Background and Resources,
Traffic Committee, Barron Park (Neighborhood) Association
Information at other sites (typically the City): former links need to be updated to the current version of the City's website.
- Traffic Flow Philosophy
- Street Design Guidelines
- Traffic Safety Advice: Is Going to School Just a "Walk in the Park?"
- Bike Lanes:
Because of the regulations governing bike lanes,
most of the streets in Barron Park cannot accommodate
official bike lanes (unless the pavement is substantially widened).
For example, on Los Robles, only the section between El Camino
and La Donna is wide enough for a (marked) bike lane.
Beyond La Donna, the wide shoulder
is commonly used as a bike lane,
but is just shy of being wide enough to be eligible to be so
According the City of Palo Alto Traffic Planners,
Los Robles is the most heavily used bike corridor in the
One suggestion for improving bike safety on Los Robles has been
to turn the right-of-way over the Barron Creek culvert into a
two-way bike lane
(with suitable allowances for parking for residents).
This has been soundly rejected by the traffic officials
for the City and for the School District (PAUSD):
they are strongly opposed to a scheme that would have the children
riding on the wrong side of the road
because that would likely lead to similar behavior elsewhere.
- Valley gutters are part of the Barron Park street design guidelines.
They pose a largely positive tradeoff for pedestrians:
- they have just enough slope to not be a preferred walkway.
- the slope is not so much that they can't be used as walkways
to have some separation from traffic.
- the color difference creates a psychological boundary for traffic,
giving pedestrians a larger safety zone than now exists.
- should eliminate puddles that currently force pedestrians
towards the middle of the street.
- the concrete edge provided by the valley gutter greatly reduces
the deterioration of the pavement that produces
the broken edges that pedestrians currently have to cope with.
- Stop Signs
Evidence is quite strong that stop signs are not
effective tools for slowing cars.
From the Transportation Division, City of Palo Alto:
"Where stop signs are installed for speed control,
there is a high incidence of intentional violation.
In those locations where vehicles do stop,
the speed reduction is effective only in the immediate vicinity of
the stop sign, and frequently speeds are actually higher between
- Marking of streets:
Evaluating street repairs is done in several separate phases:
Thus, having a city crew come down your street and mark the potential
problems does not mean that your street is scheduled for repairs,
it merely means that they are taking the first step in considering
whether/when to it should be repaired.
- Identify (mark with paint) all potential problems
- Evaluate the general condition of the street
- Prioritize relative to other streets needing work
- Street Trees
- Vegetation encroaching onto streets and sight-lines
Visibility Project of the
City of Palo Alto.
"Have you ever been at an intersection where
you can't see what's coming because the bushes are overgrown?
Is the sidewalk in front of your house dangerous to walk on
because of low hanging tree limbs?
Did you know there are laws to protect street and
Because Barron Park streets typically do not have sidewalks,
street trees, bushes and other large plants are often planted
very close to the edge of the pavement,
and if they are not carefully maintained,
they can extend over the pavement,
creating problems for pedestrians and bicyclists.
The enforcement situation is complicated by the wide variety
situations about where property lines are relative to the street:
These different situations often occur side-by-side.
- Property line to the center of the street
- Property line to edge of street
- Property line partially into the street
First, politely point out to the residents the problem that
their vegetation is causing for others.
They can examine the situation, make an assessment, and
instruct the owner to trim back the vegetation;
if the owner fails to comply,
they can then have it done by a contractor and bill the owner.
Recognize different perspectives:
People living near encroaching vegetation can have
a different perspective on how much of a problem it presents.
For example, if vegetation is obscuring a traffic sign,
people living nearby don't need to see the sign to know it is there,
so they tend to be unaware of visibility problems.
This is especially true in cases where the vegetation is not
covering the sign,
but blocking visibility of the sign
at the distance at which drivers need to begin to react.
Another example is that joggers and dog-walkers can have a
very different perspective from someone who casually walks
In discussing these problems, be sure to consider and address
the different perspectives and requirements
produced by different legitimate uses
For persistent serious cases and as a last resort,
call the Code Enforcement (part of the Office of the City Attorney)
Request: Foxtail Grass:
Residents are requested to pay special attention to cutting
foxtail grass growing in their yard near the street.
Fox-tail grass is the one with the harpoon-like seeds that
get stuck in clothing,
and can be a major annoyance for pedestrians.
Worse, they are a major threat to dogs being walked along the street:
If a seed gets in a pet's nose or ear,
it can be very difficult to remove,
and may require an expensive visit to the vet.
- PACKING PAVEMENT: The vitality of a city comes from its pedestrians, not its cars. Cars consume enormous amounts of space and radically change the landscape. By JIM BEAMGUARD of The Tampa Tribune, 7/18/99
Clever photographic presentation of amount of space required on a street for 30 people in different modes of transportation.
Version Info: $Revision: 1.5 $ $Date: 2004/10/07 02:10:23 $