The Real Work of 'Saving Menlo' | On a Roll | Paul Bendix | Almanac Online |

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By Paul Bendix

The Real Work of 'Saving Menlo'

Uploaded: May 21, 2014

Precisely who wants to 'Save Menlo' – and from what?

Some middle-aged property owners asked me to sign the recent petition. No downtown merchants seem to be pushing it. And no one who is young and/or rents appears to know much about it.

The promotional image – a dark specter of traffic congestion – could have broad appeal. But a quick look through the Save Menlo website reveals no interest in regional transportation planning. In fact, there's not much evidence of regional anything.

Save Menlo doesn't seem to be working with the Bay Area's smart growth organizations. Examples include SPUR, with offices in San Francisco and San Jose, which has helped guide regional growth for over 100 years. And TransForm, in Oakland and San Jose, a dynamic group with a particular focus on Bay Area neighborhoods.

Why not work with these organizations? Fund a study? Attend regional conferences and load up on acronyms like TOD and BRT?

Personally, I welcome the consultant's report on the current initiative and its impact on Menlo Park's growth plan. Actually, I'd like to see more perspectives. Have any developers looked at the proposed new regulations and said "I can live with that?" If so, let's hear from them – for example, in an opinion piece in the Almanac.