News

Menlo Park: Tests show elevated bacteria levels at pop-up mini-park downtown

Locals say park experiment has gone foul

A project intended to spice up downtown has instead stunk it up, say some who spend time near the city's pop-up park on Curtis Street and Santa Cruz Avenue.

The pop-up park is a temporary installation of a large astroturf carpet and some lawn furniture, including brightly colored Adirondack chairs. Over the last two years, it has been rolled out downtown perpendicular to Santa Cruz Avenue – previously on Chestnut Street, and now on Curtis Street. The mini-park takes up roughly an entire block and eliminates vehicle access and parking there.

Loren Dakin, whose office at 1075 Curtis St. abuts the park, has a front-row seat to observe the park's frequent desecration by people's pets.

He called the park a health hazard and told the Almanac he's seen both dogs relieve themselves and toddlers eat Cheerios off the ground at the park.

In August, he paid for tests to be conducted at the mini-park by Patriot Environmental Laboratory Services Inc., which has an office in San Jose. The tests showed elevated coliform bacteria levels at three spots on the astroturf.

Help sustain the local news you depend on.

Your contribution matters. Become a member today.

Join

E. coli, a particularly dangerous coliform bacteria, was not found. Coliform bacteria are associated with sewage or fecal contamination.

On Aug. 22, he presented the council with the test findings of the investigation. "It's a cesspool," he said.

Bill Frimel, who also works in the building at 1075 Curtis St., said that human trash and waste can also be observed at the park. He noted that in addition to public health concerns, he is frequently disturbed from his work by frustrated drivers cutting through the parking lot, new noise from kids and street performers, and transient people who spend time at the park night and day.

A smattering of other people spoke at the Aug. 22 council meeting in favor of removing the park and restoring the street to its former use.

Bob McNamara, a former councilman and mayor, told the council: "Many residents, business owners and retailers have told me the park has had a negative impact on the adjacent area. ... These are the very people in the community that you're trying to help, so you should trust their perspective."

Stay informed

Get the latest local news and information sent straight to your inbox.

Stay informed

Get the latest local news and information sent straight to your inbox.

Mr. Frimel also said the park is maintained regularly by city staff and that the astroturf was seen being power-washed on Aug. 30.

The matter has not yet been scheduled for council discussion, City Manager Alex McIntyre said Aug. 31.

__

Follow AlmanacNews.com and The Almanac on Twitter @almanacnews, Facebook and on Instagram @almanacnews for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Menlo Park: Tests show elevated bacteria levels at pop-up mini-park downtown

Locals say park experiment has gone foul

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Tue, Sep 5, 2017, 9:05 am

A project intended to spice up downtown has instead stunk it up, say some who spend time near the city's pop-up park on Curtis Street and Santa Cruz Avenue.

The pop-up park is a temporary installation of a large astroturf carpet and some lawn furniture, including brightly colored Adirondack chairs. Over the last two years, it has been rolled out downtown perpendicular to Santa Cruz Avenue – previously on Chestnut Street, and now on Curtis Street. The mini-park takes up roughly an entire block and eliminates vehicle access and parking there.

Loren Dakin, whose office at 1075 Curtis St. abuts the park, has a front-row seat to observe the park's frequent desecration by people's pets.

He called the park a health hazard and told the Almanac he's seen both dogs relieve themselves and toddlers eat Cheerios off the ground at the park.

In August, he paid for tests to be conducted at the mini-park by Patriot Environmental Laboratory Services Inc., which has an office in San Jose. The tests showed elevated coliform bacteria levels at three spots on the astroturf.

E. coli, a particularly dangerous coliform bacteria, was not found. Coliform bacteria are associated with sewage or fecal contamination.

On Aug. 22, he presented the council with the test findings of the investigation. "It's a cesspool," he said.

Bill Frimel, who also works in the building at 1075 Curtis St., said that human trash and waste can also be observed at the park. He noted that in addition to public health concerns, he is frequently disturbed from his work by frustrated drivers cutting through the parking lot, new noise from kids and street performers, and transient people who spend time at the park night and day.

A smattering of other people spoke at the Aug. 22 council meeting in favor of removing the park and restoring the street to its former use.

Bob McNamara, a former councilman and mayor, told the council: "Many residents, business owners and retailers have told me the park has had a negative impact on the adjacent area. ... These are the very people in the community that you're trying to help, so you should trust their perspective."

Mr. Frimel also said the park is maintained regularly by city staff and that the astroturf was seen being power-washed on Aug. 30.

The matter has not yet been scheduled for council discussion, City Manager Alex McIntyre said Aug. 31.

__

Comments

whatever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 5, 2017 at 9:45 am
whatever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 5, 2017 at 9:45 am

Time to get rid of this misconceived eyesore and return our street and parking. And perhaps pass a regulation - no more popup parks.


Joseph E. Davis
Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 5, 2017 at 10:10 am
Joseph E. Davis, Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 5, 2017 at 10:10 am

Does anyone like this patch of ugly artificial turf? Not sure where this idea came from, but it's a bad one.


kbehroozi
Registered user
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 5, 2017 at 12:48 pm
kbehroozi, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
Registered user
on Sep 5, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Okay, I agree that the turf is unsightly but there's nothing scientific about taking samples in one place, without context (coliform levels on sidewalks, streets, other parks come to mind), and basing decisions on this limited data.

The uncomfortable fact that we keep coming back to is that we have homeless people living in Menlo Park. They tend to hang out in public places near the transit centers–e.g. the plaza at Borrone, until police were asked to kick them out, as well as the civic center area.

I think many of us would rather ignore this reality, yet the parklet and its occupants are there, staring us in the face. It's hard for me to feel quite as good about my discretionary Starbucks habit when I'm confronted at the exit with this level of poverty. Of course, even before the park, the area near Walgreen's seemed to be a fairly common haunt for some of our less fortunate neighbors. It's not clear to me that they'd go far away were it not to exist–just that they'd have to look harder for places where they could legally sit.

Given the choice between recovering a few parking spots or having to look at homeless people, it's a no-brainer what most of us would choose. I don't feel good about it, though. In general, I think these kinds of common areas are good for our community. If there were more of them, perhaps the concentration of homeless would be less noticeable.


Ashlee
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 5, 2017 at 1:05 pm
Ashlee, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 5, 2017 at 1:05 pm

I'm confused because I personally saw the letter of findings posted adjacent to the park. It specifically said E. coli WAS found
Fact check please?


Mark D.
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 5, 2017 at 1:10 pm
Mark D., Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Sep 5, 2017 at 1:10 pm

Is there more or less bacteria in the pop-up park than there is on, say, adjacent sidewalks or in other city parks or open spaces? I'm guessing the levels are about the same wherever pets are permitted though, yes, dogs should not be allowed on or near the astroturf. I passed by the pop-up park one evening a few weeks ago and there was a happy throng awaiting a movie night, so there are clearly more people enjoying the installation than the "smattering" who spoke against it at the August 22nd council meeting. And the objections raised by Messrs. Dakin, Frimel and McNamara smack
either of hyperbole ("it's a cesspool," "transient people at the park night and day") or of the minor inconveniences suffered by just a few who visit or work in our downtown.


Elizabeth N.
Atherton: West of Alameda
on Sep 5, 2017 at 1:24 pm
Elizabeth N., Atherton: West of Alameda
on Sep 5, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Regardless of how anyone feels on the homeless in the park or not, the simple fact is, it is a carpet of filth. There are dogs peeing on it and babies sitting on it. I do not want to get political about the homeless issue or tons of garbage there. To me, it has to do with the dangerous chemicals of carpet that sits and sits. The smells are disgusting and quite frankly it hurts businesses by the lack of parking. The bigger concern for me is there has been testing, and the city has not reacted to it. I for one, think Fremont park is there and sitting with no one in it. Move the patio furniture there and have people go to an actual park with real grass. That is what a park is.


Nbr
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 5, 2017 at 2:57 pm
Nbr, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 5, 2017 at 2:57 pm

If we stop attracting the homeless professionals by not giving them cash ( they have better cell phones than many of us. Some have laptops). We maybe can limit these issues. There are programs that do help. Handing out cash isn't 1 of them.


Kate Bradshaw - Almanac Reporter
Registered user
Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 5, 2017 at 3:27 pm
Kate Bradshaw - Almanac Reporter, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
Registered user
on Sep 5, 2017 at 3:27 pm

In response to Ashlee: Quoting from a copy of the report by Patriot Environmental Laboratory Services I received from Mr. Loren Dakin: "Analytical results reported by Patriot Environmental Laboratory Services, Inc did indicate elevated levels of Total Coliform bacteria in three (3) of the three (3) samples collected on August 19, 2017, however E. coli bacteria was not present."


Local
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 5, 2017 at 3:47 pm
Local, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 5, 2017 at 3:47 pm

I've objected to this "parklet" idea since the beginning. MP has several lovey parks maintained @ city expense & doesn't need this obstacle to accessing Santa Cruz Ave.
Because:
I've seen many stroller moms picnic with their babies sitting on the artificial turf & put the kids directly on the turf to change diapers;
This summer, a popular pastime for groups of 11-13 yr olds was setting up obstacle courses of Adirondack chairs, starting a run toward the front of the chair, & doing a high leap over the upright back. In case of injury, who gets sued & who has to pay? Bet it's MP for maintaining an attractive & unsupervised nuisance. Keds are less likely to crack skulls or break limbs if they land on grass, in real parks;
Unfinished food & drink, especially from UnaMas, gets emptied or just left on the 'turf. I never saw any sloppy eater get water & attempt to clean up a spil;
While leaving Bank of the West, I saw a homeless male, perhaps sleeping, lying at the edge of the turf surrounded by his parcels. There was a suspicious & smelly puddle near his mid-section. And yes, there were unattended young children playing on the turf too;
There are a lot of hazardous u-turns by cars trying to exit the parking lots & get back to Menlo Ave. It would be much safer to let cars continue out to Santa Cruz.

I don't know which planner or council member was responsible for this bad idea. The concept was poorly thought from Day One. I called City Hall & was told that it was "only for [that] summer." So not true! Enough!!

Get rid of this hazardous mess in the heart of our downtown!


pearl
Registered user
another community
on Sep 5, 2017 at 3:48 pm
pearl, another community
Registered user
on Sep 5, 2017 at 3:48 pm

Is this pop-up mini-park another cutesy idea of some of the Menlo Park yuppie element? I say vote out of office the council members who approved installation of this park. Someone's making money off this mini-park and it's not you or me, that's for sure!!! Among other things, Astroturf contains cancer-causing chemical elements. Get rid of this mini-park, now!!!


Driver
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 5, 2017 at 4:03 pm
Driver, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 5, 2017 at 4:03 pm

I hate that "park" and the fact that it impedes car traffic.

Time to dump this bad idea.


Neighbor
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 5, 2017 at 4:17 pm
Neighbor, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 5, 2017 at 4:17 pm

I work downtown. I hate the park. If you love it, please volunteer to have it in your front yard.


Enuff
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 5, 2017 at 5:05 pm
Enuff, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 5, 2017 at 5:05 pm

The smelly plastic outdoor rug is a poor excuse for a park. Does the City Council think it makes our city more "vibrant"? On the contrary, it inconveniences drivers and hurts retail. Retail is the source of vibrancy, not fake grass on asphalt, which primarily attracts homeless people.

Let's throw it out, clean the area thoroughly, and restore our street.
And while we're at it, how about restoring the real grass on the rest of Fremont Park, so we can have a some natural greenery to enjoy in our downtown.


Local 2 or 3
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 5, 2017 at 5:11 pm
Local 2 or 3, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 5, 2017 at 5:11 pm

The bacteria count is completely irrelevant unless you also test the other parks, playgrounds and benches in the area. I bet they all have similar levels. I've seen tons of people use the pop-up park, so by that definition, it's a success. Fremont park is pretty far from the El Camino side, so not likely people can use it during the same visit, unless they are already closer to Univ Ave. Ba Humbug.


kbehroozi
Registered user
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 5, 2017 at 7:21 pm
kbehroozi, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
Registered user
on Sep 5, 2017 at 7:21 pm

It's funny, I think the parklet concept could really be improved upon but somehow the rhetoric and vehemence of the anti-parklet crowd makes me feel perversely supportive. It's a downtown. Kids hanging out together in town after school may be noisy and messy (because they're kids) but they buy food and beverages. People requiring absolute quiet for their work might want to consider finding office space somewhere other than a busy retail district.

The astroturf is ugly and I agree that it's frustrating not to be able to cut through on Curtis but I'd posit that the issue with the parklet concept is that it's a drop in the bucket compared to what we could have.

Setting aside the issue of homelessness for a moment (because it's ubiquitous and moving the astroturf won't solve the challenge), imagine how great it would be if we had more communal gathering spaces downtown–-ones that weren't attached to a restaurant.

I wish we could seriously explore the concept of remaking downtown Santa Cruz into a Burlington VT or Boulder CO-style pedestrian mall, complete with a two-way cycle track, benches, trees, public art, etc. If we had public garages with dynamic pricing and a sensible plan for employee parking, I don't think we'd miss the parking on the main drag. It's a sketchy place to drive anyway, with so many distractions in the form of bikes, pedestrians in crosswalks, cars suddenly backing out of slots, etc. Yes, it might be harder to run into Starbucks or Walgreen's, but those sorts of businesses also exist in more accessible places (e.g. two blocks down El Camino) and in place we might get interesting restaurants and retail establishments.

Here's a good case study about what happened in Charlottesville: Web Link

(and here's a more dense read, for those of you who like to geek out on urban planning: Web Link


whatever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 5, 2017 at 7:51 pm
whatever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 5, 2017 at 7:51 pm

Kbehr....
Re your Charlottesville design link.
Well as long as the alr-right and the neo-Nazis don't find it inviting.


Easy fix
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 5, 2017 at 7:58 pm
Easy fix, Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 5, 2017 at 7:58 pm

Step 1: Remove pavement under turf
Step 2: Pour curbs two places across Curtis
Step 3: Fill with recycled dirt @ $100 per truck load
Step 4: Install irrigation
Step 5: Plant sod

This is about a $14,000 project. Maybe throw in another grand for the ridiculous water storage pipes and bubbler box MP requires. Just do it right as they have in many other downtowns like San Carlos.


Zippy
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 5, 2017 at 8:07 pm
Zippy , Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 5, 2017 at 8:07 pm

Good concept, presentation needs to be reevaluated and improved upon.


Sylvia
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 5, 2017 at 8:39 pm
Sylvia, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 5, 2017 at 8:39 pm

Fix it. Make it better.

Far better than the 6 parking spots it took.

Parklets are good.


nbr
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 5, 2017 at 8:57 pm
nbr, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 5, 2017 at 8:57 pm

Did the Landlords of these commercial properties disclose this " Park" to their Tenants?


Haters Gonna Hate
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 5, 2017 at 9:34 pm
Haters Gonna Hate, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 5, 2017 at 9:34 pm

I'm downtown at least 3-4 times per week, and I've never found the closed street or the few lost parking spaces taken by the pop-up park to be an issue.

As an aside, I've never understand all the complaining about inadequate parking downtown. There's parking all along Santa Cruz Avenue, and a string of parking lots between Oak Grove & Santa Cruz, and between Menlo & Santa Cruz. Unless you're handicapped or infirm, in which case hopefully you can park in front of the business you're patronizing, what's the big deal with getting out of your car and WALKING to your errands? Santa Cruz Avenue is, what? 5 blocks long? You can literally walk from El Camino to University in 10 minutes.

Back to the topic at hand...

I see people using the pop-up park all the time: workers on their lunch hour, school kids, parents with small children, and this past weekend, a good-sized group watching a movie. The park is bright and colorful, and brings a bit of traffic calming to a street that was very much in need of it ~ which I can attest to, having been nearly run down in the crosswalk there on multiple occasions over the years. And yes; homeless people do use the chairs, which I suspect is at the root of a lot of peoples' objections to the park. But guess what? Homeless people have just as much right to sit and rest in an Adirondack chair in the sun as any of the rest of us do, so get. over. it.

The park is well-maintained, with new chairs brought in as old ones are damaged, and now round tables with umbrellas have been added as well. The lights are pretty at night, and the holiday trees that made an appearance last year were lovely. Fremont park is great, but the parklet is right in the middle of downtown, and much more accessible.

As for bacteria on the turf ~ why don't we test the grass at Nealon, or Lyle, or Holbrook-Palmer, or any other park where dogs, kids, and foot traffic co-mingle, and see how it compares. I agree people shouldn't let their dogs go to the bathroom on the turf, parents should put a picnic blanket between their babies/toddlers and the turf, and people should clean up their food waste, but I'd hazard a guess that bacteria is just as prevalent on grass as it is on turf.

I hope City Council doesn't bow to pressure to remove the park, because it's a nice addition to our downtown ~ as are the sidewalk cafes, which the negativity contingent also decries. I think people just like to complain, frankly.


William
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 6, 2017 at 1:28 am
William, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 6, 2017 at 1:28 am

Having grown up here in Atherton, now living in Menlo I remember the days when the sidewalks were rolled up at sundown. Who else remembers the "good 'old days".

I'm getting priced out of the area so let the new big money figure it out.

I had a run in while on my bike with a vehicle last month on Alma LN. That new building on Alma St. , there was an open trench (supposed to be covered???

Four broken ribs, partially collapsed lung....that's just the critical injuries .

Downtown just isn't friendly for peds and cyclists anymorel


The first "Loca"
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 6, 2017 at 1:55 am
The first "Loca", Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 6, 2017 at 1:55 am

2 of us, using the same name, posted opposite views of the oarklet. I'm the one who doesn't like it. No on has addressed the liability issue. Is a small town with Burgess, fremont, Lyle, & Nealon parks really lacking in public gathering places? What about school grounds? Recreatioin departments? Libraries? Kepplers?
Were businesses with parklet frontage even consulted? How do those propriertors feel now?
San Mateo, Los Altos, San Carlos, Burlingame, etc. have very vibrant downtowns without contrived "gatheting places" disrupting traffic & creating a public mess. Residents there patronize local restaurants & utilize the public parks & facilities.
I'll wager that occasional or infrequent downtown visitors find it kess offensive than nearby business owners & people who work nearby 5 days a week. For some, it's just a handy olace to dump middle school aged kids while the parents browse around town.
For any persons who have physical disabilities which impair walking, the lack of parking proximate to the businesses, particularly the bank, is a problem.
Do something nice for the town & build a garden near the train station?


Randy Clunge
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 6, 2017 at 10:32 am
Randy Clunge, Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 6, 2017 at 10:32 am

The idea was fine - execution not great. We have a city full of smart people that would probably happily give free advice. But, the powers that be in the City need to find out how they can get a little kick back for making this happen.... about to read that they want the City to pay for international travel - GREAT IDEA!!!! One way tickets.


A little life Please
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 6, 2017 at 11:26 am
A little life Please, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 6, 2017 at 11:26 am

Seriously, its so sad to read all the comments about parking in DT menlo park. MP doesn't need more parking it needs more life, more action, more places to hang out. Every other city on the ECR corridor seems to have figured this out but MP.

Ok, so the astro turf may not have been the best option - but YAY for trying something new. It is utilized (as others have pointed out). Lets take what we have learned and improve it - tried astroturf and temp barriers - concept good but can be improved. Okay, so lets improve it, not give up. This ugly park is the BEST thing that has happened to DT in over a decade!

As for consulting the businesses... give me a break. if you have office space in DT I would hope you reasonably expect some action & noise outside your window. This reminds me of the whiners who tried to stop BBC because of late night noise.


Sam James
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 6, 2017 at 12:41 pm
Sam James, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 6, 2017 at 12:41 pm

it is so sad that I cannot even have my kids visit me at work now. this park is a hazard to walk on or be near. the leadership of our great town better step in soon to make our downtown safe again. what on earth are we paying property tax for? Has the world gone mad? if a health hazard exists this park should be removed right away - no debate whatsoever. what could the city possibly say to argue against removal??? we are paying the city to provide a safe, healthy environment for us to live in. the city is failing us and more importantly turning its back on us.


if a health hazard came to light in any other circumstance the city would be required to take action... they would shut down a restaurant right away, the would condemn a home right away. Is it only because this is the idea of the city that they are stubbornly not taking the appropriate actions? This smells bad and is truly an insult to all of us that love this town.

Take action once and for all please! Remove this health hazard at once!!!!!


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Sep 6, 2017 at 12:53 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Sep 6, 2017 at 12:53 pm

Sam James:

If the sidewalks were tested and yielded the same results as this park would you demand the sidewalks be ripped out? If testing found similar results in any of the other parks in town would you insist they be ripped out? Of course not. that would be stupid. The biggest problem, as other have pointed out, is that there have been no control samples taken. It is likely that those samples will show similar results.

It's similar to when mold remediation and testing is done. The enclosed remediated space has an air sample taken AND a sample of the outdoor air is taken for comparison. If the sample in the remediated area is lower (and it usually is) the area is considered "clean."

Until control samples have been taken from the adjacent sidewalks, streets and local parks for comparison, demands for the parklet's removal are very premature.


pearl
Registered user
another community
on Sep 6, 2017 at 2:35 pm
pearl, another community
Registered user
on Sep 6, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Menlo Voter:

Your comparison between cement sidewalks and Astroturf is not valid; cement sidewalks are not porous as is Astroturf, which contains cancer-causing chemical elements.

pearl


kbehroozi
Registered user
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 6, 2017 at 2:49 pm
kbehroozi, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
Registered user
on Sep 6, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Sam, you're right about one thing: the world has definitely gone mad.

Back to the topic at hand: if you allow your kids to go into public restrooms, walk a dog, or eat in a restaurant, you're probably already exposing them to a similar bacterial risk.

Pearl may be right about the Astroturf but I'm not finding the research to back her up. It's probably not something to get hysterical about yet.

When in doubt, resist the temptation to ingest it.

Web Link
Web Link


MenloPunk
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 6, 2017 at 10:11 pm
MenloPunk, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 6, 2017 at 10:11 pm

This was a bad idea from the start. Dirty, garbage strewn about, homeless camp, you name it. I've seen a big truck pressure cleaning it on occasion, with what chemicals god only knows.

Get rid of this ridiculous, filth ridden peace of junk,and return some of the traffic flow back to normal.


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Sep 7, 2017 at 6:31 am
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Sep 7, 2017 at 6:31 am

pearl:

Concrete is most assuredly porous. Whether it is less so than artificial turf is debatable. Is artificial turf more or less porous than real grass? Real grass is what you'll find in all of our other parks. You know, where people walk their dogs and those dogs relieve themselves? Needless to say, until control samples are taken for comparison, demands for taking out the parklet due to "bacteria" are premature.


Bruce Good
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 7, 2017 at 12:05 pm
Bruce Good, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 7, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Would be cool if I put up a tent and slept in the pop-up park? Just curious. Seems like these guys just sleep in the chairs. A tent and sleeping bag would be much more comfortable to me. I know where the bathroom is. Right behind the oriental carpet at the tree. I can smell it from here. Also I am curious when the "Test Period" for the park will be up? Has it been 2 years?


Downtown Shopper
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 7, 2017 at 12:16 pm
Downtown Shopper, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 7, 2017 at 12:16 pm

The park is permanent. Get used to it. The City is stubbornly determined at all cost to keep it. Whether it is a health hazard or not doesn't matter. Providing a tent and shelter for the homeless may come next. The city is considering further enhancements, such as public art, trees for shade and more furniture, etc. Next there will probably be a contest to help provide a name for the park - kind of like naming the baby and watching it grow.

By the way, why aren't we hearing from the city on this thread, such as the city manager, or mayor or others?


Dana Hendrickson
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 7, 2017 at 1:06 pm
Dana Hendrickson, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 7, 2017 at 1:06 pm

A re-designed pocket park on Curtis could be a wonderful community-friendly place and asset for downtown Menlo Park. Note that residents included a much more substantial combination of downtown paseo, central plaza and TWO pocket parks in the city Specific Plan that was approved in 2012. See Web Link

But sadly, the current three-year experiment is so poorly conceived, designed and executed that it is not surprising that it is an embarrassment that draws scorn. The pocket park is an orphan that continues to lack significant City Council direction, commitment and financial resources. And it is unfortunate that city staff owns and must defend such a highly visible project when they continue so poorly supported. It's not too late, but our city council needs to make something positive happen soon. Residents deserve better. This weekend I will publish a survey that enables residents to share their ideas on what should be done to create an inviting and useful pocket park. I will post a link here and on Nextdoor.


Carol Mince
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 7, 2017 at 2:16 pm
Carol Mince, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 7, 2017 at 2:16 pm

I agree that bacteria testing could show bacteria all over town. What I object to is the look of the temporary park, as well as the disruption it makes to the nearby businesses. When ( and if) a permanent park is established it doesn't feel appropriate located 20 feet from professional office windows. "Not what they signed up for"!


I care
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 7, 2017 at 3:23 pm
I care, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 7, 2017 at 3:23 pm

It is a carpet of filth . Why we don't use Fremont park or Burgess park . They both are near by move the furnitures and the HOMELESS there


Mike
Woodside: other
on Sep 7, 2017 at 7:36 pm
Mike , Woodside: other
on Sep 7, 2017 at 7:36 pm

I am sure local government officials had good intentions, but this is a disaster. It's unattractive, dirty, and provides a nice hangout for the homeless who smoke cigarettes and spew profanities. The filth and unwanted attractions aren't a good fit for a venue that is intended for families with young children. There's a natural park at University and Santa Cruz. Please get rid of the artificial eye sore.


patrick
Registered user
Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Sep 7, 2017 at 9:38 pm
patrick, Menlo Park: Felton Gables
Registered user
on Sep 7, 2017 at 9:38 pm

I'll add my $0.02 as well: I have been and will keep visiting this park with my children. I believe traffic to actually be _safer_ now: It is easier to get out of the back lots because one direction less needs to be checked for traffic, and bicycling on Santa Cruz is safer because there's one less cross street.

I agree the park can be improved, but I would be sad if it just became a regular street again...


Born and Raised in Menlo
Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 8, 2017 at 8:21 am
Born and Raised in Menlo, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 8, 2017 at 8:21 am

I cannot wait for this park to be removed. It serves no purpose other than to congest traffic flow and cause unsafe speeding in the parking lots to frustrated drivers that were re-routed that extra block. It is an eye sore, and frankly just gross. And I miss the 6 parking spaces. Yes, our town needs more life, but I often cannot even patronize the restaurants and shops we already have because of lack of parking.


Menlo Native
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 8, 2017 at 10:46 am
Menlo Native, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 8, 2017 at 10:46 am

Calling that abomination a "park" mis-characterizes it and glorifies it to a status that it does not deserve. It looks more like a parking lot than a park. It down grades everything around it and suggests low civic esteem if it is considered any form of progress.

It is also not as if we can afford to cut off another street in downtown Menlo Park where traffic is bad enough.

If that portion of Curtis St. was used as the entrance to a multi-story parking structure, that might make some sense and could bring back the vibrancy to downtown Menlo Park. Perhaps a proper park could even be put on top of the parking structure like they did at Facebook allowing the town to upgrade both parking and open space.


dana hendrickson
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 8, 2017 at 11:39 am
dana hendrickson, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 8, 2017 at 11:39 am

Our City Council needs to hear constructive feedback about the future of a Curtis Street pocket park from more than a small number of residents. Please share your recommendations and reasoning using this resident-published survey. Web Link And keep in mind that your choice is not simply between keeping and removing the existing temporary pock park. I appreciate your participation and will publish a summary of responses.


kbehroozi
Registered user
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 8, 2017 at 11:47 am
kbehroozi, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
Registered user
on Sep 8, 2017 at 11:47 am

Regardless of frustration, no inanimate object "causes" drivers to speed unsafely through parking lots. That's a choice they make, and an extremely ill-advised one at that. Frustrated drivers would be advised to take a deep breath and remember that other people's lives and property are at stake.


I care
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 8, 2017 at 5:26 pm
I care, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 8, 2017 at 5:26 pm

OK how about a big farmers market on santa cruz ave like the one they have on California ave on sunday and Los altos and Burlingame ave I think people will love it here why not ? Farmers market


Thomas Paine IV
Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Sep 9, 2017 at 8:23 am
Thomas Paine IV, Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Sep 9, 2017 at 8:23 am

All of these issues were covered in the environmental impact report performed before the park was created. What! No report was done!


I care
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 9, 2017 at 10:18 am
I care, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 9, 2017 at 10:18 am

FARMERS MARKET THAT IS THE ANSWER TO ALL OF YOU SO ACT ON IT AND MAKE IT HAPPEN


Coop
Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Sep 9, 2017 at 11:56 am
Coop, Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Sep 9, 2017 at 11:56 am

Thomas Paine is suddenly a fan of EIRs and government regulation?

Good to know.


Local 2 or 3
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 9, 2017 at 5:17 pm
Local 2 or 3, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 9, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Dear Moderator,
I think my above comment with 78 likes was removed because someone else posted with the same user name.

How about modifying the user name rather than deleting the comment?!? Deleting a comment with lots of agreement feels wrong.

[Moderator's note: OK - done. We can't always tell whether someone was being tricky in using a name that's already been used or whether it was done inadvertently. Thanks for letting us know.]


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.