News

More outdoor dining coming to Menlo Park

A pilot program that tested an expanded outdoor dining area at Left Bank went so well that the Menlo Park City Council unanimously signed off last night on letting more restaurants -- and potentially other types of businesses -- put their outdoor space to greater use.

For the trial installation, approved in May 2014, the city bought movable planters and landscaping to install around the perimeters of Left Bank's outdoor dining area at 635 Santa Cruz Ave. The restaurant paid for the additional seating and maintenance of the area.

The installation removed one 1-hour parking space, one 15-minute space and a rarely-used motorcycle parking spot, according to staff. The city also added reflectors to the planters and moved a stop sign on the corner to improve visibility in response to community concerns.

During the Jan. 27 meeting, the council voted 5-0 to have staff identify new restaurants that could participate -- Amici's on Santa Cruz Avenue and Refuge on Crane Street are two of several that are interested -- and to start putting together a "toolkit" as a reference for the business owners.

According to the staff report, the toolkit would list approved designs and materials for semi-permanent outdoor areas; approved contractors; and cost-sharing guidelines.

The designs would place outdoor platforms at the same level as sidewalks to allow better access for those with disabilities.

New sites will be selected based on minimal parking impacts; protection from traffic; and whether the businesses get the required outdoor seating permits.

Councilman Ray Mueller suggested looking into whether non-restaurants could join in, perhaps by hosting "pop up" vendors, based on input given during one of the city's small business roundtables.

The council also considered an option to use capital improvement funds to go ahead with permanently expanding downtown sidewalks, but for now, set that aside in favor of other projects, such as completing a sidewalk along Chilco Street.

Comments

13 people like this
Posted by Outraged
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jan 28, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Are you kidding? It's hard enough to park in downtown Menlo Park, and the city is going to TAKE AWAY PARKING? How are we supposed to support local merchants if we can't park close by? I live too far from downtown to walk, so I guess downtown doesn't get my business.


9 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 28, 2015 at 12:41 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

This is a great idea which has worked well in San Francisco and Mountain View. But it also points out the problems of approaching the downtown in a piecemeal fashion.


9 people like this
Posted by Tricia
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jan 28, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Yes, super outraged but not for that reason. Getting out of my car to enter Walgreens is super super dangerous when I must walk ON THE STREET a ways to get ONTO THE SAFE SIDEWALK due to the fencing off of the sidewalk for the profit of Left Bank Restaurant. I could not believe it when it first happened. Now more of the same? Who is running this city??? Pedestrians are at RISK here !!!


10 people like this
Posted by johngslater
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jan 28, 2015 at 12:47 pm

I use sidewalks. It is already a pain to try to weave past the Left Bank. Now the city is proud of a program that would make things worse ?!?!?!


10 people like this
Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 28, 2015 at 12:49 pm

This is a good start but not enough to energize downtown in a BIG way. The City Council should consider making a section of Santa Cruz a pedestrian-friendly street. This and a parking structure would make a huge difference for our existing businesses AND attract new ones. I examine this idea at Re-Imagine Menlo Park Web Link


15 people like this
Posted by CW
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 28, 2015 at 12:50 pm

I have lived in the area since 2008 and don't ever recollect not being able to find a spot. Let me repeat... never... ever... You may indeed have to walk 100 yards -- ouch. Free exercise! Relax, people. On the other end of the spectrum, local businesses have always struggled on the Menlo Park strip. I appreciate supporting them to reach a certain lively atmosphere (i.e. some foot traffic, shopping, good eats, family-friendly business) and the extra tax revenue.


12 people like this
Posted by really?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 28, 2015 at 2:26 pm

If the tables are parked on the street overnight, do they get a ticket like our cars do?


16 people like this
Posted by Bob McGrew
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jan 28, 2015 at 4:09 pm

This is exciting! I love our downtown, but there's a lot of opportunities to make it better. Outdoor dining is a win with me. :)

And I agree with the other commenters: I've never had trouble finding a spot downtown, ever. Downtown should be designed for people first, not just their cars.


5 people like this
Posted by Nikki Stitt Sokol
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jan 28, 2015 at 4:59 pm

I am delighted to hear that the city approved additional outdoor dining options. This is a small but important step in the right direction for our downtown.

I hope the "toolkit" the city provides will also encourage the business owners to make these areas not only safe but beautiful as well.


4 people like this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 28, 2015 at 5:39 pm

So who owns the side walk downtown? The building owners, the City or us the tax payers? What's the commercial rental per square foot for stores on Santa Cruz. For example if it's $50 per year then if a restaurant gets to use 600 sq ft of the sidewalk and street as part of their business then they should be paying the $30,000 per year plus maintenance, insurance, utilities etc. As a tax payer I want my share.


4 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Resident
a resident of another community
on Jan 28, 2015 at 5:42 pm

wow... I wish we had an experiment like this in Palo Alto. Feels sorta weird being jealous of Menlo Park :(


7 people like this
Posted by gunste
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Jan 28, 2015 at 6:22 pm

What a ridiculous idea to have "outdoor dining" on the street with a nice view of traffic. Outdoor dining should be in rural areas with trees and lawn, not planters that barely separate you from the parked cars and vehicles driving by. The sweet smell of exhaust, vs, that of flowers and FRESH AIR.
This all reflects the sad understanding of dining vs. Eats.


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 28, 2015 at 6:29 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

gunste:

tell that to the people of Paris.


6 people like this
Posted by gunste
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Jan 28, 2015 at 6:32 pm

If the Menlo Council had any imagination, they would convert Santa Cruz into a walking mall street - NO CARS. But then the planning never considered that the main street should never be a thoroughfare.


6 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 28, 2015 at 6:35 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

gunste:

agree with you about closing Santa Cruz. Boulder's Pearl Street mall is a perfect example of what can be done. Of course, that's probably not in keeping with our "village character" whatever that is, so the no birds will be against it.


9 people like this
Posted by Carab1n3r
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Jan 28, 2015 at 7:50 pm

Carab1n3r is a registered user.

Yup, I love the idea of making Santa Cruz Ave more pedestrian friendly. While I have a preference for a 3rd-st promenade/Pearl St setup, even a compromise setup making Santa Cruz Ave one-way and making the sidewalks larger and outdoor dining larger would be a big win.


1 person likes this
Posted by Stan Stroh
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 28, 2015 at 8:45 pm

I like this idea a lot and agree that closing Santa Cruz to traffic would be transformational.

With all this outside seating, wouldn't it be cool if at least one night per week the restaurants use their outdoor seating to host the homeless population to a good meal. Wouldn't cost that much and is better than paying rent to the City.


8 people like this
Posted by Gertrude
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 28, 2015 at 9:42 pm

I don't think there's anything appealing about sitting at a table next to traffic on an unattractive street while inhaling exhaust fumes, especially when the food isn't that great. Menlo Park is not Paris. Also, as a pedestrian who frequently walks downtown, it is really difficult to navigate the narrow strip of sidewalk from Left Bank to Cafe Vida with tables taking up much of the space. There is barely enough room for one skinny person to walk, and I've had some near missis with wait staff darting in/out of the restaurant carrying trays of food without yielding to pedestrians. I'm really surprised the city allows such a safety hazard.


8 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 28, 2015 at 10:45 pm

I agree with Gunste -- making Santa Cruz Ave a pedestrian mall would be a plus and might even attract some more businesses to the street which could stay open at night. But this would mean that the City Council would have to take a BOLD step.

I've lived here long enough to know that we have to have a study (or two), then hire a consulting firm (or three), hold meetings, have hearings, do an analysis, and then 20+ years later still not have made any progress. All the while, places such as Redwood City have revitalized part of its downtown area so folks go elsewhere for dinner, nightlife, etc.


7 people like this
Posted by MEMBERONE
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 29, 2015 at 10:21 am

Now there's an idea worth pursuing (thanks Bob).

We don't "dine" on Santa Cruz anymore - mostly due to the choice of restaurants, also due to the minimal parking (read crappy lot behind Walgreens).

We much prefer RWC with many more restaurant choices (on Broadway - some with sidewalk tables, thank you) free limited parking in a nearby municipal garage, and an overall better experience. It's great to walk the 4-5 blocks for exercise after dinner and see "what's going on" in the square.

If you're going to complain about navigating the sidewalk (Gertrude), then neither RWC or Menlo Park (or Paris) is not for you. View it as an opportunity to see what other people are eating. You might stay for a meal and actually enjoy the experience !


8 people like this
Posted by Gertrude
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 29, 2015 at 10:43 am

Memberone: I find it very amusing that you suggest I "stay for a meal" in downtown Menlo Park when you won't dine there "due to the choice of restaurants." Really? Sounds a little hypocritical to me. Also, I was specifically commenting on the lack of pedestrian space on the sidewalk in front of Left Bank and Cafe Vida, but since you don't dine on Santa Cruz in downtown Menlo Park you have no idea what I'm talking about.

And yes, I've been to Paris and enjoyed it very much. Like I said, Menlo Park is not Paris.


5 people like this
Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jan 29, 2015 at 10:57 am

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

It's a good start. Santa Cruz should be a pedestrian mall, but we have to start somewhere. I've never had a problem finding a space downtown, and if it means I have to park a little further away, I'm fine with that. Streets are for people first.


13 people like this
Posted by John Onken
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 29, 2015 at 1:36 pm

I've studied the design of public spaces all over, and the critical formula in out case is that the usage of said cafes and street life is 'inversely proportional' to the size and quality of living space. In other words, if you have a city (like Paris) where all the apartments are small and dingy, then you'll have a thriving city life because people can't visit each other in their own abodes.

Menlo Park, on the other hand is typified by 2500 s.f+ houses with all the mod cons and 150 channels of cable, so you really have to create lots of motivation and good reasons to drag people out of their home and create the cafe life we romanticize about. And we even have better weather!

In the same way, if we want to create more cycling in the community, we actually need to make it less-desirable for people to drive and park. Good luck with all of it and hoping for everyone's vision and support at Planning Commission.


3 people like this
Posted by MP Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 29, 2015 at 1:58 pm

The Menlo Park restaurant scene could use some help and sidewalk dining is a proven way to help vitalize downtown areas. MP rents are so astronomical that most places need to charge too much and are barely surviving. Giving them a chance to seat more customers and to have a more active pedestrian corridor should be good for everyone. Would love to see Bistro Vida expand into the street like Left Bank -- good for Bistro Vida and it would actually clear the crowded sidewalk a little!


6 people like this
Posted by John Onken
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 29, 2015 at 2:12 pm

And how about we invest in Free Downtown WiFi. That will get lots of folks hanging around a bit more.


8 people like this
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 29, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Table placements outside in Paris is much different than what LB has. Sidewalk seating on narrow Parisian streets is rows of chairs, backing to the cafe & facing the street, with small cocktail-sized tables between every 2nd or 3rd chair. One sits beside, not across from, a companion.

I'll never sit in the street outside LB as I don't want to smell car fumes. Cars idle at the stop sign, which is even worse than just passing by. Let's wait for a collision between a server & a sidewalk skateboarder or a pedestrian using a cane or walker to see how MP reacts over liability issues. Lots of people heading to or from Bank of America walk past Left Bank.

Unless all of downtown Santa Cruz Ave is converted to a no-parking zone so sidewalks can be extended, this seating is unsafe & should not be allowed beyond the public pedestrian right-of-way.


8 people like this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 29, 2015 at 3:33 pm

pogo is a registered user.

This idea has actually worked quite well in Burlingame on Burlingame Avenue. They eliminated angle parking, went to parallel parking (yes, fewer cars on the main street) and nearly doubled the width of the sidewalks with pavers.
Most restaurants have added outdoor seating and the that town is thriving, especially on weekends.

Parking is still a big issue there and they have far busier businesses in that area (GAP, Banana Republic, etc.).

The question citizens must answer is if they want a busier, more vibrant downtown or a sleepier, quieter business district? And remember, your elected officials may have a different motivation than you do.


5 people like this
Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 30, 2015 at 1:41 pm

I have dealt extensively with the topic of converting a section of Santa Cruz - between Doyle and Crane - on my website www.reimaginemenlopark.com and hope that is THE ultimate outcome. That said, I support moving forward in smaller steps. Allow more restaurants/cafes build outdoor dining like the Left Bank. FYI: The owner says this amenity has been very positive for his business and I expect in the warmer months he will benefit even more).
Step 2: close of on side of one block and allow one-way traffic on the other. Make the pedestrian side more attractive and add public benches. Step 3 Add another 2 blocks. Step 4 Make everything permanent and add more amenities. Collect data and feedback along the way and make adjustments. Meanwhile address parking requirements.

In general I ignore naysayers as they find problems with any type of change.


5 people like this
Posted by Peter
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jan 30, 2015 at 1:45 pm

No thank you. Parking is already difficult around Walgreens, for example. Making the avenue pedestrian friendly is making it disabled unfriendly. Building a parking structure ($$$$$#) to suit outdoor restaurant dining is absurd. Candidly, if I can't park easily close to Santa Cruz Ave businesses, I'll be taking my business to nearby malls. Luckily, we have plenty of those.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 30, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"I'll be taking my business to nearby malls."

And exactly how far from the stores at the mall do you have to park? There is NO curbside parking at any of the malls.


2 people like this
Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jan 30, 2015 at 2:07 pm

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

The idea that making an area pedestrian friendly makes it disabled unfriendly is simply not true. There has been zero discussion of removing disabled parking spaces. To expect to be able to store one's private property (a car) on public, at no cost to oneself is already an awfully entitled expectation. To also demand that one's free parking also be curbside is pretty breathtaking.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jan 30, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Peter Carp ... Malls have parking for the disabled close to the stores. Plus, they have plenty of alternative parking.


2 people like this
Posted by Outraged
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jan 30, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Since mine was the first comment listed, I have once again returned to downtown, and it took me 15 minutes to find a place to park. I avoid parking on Santa Cruz, have no issue with walking to multiple destinations, but this is getting ridiculous. Delivery trucks behind Left Bank during lunch hour do not help, nor do inconsiderate drivers of HUGE SUVs who feel it is their right to take up two parking spaces. I do have a handicapped permit which I only use on bad days for my knees. I try to be considerate of those folks who really need those special places. Parking garages are the only answer, and closing the street to vehicles would solve the polluted air issue. But, remember, we have an aging population, and there must be elevators in those garages.


7 people like this
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 30, 2015 at 3:23 pm

@ outraged -
Did you forget about the extended-bed pickup trucks that block the lanes in the 600 & 700 block lots between SC Ave & Menlo Ave? Most don't pull forward far enough to permit cars to easily pass behind them.

Let's re-stripe one lot & designate it "oversized vehicle parking only." Oversized vehicles elsewhere can be ticketed & regular or small cars can be ticketed too for taking space in that lot. It's especially bad at lunch time with workers going for takeout (SuHong, UnaMas, Boulanger etc.) & Fridays with extra traffic at the banks. I'd like to see a bike cop cite the drivers who stop mid-block on Santa Cruz to wait for the kids getting ice cream or candy. A couple of weeks ago a woman sat in her car in the one & only traffic lane outside Baskin Robbins while 3 kids went in & came out with treats. She ignored the cars backed up behind her past the University traffic light.

Menlo used to be a friendly & courteous community of neighbors. No more. Heavy entitlement attitude now of "Anything I want to do is more important than anything anyone else could possibly need or want."


3 people like this
Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 30, 2015 at 3:26 pm

If you read my above post with an open-mind you would know that I view building a pedestrian street of any length should be a multi-step process that proceeds with complementary improvements in parking. In the short term, simply increase parking times from 2 to 3 hours so the number of tickets are reduced. And yes, a parking garage(s?) is the only long term solution. By 2020, 2200 Greenheart and Stanford ECR residents and workers will go elsewhere if we do not improve Santa Cruz AND provide sufficient convenient parking. Menlo Park currently has 1600 public parking places and 900 short term spaces. We will need many more in the next 3-5 years. www.reimaginemenlopark.com


9 people like this
Posted by Catherine McMillan
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 30, 2015 at 8:35 pm

Love the idea of closing Santa Cruz to traffic, perhaps on weekends to start; not keen on expanding sidewalk dining with parking configuration unchanged. Too many potential accidents. To whoever wrote: "In other words, if you have a city (like Paris) where all the apartments are small and dingy, then you'll have a thriving city life because people can't visit each other in their own abodes". I was born and bred in Paris and I just have to laugh at the ridiculous, gratuitous, and ignorant statement. There may be a reason why you weren't invited.


4 people like this
Posted by John Onken
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 31, 2015 at 11:31 am

Apologies Catherine, my comments were not meant to be patronizing or typically Ugly American. There is a very clear association, well documented, that if you live in a 30 sq. meter flat in the 5th, no matter how nicely the bidet folds out from under the sink, you are more likely to frequent the cafe downstairs. And that in glorious Menlo Park, we don't have the same social/spatial pressures to encourage us to spend more time in public places.

Another factor to Cafe Life is the price of drinks, both at home and in cafes. Britain went through a strange social experiment through the 80's and 90's in the price of beer. A pint was only 50% more or so in price at a pub (£1.50 or so) than buying a bottle in a corner off-license. So naturally pubs were full and if you chose to drink, why stay at home? Then beer got cheap and everyone drove to France to load up on cheaper EU booze, at the same time as pubs starting getting pricey. And now pub populations are half what they were. So it was actually a function of state tax policy that kept people in pubs but over-taxing alcohol to be enjoyed at home.

So I'm interested to see what 'macro' factors are going to get Menlo Park more livelier. More than just some nicer sprinkles on over-priced cupcakes.


3 people like this
Posted by Gertrude
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 31, 2015 at 12:33 pm

I've never lived in Paris but it seems to me that spending time at a cafe, sipping coffee or wine, has little to do with the size on one's abode. I think it is simply part of the joie de vivre the French are so good at. In France the legal work week cannot exceed 35 hours (can you imagine?) as work/life balance is very important. Part of enjoying life is spending leisurely time at a cafe. It's a great way to unwind, visit with friends, meet new people, and enjoy the passing parade.

I know many people with large homes who do not enjoy having people over because of the work involved: cleaning up, washing guest towels, offering visitors food/drink, etc… Some visitors overstay their welcome and it can be very exhausting for the host. It's much better to meet a friend at Starbucks.

By the way, I'd LOVE to have one of those "dingy" apartments in Paris.


3 people like this
Posted by Relax
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 1, 2015 at 8:31 am

There are two issues that have to be addressed in downtown Menlo Park -- just two. The first is parking, which is just insufficient. We need a garage people and it will work just fine and not change the character of the town. C'mon. The other sacred topic is the median in the middle of Santa Cruz. To really widen sidewalks and allow some parking, it would have to go. It is just the math of it all folks and there are plenty of nice downtowns without trees in the middle. Since that is likely an intractable topic, the alternative becomes the pedestrian mall idea, which seems to be overkill to me since the "mall" part of it is often underused. Part of SC could be malled, but the whole thing is unlikely.

Wider sidewalks, including outdoor seating, will be more attractive to merchants and restaurants. Most don't consider MP at all, at least not Santa Cruz Avenue. This will put us in the running for better options. All these business owners are voting to go elsewhere and will continue to do so.

Take a walk down the main street in humble old San Carlos -- wide enough, lots of sidewalk seating, and good diversity of offerings. Character is pretty much what we are looking for in our town.

Parking lot first.


2 people like this
Posted by danahendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 2, 2015 at 1:24 pm

Why do you think Cafe Barrone is so popular and successful? Because its customers ENJOY the TOTAL EXPERIENCE in the morning, at lunchtime, in the afternoon and in the evening. Key ingredients: Food, menu and service are excellent and prices are reasonable. Lots of outdoor seating which has grown over time. The site enjoys sun mid-day thru late afternoon and it’s rarely windy; there are umbrellas if one prefers shade. The outdoor seating area is spacious and attractive. There is a fountain, an architectural arch, and the building that formerly housed the British Bankers Club The outdoor seating area is a great distance from the street and traffic so these are hardly noticed. It is next to Kepler’s another Menlo Park favorite. There is lots of parking nearby (on-site) Customers are never rushed and can stay as long as they wish after finishing a meal. This is a great place to “people watch”. A downtown PROMENADE could share these characteristics and have many additional advantages. Multiple food establishments and small stores either on the promenade or nearby. A program of weekly, monthly and annual events, some geared for families and others more for adults (NOT allowed in the Cafe Barrone plaza). Interesting sculpture and some that kids could explore. More substantial, attractive and eventually mature landscaping. A nice place to simply stroll or sit anytime. What's there not to like? One side of Santa Cruz could be left open for SLOW one-way traffic if this was preferable for the merchants (so they were still visible to drivers), and the other side closed.


Like this comment
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 2, 2015 at 1:36 pm

How about widening the sidewalks on the SE (Menlo Ave) side of Santa Cruz & allowing parking only on the NW (Oak Grove) side?
Closing SC Ave to cars isn't realistic given the configuration of downtown streets. What's supposed to happen when cars on Oak Grove, Menlo, Live Oak & Roble all hit & end at University? Like it or not, Santa Cruz, Middle & Valparaiso are crucial access roads to get westbound off El Camino.


1 person likes this
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 2, 2015 at 1:55 pm

Cafe BOrrone is never a destination I seek. Unlike 'danahendrickson' I often have difficulty finding a place to sit to eat, as many tables are occupied by people who have long since finished their meals or just drink a beverage to justify all day table use. I've also left that area after being unable to find any parking between El Camino-Oak Grove-Ravenswood & the tracks. After circling for 10 minutes or so, I'm go to Books Inc & the variety of eating choices in T&C Village. BOrrone sometimes had live music on Friday nights-don't know if it still does. And hasn't BBC been purchased or leased for a new dining venture scheduled to open this year?


2 people like this
Posted by Paris design approach
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 3, 2015 at 4:19 am

I love more outdoor dining possibilities - if designed intelligently. The LB approach is not. What we ought to have is a design more like that in Paris, with the tables and seating closest to the restaurant and the pedestrian areas closest to the street. This is safer for pedestrians and for the restaurant/bar staff.
This better design means wider areas in front of all stores and restaurants so the walking area is relatively straight. The current approach will make for a willy nlly pedestrian area. Let's be honest. It's barely adequate now, and the expanded dining has made it increasingly challenging. For a change, let's design this thoughtfully. Oh yeah, wasn't that what was supposed to come from the expensive Specifitc Plan? If we stop pretending it was perfect, improvements can be made.


1 person likes this
Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 3, 2015 at 8:49 pm

Downtowner, you email illustrates how successful Cafe Barrone's is - which was my central point. It does not appeal to everyone but it's hugely popular and much of what it offers could be provided on Santa Cruz Avenue. Also, the entire length of Santa Cruz Avenue does not need to be converted to a pedestrian-only street. (see the diagrams on Re-Imagine Menlo Park). It's possible - and perhaps desirable - to close a single side and allow one-way traffic to flow through. There are lots of options and the most promising should be evaluated and tested. Why not figure it out instead of opposing it without any facts or analysis?


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