S E C T I O N
Community S TO R I E S A B O U T P E O P L E A N D E V E N T S I N T H E C O M M U N I T Y
Redesigning Willow-101 interchange
Menlo Park City Council OKs design option; the project is expected to be finished by 2018
Existing 101/Willow Road interchange
By Barbara Wood
Park, but is under the jurisdiction of Caltrans, which worked with the city as well as East Palo t has been 25 years since Alto and C-CAG — the Cityvoters approved funding to County Association of Governreplace the outdated inter- ments in San Mateo County change where Willow Road — on the project. C-CAG will meets U.S. 101 in Menlo Park, provide much of the funding but on May 7, Menlo Park City along with the Measure A transCouncil members tried to finally portation funds. nudge the project closer to realEast Palo Alto’s City Council ity by giving a nod to one of the will consider the project designs design options suggested by the later this month, according multi-agency group currently to Menlo Park Public Works working on the interchange. Director Chip Taylor. The plan favored by the City Even if all goes well, the Council includes project won’t be bike lanes and completed until pedestrian walk2018, according The Menlo Park ways on the overto projections. pass, separated council favors the That includes a from vehicle traftwo-year conoption with fic by a concrete struction probarrier, as well as cess following bike lanes and two-lane on- and environmental off-ramps designed analysis and pedestrian to cut back on freedesign work. walkways. way and Willow The design Road backups. chosen by the Additional bike council was lanes would be developed after next to vehicle lanes on the 162- talking to the agencies involved foot-wide overpass structure. as well as local neighbors and Instead of the cloverleaf users of the roads. Considerdesign of the current inter- ations included how much nearchange, traffic would stop at by property would be affected, signal lights before entering safety and ease of use, as well as Willow Road. traffic congestion. Council member Ray Mueller Menlo Park’s engineering sersaid Menlo Park might even be vices manager Fernando G. Braable to use the prospect of the vo said a team of engineers not new interchange, which should otherwise involved in the projease traffic problems for motor- ect also looked at alternatives ists heading to Palo Alto and in terms of cost, performance, East Palo Alto, as a bargaining construction time and risk, and chip in trying to get Palo Alto favored the version supported by to resolve a long-standing traf- the City Council. fic issue. “I think it’s time that The current interchange is we actually start having serious “not pleasant, safe or convenient discussions with Palo Alto about for anybody right now,” said opening up Alma to Sand Hill,” Willows neighborhood resident he said. and bicyclist Andrew Boone, Funding to replace the inter- who said he is “actually very change, built in 1955, was pleased with” the proposed approved by county voters in design, which does have bicy1988 as part of the Measure A clists and pedestrians crossing transportation fund sales tax vehicle traffic at traffic signals. spending plan, and a study on “I think it’s a good comprothe project was completed the mise,” he said. next year, but it was never given “The current cloverleaf is a final approval. The interchange transportation dinosaur from was again included in the spend- another era,” said Jim Bigelow, ing plan when Measure A was longtime chair of the Menlo Park renewed in 2004. Chamber of Commerce’s transThe interchange is in Menlo portation committee. “I think
Special to the Almanac
Photo courtesy city of Menlo Park.
This aerial photo shows the existing cloverleaf interchange at Willow Road and U.S. 101 in Menlo Park.
Proposed 101/Willow Road interchange
Drawing courtesy city of Menlo Park.
This drawing shows the council-supported plan for a new interchange at Willow Road and U.S. 101 in Menlo Park. The plan includes bike lanes and pedestrian walkways on a 162-foot-wide overpass, separated from traffic lanes by a concrete barrier. There would be additional bike lanes alongside vehicle lanes in the overpass roadway, with two-lane on- and off-ramps and traffic lights where the ramps intersect with Willow Road.
you have a solution before you.” Council member Kirsten Keith urged the city to move quickly to assure it can be first in line for
available C-CAG funding. “I think you really came up with a really great plan for Menlo Park,” she said.
Council members unanimously approved accepting the recommended design and continuing work on the project. A
May 15, 2013 N TheAlmanacOnline.com N The Almanac N 21
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22 N The Almanac N TheAlmanacOnline.com N May 15, 2013
C O M M U N I T Y
Menlo benefit looks to the future Menlo School’s 63rd annual fashion show benefit, “M-13Portal to the Future,” will be held Friday, May 24, in a large decorated tent on the Menlo School campus in Atherton. The event will feature luncheon and dinner runway shows, showcasing senior students in Bloomingdale’s fashions for spring and summer. The benefit raises funds for financial aid, which supports a fifth of the student body, said school spokesperson Jill Kasser The catered luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m., and the black-tieoptional dinner starts at 6 p.m. The shows will be highlighted by entertainment vignettes and dance routines performed by seniors. Menlo benefit chairs Elizabeth Jenson and Kathy Jadallah are working with a committee of more than 130 adult volunteers, plus hundreds of students. Serving as producer, choreographer and fashion show director, respectively, are Alex Perez, Jan Chandler and Jeffrey Adair. Mr. Perez is director of creative arts and communications at Menlo School. Ms. Chandler, the school’s dance director, has served as the benefit’s choreographer for 30 years. Mr. Adair, co-owner of JFloral Art in Menlo Park, has produced and/ or directed the show off and on for more than 20 years. Brenda “BB” Bernheim is assistant fashion show director and professional model Linda Lance returns as model trainer. The cost is $100 for the luncheon and $210 for the dinner show. Go to tinyurl.com/Menlo-524 for more information.
Photo by Pete Zivkov
Menlo School seniors, from left, Kyle Vaidyanathan, Derrick Ho, and Eleni Papadoyannis, preview fashions from Bloomingdale’s for the school’s annual benefit, called M-13-Portal to the future. N AROUND TOWN
Spring Sounds gala Adolescent Counseling Services will host its annual Spring Sounds gala from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at AutoVino, 205 Constitution Drive in Menlo Park. Guests will view antique and luxury cars during the martini cocktail hour with a live jazz trio. The event will includes silent and live auctions and a three-course sit-down dinner with wine. ACS provides free and affordable mental health services to teens and families. Go to acs-teens.org for more information. Tickets are $200 per person.
Interfaith conflicts The Rev. D. Andrew Kille will give a talk on “A look at interfaith conflicts” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, at Little House, 800 Middle Ave. in Menlo Park. He is the director of Interfaith
West Bay stages ‘Otello’ West Bay Opera in Palo Alto and Festival Opera in Walnut Creek are collaborating in a new production of Verdi’s “Otello.” Performances take place at Cynthia 8 p.m. Friday, May Clayton 24, and Saturday, June 1; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 26, and Sunday, June 2, at Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto. Tenor David David Gustafson plays Gustafson Otello and soprano Cynthia Clayton, Desdemona. Go to wbopera.org or call 424-9999 for information and tickets ($40-$75).
Space, dedicated to developing interfaith relations in the South Bay. Tickets are $5 for Little House members and $9 for others. To register, call 326-2025, ext. 222.
Priory seniors Three Woodside Priory seniors — Emre Sonmez, Joe Farned, and Dylan Croll — are running in the Bay to Breakers in San Francisco on Sunday, May 19, to raise money for the Daraja Academy, an all-girls secondary school in Kenya. Visit tinyurl.com/Priory-519 for more information.
Summer intership Monday, May 27, is the deadline for high school and college students to apply for part-time internships in the office of Assemblyman Rich Gordon. Interns will be based in the Los Altos district office. Visit tinyurl.com/Gordon-527 for more information.