Almanac

News - May 19, 2010

Menlo downtown plan receives 'Grand Boulevard' award

A preliminary plan for Menlo Park's city center has received an award from the Grand Boulevard Initiative, a collaboration of Peninsula cities and counties from Daly City to San Jose aimed at revitalizing El Camino Real.

The city was one of seven recipients of awards at a May 13 ceremony, a spokesperson for the initiative said in a press release. San Carlos joined Menlo Park in the "visionary" category, for its recently completed general plan and climate action plan.

Menlo Park's plan is aimed at establishing guidelines for capital improvements and development in the city center and Caltrain station area over the next two to three decades.

The recognition is specifically for the first of two stages of that plan, through which the city and its residents developed a "vision" for the city center through resident surveys, community meetings and workshops. The second, more detailed stage is still in progress, and wasn't a candidate for the award, according to the city.

The other projects to be honored at the ceremony include a linear park over BART tunnels and a condominium project near BART in South San Francisco; a San Bruno condominium project; a planned Habitat for Humanity affordable housing development in Daly City; and a planned mixed-use project in Mountain View that encourages pedestrian activity.

The idea behind the "Grand Boulevard" initiative is to turn El Camino into a European-style, pedestrian-friendly boulevard. Mayor Rich Cline represents Menlo Park on the Grand Boulevard Task Force, according to the city's website. Councilman John Boyle also attends many of the meetings.

Visit menlopark.org/specificplan for more information on Menlo Park's plan.

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