Almanac

Viewpoint - May 30, 2012

Letter: Atherton needs to OK widening Marsh Road

In response to your May 23 article "Atherton threatens to sue Menlo, Facebook," I am convinced now more than ever that the town of Atherton is a bad neighbor.

We live in the North Fair Oaks neighborhood in Menlo Park and have seen traffic and speeding increase on our residential streets because Atherton has refused to even consider widening Marsh Road based on a survey conducted in 1977.

Recently, due to outcry from the community, including Atherton residents and legal issues, Atherton was unable to block Holbrook Lane to through traffic and instead has limited right-hand turns from Holbrook onto Middlefield Road with Atherton police ticketing drivers. As a result, the Holbrook traffic has moved to 14th, Fair Oaks, Palmer/15th and San Benito — adding to existing traffic.

If Atherton thinks keeping Marsh Road to two lanes keeps additional traffic out of their town, they are delusional. What it causes is frustrated drivers delayed on Marsh to speed through North Fair Oaks, Fair Oaks in Atherton and north and south on Middlefield Road with three school zones nearby and increased pollution from drivers idling on Marsh. We can't even encourage safe bike riding to reduce car traffic on Marsh as there are no bike lanes!

Atherton residents, please ask your City Council and Transportation Committee to widen Marsh Road to be a good neighbor and enter this century.

Jade Dahl, 14th Avenue, North Fair Oaks/Menlo Park

Comments

Posted by Zolik Fichtenholz, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on May 31, 2012 at 10:53 am

Letter by Jade Dahl on May 30, 2012 contains significant factual errors, which have to be addressed.
Atherton has limited right hand turns from Holbrook onto Middlefield only from 7:30 to 9:30 am, Mon-Fri. This measure was approved after a 6 months study which showed (with a lot of data) that it decreased the cut-through traffic on Holbrook to Middlefield while NOT affecting any traffic on neighboring streets.

The cut-through traffic through the North Fair Oaks neighborhood originates from Marsh Road, turns into Fair Oaks avenue, and then turns onto Holbrook on its way to Middlefield. Atherton worked with the North Fair Oaks Council on this matter, and both asked the San Mateo County to block right turns from Marsh onto Fair Oaks avenue during the peak hours - but the County simply ignored the wishes of North Fair Oaks residents, and did nothing.

Our frustration should be pointed towards inept and incompetent San Mateo County officials who do not care about the North Fair Oaks neighborhood (a simple look at the state of the public areas there will remove all doubts) instead of diverting people's attention to a "bad neigbour" - like Atherton, or any other town.

Just as the comments about the right turn are deliberately misleading, so are the comments about the widening of Marsh road.

This tactics of manipulating facts and diverting attention is as shameful as it is old.

Responsible serious readers should be encouraged to go to prime sources and check facts carefully before publishing information on public forums.

Almanac should do a better job screening factually erroneous information from being published.

Everyone should be entitled to their own opinions - but not to their own facts.


Posted by another view, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 1, 2012 at 6:57 am

Here is another letter, probably from someone in the development industry, trying to promote self interest. The real cause is Menlo Park whose council majority, although they ran and were elected on a different agenda, they now approve anything and everything, and hire a new City Manager who proposes even more dense and higher development. Quite frankly I don't know how long it will take, but eventually the silent majority in MP, will get their act together again, and perhaps a RECALL of the whole incompetent council will take place.

Not Atherton's fault; blame the MP council and it City Manager(s) and staff.


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