Enforcing ourselves

Our community needs to increase enforcement...of ourselves. We all need to take ownership of our neighborhoods and streets and collectively decide to obey traffic laws. 

The law states you need to:

  • Stop at a red light before you make a right turn.
  • Make a full stop at every stop sign.
  • Drive the speed limit.
  • Not use your phone - even at traffic lights - when driving.
  • And on and on.

The police and the tickets and the red light cameras are all things that were put into place under the direction of elected officials who were voted into position by regular people. Voters. Constituents. Tax Payers. Us. The laws we have today reflect values that at one time our community cared about.

Yes, we are all busy. Yes, we are all late getting to where we need to go. Yes, we are all suffering from collective road rage brought on by our traffic crisis. But we need to rise above our own selfish needs to get somewhere faster, or to send one more text. We need to consider how our actions, our collective actions, are impacting our entire community. Our streets are dangerous to cross. Many of our kids must be driven short distances to school because there are no safe ways to get there walking or biking. If we keep doing what we're doing, we're going to keep getting what we're getting.

And yes, a lot of traffic in Menlo Park, especially down our major arteries (although, as evidenced by the Willows cut through traffic situation, also our smaller neighborhood streets), is not of our own doing. I've heard that 80% of traffic we experience neither starts or ends in Menlo Park. This doesn't mean, however, that we should just throw up our hands and give up. We have to take responsibility for the 20% of traffic that we can control. If we work together, we can have an impact.


Jen Wolosin