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Safety Trial at the "Y"

Key Change

Affects northbound Santa Cruz traffic:

  • Left traffic lane is now ONLY for Alameda de las Pulgas
  • Right lane is ONLY for Santa Cruz north
  • Cyclists should only use the right lane and may proceed to either Alameda or Santa Cruz
  • All traffic flows at the basic same rate and stops on red -- no red turn on red





At the beginning of July, County agreed to implement a test of several long request safety improvements at the intersection of Santa Cruz and Alameda.

These changes are implemented using temporary markings, bollards, and digital signs and will be testing many important safety improvements, including the following:

  • Eliminate 5,500+ lane changes per day
  • Move  traffic lane away from the  sidewalk and residential driveways
  • Eliminate primary cause of the chronic NB red light running at this intersection
  • Provide local residents a reprieve from traffic to safely access their driveways
  • Help shorten a dangerous and long crosswalk
  • Provide traffic calming to help slow excessive speeding (a 1st initial step in addressing this)
  • Eliminate the chaotic traffic flow at this NB intersection, providing cyclists and motorists a calmer flow
  • Eliminate  tendency of motorists cutting in to the shoulder/park lane in the slip lane
  • Traffic lights at this intersection will be 'normal', removing the dangerous speed differential between traffic lanes and allowing them to flow at similar rates
  • Remove that short 3rd lane  and the 'always green traffic light' that was the source of so many dangerous conditions

Goal of Configuration

The Safety Trial was implemented with temporary markings and lacked any bike safety enhancements.  The goal, should the safety trail continue to be a success, is to provide a permanent solution that will provide a safety bridge until our Santa Cruz/Alameda corridor has changes to install permanent buffered bike lanes and sidewalks.   The interactive graphic below is a proposed solution that provides safer bike lanes, clear motorists/cyclists guidance, and improves residential and pedestrian safety. 

Below, to view before image and proposed solution, please drag the center control in the image to the left or right.

What You Can Do

Provide constructive feedback.  Share your observations, ideas, or concerns.   Our goal is solve the many serious safety issues in this corridor, including calming and slowing traffic to a safer speed.  To create a more residential-neighborhood ambience instead of the current Expressway look-n-feel.   To do this, please make comments below and/or send email to, and/or fill out the County SurveyMonkey.  Read thru comments by others and lets have some community discussion and friendly objective dialog.


Thank you for making this long overdue correction to the Y intersection. The recent change has improved traffic and the ability to get out of our driveway on Santa Cruz Ave. We also feel much more safe walking with our kids down the side walk from Santa Cruz to Sand Hill.
2 years ago a car crashed into and totaled our car in front of our house. The driver said he fell asleep at the wheel after an all night shift. This likely would not have happened if the stop light was in place to slow him down.

Thanks again for watching out for our safety! I hope this change becomes permanent.

Good afternoon
Could you share that the residence @ Y have been able to get in and out of driveway at a much safer and more timely fashion.
Plus : Today !!
Huge Bonus - Big sign @ “ Y” post: No Turn on RED

I have even been able to put out collect my Bins safely with lovely stop in CARS speeding by.
A Huge Thank you getting rid of 3rd inner lane had worked tremendously in traffic improvement.

I feel that there has definitely been an improvement. I had always been a proponent of having the former virtually always “green” light to turn red when the rest of the traffic stops to continue onto the Alameda. I agree that I think that it has slowed the traffic and is safer for both cyclists and pedestrians. I haven’t looked closely, but it doesn’t seem as though the white slat uprights have been hit which is a good thing. I think it is much safer for pedestrians crossing the street without fear of a car speeding down the right turn lane assuming its green. I also don’t think that eliminating the green lane is blocking traffic. I have not yet seen an occasion where all the cars wanting to continue on Santa Cruz and continue onto the Alameda haven’t been able to get through the light cycle.

The last minute changing of lanes is going to continue to occur as it does for any traffic corner.

I am not a fan of the white pylons. As a temporary measure for the 3 month trial, they are fine. My neighbor had to have the city come out and remove on of the white slats as it impeded her exiting her driveway. I do like having the middle of the two lanes for bicyclists. I’ve seen this in other areas as well. This would give the bicyclist a safer route of continuing onto the Alameda.

The removal of the right turn lane does make it easier for my neighbor or myself to back up without fear of having the rear end of our vehicle being hit.

We have seen a very positive difference. We are now able to get in and out of
the driveway with relative ease because of the stop at the Y. We've also noticed
a reduced speed from many drivers. Before the change, they drove as if still on
Sand Hill Road. And, cars no longer drive in the shoulder. Previously I have watched
cars drive from the intersection in the shoulder all the way to our house!

We are quite pleased with the change and appreciate your efforts. Thank you!

My immediate response is that it is a vast improvement. The placement of the crosswalk is so much better. I have taken several walks back from Sharon Heights via Sandhill Road, and last night a car actually slowed and let me finish crossing at the Y instead of acting like Santa Cruz was a highway.
As bike lanes are painted and bikes are encouraged the pace will slow some more. All of it is progress.

The red light stop going into NB SCA has slowed down the traffic after cars have made a stop light.
This has been a great help getting in and out of my driveway
However, cars still speed through this corridor past the 25mph sign — That sign is totally ignored.
I am in favor of the inside 3rd lane being Eliminated
This will help traffic from speeding too close to curb/sidewalk
The 25 mph sign is for that Senior complex; have NEVER witnessed a single senior in or out of that complex as a pedestrian
Yet in front of my house@ the “Y”, the speed is 30 mph!
There are a total of 10 Children [just in the houses next to me]

Thank you for all you do

Please restore the no turn on red sign for northbound traffic on Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park at the intersection of Alameda de las Pulgas.

This sign is a critical safety feature for this intersection.

Please prioritize safety over throughput and restore the no turn on red. I am directly affected by this as ~2 a week I walk to the Sharon Heights Safeway this way.


Please reinstall the “no turn on red“ sign at the Y intersection at AlamedaSanta Cruz Ave. It is imperative to have all of the cars STOP at that red light and NOT proceed until the light turns green to keep pedestrians safe to cross the street. It also allows the few homes that are right by that intersection to get out of their driveways safely.

This is a CRITICAL safety issue!

Thank you for supporting this important, simple way to help keep people safe!

The changes at the Alameda/Santa Cruz Y have really helped to calm traffic in front of my house.

The No Turn on Red sign on westbound Sandhill provides a break in traffic for me to exit my driveway onto Santa Cruz Ave.

I think that's equally important for those living on Santa Cruz Ave beyond the Y stoplight. The breaks are helping to calm traffic.

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