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Wednesday: Atherton, Menlo Park meet on shared transportation issues

Towns to discuss mutual impacts of transportation decisions

No one would deny that what happens on the streets in Menlo Park affects Atherton, as well as the reverse. At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, the transportation committees of the two jurisdictions will hold a joint meeting to discuss some shared issues.

On the agenda for the meeting, to be held in the Menlo Park council chambers at 701 Laurel St., is work planned for the Willow Road and U.S. 101 interchange, bike lanes on Middlefield Road and Marsh Road, Atherton's El Camino Real study, and the pedestrian-activated stoplights on El Camino at Alejandra and Isabella avenues.

The committees will talk about making sure both towns know in advance about issues that might affect their communities, such as developments on El Camino or major construction.

Atherton's new mayor, Mike Lempres, said he pushed for the joint meeting. "There is no big 'problem,' or overriding issue that led to this joint meeting," he said. Instead, it is intended as a way for neighboring cities to discuss common concerns, he said.

"It is very clear that transportation decisions in Menlo Park affect Atherton and vice-versa," he said. "Each city can do its job better if it knows what the other is planning. Increased communication will help both communities do a better job on transportation related issues, such as traffic, bicycle and pedestrian routes."

If the meeting proves useful, he said, he hopes it will become a regular event, and that other Atherton and Menlo Park committees can hold similar meetings.

"We hope to reach out to Redwood City to share information with our neighbor to the north also," Mayor Lempres said.

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