Thanks to Adina Levin for this Area Report
On Thursday afternoon, a group of 10 riders assembled at Cafe Zoe in Menlo Park and headed over to Facebook's Preview Party at its new headquarters. We travelled down Willow, one of several key routes that can be made safer in order to keep up Facebook's low rate of driving
to work at its new location on Bayfront Expressway (84) at the base of the Dumbarton bridge.
Challenges we ran into on the Willow Route included:
- * The bike lane on Willow Rd ends on Okeefe street before Willow widens to two lanes
- * The cloverleaf Willow Rd and Highway 101 interchange has 4 locations where bike and vehicle traffic merge across each others' paths (scary)
- * The bike lane on Willow Rd from 101 to Bayfront Expressway has glass and debris that can cause flats or cause riders to swerve toward traffic to avoid the obstacles
There are even some more challenges in the section of the Willow route from downtown Menlo Park to our starting point.
The ride was organized by Steve Schmidt, former Mayor of Menlo Park, and included 1 current and 1 former bike commissioner, 1 environmental quality commissioner (me), Silicon Valley Bike Coalition members, Menlo Park Green Ribbon Citizens' Committee members, residents of the Willows neighborhood, and folk who contributed to improving bike access in the Menlo Park Downtown Plan. Plus, 5 who RSVP'd with regrets that they couldn't make the ride. There is clearly interest in the community in working with Facebook to help them achieve their goals and make our streets safer.
At its new location, Facebook wants to provide only half the number of parking spots as employees. This is a credible and ambitious goal; to do this there will need to be significant improvements to common routes to Facebook.