Background

What is a Transportation Master Plan?

A Transportation Master Plan (TMP) identifies and prioritizes projects to address transportation needs in a specific city or community. Communities inform TMPs to make sure that projects meet community goals and values.

Why is a TMP needed?

Our ConnectMenlo General Plan Update, developed in 2016, envisioned a live/work/play environment in the Bayfront (former M-2) area, with our key policy framework guiding that development. The General Plan is a comprehensive and long-range guide to land use and infrastructure development in the City. The land use changes in the Bayfront area could result in a net increase in new development of up to 2.3 million square feet of non-residential uses, up to 4,500 residential units, and up to 400 hotel rooms.

There has been a shortage of housing available on the Peninsula and in Menlo Park, leading to rising costs and a lack of affordable options for many. In addition to the units identified in ConnectMenlo, up to 500 residential units could also be built in the downtown area. Further housing construction is currently underway or has been recently completed at sites on Hamilton Avenue, Haven Avenue, Willow Road and El Camino Real, with 1,000 residential units expected to be occupied in the next few years. The Circulation Element of ConnectMenlo describes distinct transportation issues and opportunities that Menlo Park is likely to face during the next 25 years with existing and potential development, as well as strategies for addressing them. The TMP will build on this framework to identify and prioritize specific projects to improve mobility and manage the expected demand.

A growing population brings transportation challenges, including safety for multiple travel modes, traffic congestion, neighborhood quality of life and regional coordination. Menlo Park has a high-quality transportation system connecting well within the city and to the region, but the volume of vehicle traffic can sometimes overload the system. This is often due to regional commute traffic at peak travel times. The TMP will help define specific projects and implementation plans to address these needs.

What will the TMP include?

The TMP, when completed, will provide a detailed vision, set goals and performance metrics for the transportation network. It will also outline a strategy for implementing local improvements and for contributing to regional improvements. Finally, the TMP will serve as an update to our current Bicycle and Sidewalk plans.

The TMP is not designed to identify specific solutions to individual neighborhood cut-through traffic concerns, specific Safe Routes to School infrastructure plans, or to provide detailed engineering designs of the improvements that will be identified in the Plan. These efforts would be prioritized in the TMP for future work efforts.

What will the TMP do?

The TMP will expand on the Circulation Element by combining the seven goals below with a community vision. The vision and goals will help prioritize the implementation of transportation projects in Menlo Park.

Seven circulation goals highlighted in the Circulation Element

  1. Safe and user-friendly transportation system
    Provide and maintain a safe, efficient, attractive, user-friendly circulation system that promotes a healthy, safe and active community and quality of life throughout Menlo Park.
  2. Accessibility for all modes of transportation
    Increase street accessibility by pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders.
  3. Increase mobility options
    Increase mobility options to reduce traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and commute travel time.
  4. Improve health and quality of life
    Improve Menlo Park’s overall health, wellness, and quality of life through transportation enhancements.
  5. Support effective local and regional transit
    Support local and regional transit that is efficient, frequent, convenient and safe.
  6. Provide a range of transportation choices
    Provide a range of transportation choices for the Menlo Park community.
  7. Utilize innovative strategies
    Utilize innovative strategies to provide efficient and adequate vehicle parking.

How will the City fund strategies in the TMP?

After the TMP is developed, we will update the Transportation Impact Fee (TIF) program. This update will allow us to modernize our fee programs and collect funds towards construction of the improvements identified in the TMP.