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Parking too restrictive? City to study it

Original post made on Jun 16, 2009

In response to longstanding complaints that time limits on parking in Menlo Park's downtown are too restrictive, the city is embarking on another costly study to analyze the situation.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, June 16, 2009, 10:52 AM

Comments (25)

Posted by James, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 16, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Seems to me you could keep both your cited business people happy if parking was free for two hours, with the option of buying a permit for longer. This is what Palo Alto does. But if I go downtown to eat or to browse, I walk. I recommend it! (That'll be $90k, please.)


Posted by Colin Jenkins, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 16, 2009 at 12:45 pm

A quick survey of the city parking lot behind my store on Santa Cruz Ave shows that in the neighborhood of half of the parking is taken up by cars with city-issued permits. I've always thought that doubling the price of the permits and reducing the available number of permits by half would free up more spots for casual shoppers, encourage permit holders to find other forms of transportation to get to work and have a net loss of revenue for the city of zero. James, I'll split the 90K with you...


Posted by Tom, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jun 16, 2009 at 1:15 pm

I think we need to spend more money to study how much we spend on studies. It should be an item on the budget. This is a way to do some thing useless to keep some people employed.


Posted by Angela Hey, a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Jun 16, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Contrary to intuition, paying for parking makes people shop quicker and shops more profitable. Read Professor Donald Shoup's book, The High Cost of Free Parking.

Check out Streetline Networks (Web Link) - sensors to monitor parking. They can help towns get more revenues from parking - it would save the people going round chalking tires as they can sense when cars leave spaces and each car leaves a unique signature.(Disclosure: My husband is an advisor).


Posted by sdafsd, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 16, 2009 at 2:55 pm

The parking is perfect. Why would you spend more than 2 hours eating a dinner anyways. That is a waste of time.


Posted by Ed, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 16, 2009 at 3:21 pm

How about first changing the plaza between Peet's and Drager's from one to two hours?


Posted by Joanna, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 16, 2009 at 5:12 pm

I agree. We need a study to study the studies!

There is only one clear winner here... the companies that overcharge for conducting these studies.


Posted by What???, a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Jun 17, 2009 at 11:01 am

After reading this I find it hard to make fun of the cops for making too much money, and the city should be humiliated that they bleed money like this...another worthless study that will go on a shelf somewhere in city hall for sure. Yeah...cut EVERYTHING...but they can blow $90k on yet another pointless study with obvious results. Who comes up with this garbage? How about the police do the study, or some other city employee? Maybe the vaunted, highly paid "Shop Menlo" geniuses can answer this question. I don't know the city politics, and based on some of these posts, don't care to. I do know this is stupid. Common sense??? Anyone???


Posted by Mr. Parker, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 17, 2009 at 11:41 am

How hard is it to add a few areas of 3-hour parking in some of the parking plazas? Keep the street parking along Santa Cruz and its side streets to the current 2 hours, and be done with it!

@Ed: Since Draeger's owns its parking lot, I don't think the city can dictate parking restrictions on that particular lot, however.


Posted by adsfas, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 17, 2009 at 7:31 pm

3 hour parking might result in parking spaces been more difficult to find. it is already hard enough to find on weekends.

instead of spending money on studies, why not construct a parking structure?


Posted by Ross, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 17, 2009 at 10:48 pm

Parking structure? Yes -- yes -- and YES. Hasn't this study already been done? Hasn't it been determined that without a parking structure, we cannot meet downtown shoppers's and business's parking needs? And hasn't it alreay been determined that the community wants to fix the situation so that downtown parking needs are met? What are we waiting for? Why do we need another study? Just "get under the hood and fix it."


Posted by Carmen, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 18, 2009 at 11:21 am

Blech. I hate parking structures. They're monstrous eyesores and no one wants to park in them.


Posted by common sense, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 18, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Carmen, how do you like boarded up windows? Without parking structures our downtown will not survive in the years to come.


Posted by Marcy Magatelli, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 18, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Dear Council Members:

I have lived in downtown Menlo Park, for over 25 yrs. and have owned a retail business for almost 20 yrs. During that time, I have lost count how many times the issue of parking in downtown has been on the Council's agenda, and I have quit going to the meetings, because NOTHING EVER HAPPENS!

Meanwhile, I have seen nice, parking structures erected in Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Mateo, etc. What is wrong with our city's leadership and government that things don't get done in Menlo Park?.

I have seen the same thing happen with grade separations for the train. All communities and neighborhoods are opposed to them and resist, but in these other communities, they have something we seem to lack; what is it? I live and own a condo. ˝ block from the tracks on Oak Grove Ave. and I embrace the grade separation, not for the short term mess and noise, et al, but for the long term solutions! The residents near and around the 5th Ave. grade separation, in Redwood City, now admit that it has improved their neighborhood and property values. What is it, we need, to actually get things done? 20 yrs. or more is too long to keep dragging out decisions.

Frustrated and loosing respect,

Marcy Magatelli, owner
The Great Frame Up


Posted by Steve, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 18, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Marcy, you apparently do not understand. The City has to have another study to study the study so a study can be done for another.... It just goes on and on. Stop the studies and get to work to get thing done in town!


Posted by Outrageous, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jun 23, 2009 at 11:27 am

To approve a $90,000 study to evaluate whether to install parking meters downtown while the overwhelmingly majority of local business owners oppose the idea --- outrageous! The entire community should protest until those responsible for this asinine study resign. When do we get outraged enough about the stupidity in our midst? Is this being done by the same idiots who proposed bulb outs on Santa Cruz Avenue just a few years ago -- leading to a similar revolt and waste of $300,000 in taxpayer funds? Does the City of Menlo Park ever learn? How is it that with such an educated population, we get government at this astonishingly low level? We deserve better.


Posted by Joanna, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 23, 2009 at 12:37 pm

The cost of these things is outrageous! What can ordinary citizens like myself do about these abuses of taxpayer funds?


Posted by get it straight, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 24, 2009 at 8:11 am

I don't understand why people in Menlo Park aren't willing to walk more than a block or so from where they park. There is hardly any time of any day that there aren't plenty of empty spaces somewhere downtown. Even in the other cities with parking structures, people have to walk several blocks from them to their destinations.

Another big problem in Menlo Park is that the property owners are not willing to share in paying to build and maintain a parking structure. They expect "the city" to foot the entire bill, meaning that we residents are supposed to do so and they have no obligation even though they reap some of the benefits. The only party willing to do so has been the Presbyterian church, but they want the structure near the church and that does little to help with where the parking is most congested at the other end of downtown.

The 2-hour limit is inadequate for some needs (beauty treatments, lunches)and it would make sense to have a few places where the limit is 3 hours. In Palo Alto, that is in the parking garages. Maybe in MP, that could be in the more remote lots to encourage them to fill up.


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 24, 2009 at 12:45 pm

If you want more studies then vote for Heyward Robinson and Richard Cline in November 2010. They love studies but are not men of action. If you want something to get done you will need to vote for people who are not aligned with the "No Growth, No Way, No How" political faction that is in power right now.


Posted by Think first, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 24, 2009 at 1:01 pm

I was appalled at this story - what a waste of our precious city budget. I've lived in Menlo Park for 11 years, and never had a parking problem. I highly dislike parking meeters -- not only are they expensive to install and for visitors, they're an eyesore.

I say keep the 2 hour parking, and for those who need more time, make some 3-hour spots in the lesser-used lots.

Let's spend the $90,000 on something that will actually be of value to Menlo Park.


Posted by Nancy Wagner, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 24, 2009 at 2:17 pm

The City Council should have to take a pay cut everytime they authorize another useless "study". Why is it so difficult for them to make a decision themselves with the available information. The City Council is totally failing the residents of the City with this kind of inaction when a decision needs to be made. If these people serving the community can't think for themselves and make a decision to accomplish necessary change, then it's time to find new Council members who are up to the task. Stop wasting valuable resources on more consultants, enough is enough.


Posted by truth, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 24, 2009 at 3:01 pm

If this isn't the most comical of all the threads. Down with the council, off with their heads, no new studies, no new parking, yes new parking, no three hours, yes three hours, no meters, yes meters, unions and budgets and lions and tigers.

I am so ashamed of this forum.


Posted by Sorry Truth, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jun 24, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Sorry "Truth", you are ashamed of this forum, because it criticizes the individuals you support. The citizens are getting VERY tired of government waste. Useless, countless, expensive surveys are part of the problem. Overpaying for union workers, another part of our fiscal problems. And, lack of leadership, and making a darn decision, is the third part of the problem. The council is made up of very committed, very smart people, and all volunteers. However, I think most of us are struggling with the lack of leadership, and decision making. It's nice to be transparent, but at some point you have to make tough decisions, stick with them, and go on. If you want to keep being a politician, then this is what you get, folks that are trying to please everyone.


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 24, 2009 at 3:28 pm

If we listen to Truth then we will suffer the Consequences.


Posted by truth, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 24, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Can't you see your own contradiction? Overpaying our police you mean? Is that your point? That was a decision. Who are you kidding here? This council gave a raise to the police department in spite of all of your vitriolic anti union garbage. A few months later, my neighborhood witnesses one of the great drug busts in recent history.

They take a stand against high speed rail. It seems the whole world voted for rail. But this council asked questions. How much? Where? How?

Those are big decisions.

Hank can rewrite your history books. Not mine. The tyranny of the threesome of Duboc and Winkler and Jellins demoralized this town. These guys have changed the game. And you are just bitter.

This is why they will be re-elected. They don't fear you, they don't back down to you.

Remember, every town has you people. You criticize studies, but offer nothing to consider. You criticize contracts, but only offer to cut employees. You complain about parking tickets and stop signs as if there is some conspiracy.

This will be the easiest re-election we have seen in years because they did get us moving in the right direction and you people are stuck howling at the moon.


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