Comments on EIR:

Friedman, Barry

Grant, Pat

Hendricks, Glenn

Skewes-Cox, Amy

Henson, Alexander

Whittum, David

Comments about MAEP

Boehm, Jan

Staats, Debbie

Yeager, Don

Yeager, Jeanne

 is your most complete source of information on the City of Sunnyvale, CA,  proposed Mary Avenue Extension (MAE) (Bridge, Overpass, whatever), its Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and the litigation seeking to decertify the EIR. Home 

Mary Avenue Wiki

MAE -- The Project and EIR's in General Comments about the EIR Comments about the MAEP City Council Meeting 10/28/08 and start of Litigation The Litigation Continued (Under Construction)


Letter from Patrick (Pat) Grant

Mary Extension to Moffett Park Comments on DEIR.  How to make better for all!

There is a need to improve traffic in Moffett Park effectively for ALL modes of transportation. A major goal of this EIR is to improve the flow of traffic in the Matilda 101/237 monstrous interchange. Fortunately a 2 lane bridge using options C and D will accomplish this goal as well as a more expensive 4 lane bridge with out the severe repercussion of a 4 lane bridge, with no more than a 16% loss in northbound Matilda traffic flow. There is no other significant negative effects to traffic anywhere else on Matilda or roads adjoining Mary from options C and D. It is actually quite surprising a 4 lane bridge has no significant improvement to traffic anywhere! Further it is surprising no other alternates for direct connection from Moffett park to 237 without a Mary extension were explored to offload Matilda.  

The main benefits of Options C and D are:

 Traffic has fewer gridlocked intersections though out the city with an "F" grade -

 Better flow produces less CO2

Lower traffic congestion at the Mary/El Camino interchange help businesses

Lower traffic congestion at the Mary/El Camino will allow engineering options to improve this most dangerous intersection of the city!

Preserves space on Mary for the only possible North South route for bike lanes in the city - Bikes emit no CO2!!

        Makes Mary more walkable and bikable for students going to school, 

        reducing   need for cars!

 Eliminate the hidden cost of a very expensive (~$50Million) Caltrain underpass at Evelyn for large volumes of traffic conflicting with frequent trains.

        A two-lane bridge cost less than a 4-lane bridge!  

For review below covers the Mary extension EIR see

Note a critical figure in the EIR showing the evening traffic levels fig 6.0-5 is wrong, and is actually a duplicate of the morning levels fig 6.0-4.


The following is a list of items analyzed in the EIR.

It was found that there are considerable negative impacts to all forms of transportation beyond the immediate area of the bridge for the 4 lane bridge with no mitigation south of Evelyn (the EIRs preferred recommendation). Those impacts are mitigated with options C (two lane extension of Mary), option D (reducing lanes of Mary south of Evelyn) or C&D together. The EIR gives no consideration to the considerable negative impact of relocated traffic on bicycle or pedestrian traffic outside immediate area of the bridge.

To make the analysis understandable only the dominant traffic flow pattern is presented in the table below (North bound in morning and south bound in evening). Numbers in the tables are the number of cars during the peak hour. The data was extracted from the traffic diagrams as in the first illustration from the EIR. At 237 eastbound figure the northbound data in the EIR includes the left turning traffic.  

  1. The Peak Volume study in Appendix B (traffic intersection cartoon figures) and H show Option C has insignificant differences (*) anywhere from the recommended approach and Option D has insignificant differences north of Evelyn, with traffic levels south of Evelyn comparable to present day levels (#). (Traffic levels south of Evelyn increase ~60% from present to study period of year of 2020.) That is Options C&D have no significant negative traffic capacity impacts in northern Sunnyvale or on Matilda and allow superior bicycle and pedestrian access!!

North Bound Morning traffic along Mary from Peak hour study



2020 plan

Option C

Option D
















El Camino










Key insignificant differences = ( * )                  comparable to present day levels = (#)


South Bound Evening traffic along Mary from Peak hour study



2020 plan

Option C

Option D
















El Camino











Matilda corridor at 237 - This is amazing!! 4 lanes bridge is no better than 2 lanes


2020 plan

Option C

Option D

North AM





South PM





  1. Option D does not reflect the benefits of adding a center turn lane along the entire length of Mary. Traffic south of El Camino is blocked by left turning traffic onto driveways or cross streets. This is one reason that Sunnyvale Saratoga downtown works so much better as a 2 lane with wide center turn lane than it did as a 4 lane. Considerable study needs to be made by traffic engineering for Options C and D (separate and combined) of intersections that may need extra lanes (as at present Evelyn) to help queuing at lights.  

Text Box:   

  1. Character of Mary south of Evelyn is residential in character with many Driveways, cross streets and visual confusion. Character north of Mary north of Evelyn is limited access with generally good sight lines. Region south of Evelyn needs extra mitigation for bicycle and pedestrian safety


  1. Appendix B, page 5 gives the illusion that Mary is accident free, yet in 2006 Bike plan Mary El Camino interchange is the worst in the city for pedestrians and cyclists. Increasing traffic volumes and density will greatly restrict options to mitigate the worst safety hazard in the city.


  1. Appendix H, Table 1 (Average traffic volumes) effects on routes nears Mary are virtually a wash (<10%) regardless which alternate is chosen. This disproves 3rd bullet page 98 of draft EIR.

  1. Table 2. Intersections level of service in Appendix H.
    1. Option C and D delays in Moffett park area comparable to present day El Camino
    2. Level of Service (LOS) for Mary/ Maude is given as a C. This intersection presently has minimum traffic (as per Appendix H and personal observation) This shows the rating may be due to traffic light timing and not related to volume.
    3. It seems the plan should be to minimize the F and E- which is symptom to gridlock.
    4. The best appears to use both C and D options, which evenly and fairly limits volume both in north and southern areas
    5. Is it fair that one part of the city gets A level service but force the other part of the city to F service and gridlock especially around Sunnyvale Commercial core of El Camino as proposed in the primary plan. C and D options are more fair.
    6. The proposed plan does not address the hazard of cars northbound waiting for lights at California and Central stranded across CalTrain tracks. Currently volume with C service in this area results in traffic almost stopped on the traffics. The traffic volume must be established to minimize the horrific loss of life that can result from the primary proposed plan.

  1. Contrary to text. Synco Analysis shows no significant differences in any options.


  1. Gridlock from poor LOS on Central resulting from increased volume will leave cars stranded on Caltrain tracks. Currently traffic nearly backups up to the train tracks. With higher volume in this area, multiple fatalities and resulting lawsuits are a certainty.


The analysis does not take into account impact of frequent Caltrain service on Evelyn interchange stopping Mary traffic, and its contribution to gridlock at the nearby Central expressway.  At certain times of the day, the trains cause traffic to backup onto Central, blocking Central expressway.  Northbound traffic nearly backs up from Central to the train tracks currently, with a 4 lane bridge the volume would increase considerably.   With higher volumes brought on by a 4 lane bridge a Caltrain underpass will be required to avoid frequent fatalities.  This underpass is a major unstated hidden cost consequence of a 4 lane bridge.  The cost of such an underpass would be about the same as the 4 lane bridge itself.