                                         ST         Staff time
                      • Install “No Right Turn on Red When Children Are Present” signs on all 4 approaches.                                         ST          $2,000
                      • Increase pedestrian crossing time to reflect a rate of 3.5 ft./sec.                                                         ST         Staff time
                      • Pedestrian countdown heads.                                                                                                 MT          $2,800
                      • Split walk phases for side streets                                                                                          ST         Staff time
El Camino Real at     • Bike stencil over side street detector loop.                                                                                ST         Staff time
Maybell Avenue        • Adjust signal cycle length to minimize pedestrian wait times, without sacrificing optimal vehicle traffic congestion        ST         Staff time
                        management.
                      • Increase minimum green time to seven seconds (if not already done).                                                         ST         Staff time
                      • Extend bike lane striping through the intersection.                                                                         ST           TBD
                      • Install “No Right Turn on Red When Children Are Present” signs on all 4 approaches.                                         ST          $2,000
                      • Increase pedestrian crossing time to reflect a rate of 3.5 ft./sec.                                                         ST         Staff time
                      • Pedestrian countdown heads.                                                                                                 MT          $2,800
El Camino Real at     • Adjust signal cycle length to minimize pedestrian wait times, without sacrificing optimal vehicle traffic congestion        ST         Staff time
Charleston Road         management.
                      • Increase minimum green time to seven seconds (if not already done).                                                         ST         Staff time
                      • Extend bike lane striping through the intersection.                                                                         ST           TBD
                      • Install “No Right Turn on Red When Children Are Present” signs on all 4 approaches.                                         ST          $2,000
                      • Increase pedestrian crossing time to reflect a rate of 3.5 ft./sec.                                                         ST         Staff time
                      • Pedestrian countdown heads.                                                                                                 MT          $2,800
                      • Remove uncontrolled right-turns, consistent with Charleston/Arastradero Corridor Plan                                       MT           TBD
Arastradero Road at   • Bike stencil over side street detector loop.                                                                                ST         Staff time
Terman Access         • Increase minimum green time to seven seconds (if not already done).                                                         ST         Staff time
                      • Pedestrian countdown heads.                                                                                                 MT          $2,800
Arastradero Road at   • Bike stencil over side street detector loop.                                                                                ST         Staff time
Coulombe Road         • Install “No Right Turn on Red When Children Present” signs.                                                                 ST          $2,000
                      • Increase minimum green time to seven seconds.                                                                               ST         Staff time
                      • Improve vehicle signal head visibility.                                                                                     MT           TBD
                      • Provide curb ramps.                                                                                                         MT         $10,000
                      • Install crosswalk across Arastradero Road on the east side. (Introduces a left turn conflict.)                              MT         <$1,000
                      • Pedestrian countdown heads.                                                                                                 MT          $2,100
                      • Provide pedestrian activation.                                                                                              MT           TBD
Meadow Drive at       • Bike stencil over side street loop.                                                                                         ST         Staff time
Alma Street           • Increase minimum green time to seven seconds (if not already done).                                                         ST         Staff time
                      • Increase pedestrian crossing time to reflect a rate of 3.5 ft./sec.                                                         ST         Staff time
                      • Provide pedestrian activation.                                                                                              MT           TBD




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                                                                   TABLE 7 (CONTINUED)
                                                 SIGNALIZED INTERSECTION IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

Location                        Improvement Recommendations                                                                                           Schedule    Cost
Meadow Drive at               • Install “No Right Turn on Red When Children Are Present” signs on all approaches.                                       MT        $2,000
Alma Street (continued)       • Pedestrian countdown heads.                                                                                             MT        $2,800
                              • Consider eliminating access between Meadow Drive and the short Alma Street frontage road section, with provision of     MT         TBD
                                 a new right-turn only driveway on Alma to serve the local residences.
Meadow Drive at               • Bike stencil over side street detector loop.                                                                            ST       Staff time
Waverly Street                • Clear / trim bushes at the NW and NE corners.                                                                           ST       Staff time
                              • Pedestrian countdown heads.                                                                                             MT        $2,800
                              • Relocate the utility pole at the NW corner.                                                                             MT         TBD
                              • Install curb ramps.                                                                                                     MT
Meadow Drive at               • Install “No Right Turn on Red When Children Are Present” signs.                                                         ST        $2,000
Middlefield Road              • Increase pedestrian crossing time to reflect a rate of 3.5 ft./sec.                                                     ST       Staff time
                              • Pedestrian countdown heads.                                                                                             MT        $2,800
Charleston Road at            • Bike stencil over side street detector loop.                                                                            ST       Staff time
Carlson Drive                 • Increase pedestrian crossing time to reflect a rate of 3.5 ft./sec.                                                     ST       Staff time
                              • Pedestrian countdown heads.                                                                                             MT        $2,800
                              • Implement recommendations from Charleston/Arastradero Corridor Study, including:                                        MT         TBD
                                  • Add an additional crosswalk across Charleston.
                                  • Construct intersection curb extensions/median.
Oregon Expressway at          • Prepare an engineering study to consider pedestrian countdown heads, separate bike queue areas with loop detection,     MT         TBD
Louis Road                       curb ramps, and median redesign, among other elements.
                              • Install “No Right Turn on Red When Children Are Present” signs on all approaches.                                       MT        $2,000
Oregon Expressway at          • Prepare an engineering study to consider pedestrian countdown heads, separate bike queue areas with loop detection,     MT         TBD
Greer Road                       curb ramps, and median redesign, among other elements.
                              • Install “No Right Turn on Red When Children Are Present” signs on all approaches.                                       MT        $2,000
Arastradero Road at           Implement the recommendations from the Charleston/Arastradero Corridor Study:
Gunn High School              • Pedestrian countdown heads.                                                                                             MT        $2,100
                              • Redesign the intersection by removing the signal poles in the median. Restripe the high school exit to include a        MT       $200,000
                                 left-turn lane and a shared left / right-turn lane, and bike lanes.
                              • Extend the two-lane entrance further into the school site.                                                              MT         TBD
                              • Widen Arastradero to provide right-turn lane into high school.                                                          MT         TBD
                              In addition, consider the following:
                              • Increase pedestrian crossing time to reflect a rate of 3.5 ft./sec.                                                     ST       Staff time
                              • Bike stencil over side street detector loop.                                                                            MT       Staff time
                              • Work with the school district and water district to provide a second access from Arastradero Road.                      MT         TBD
Charleston Road at            • Pedestrian countdown heads.                                                                                             ST        $2,800
Alma Street                   • Increase minimum green time to seven seconds.                                                                           ST       Staff time
                              • Increase pedestrian crossing time to reflect a rate of 3.5 ft./sec.                                                     ST       Staff time
                              • Bike stencil over side street loop.                                                                                     ST       Staff time
Source: Fehr & Peers, 2004.




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                                                                                                                                            June 2004




                                                                           TABLE 8
                                                   UNSIGNALIZED INTERSECTION IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

Location                          Improvement Recommendations                                                               Schedule         Cost
Meadow Drive at               • Install curb ramps and crosswalks.                                                              MT           $9,500
El Camino Way
Ames Avenue at                •   Install curb ramps.                                                                           MT            $5,000
Rorke Way                     •   Install curb extensions.                                                                      MT             TBD
Waverly Street at             •   Evaluate sight distance and trim vegetation.                                                  ST          Staff time
El Dorado Avenue              •   Install curb extensions.                                                                      MT             TBD
Waverly Street at             •   Install curb ramps.                                                                           MT           $10,000
Loma Verde Avenue             •   Install curb extensions, subject to maintaining current bicycle lanes.                        MT             TBD
Bryant Street at              •   Evaluate sight distance and trim vegetation.                                                  ST          Staff time
Loma Verde Avenue             •   Install curb extensions.                                                                      MT             TBD
                              •   Add crosswalk.                                                                                MT          <$1,000
Maybell Avenue at             •   Install curb ramps.                                                                           MT            $5,000
Coulombe Drive                •   Connect sidewalk facilities.                                                                  MT             TBD
                              •   Enhance crosswalk.                                                                            MT          <$1,000
                              •   Extend curb.                                                                                  MT             TBD
Louis Road at                 •   Install red curb within 50 feet of intersection.                                              ST          Staff time
Amarillo Avenue               •   Install curb ramps.                                                                           MT           $10,000
                              •   Install crosswalk.                                                                            MT          <$1,000
Greer Road at                 •   Evaluate sight distance and trim vegetation.                                                  ST          Staff time
Amarillo Avenue               •   Install crosswalks on all approaches.                                                         MT           <3.000
Georgia Avenue at             •   Trim vegetation.                                                                              ST          Staff time
Amaranta Avenue
Source: Fehr & Peers, 2004.




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                                                                                                                                                Final Report
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                                                                                                                                                  June 2004



                                                                    TABLE 9
                                                 CORRIDOR PERFORMANCE – BICYCLES AND PEDESTRIANS

                                                                  Bicycles                                                 Pedestrians
                                                 Without                              With                     Without                       With
Corridor
                                              Improvements                        Improvements              Improvements                 Improvements
                                       Score 1      Performance         Score 1        Performance   Score 1     Performance      Score 1     Performance
Arastradero Road/Charleston Road         69           Tolerable              81           Good         67          Tolerable        79           Good
Meadow Drive                             79              Good                84           Good         71           Good            80           Good
El Camino Way                            47           Tolerable              85           Good         71           Good            89           Good
Matadero Avenue                          42           Tolerable              59          Tolerable     32         Undesirable       62          Tolerable
Los Robles Avenue                        69           Tolerable              70           Good         50          Tolerable        52          Tolerable
Louis Road                               89              Good                91         Very Good      80           Good            83           Good
Ames Avenue                              66           Tolerable              69          Tolerable     63          Tolerable        71           Good
Rorke Way                                63           Tolerable              70           Good         63          Tolerable        71           Good
Barron Avenue                            40          Undesirable             56          Tolerable     29         Undesirable       57          Tolerable
Maybell Avenue                           35          Undesirable             76           Good         38         Undesirable       61          Tolerable
Amaranta Avenue                          51           Tolerable              54          Tolerable     41          Tolerable        44          Tolerable
Waverly Street                           74              Good                76           Good         79           Good            81           Good
                                   1
Performance Classifications            Scores are normalized to 100.
90 to 100   Very Good
70 to 89   Good
41 to 69   Tolerable
0 to 40   Undesirable              Source: Fehr & Peers, July 2003.




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                                                                                                                                                Final Report
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                                                                                                                                                  June 2004



                                                                TABLE 10
                                    SIGNALIZED INTERSECTION PERFORMANCE – BICYCLES AND PEDESTRIANS

                                                                    Bicycles                                                 Pedestrians
                                                      Without                           With                     Without                       With
Location
                                                   Improvements                     Improvements              Improvements                 Improvements
                                            Score 1     Performance         Score 1      Performance   Score 1     Performance      Score 1     Performance
El Camino Real at Matadero Avenue             57          Tolerable            73           Good         70           Good            87           Good
El Camino Real at Maybell Avenue              52          Tolerable            82           Good         67          Tolerable        84           Good
El Camino Real at Charleston Road             49          Tolerable            88           Good         65          Tolerable        88           Good
Arastradero Road at Terman Access             79             Good            100          Very Good      88           Good            98         Very Good
Arastradero Road at Coulombe Road             45          Tolerable            84           Good         49          Tolerable        76           Good
Alma Street at Meadow Drive                   45          Tolerable            88           Good         65          Tolerable        86           Good
Meadow Drive at Waverly Street                79             Good            100          Very Good      83           Good            97         Very Good
Meadow Drive at Middlefield Road              70             Good              96         Very Good      80           Good            94         Very Good
Carlson Drive Charleston Road                 75             Good              96         Very Good      79           Good            92         Very Good
Oregon Expressway at Louis Road               27         Undesirable           40        Undesirable     37        Undesirable        46          Tolerable
Oregon Expressway at Greer Road               27         Undesirable           40        Undesirable     37        Undesirable        46          Tolerable
Arastradero Road at Gunn High School          64          Tolerable            76           Good         67          Tolerable        74           Good
Charleston Road at Alma Street                63          Tolerable            75           Good         71           Good            77           Good
Performance Classifications             1
                                            Scores are normalized to 100.
90 to 100   Very Good
70 to 89   Good
41 to 69   Tolerable
0 to 40   Undesirable                   Source: Fehr & Peers, July 2003.




                                                                                                                                                              46
                                                                                                                                                  Final Report
                                                                                                                   South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                                                                                                    June 2004



                                                                 TABLE 11
                                     UNSIGNALIZED INTERSECTION PERFORMANCE – BICYLES AND PEDESTRIANS

                                                                      Bicycles                                                 Pedestrians
                                                        Without                           With                     Without                       With
Location
                                                     Improvements                     Improvements              Improvements                 Improvements
                                              Score 1     Performance         Score 1      Performance   Score 1     Performance      Score 1     Performance
East Meadow at El Camino Place                  75             Good              83           Good         32        Undesirable        75           Good
Ames Avenue at Rorke Way                        83             Good            100          Very Good      40        Undesirable        68          Tolerable
Waverly Street at El Dorado Avenue              83             Good            100          Very Good      68          Tolerable        74           Good
Waverly Street at Loma Verde Avenue             79             Good            100          Very Good      74           Good            79           Good
Bryant at Loma Verde Avenue                     79             Good            100          Very Good      68          Tolerable        79           Good
Coulombe Drive at Maybell Avenue                75             Good              92         Very Good      63          Tolerable        86           Good
Louis Road at Amarillo Avenue                   58          Tolerable            83           Good         49          Tolerable        91         Very Good
Greer Road at Amarillo Avenue                   83             Good              92         Very Good      65          Tolerable        75           Good
Georgia Avenue at Amaranta Avenue               83             Good              92         Very Good      51          Tolerable        54          Tolerable
                                          1
Performance Classifications                   Scores are normalized to 100.
90 to 100   Very Good
70 to 89   Good
41 to 69   Tolerable
0 to 40   Undesirable                     Source: Fehr & Peers, July 2003.




                                                                                                                                                                47
                                              Final Report
               South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                June 2004




Exhibits (Photographs)




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                                                           Final Report
                            South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                             June 2004




Exhibit 1: Eastbound Arastradero at Gunn




      Exhibit 2: Maybell eastbound



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                                                                    Final Report
                                     South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                      June 2004




Exhibit 3: Amaranta northbound, before Georgia and Maybell




 Exhibit 4: Los Robles looking westbound toward Amaranta



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                                                                     Final Report
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                                                                       June 2004




Exhibit 5: Los Robles looking eastbound (away from Amaranta)




       Exhibit 6: Barron looking westbound at LaDonna



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                                                          Final Report
                           South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                            June 2004




Exhibit 7: Matadero westbound at Josina




Exhibit 8: Matadero eastbound at Josina



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                                                                 Final Report
                                  South Palo Alto School Commute Safety Study
                                                                   June 2004




   Exhibit 9: El Camino Way at Meadow (northbound)




Exhibit 10: El Camino Way south of Meadow (southbound)



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                                                              Final Report
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                                                                June 2004




Exhibit 11: Waverly / Meadow, northwest corner




Exhibit 12 Waverly / Meadow, northeast corner



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                                                                               Final Report
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Exhibit 13: Waverly looking northbound, north of Meadow (speed humps in distance)




             Exhibit 14: Waverly / Loma Verde from southeast corner



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                                                                  Final Report
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                                                                    June 2004




Exhibit 15: Waverly / Loma Verde from southeast corner




Exhibit 16: Waverly / Loma Verde from northeast corner



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                                                                               Final Report
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Exhibit 17: Charleston / ECR: pork chop, southeast corner (southwest has one too)




             Exhibit 18: Terman / Arastradero, from southeast corner



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                                                                                   Final Report
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                                                                                     June 2004




                 Exhibit 19: Terman / Arastradero, from southeast corner




Exhibit 20: Alma looking southbound toward Meadow (“frontage” road on east side of Alma)




                                                                                            58

				
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