By residents and reporters, city business is most often measured in decisions made.
But, of course, the vast majority of a city's work goes on outside the air-conditioned confines of council chambers. At a recent meeting of Menlo Park's City Council, Deputy City Manager Kent Steffens tried to quantify the work performed by the city's public works department over the past year. This is a summary of his presentation.
Free shuttles. Shuttles ferried 34,000 riders down Marsh Road and 26,000 riders down Willow Road, while 23,000 people took the midday shuttle, and the one-day-per-week shopper's shuttle accommodated 500 riders.
Trees. The department planted 86 trees, and made over 500 tree service calls.
Traffic lights. It installed video detection systems at every signaled intersection in the city, so that lights change when bicyclists and drivers arrive.
Repair and removal. It repaired over 319 potholes, covered over graffiti at 251 sites, and raked 1,560 cubic yards of leaves.
Maintainence projects. It maintained 15.6 miles of right-of-way, 5.3 miles of medians, 1,555 storm drain inlets, 14 parks, and two ponds, and renovated nine sports fields.
Buildings, grounds, vehicles. The department installed a new structure to provide shade at the Belle Haven Child Development Center, renovated three restrooms at the child development center, completed 260 work orders, and made 1,100 repairs to city vehicles and equipment. It replaced the carpet and painted the walls in the police station, and replaced the roof at Footsteps Preschool in Willow Oaks Park.
Sidewalks. It replaced 61 stretches of sidewalk.
Utilities. It rebuilt 36 cages on lampposts in the downtown area, tested 3,900 water samples, checked 250 backflow devices, and replaced seven fire hydrants, according to Mr. Steffens.