By Martin Lamarque
Menlo Gateway Rears its HeadUploaded: Jan 12, 2015
Today, it took me 20 minutes to drive from the VA Hospital to Newbridge Avenue, as I tried to get home after a long day at work.
By the time I reached Willow Road at the hospital, I had traveled from San Jose on 280, exited at Page Mill, went down Stanford Avenue to El Camino, cut across Palo Alto through Embarcadero, Alma Street, Channing Street, Chaucer, Menlo, O'Connor and finally, Willow Road.
All this trouble just to avoid having to take the Willow Road exit that on a normal day has a line of cars about a mile long. Taking University Avenue and cutting through East Palo Alto is not much better. The other day, I tried going past my exit to Marsh Road, but it was so bad, that I ended up having to go all the way to Woodside Road, and then drove back on the east side of the freeway.
I bet none of those who tout the virtues of Menlo Gateway live on this side of the City. For if they did, I am sure they would have a very different take on the threat that it represents to the already diminished quality of life we have to endure.
Given the recent experience with Measure M, I am afraid we currently have a City Council that will not take into consideration the disadvantages this project represents to Belle Haven residents, and as a result, will not try to find ways to ameliorate its effects..
If they didn't show any restraint in tacitly endorsing Greenheart's rigging of our last election, (in spite of the fact that the main opposition to the developer came from affluent residents), one would be naive to believe the interests of Belle Haven residents-- a majority of whom are working class with no political nor organizational power--will be in the minds of our Council members as Mr. Bohannon approaches them for permission to tweak his plans.
I have been waiting for the DA to give its take on our City's Manager hiring of the consultant to help sway public opinion. In the meantime, I got a hold of the second batch of campaign finance reports.
We already know that in the 3 incumbents' first pre-campaign reports, contributions they received by Greenheart's raised eyebrows.
On the second part, it was Mr.' Bohannon's big contributions to those same incumbents that caught my attention.
In view of this, if those Council members would like to show some sense of decency, they should recuse themselves from having anything to do with deciding on Menlo Gateway.
I know, I am being extremely naive here. But you never know, people might little by little wake up and demand to finally be the ones represented by their elected officials.