In short, El Camino Real as it currently exists does not adequately serve the Menlo Park community’s need for safe and efficient multi-modal transportation and access to local destinations. This study will closely study existing conditions, evaluate alternatives, and recommend a solution. Community input will be sought and incorporated throughout the process.
El Camino Real is a key roadway connecting cities throughout the Peninsula, and it provides a key transportation route through downtown Menlo Park. El Camino Real serves many local businesses fronting and adjacent to the street, and is one of few north-south thoroughfares in the City, providing connections for residents to jobs and services in Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Atherton, Redwood City, and beyond.
El Camino Real also divides the City, with the downtown business district on the west side and the Civic Center, recreation facilities and library on the east side, and the Menlo Park City School District schools straddling both sides. This orientation requires frequent crossings by Menlo Park residents on a daily basis, and represents a challenging situation for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists making short trips to local destinations.
The El Camino Real corridor and Downtown Menlo Park were recently re-envisioned through the City’s El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan (Specific Plan), adopted by the Menlo Park City Council in June 2012. The Specific Plan provides the framework for redevelopment of many underutilized parcels in the Plan Area, and encourages transit-oriented, mixed-use and infill development. Menlo Park also adopted a “Complete Streets” Policy in January 2013 to improve its commitment to a comprehensive, integrated transportation network that allows safe and convenient travel along and across streets for all users – including pedestrians, bicyclists, persons with disabilities, motorists, movers of commercial goods, users and operators of public transportation, seniors, children, youth, and families, emergency vehicles, and freight.