News

Menlo Park: Downtown pop-up park trial ends soon

As summer winds to a close, so will lounging in the pop-up park in downtown Menlo Park -- perhaps, but not definitely, forever.

Following a six-week pilot period, the small turf paseo situated on Chestnut Street between Menlo and Santa Cruz avenues will be dismantled between Sept. 28 and 30. The street is expected to reopen on Sept. 30 or Oct. 1.

"Our goal was to create something fun for Menlo Park and try it out and see what people thought," said Jim Cogan, Menlo Park's economic development manager.

He said that the pilot was met with mixed responses, as expected. Some people enjoyed the city's efforts to draw people to a new, pedestrian-friendly space downtown, while others were dissatisfied that the street had been blocked.

The next step of the pilot will be to gather community feedback about the paseo using a survey that is expected to be released in early October. After results are collected, they will be shared with relevant city commissions -- the Bicycle Commission, the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Transportation Commission -- before recommendations are made to the City Council about whether the paseo should become a permanent downtown feature.

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After some discussion during the Sept. 14 Bicycle Commission meeting, commission members recommended that the paseo be made permanent in some fashion, Mr. Cogan said.

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Kate Bradshaw
   
Kate Bradshaw reports food news and feature stories all over the Peninsula, from south of San Francisco to north of San José. Since she began working with Embarcadero Media in 2015, she's reported on everything from Menlo Park's City Hall politics to Mountain View's education system. She has won awards from the California News Publishers Association for her coverage of local government, elections and land use reporting. Read more >>

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Menlo Park: Downtown pop-up park trial ends soon

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Mon, Sep 28, 2015, 4:54 pm

As summer winds to a close, so will lounging in the pop-up park in downtown Menlo Park -- perhaps, but not definitely, forever.

Following a six-week pilot period, the small turf paseo situated on Chestnut Street between Menlo and Santa Cruz avenues will be dismantled between Sept. 28 and 30. The street is expected to reopen on Sept. 30 or Oct. 1.

"Our goal was to create something fun for Menlo Park and try it out and see what people thought," said Jim Cogan, Menlo Park's economic development manager.

He said that the pilot was met with mixed responses, as expected. Some people enjoyed the city's efforts to draw people to a new, pedestrian-friendly space downtown, while others were dissatisfied that the street had been blocked.

The next step of the pilot will be to gather community feedback about the paseo using a survey that is expected to be released in early October. After results are collected, they will be shared with relevant city commissions -- the Bicycle Commission, the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Transportation Commission -- before recommendations are made to the City Council about whether the paseo should become a permanent downtown feature.

After some discussion during the Sept. 14 Bicycle Commission meeting, commission members recommended that the paseo be made permanent in some fashion, Mr. Cogan said.

Comments

whatever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 28, 2015 at 10:32 pm
whatever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 28, 2015 at 10:32 pm

It was a lousy idea and totally unfair to the barber shop. Hopefully the city pays him for the business he lost.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 29, 2015 at 10:54 am
Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2015 at 10:54 am

Thanks to the City for experimenting - a great way to learn what works and what may not work. And infinitely better than waiting for the elusive perfect solution to anything.


Menlo Resident
Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Sep 29, 2015 at 12:25 pm
Menlo Resident, Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Sep 29, 2015 at 12:25 pm

I don't think it was a horrible idea, although inconvenient for some of the business. What was horrible was that it was an eyesore. Cheap, carnival colors and not in keeping with what the rest of Santa Cruz Avenue strives achieve with its storefronts and restaurants. Brilliant green astro-turf along with brightly colored plastic adirondack chairs and balls are not my idea of a fun style.


tgoode
Menlo Park: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 12:29 pm
tgoode, Menlo Park: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 12:29 pm

Thanks for trying. People used it. That showed the idea had value.


Judy Morley
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 12:35 pm
Judy Morley , Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Pop up park is a nice idea but it complicates traffic flow from one of the most visited stores, Trader joes. I'm forever driving around the block to get onto one of the most traveled local streets, Santa Cruz Ave., coming out of TJ's. Could the park be placed on Evelyn St., for example?


Enuff
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 29, 2015 at 12:43 pm
Enuff, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 29, 2015 at 12:43 pm

What a relief that eyesore will be gone--hopefully forever. Gone the way of the other recent great idea by city staff: blocking right turn access to the library and Recreation Center off of east-bound Ravenswood.

Did anyone really think blocking a downtown street with some tacky plastic turf and cheap plastic chairs would be a draw for Menlo Park, and help create "community"?

Why not instead try sprucing up Fremont Park, which used to be lovely and inviting, and is now another eyesore.


sooner the better
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 12:51 pm
sooner the better, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 12:51 pm

The sooner this stupid, mindless excuse for something different ends, the better.

What kind of juveniles are being employed by our City.




enjoy
Menlo Park: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 12:58 pm
enjoy, Menlo Park: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 12:58 pm

There were no angry people at the last movie night, and all the kids looked to be having a great time.


Doreen
Menlo Park: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:04 pm
Doreen, Menlo Park: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:04 pm

Could we revitalize Fremont Park to use for this kind of event instead? Parking became an issue when the pop up park held an event, and some businesses suffered. Or maybe we could hold it on the fields of Burgess Park?


oldcrank
Atherton: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:17 pm
oldcrank, Atherton: other
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:17 pm

Change...?! I fear change... and experimentation... and everything that I didn't personally approve. I'm moving to the hermetic wilderness where there are no people and nothing ever changes (?)


Menlo Shopper
Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:17 pm
Menlo Shopper, Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:17 pm

Just one opinion - thought the money could have been spent in a much more constructive manner.
That street is a busy by way and I don't think it's fair to the neighboring businesses.

As I said, just my opinion for the feedback value.


MP resident
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:32 pm
MP resident, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:32 pm

I thought the park worked well once the additional stop signs were added at the Crane Street intersection.


Mike Keenly
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:45 pm
Mike Keenly, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:45 pm

I'm glad to see the City experimenting and being creative. This pocket park was fun and I hope they bring it back next summer.


Downtowner
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:48 pm
Downtowner, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:48 pm

It was ugly, blocked access, and appeared to me to be potentially hazardous. I saw unsupervised kids climbing & jumping over the tipped over & rickety cheap plastic yard chairs. Was there enough padding under the astroturf to prevent injuries in case of a fall?


Elsie
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:56 pm
Elsie, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:56 pm

I thought it was a lovely idea, but an odd choice of location. With our real park, small as it is, but just up the street, why don't we try to make that a little more welcoming? I love the movie idea, probably best in summer, but I'm sure our crack crew can think of other additions to Fremont Park that would make it warm and welcoming. How about starting with a restroom facility? Then a movie screen. Popcorn anyone??
E


Enuff
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 29, 2015 at 2:37 pm
Enuff, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 29, 2015 at 2:37 pm

This lame set-up inconvenienced shoppers--those people who actually spend money in our city and patronize our retail.
The so-called "pop-op park" looked like a makeshift preschool play-yard in some impoverished community.
Who thinks this stuff up?


whatever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 3:28 pm
whatever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 3:28 pm

As to movies in the small parks like Fremont. Most people bought their home next to oaks which normally are not used after sundown. They didn't buy next to movie theaters and concert venues.


whatever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 3:30 pm
whatever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 29, 2015 at 3:30 pm

That's "bought next to PARKS"


Hmmm
another community
on Sep 30, 2015 at 12:06 pm
Hmmm, another community
on Sep 30, 2015 at 12:06 pm

The best use for the pop up park would be to move Foster's Freeze there (minus the picnic tables).


decision criteria?
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 2, 2015 at 8:18 am
decision criteria?, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 2, 2015 at 8:18 am

If this was a trial, what were the criteria for deciding its future? Was this just a summer thing or something intended to be year-round? What uses is it supposed to support? If year-round, then the trial was way too short.
The idea of a pocket park somewhere is interesting. This is a problematic location because it affects local businesses and traffic flow. Was that ever studied?


Brian
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 2, 2015 at 9:04 am
Brian, Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 2, 2015 at 9:04 am

I work very close to the pop up park and at first wasn't sure if it was a good idea but it came to grow on me. I disagree with a lot of comments about parking and hurting businesses. It eliminated maybe 4 parking places but since there is a huge parking lot behind the businesses it didn't have any impact on parking. I would love to hear from the barber shop, not sure how more people right there would hurt their business, it is not like they blocked the front door.

I would love to see it come back next year and add more evening events and weekend events to get people downtown, maybe some concerts, cooking demonstrations, stand up comedy, etc. that will bring people to downtown who will then go to our local restaurants or walk up and down Santa Cruz a do a little shopping.


Name hidden
Atherton: West of Alameda

on Sep 27, 2017 at 7:52 pm
Name hidden, Atherton: West of Alameda

on Sep 27, 2017 at 7:52 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


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