Menlo plan receives 'Grand Boulevard' award


A plan in the works for Menlo Park's city center has received an award from the Grand Boulevard Initiative, a collaboration of Peninsula cities and counties from Daly City to San Jose aimed at revitalizing El Camino Real.

The city will be one of seven recipients of awards at a May 13 ceremony, a spokesperson for the initiative said in a press release. San Carlos joined Menlo Park in the "visionary" category, for its recently completed general plan and climate action plan.

Menlo Park's plan is aimed at establishing guidelines for capital improvements and development in the city center and Caltrain station area over the next two to three decades.

The recognition is specifically for the first stage of that plan, through which the city and its residents developed a "vision" for the city center, according to Associate Planner Thomas Rogers. The second, more detailed stage wasn't a candidate for the award, because the plan has not yet been completed and approved by the City Council, Mr. Rogers said.

The other projects to be honored at the ceremony include a linear park over BART tunnels and a condominium project near BART in South San Francisco; a San Bruno condominium project; a planned Habitat for Humanity affordable housing development in Daly City; and a planned mixed-use project in Mountain View that encourages pedestrian activity.

The idea behind the "Grand Boulevard" initiative is to turn El Camino into a European-style, pedestrian-friendly boulevard along its length. Mayor Rich Cline represents Menlo Park on the Grand Boulevard Task Force, according to the city's Web site. Councilman John Boyle also attends many of the meetings.

Visit for more information on Menlo Park's plan.

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Like this comment
Posted by Gunther Steinberg
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on May 13, 2010 at 1:53 pm

In the 55 years that I have lived in Menlo Park and Ladera, I find that every time the City decides to "improve" Santa Cruz Avenue in any way, they make an expensive mess of it. Removing/replacing trees, changing the parking system, pedestrian crossings with islands sticking into traffic, you name it. It is NEVER an improvement that benefits shoppers on Santa Cruz, but it expends a lot of money.

The latest grandiose plans to make Santa Cruz Ave in to miniature Santana Row is another one in the ideas on how to change things without much real thought. Make parking more difficult or less convenient, and we will go elsewhere - depend on it.

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