Did you ever park your car in downtown Menlo Park? If you have, you no doubt were in one of the Parking Plaza's that had a very limited and restrictive time frame, at one time or another. As a result, the parking maids are often times kept very busy generating tons of money for the city cauffers from those who exceed the time limit.
Is this entrapment? I don't know. Taking a closer look, one finds on ONE SIDE ONLY of the Parking Sign a message about a 2 Hour Time limit. What happens for some folks is the sign may not have been seen, or even noticed. Why? For some while doing their best to drive safely in order to dodge traffic, watching out for adults with baby carriages, bicycle riders and others the sign is missed altogether.
When you get out of your car, have you noticed that there is NO REMINDER. The back side of the sign could easily provide that reminder. Is it there? Of course not. Are there steel poles with reminders? None seen anywhere. Is this entrapment? You decide.
Looking to the south, we find that the City of Palo Alto has almost gone overboard in notifying drivers of the time limits. There are not only many signs, but they are often times COLOR CODED. Nice system if you ask me.
Looking to the north, we find that the City of Redwood City has signs all over the place. Are there similar signs in Menlo Park? Nope! At your convenience, take a look at San Carlos, San Mateo, Belmont and other cities. This makes for an interesting comparison to Menlo Park.
Is this entrapment? I don't know, but it seems in meeting some sort of MINIMUM standard for signage to satisfy State or Court requirements, they have left SHOPPERS, VISTORS, VENDORS and others with a big, fat, unwanted TICKET OR CITATION to help them remember was a swell time they had while coming to our DOWNTOWN area.
With the Holiday Season coming, can anything be done? I don't know. Your suggestions, comments and ideas are welcome. I suspect the downtown parking issue could use some feedback.