Letter to Editor: Palo Alto Daily News - 1/25/2008 - published

I saw this last week:  A middle-aged Hispanic woman leaves a large home in Atherton (wealthiest community on the surface of the earth) well after dark on a rainy night.  She walks across busy six-lane roadway El Camino Real in the pitch blackness - there are no streetlights, only the flash of passing headlights of cars going fifty miles per hour.  She must walk alongside one hundred foot long puddles of water along the roadway (no drainage system).  These puddles are three feet wide and occupy the “pedestrian” zone.  She walks inches from the traffic to avoid the deep puddles / ponds / pools.  A bicyclist passes her in the dark swerving into the traffic lane to avoid her.  She stands in the total darkness in the rain waiting for her bus. Suggestions:

1.  El Camino is a California State Highway and warrants  civil improvements, (drainage) superior to those of a Bulgarian village.

2.  Install a paved sidewalk at least five feet wide on at least one side of El Camino starting in Menlo Park and extending through Atherton to Redwood City.  Illuminate this sidewalk at night.

3.  Provide a well-lighted bus shelter.

Certainly, if one assembled the hard-working, intelligent residents of Atherton, they would agree that their nannies, cooks, carpenters and gardeners deserve a safe walk home.

Warm Regards,

Jim Blake

( two years later - Still no drainage or lights or sidewalk or bus shelter )