Expert Peer Review and its Impact


Brohard characterized the city’s traffic and circulation analyses of the proposed Maybell PC as “inadequate.”

In his conclusion he writes, “It is my opinion that unless all of the issues identified in my findings and comments are adequately addressed through further study and/or modifications … the city cannot properly reach the conclusion that the project, including identified mitigations, will have no significant impact on traffic and circulation. In other words, without further study and/or modifications, the proposed project, may have a significant effect on the traffic circulation and bicycle safety.”

Among the details, the report noted Hexagon’s failure to count bicycle and pedestrian traffic or to describe facilities for that traffic (e.g, paths, lanes, routes, and sidewalks), to characterize safety conditions or planned improvements. Once again, Hexagon did not study cumulative impacts. They also used outdated trip generations table and traffic counts, did not include growth factors, failed to follow proper guidelines and apply sections of the Palo Alto Municipal Code, and made a number of errors.

Did the city ask Hexagon to submit a revised report in response to this review? No.

However, shortly after they approved the Maybell PC, the city did adopt two of Brohard’s points in projects going forward. They will move away from an outdated Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) traffic model and will consider the impacts of other developments in process or under construction in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View and Los Altos.

The new leaders of the Maybell citizen’s group hired a premier traffic peer reviewer. His work report has already influenced and changed the way the city conducts traffic going forward. However as for the project he reviewed and the findings he made on it: no significant impact.

Say “no” to uncorrected flaws in traffic analyses


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