Viewpoint - September 22, 2010

Letter: Another solution to downtown parking problem

In your editorial on Sept. 8, you correctly identify the downtown parking problem as a result of employee parking — either through use of parking permits or employee car-shifting every two hours. However, you imply that the only solution is to build the unwanted parking structures that would change the character of the entire downtown.

There is another alternative: Buy the 3.45-acre Derry property next to the Caltrain tracks and convert it to all-day, free parking. Provide one of those white, under-used shuttle buses to move people from the lot to two stops on Santa Cruz during the hours of 7:30-9:30 a.m.

I am guessing that the cost of the land, parking lot improvements, and shuttle costs would be less than the construction costs of the multi-level parking structures, to say nothing about the disruption to local businesses during construction. The frustrated Derry family would certainly be willing to listen, after years of setbacks in their own plans for redevelopment.

The land, so close to the train tracks, makes parking an ideal use that could care less about noise. Everyone wins and the downtown does not have to suffer the implementation of the new downtown renovation plans.

Oh yeah, and leave Foster's Freeze alone. I went there 45 years ago, as a kid when we won our Little League games. I still love that place, definitely part of the charm and diversity of downtown and a nice contrast to the tony, upscale places to have a $40 lunch.

Douglas F. Kirkwood, Ringwood Avenue, Menlo Park


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