Guest opinion: A mid-year update from Menlo Park mayor
Original post made on Jul 3, 2013
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 3, 2013, 12:00 AM
on Jul 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm
While the Stanford/Arrillaga development on El Camino Real is listed first in Mr. Ohtaki's report, the brevity of the report is concerning. First, The Sub Committee is made up of 2 council members, Carlton and Keith. SInce the council created the 500 El Camino Real sub committee in April, it has met only 2 times with representatives of savemenlo which is an organization made up of MP residents who believe the Specific Plan needs to be revised. Cut through traffic is only one focus the subcommittee needs to look at. There are numerous other concerns and it would be beneficial for our Mayor to address all the concerns, if for no other reason, to assure the residents that he has listened to the numerous speakers at council meetings and read the numerous letters to the council asking for the Specific Plan to be placed on the council agenda for a closer look now that the city has a proposal from Stanford.
So the council won't reduce the residents's concerns only to traffic, let me remind the Almanac readers of the problems with the Specific Plan and Stanford's proposal: The Specific Plan erred in setting the allowable size of buildings in the Plan. That size needs to be reduced for several reasons, one of which is that size equals people and people equals car on El Camino Real. Secondly, the city's consultant did not warn the city that Stanford could and might use the buildings for academic use for which no property tax will be paid. Third, because the city gave property owners in the Specific Plan an increased floor area ration, the property owners can build right up to this new increased level and not enter into normal horse trading with the city for benefits such as funding for a safe undercrossing of the railroad tracks for pedestrians, able-bodied and those in wheel chairs. Occupants of the office and housing units in Stanford's development will want to access the civic center without risking life and limb on Ravenswood where traffic is heavy and fast. 4th, the plaza at Middle Ave. is designed for cars that need to access the underground garage. There's no real open space as residents wanted in a real plaza. The definition of "open Space" that Stanford got reduced from 40% to 30% needs clarification so that private balconies in the residents is not considered open space. Fifth, the development needs less office and more housing so the city can begin to meet its housing needs.
Mr. Ohtaki, I have thrown you a soft ball. Can you hit it back?
on Jul 4, 2013 at 11:07 am
Our school children and stroller pushers are still walking on Santa Cruz Ave itself unprotected from cars. This is a disaster waiting to happen. While stopped on Santa Cruz Ave myself waiting for children to cross it I've been rear-ended twice which shows that drivers' attention is sometimes diverted there. This is a dangerous strech of road that something needs to be done about, soon.
on Jul 5, 2013 at 12:57 am
So what are those two traffic improvement projects your touting? And Peter how often do you drive northbound on ECR - we've had a dedicated right turn onto Ravenswood for years.
Just what we nee, another Santa Cruz Ave beautification, this one for half a million for aesthetics. That money would have gone a long way for many real needs of Belle Haven.
Basically same old, same old.