Viewpoint - November 24, 2010

Letter: Downtown plan not needed in Menlo

It is claimed that Menlo Park's Downtown Plan was driven by residents. In fact, an almost identical "vision" plan has been proposed in Los Altos by consultants hired to revitalize that downtown.

In Redwood City, a similar downtown precise plan was implemented at a cost of over $50 million. It has been a retail disaster.

Up and down the Peninsula, the concepts of "vibrancy, connectivity, and walkability" are being promoted by outside consultants who are achieving it by building out surface parking plazas art the expense of convenient parking and access. Did Menlo Park ask for this?

No. We residents prefer our village-like atmosphere because we are comfortable walking with our families in the unhurried, uncrowded environment of our downtown. Parking is easy and access to many stores is available at both the front and rear of the shop. Delivery trucks can conveniently unload in the lots behind many stores, thereby not interfering with the street traffic.

Our pace of life downtown is relaxing and pleasant. This specific plan is a "strait jacket" restricting current retailers and services and is promoted by various real estate development partnerships. We are not in awe of San Mateo, Redwood City or worse, San Francisco.

D. J. Brawner, Waverly Street, Menlo Park


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