Middlefield Road North

Summary

Beginning in early 2015, residents who live on or near the north end of Middlefield Road corresponded with the City regarding traffic conditions along Middlefield Road from Forest Avenue to the Menlo Park city limits. The residents cited a history of collisions, congestion during the peak hours, and speeding in the off-peak hours as recurring issues along the corridor. Of particular concern was the number of collisions occurring at the intersection of Middlefield Road and Everett Avenue and the amount of left-turning traffic at the intersection.

In March 2016, City staff, including police and transportation staff, held a stakeholder’s meeting to listen to the concerns of the residents, discuss what the City had done to-date and identify next steps. Several of the action items identified in this meeting were completed shortly afterwards, including:

  • encouraging Menlo Park staff to remove the NO TURN ON RED restriction at Willow Road 
  • replacing the turn restriction signage to enhance clarity 
  • utilizing traffic paint in lieu of thermoplastic to delineate lanes along Middlefield Road as part of the resurfacing project (traffic paint is much easier to remove that thermoplastic) 
  • moving the northbound lane-drop merging area south a couple hundred feet, reducing the number of lanes and points of conflict within the intersection itself, without reducing capacity significantly 
  • forming an agreement to initiate a Traffic Safety Project in July 2016, upon the conclusion of the one-year turn-restriction pilot.

In July 2016, the Middlefield Road North Traffic Safety Project initiated and the City began collecting and analyzing comprehensive traffic volume, speed and collision data. Residents cited traffic congestion, safety, high travel speeds, collisions, and noise as concerns and identified improved safety and quality of life as the primary goals of the project between Menlo Park city limits and Channing Avenue.

In October 2016, as part of the Planning and Community Environment Department’s Traffic Safety Program, the City worked with the neighborhood group to identify potential options and ideas, and held a community workshop at the Downtown Library. During the community workshop, Staff presented five (5) alternative concept plans with the option to mix and match various features from each alternative concept plan to address the identified concerns. As a result of this community-driven process, Staff identified two alternative concept plans that would address the bulk of the community concerns.

Concept Alternative Plans 6A and 6B were slightly modified to improve traffic operations and limit impact to motor vehicle level of service (LOS) and better address pedestrian safety, resulting in the development of Alternative Concept Plans 7A and 7B.

Staff recommended implementing one of these alternative concept plans as a one-year pilot with extensive ongoing monitoring of the corridor and immediate project area. Staff will return to City Council one-year after the implementation of the pilot for direction on whether to make the improvements permanent or modify the alternative and complete additional monitoring.

Council approved Concept Plan 7A on January 23, 2017 for Middlefield Road between the Menlo Park city limits and Forest Avenue to implement as a one-year pilot project.
Staff is in the process of implementing Concept Plan 7A changes on Middlefield Road North and construction will be completed by mid-June.

Concept Plans

Final approved plan for pilot project

Other proposed concepts

Presentation Materials

Key Findings of Data collection in July 2016

  • Turn restrictions (Right turn only from 7-10am and 4-7pm) on Middlefield/Everett and Middlefield/Hawthorne are not effective
  • Average 85th % speed was measured at 34.2 mph on Middlefield Road between Hawthorne and Everett for both directions
  • There are more vehicles travelling southbound on Middlefield-Average Daily Traffic (ADT)=9,949 vehicles than northbound ADT=8,474
  • Analysis of collisions reported along Middlefield during the period of January 1, 2010 till December 31, 2014, shows more collisions at the intersection of Middlefield/Everett despite the number of vehicles turning is lower than Middlefield/Hawthorne intersection
  • 19 collisions reported at the intersection of Middlefield/Everett; at least 13 were related to right of way violations
  • 4 collisions reported at the intersection of Middlefield/Hawthorne; 2 were related to right of way violations

To provide comments or feedback about this project please email: transportation@cityofpaloalto.org

Last Updated: Jun 20, 2017
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