Facebook is encouraging their employees to bike to work after the company moves its headquarters to Menlo Park. But cycling activists say that the two most popular bike routes to get there are not as safe as they could be.
Cycling Activist Andrew Boone rode his bike down two of the most likely commuter routes to see whether this mode of transportation would be a suitable alternative to a car. One of the concerns that Menlo Park residents have expressed in the past about Facebook’s move to Menlo Park is the increased amount of traffic that would course through the roads in town.
To mitigate that, that it would encourage its employees to take alternative transportation methods such as bicycles and the Caltrain.
Subsequently, Boone began his surveys.
He started off one trip from the station, and then one from Embarcadero Road and East Bayshore Road, which is on the south of the campus. Boone found a few areas on the way that are in need of attention. He said Ravenswood between El Camino Real and Middlefield Road needs to be restriped to make the wider. The lanes on the road are 15 feet wide for vehicles, and six feet wide for bikes.
Boone said while six feet is normally a comfortable width for a bike lane, a 15 foot vehicle lane encourages traffic to speed here. “It feels unsafe riding a bike," Boone said, “12 feet is the standard width for a freeway lane.”
"This really surprised me – that there is such an obvious improvement that hasn’t yet been made – right in the middle of bike-friendly Menlo Park,” he added.
One of the other problem areas on the route is the Ringwood Bridge, Boone said. Later this summer, that bridge will be widened and improved as part to a project that will revitalize that area after the bridge's supports are upgraded. Directors of this project are filtering through bids for contractors to complete that work right now. Click on the photos to the right of this article to see images of that area.
The rest of the roads are just fine, he said.
Sources familiar with the matter say that Facebook is planning to open up an undercrossing under Bayfront Expressway at Willow Rd, so commuters who travel to Facebook by bike or on foot will not have to cross Bayfront Expressway.
Members of the Menlo Park Bicycle Commission expressed interest in working with Facebook to make the roads safer for people to to work during their last public meeting.