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July 27, 2006

Comments

As a nearby San Mateo resident I attended this meeting which went on until around 11:00pm.
I voiced my concerns regarding the number of units, hence more cars and traffic down Peninsula and also my block, 800 Block of North Idaho where we constantly have people speeding to get onto to Poplar.
Most of the people there were business people
who touted and praised this development and pointing out it is close to the Burlingame Caltrain station. I also pointed out to them that my husband used to take the train in Burlingame to his job in Redwood City but now drives because of Caltrains cutback in service.
The project is a great idea but it is just too
many units!

On another note, does anyone know what's going on with all the PGE work around Peninsula, Humboldt and Bayswater? Does this have something to do with the Peninsula Ave overpass
widening???

No idea...I still haven't figured out exactly what that overpass is going to be. They say it will be four lanes, no southbound entrance (yet.....) but how is a four lane bridge going down to two lanes at Peninsula, or will they widen Peninsula Ave. to a total of four lanes, and bag the parking on the Woodlake side.

Communication with the neighborhood, even those right next to all the action, has been pretty poor. It would be nice if SM would post the plan out on the street. I, too, have big problems with any more speeding cars around here, there aren't any officers around to enforce anything.

Well at the last North Central Homeowners meeting on July 15th, Susana Chan from the San Mateo City Public Works Dept. said that Peninsula Ave will be widened to four lanes without having to take any property. Construction is scheduled to start in the spring of 2007. This is a done deal and is approved. They are still doing studies regarding whether to make it a full interchange which would require them to buy up some property. I also heard that Caltrans wants to make Bayswater Ave a offramp. Maybe this is why alll the PGE work is being done??I have not been able to verify this yet.

What I am trying to do is get the City to listen to the residents and give us some voice into how this is going to look like in our neighborhood!
Like maybe planting some greenery or climing vine on the wall that they are saying will be on the sides of the overpass. This is, after all a gateway to San Mateo and Burlingame.
So far I am not getting any cooperation or feedback from the City of San Mateo.

Maybe Burlingame residents should contact their mayor and city council on this one!

It doesn't work in our favor that the street divides both cities, so when communication is poor, one city can blame the other. I do think there has been some effort on the part of some of our councilmembers (Burl.) and Mayor Baylock, to attend at least a couple of meetings and express concern, particularly about lack of input. The last I heard was that they were studying all other options for traffic counts, etc. That means those affected may have to wait years in limbo.

fred

Bayswater is a bad idea. They could do a two-way ramp at Peninsula very similar to what they have proposed for Broadway.

I thought Caltrans wanted to do this job at the same time as the lane widening on the freeway. Isn't Caltrans paying for it? If the cities stall couldn't they lose funding? The ramp now is very unsafe both seismically and for manuevering.

The "cities could lose the money" is a poor argument, I think. That is how bad things get built. There is a time limit of some sort put on it, nothing happens forever, and then in an effort to get "something" out of it, things are poorly planned. Then we have to live with it for eons.

Look at what happened to the train station, same type of funding mechanism, and it wasn't all Caltrain's fault. Our city slept through two years of it, and had to hustle in the end to get something semi-acceptable.

One thing I would like to see is an acceptable ped/bike crossing on the new bridges, both Broadway and Peninsula. We have a tremendous Bayfront, and no safe way to get there. Has anyone seen those newer small signs posted ACROSS Rollins on the island at Broadway, telling people they shouldn't be walking the narrow bridge. By the time they can read that, they are literally trapped in the middle. Who planned that?

Bottom line is if they make Peninsula a full interchange going south and north on 101 then all those people (including me) could possibly lose our homes! That goes for San Mateo and possibly Burlingame residents as well.
I don't know about all of you but I would not be able to buy a home in the area similiar to what I have now.

Saying the city could lose funding is a lousy argument. We are talking about a neighborhood being destroyed here??

I agree, the neighborhoods come first. I haven't followed this as closely has you, but I did hear that somebody suggest putting the entire cloverleaf (or whatever they are now called) over on the east side of the freeway, where nobody lives, so that no property would be destroyed. Apparently an official explained that it would be more expensive to do that, than purchase and bulldoze all those SM houses. Sounds strange to me, but what do I know. Still, that shouldn't matter, when it comes to all those displaced people, we should do the right thing. It there needs to be some kind of interchange, pick the one that has the least possible impacts, and those impacts must include the cost to each family to move elsewhere, job transfers, etc. I'd bet that most of those people have nowhere to go.

fred

One of the three plans proposed required no removal of residences, only the removal of three to four commercial buildings on Amphlett/Rollins. Even that could probably be re-worked.

The Broadway plans had full pedestrian access, I don't see why they couldn't do that for both overpasses.

The city could lose money argument may not seem like a good one, but it is the realistic one.

Some of the homes have beautiful architecture
and would cost much more if they were on the west side. So maybe the City can find us something similar in Baywood or the Aragon district. Sounds fair.

fred

I am certain no residences would need to be removed to get a new overpass, it was depicted in one of the three alternative plans (the other two seem totally ridiculous). Cloverleafs are not the way most freeway overpasses are now built. The proposals for both Broadway and Peninsula overpasses look like Millbrae with left and right turns at a signal light east and west to get off the freeway.

If they could build out the Peninsula overpass more easterly to prevent any destruction of property I think that is the way the project should be headed.

Fred, I believe the one you refer to, involves making Bayswater into an off-ramp!. The maps were so tiny that only people very familiar with the area noticed. That's a no-no in my book. I think Ninis restaurant was toast in that one, too (no pun intended). Horrible intrusion into a Burlingame neighborhood, including longstanding businesses. You don't try and solve one problem by creating new, in some cases, worse ones, at least I don't think that is very wise.

They need to revisit the eastside idea, more expensive or not. I'm not a traffic engineer, but maybe they can get a little more creative and think out of the box, in this case.

Joanne

From Pete:

Overpass. Overpass.

Hmm.

How about underpass?

Let the lanes slope under the residential area and come up into Peninsula Avenue westbound, and Aiport Road eastbound.

Make the old overpass into a bike and pedestrian walkway.

Pete

joanne

Underpass...hey I like that idea! Making the Peninsula overpass a pedestrian and bike walkway would be great! Let's throw that idea at the next city council meeting.

I'm sure many of you don't know but my block, the 800 block of North Idaho orignally had entrance towers with a bronze plaque with the name of our tract, Peninsula Manor. I have a photo of it.
These were torn down along with moving two homes when they put in the original overpass in the 1940's. The City also took down our old street lights (like the ones in the Baywood and Aragon neighborhoods) in the 1980's.

fred

Jen, there were three proposed plans and I got a good look at them.

#1) The first one created an off ramp on Bayswater in addition to the Peninsula on ramp. Similar to the 3rd and 4th Avenue ramps in San Mateo.

BAD IDEA

#2) The second cut a semi-circle turnaround through a residential neighborhood. Causing the removal of multiple residences.

BAD IDEA

#3) The third plan would shave off a portion of the frontage road and three or four commercial buildings to make room for a southbound exit ramp. Both on and off traffic would use Peninsula Ave. The ramp looks similar to the new one in Millbrae. Also, no residences would be removed.

*****

This last proposal seemed like a good plan and perhaps with a little more input (i.e. moving the freeway a little to the east) the commercial buildings could be saved. It seems like the choice that would benefit Burlingame the most.

fred

The commercial buildings in question on the third plan do not include Nini's. They are the first three to four buildings north of the Peninsula ramp right against the freeway. But like I said this could probably be negotiated if the project could center slightly east.

Thanks for the info, Fred. As I mentioned, the three plans that I saw were microscopic (literally). A major project like this requires ample opportunity for input by people affected in both cities. Save for one S.M. pre-council meeting (that I couldn't attend) I don't think there has been opportunity for input. After the "studies" are completed, I hope that both Councils will do their best in this regard, rather than put the responsibility on the neighboring city. In this case, there are no borders.

The last City meeting was in February when the three plans were shown. Since then there has only been two San Mateo neighborhood meetings. Studies on what to do at Peninsula or Poplar regarding a southbound ramp should conclude later this summer. No announcement has been made yet from the City of San Mateo on their findings.

Hopefully they will let us have some input before anything is finally approved.

joanne

I would like to alert Burlingame residents of an upcoming study session meeting at San Mateo City Hall on Monday, August 14th @ 5:00.

This meeting is in regards to making the Peninsula Ave overpass a full north and southbound interchange. Studies are being conducted to see if this is feasible. Whatever happens at this intersection will affect both Burlingame and San Mateo residents.

What alot a people don't realize is Peninsula Ave overpass will be widened to four lanes with construction starting in the Spring 2007. This is approved per Larry Patterson, SM Public Work Director.

Residents have not been given an opportunity to have some input into the design of this overpass be it, lights, walkways, landscaping, bike and pedestrian paths (Remember Coyote Point is just on the other side)etc.

So since the overpass will be widened, should the City make it a full interchange? Thus the reason for the study sessions.

I have written letters both to the Mayor of San Mateo and all the city council members regarding this along with photos of the neighborhood.

Please make an effort to attend this very important meeting or send e-mails and letters to your officials.


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