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Pros & Cons - Southern SCA segment

Southern Segment of Santa Cruz Ave in the Safety Corridor

Southern Santa Cruz segment - at Sand Hill Rd to "Y"

This webpage pertains to the Southern Santa Cruz Ave segment, between the "Y" intersection and Sand Hill Rd. 

There are many safety issues along this segment, high on the priority list are the high rate of speed, the high accident rate, safety for Palo Alto Way crosswalk.  All of this directly affects the safety of residents, pedestrians and cyclists, as this segment handles the full volume of traffic for both Alameda and the  northern segment of Santa Cruz Ave to Downtown MP.   


  • Reducing the width of the  current extra wide (freeway wide) lanes will help speed issues
  • Significantly safer roadway for all pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and residents
  • Much calmer traffic with fewer distracted drivers
  • NB traffic lane much further away from driveways and sidewalk - better visibility
  • Improves safety for Residents to enter/exit driveways (by moving traffic lane away)
  • Greatly improved cycling safety with added buffered bike lanes
  • Retains parking
  • Corrects the issue that causes west sidewalks to be blocked by debris (retaining wall)
  • Finally puts in safety features for the Palo Alto Way crosswalk
  • Alt C (Safety Option 8.3) doesnt not restrict volume of traffic - same amount of traffic flows, just calmer and lower speed


  • Traffic signal duration and number of cycles at Sand Hill need to be smarter to clear SB traffic
  • The expense of road diet is low -- however, corrections for improving sidewalks adds $$
  • Upgrading the sidewalks to be ADA complient - can be big or small effort - need to decide
  • Design lane widths are too wide to effective slow traffic speed, need to be closer to 9' 
  • Design lane widths being wider, remove width for safer bike buffers and parking spaces


There are 2 main Alternatives for this southern most section of the corridor:

Alternate B - is a 5-3 road diet, changing to 1 lane each for north and south lanes.   

Alternate C - is a 5-4 road diet, removing 1 SB lane, keeping 2 NB lanes

Both alternatives provide for improvements in safety and add buffered bike lanes.  Both alternatives would keep the multiple SB lanes at and south of Menlo Commons at Sand Hill Rd (needed for 'queuing' cars at the stop light).

There are individual Pros/Cons for each alternative:

Alternative B - 1 lane each direction

Comment count



thank you for doing all this.
I'm usually just passing through your neighborhood on my bicycle.
But we are discussing your advocacy on our San Mateo Peninsula Nextdoor group too:

A few points, I would like to make, based on observations I made.
Within the Bay Area, there is usually a categorization of residents, when it comes to biking:
- “Strong and Fearless” (1%),
- “Enthused and Confident” (5%),
- “Interested but Concerned” (60%),
- “No Way, No How” (35%).
These numbers a based on Google research done for Mountain View, I think.
Some groups are using different names for these categories or slightly different numbers.
But the point is that if you make it easier and safer for people to take their bikes, they will.

One thing I notice every morning cycling is that a bunch of cars are coming up Santa Cruz
and then are turning left onto Sand Hill Rd. right away.
Another group is going with me straight and then turn left onto Junipero Sera and then left
again into Stanford.
(Also of course the number of lanes going left is 2 and the number of lanes going straight is
2 and then 2 lanes can turn onto Junipero Sera. Compare that with one lane that is going right
onto Sand Hill Rd. and then turn North onto 280. Or the one lane that is going straight onto
Alpine Rd. and eventually these car turn South onto 280.)
So there is a big percentage of cars going just a few miles from where they live in Menlo Park
to anywhere on the Stanford Campus, maybe to Page Mill Rd., but everything within 3-5 miles
The county will probably make the case that traffic count won't allow to reduce lanes, but
you should always try to make the case, that the "Interested but Concerned" would switch,
if that stretch is made safer. ('Induced Deman' for bicycles)
And the two most dangerous parts along Santa Cruz/Alameda there are the Y-Intersection
and the Sand Hill Rd. Intersection.
So part of the solution also has to be to improve bicycle left turns onto Sand Hill Rd. and
bicycle left turns onto Junipero Sera.
I believe you need to push for green bike boxes at the Sand Hill Intersection and also
what is called a bicycle traffic signal that gives bikes a 5sec. head start.
You won't get the bike signals, but the green bike boxes would help a lot already.

These two left turns are essential for bike safety and would be very attractive to have a lot
of the Stanford guys switch from cars to bikes. My company is also part of the Stanford
Research park, so I know Stanford is also pushing hard to get people out of cars and onto
bikes. They provide all kind of incentives for people to switch.
Menlo Park should also be interested in getting people safely to the end of San Mateo Dr.,
where there is another good spot to get by bike to the Stanford Campus, which again
would take cars off of your road.

best regards and thanks for making my commute safer,