Belle Haven Traffic Calming Study

​The Belle Haven neighborhood is defined as the area bounded by Willow Road on the East, the Dumbarton Rail Corridor on the north, and U.S. 101 on the South.

On April 20, 2019, the City Council approved the Belle Haven Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan (Español) to address cut-through traffic concerns in the Belle Haven neighborhood through the use of traffic calming measures. 

Typically, cut-through traffic refers to trips generated outside of a predefined area and traveling through to a destination outside of the area. To counter this type of driving behavior, traffic calming measures such as education, enforcement and physical structures are often recommended and implemented as possible solutions.

Project history

Due to increased congestion on Bayfront Expressway and Willow Road, the Belle Haven neighborhood was experiencing increased cut-through traffic. As part of its Campus Expansion project approvals, the project's transportation study found that Facebook could exacerbate cut-through traffic. Facebook was required to fund a neighborhood traffic calming plan for the Belle Haven neighborhood to reduce cut-through traffic as a mitigation measure required in the environmental impact report.

On May 25, 2017, the City hosted a community meeting at the Menlo Park Senior Center. The feedback from the community identified a need for action to relieve the neighborhood cut-through traffic in lieu of more public meetings to describe the issues. As a result, the City reached out to qualifying consultants and reached an agreement with Parisi Transportation Consulting. Parisi was selected by the City and funded by Facebook to provide expertise on the development and design of the Plan.

On August 20, 2019, the City Council approved the revised plan, adopted a resolution to remove on-street parking for intersection bulb outs, and amended the standard implementation process.

The Plan included measures in three jurisdictions: the City of Menlo Park, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), and Caltrans. Due to expected lengthy approval timelines from SFPUC and Caltrans, the City Council also approved staff’s recommendation to implement a trial implementation phase only for City jurisdiction measures and utilize its post-trial feedback for decisions related to permanent installation for both City, Caltrans and SFPUC jurisdiction measures.

After the Plan was approved, staff continued to work with the consultant to prepare design plans and started coordination with outside agencies. The design process was divided into two parallel tracks to speed implementation of the measures within the City jurisdiction:
  • City jurisdiction: final design and implementation of trial measures
  • SFPUC and Caltrans jurisdictions: schematic design for initial review
In June 2020, the installation of temporary traffic calming measures within City jurisdiction was completed. Additionally, schematic design plans were submitted to SFPUC and Caltrans in October 2020 for initial review.

Next steps

Before COVID-19, staff intended to conduct post-trial analyses and a community meeting to evaluate and survey the temporary measures’ effectiveness, which would inform the decision for permanent installation. However, with many companies, schools, and other daily commuters continuing to work from home, roadway congestion has not yet returned to pre-COVID conditions. Therefore, collecting traffic data to compare to the “before” study at this time would not provide a clear picture of the efficacy of the trial measures.

Instead, staff will be making the following adjustments to the post-trial evaluation:
  • Conduct a one-time community online and mail survey to solicit feedback on converting the implemented trial measures to permanent status
  • Collect roadway and intersection traffic volumes at key neighborhood intersections to provide an overview of current patterns
Staff anticipates the survey will be distributed in summer 2021. Staff then will proceed with analyzing the survey results before taking a recommendation for potential permanent installation to the Complete Streets Commission and then to the City Council for approval before commencing construction by early 2022.

Past activities

 Date  Topic
March 23, 2021
5 p.m.
City Council meeting - receive project update
September 10, 2019
7 p.m.
City Council meeting - adopted turn restrictions 
August 20, 2019
7 p.m.
City Council meeting - amend
the Plan and provide direction
on potential neighborhood turn restrictions
April 27, 2019
11 a.m.
Belle Haven Spring Fair - community outreach
April 16, 2019
7 p.m.                                        
City Council meeting - adopted Final Plan
December 12, 2018
7 p.m.                                                         
Complete Streets Commission meeting - recommended draft plan to City Council
July 11, 2018
7 p.m.
Complete Streets Commission meeting - reviewed the draft plan
October 17, 2017 City Council-approved scope of work
May 25, 2017
6 p.m.
Community meeting #1