The goals of this collaboration are to understand the demand for increased access to affordable housing and to encourage the upcoming update to the El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan of Menlo Park to provide affordable housing and improved transportation options for commuters. Menlo Park City Council updated its Downtown Specific Plan in 2017 and is looking to further update it in decisions related to transportation, land use, and housing. This is an opportunity for community organizations and researchers to come together to collect and analyze data to provide useful policy recommendations moving forward. This project aims to understand the demand for improved public transit options and affordable housing and to understand the current barriers to using existing options in Menlo Park. We hope that our survey data can help inform business and community leaders, city planners, and decision-makers in Menlo Park as they revise the Downtown Specific Plan. To achieve these goals, we surveyed employees, managers, and business owners in Menlo Park about their experiences and thoughts regarding these issues.
Assessing Future Housing and Transportation Preferences in the City of Palo Alto (2017) Project Report
Students: Jake Gold, Makaila M. Farrell, Max Williamson, Ricky Joshua Toh Wen Xian
With the recent finalization of the Palo Alto Comprehensive Plan Update, our research team decided to collaborate with Friends of Caltrain, and Palo Alto Forward to better understand changing housing and transportation preferences. Our team surveyed Palo Alto residents and employees to collect feedback regarding the city’s current and future housing and transportation options. We designed a short, multiple choice survey composed of two sections: current living conditions and preferred living conditions. The goal of the survey was to identify any significant discrepancies between current and preferred living options, and then discuss how the city of Palo Alto can make these preferred housing and transportation options accessible. We also wanted to share personal living experiences, so we interviewed individuals to build up a portfolio in a supplemental project entitled, Faces of Palo Alto. Faces of Palo Alto is a social and artistic project designed to emphasize the human element in city planning. Each vignette is based on a worker or resident whose experience in Palo Alto embodied a specific need for housing and transportation reform. We hope that the city of Palo Alto will use our research, and other publicly available survey data to make informed decisions concerning the implementation of proposed Comprehensive Plan projects.
Students: Clarissa Gutierrez, Stanley Gu, Logan Karam, Derek Lee, Tai Thomas
This goal of this project is to research and recommend a bikeability metric that would be relevant for San Francisco. The current metric that is used, as dictated by the SF Municipal Transportation Agency’s 2013-2018 Bicycle Strategy, is called Level of Traffic Stress (LTS). Based on feedback and seeing the implementation of the Bicycle Strategy, LTS has been hard to measure and track as a way to view the city’s progress towards biking. This project aims to identify the efficacy of LTS, research other metrics that have been developed and implemented elsewhere, and make recommendations that would make the most sense for San Francisco and its diverse neighborhoods.
Students: Victoria Mao, Alex Martel, Jacque Ramos, Amulya Yerrapotu
Friends of Caltrain is partnering with TransForm to support options for the 101 managed lanes that provide the best results for commuters, the environment, and equity. As part of this project, we are working on a survey of low-income workers (and possibly low-income residents), asking about their use of Highway 101 for commuting, and which options would best help make their commutes faster, more reliable, more cost-effective, and less stressful. The purpose of the survey is twofold: 1) provide information in order to influence decision makers and public policy officials in San Mateo County that have jurisdictional influence over the Highway 101, including the City and Council Association Governments (C/CAG), the San Mateo County Transportation Authority (SMCTA), California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the County Board of Supervisors, and various transportation agencies; and 2) to educate various stakeholders in San Mateo County.
Equitable Access to Transportation in Downtown Palo Alto and Redwood City (2016) Project Report
Students: Sophie Christel, Jesus Guzman, and John Zhao
This project was undertaken to gather data that would inform the Palo Alto Transportation Management Association (TMA) and the Redwood City government on how to improve sustainable transportation in their respective downtowns. Methods of analysis included conducting qualitative in-person surveys about transit preferences and incentives in Palo Alto, and performing cross-tabulations on prior survey data for Redwood City. This report builds on the survey findings to create three plausible Palo Alto TMA budget allocations for the transit subsidy pilot program they plan to implement. This report also includes key marketing messages to best convince both employers and employees of the value and significance of using public transit. For Redwood City, we found that the most popular incentives for taking transit were financial incentives or flexible schedules for city employees, and GoPasses or other discounted transit passes for employees of other businesses. We also found that the employees least likely to be receptive to any incentives are those who work long or irregular hours. While these findings could be useful in beginning an incentive plan, we recommend similar cross-tabulation analysis of other extant surveys conducted for Redwood City employees, which asked more questions e.g. about employee demographics, worksite size, and business sector.
Students: Mia Diawara, Ana Sophia Mifsud, and Katie Smith
We undertook the Women Bikes SF partnership with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition with the goal of gathering information that will be useful to the SFBC as they launch the Women Bike SF Initiative and proceed with the difficult task of increasing the number of women riding bikes in San Francisco. To cover a diversity of topics and provide a comprehensive set of findings, we formulated the following five questions and used them to structure our approach to the project: 1) Where, geographically, do female cyclists in San Francisco bike?; 2) What would encourage women who don’t bike to do so?; 3) What motivates the active female members of the SFBC to keep biking?; 4) How can SFBC make the best use of its resources to increase women bike ridership in SF?; 5) What kind of branding would be most representative of, and appealing to, the women we hope to target with this initiative? To answer these questions, we compiled two surveys: one to be completed by female members of the SFBC and one to be completed by non-biking female members of the San Francisco community. We also helped facilitate two focus groups at SFBC headquarters with women in the SFBC community. This report details the results of these data methods and provides suggestions for future steps to be taken by the SFBC as they move forward with this initiative.
Students: Arnaud Guille, Connie Huynh, Justin Brown, and Marty Zack
With 27 different transit agencies serving the region, few of which have transfer and fare-sharing agreements in place, the Bay Area suffers from severe transit fragmentation. This state of affairs undermines goals around mobility and sustainable transportation, cleaner air and lowered carbon emissions, and equitably providing economic opportunity for all. Potentially, one simple idea could go a long way towards addressing all of those challenges, and make the commuting experience less confusing and more convenient: regional fare integration. For Silicon Valley in particular, now stands to be a particularly promising time to work on the issue, as MTC looks to update its Clipper card in the next few years; BART’s extension to San Jose, now under construction, is likely to dramatically increase transit interchanges; and leading stakeholders in the region are publicly interested in transit improvements possibly seeking to place a transit funding measure on the 2016 ballot. With those challenges and opportunities in mind, our group deeply studied the following questions, focusing on Santa Clara County: Is regional fare integration possible and is it needed? Can we as a county simultaneously simplify journeys for commuters by making it easier to switch between transit modes and agencies, while also making transfers between transit providers more affordable? To answer these questions, our project focused on two products: creating a bibliography overviewing existing integrated fare solutions throughout the world; and then designing and analyzing a survey about commuters' behavior and choices in Santa Clara County.
Students: Ma'ayan Dembo and Sam Schreiber Partner: Friends of Caltrain
By collaborating with Friends of Caltrain, we investigated the mode share shift potential along the Caltrain Corridor. Firstly, we studied the commuting habits of the residents and employees who live and work along the rail corridor. Using data compiled from U.S. Census and American Community Survey (ASC) databases, we published maps and an online interactive applet that display this data. We analyze this data, and conducted a review of transportation management associations (TMAs) to prepare a collection of strategies designed to solve traffic congestion problems in Palo Alto.
Greening Lincoln Way: Increasing Bike and Pedestrian Access to Golden Gate Park (2014) Project Report
Students: Eric Cotton, Amy Tomasso, and Laetitia Walendom Partner: San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
Golden Gate Park is a monumental attraction in San Francisco and is recognized around the world. It is roughly 120 years old and hosts 13 million visitors a year. Being such a beautiful natural landmark and experiencing so much pedestrian traffic, it requires a lot of upkeep and innovation to keep the park running up to standard. Our project involved designing a visionary Golden Gate Park that emphasized the recreational aspect while also addressing bike/pedestrian circulation, and vehicle speeds. Since Golden Gate Park is such a large area, we focused on one aspect of its borders, Lincoln Way. Specifically, we concentrated on the entrances on Lincoln Way at 34th Avenue, 19th Avenue, and 5th Avenue.
Redwood City Bike Share Program: Encouraging Equitable Bike Share Use (2013) Project Report
Students: Christine Auwarter, Travis Kiefer, Rachel Vranizan, and Juan Wei Partner: City of Redwood City
In August 2013, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District will launch a highly anticipated regional bike sharing pilot project. As one of the partners in the launch of the pilot program, Redwood City is invested in ensuring the program is accessible to all members of the community, including those in low-income neighborhoods. Based on the results of a literature review and community surveying and outreach, this final report of the project presents Redwood City with concrete recommendations on actions they can take to minimize or eliminate the anticipated barriers to full participation in the program.
Students: Patrick Colson, Amy Decker, and Kendrick Geluz Kho Partners: Thalia Leng (SamTrans), Carlos de Melo and Jason Eggers (City of Belmont)
The purpose of this project was to determine both parking inventory and parking utilization of the Belmont Downtown. A balance of parking and activities is important to maintain a healthy and attractive downtown area. Currently, the Belmont Community Partners believe their downtown to have too much parking, which has led to difficulties creating an identity for the downtown. The following project will inform both the Grand Boulevard Initiative Working Committee and the City of Belmont Zoning Proposal (which will be voted on in June 2013).
Clifford Elementary Safe Routes to School: Feasibility and Implementation Study (2013) Project Report
Students: Wendy Sov, Douglas Weiss, and Caitlin Wrath Partners: Nadine Levin and Alonso Barahona (Redwood City 2020)
Redwood City 2020 is a collaborative of seven different private and government entities to support family and youth in Redwood City. In the past, RWC 2020 has worked with other Stanford student groups to develop Safe Routes to School for the school communities of Fair Oaks, Hawes, John Gill, and Adelante Elementary.
Safe Routes to School is an initiative under RWC 2020’s Community Wellness program that seeks to promote alternative commuting to schools and improve sustainability, health, and educational components. SRTS is a large international initiative already active in 9 RWC school district schools. Clifford Elementary will be the 10th school in the RWC school district implementing a SRTS initiative.
Adelante Elementary School Safe Routes to School (2012) Project Report
Students: Peter Abrams, Nicholas Biddle, and Esperanza Guevara Partners: Nadine Levin (Consultant to Redwood City 2020), Alonso Barahona (Safe Routes to School Coordinator, Redwood City 2020)
The Safe Routes to School Program is part of a district-wide initiative to promote more active lifestyles in Redwood City. Headed by Redwood City 2020 (RWC 2020) under its Community Wellness Goals, the program aims to prevent health problems by encouraging more physical activity (RWC2020 Wellness Goals). One approach RWC 2020 has taken to meet this goal is to encourage students to walk to school. RWC 2020 expects that encouraging students to walk instead of driving will, in addition to helping students achieve healthier lifestyles, benefit both students and community members by alleviating traffic congestion, decreasing vehicle emissions, improving pedestrian safety, and encouraging a stronger sense of community.
RWC 2020 is a community partnership between seven different organizations, including Redwood City and Adelante School. In the past, RWC 2020 has worked with other Stanford student groups to develop plans for the following three schools: Fair Oaks, Hawes, and John Gill School. Our group has been helping develop a plan for Adelante Spanish Immersion School, a K-6th grade, two-way Spanish immersion magnet school. W used different approaches for our data collection including: researching existing Safe Routes to School Programs, engaging with community members through several different meetings, conducting site observations, and analyzing the results from a parent survey.
Students: Stephanie Chan, Dylan Clayton, Chris DeHanas, Kevin Fischer, and Erin McGough Partners: Susan Wheeler (Management Analysis, Redwood City) and Douglas Alfaro (County Manager's Office, County of San Mateo)
The purpose of this memorandum is to inform Redwood City and San Mateo County of our recommendations for bike share station locations for the pilot bike share program in Redwood City. Station selection is the result of community input through surveys and focus groups, GIS “heat map” analysis, and a comprehensive case study review.
Our goal is to choose stations that maximize ridership and bicycle circulation for the bike share program in Downtown Redwood City. We prioritize bike share stations in areas accessible by bike lanes and away from roads with high motor vehicle traffic. Further, we recommend placing a few stations outside of the immediate Downtown area to gauge riders’ willingness to make longer trips during this pilot program.
Students: Nicole Greenspan, Hannah Kohrman, Anna Ponting, Ellie Titus, Sam Wright Partners: Pat Brown (Executive Director, Redwood City 2020)
While there is currently no established Safe Routes Program at John Gill Elementary School, there is great potential for one to be started. After spending the last ten weeks working with John Gill and Redwood City community partners, we have compiled our recommendations based on research and participation with the school staff and parents. This memo includes the steps we took throughout the project, our results, and final recommendations to initiate the program next year.
Safe Routes to School Evaluation: Hawes Elementary School (2010)
Students: Cassie Churnside, Edie Constable, Leslie Foard, and Jung In Kim Partners: Pat Brown (Executive Director, Redwood City 2020), Josh Griffith (Principal of Hawes Elementary School)
This group conducted a Safe Routes to School evaluation for Hawes Elementary School. This project serves as a pilot for other schools in the area that might be interested in increasing walking and biking. With Hawes, we tried different evaluation processes not only to look at infrastructure and program potential for the school, but also to think about how our project might be used as a guide for other schools.
This memo outlines five steps to the Safe Routes to School evaluation that are an important way to assess current travel conditions, and design community-specific walk and bike programs. Stages that we have identified include: initial planning, data collection, walkability audits, student meetings, and parent meetings. In our work with Hawes Elementary School, we found these steps critical to assess and formulate our recommendations for the school. We believe that following these stages is a helpful way not only to collect data and observe conditions, but also to come up with a shared vision for what these programs can be.
Active School Travel: A Resource Binder for Redwood City Community Members to Implement Walk and Bike to School Programs (2009)
Students: Victoria Asbury, Dylan Clayton, Edie Constable, Erin Duralde, and Keith Knapp Partners: Beth Ross (Climate Protection Specialist, Redwood City), Patricia Brown (Redwood City 2020), Malcolm Smith (Public Communications Manager, Redwood City), and leaders of Fair Oaks Community School
This report provides a review of existing safe routes to school programs throughout the US and evaluation of the best practices for Redwood City. Our recommended best practices for Redwood City include: The Freiker Program, Walk and Bike Safety Education, International Walk and Bike to School Day, and the Walking School Bus. In this guide we have created case studies of Marin County, CA; Portland, OR; Eugene County, OR; Boulder, CO; Palo Alto, CA; and Menlo Park, CA. The group recommendation is to a call to action to initiate Safe Routes to School initiatives and a collection of resources for schools looking to implement these programs.