Middlefield Road North

On May 10, 2016, the City received a request from residents of Middlefield Road North for a pilot road diet (lane reduction) on Middlefield Road from University Avenue to the Menlo Park border. In response, Transportation Division staff collected and summarized traffic and collision data along this corridor over the summer. City staff  hosted a community workshop on October 6, 2016 to present the findings of data collection, discuss some alternatives and collect community feedback..

The materials presented at the meeting are listed below:

Project Goals
Safety Countermeasures and Benefits
Concept 1
Concept 2
Concept 3
Concept 4
Concept 5
Concept 6a and 6b

The project was discussed at the Planning and Transportation Commission meeting on October 26, 2016. The Presentation can be found here.


Key Findings of Data collection in July 2016

• Turn restrictions (Right turn only from 7-10am and 4-7pm) on Middlefield/Everett and Middlefield/Hawthorne are not effective

• Average 85th % speed was measured at 34.2 mph on Middlefield Road between Hawthorne and Everett for both directions

• There are more vehicles travelling southbound on Middlefield-Average Daily Traffic (ADT)=9,949 vehicles than northbound ADT=8,474

• Analysis of collisions reported along Middlefield during the period of January 1, 2010 till December 31, 2014, shows more collisions at the intersection of Middlefield/Everett despite the number of vehicles turning is lower than Middlefield/Hawthorne intersection

• 19 collisions reported at the intersection of Middlefield/Everett; at least 13 were related to right of way violations

• 4 collisions reported at the intersection of Middlefield/Hawthorne; 2 were related to right of way violations 

Project Background 

The City heard from many residents who expressed their concern regarding the safety and operation of Middlefield Road between Menlo Park city limits and Channing Avenue. On March 22, 2016, City officials including police, transportation and a councilmember held a stake holder’s meeting to listen to the concerns of the residents, discuss what the City had done so far and next steps. 

Actions taken to date: 

• The City’s Transportation division added time-of-day turn restriction signs at Everett Ave and Hawthorne Avenue in June 2015

• Transportation staff met with their Menlo Park counterparts in December 2015 and requested that NO TURN ON RED restrictions on Middlefield Road northbound at Willow Road be removed. This sign has been removed.

• Public Works agreed to use traffic paint in lieu of thermoplastic during the resurfacing project on Middlefield in Spring 2016 (this will make modifications to the existing striping easier in the future)

• At the beginning of May 2016 during the  resurfacing project, Staff  moved the northbound lane-drop merging area south a couple hundred feet. Under the previous configuration, northbound motorists were merging left within the intersection of Middlefield Road and Hawthorne Avenue, as other motorists were turning left in front of them. Under the new configuration, northbound motorists  merge into one lane before reaching the intersection with Hawthorne Avenue, separating the two points of conflict. This reduced the number of lanes and points of conflict within the intersection itself, without reducing capacity significantly.  

To provide comments or feedback about this project please email: transportation@cityofpaloalto.org

Last Updated: Dec 5, 2016
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