News

Menlo Park: Goodbye, mini park

After hearing from a chorus of critics about the temporary pop-up park or "paseo" installed on Curtis Street in downtown Menlo Park, the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to shut it down.

The park will likely be removed in two to three weeks, according to Assistant City Manager Chip Taylor.

At least 20 people at the council meeting raised their hands when asked from the council dais if they opposed the mini park. Only one or two raised a hand in favor of the park.

In a previous council meeting, several people who work in the area had several complaints: the mini park generates noise, eliminates car access and six spots of street parking, and attracts transient people.

The council did not rule out considering whether a mini park might work on a seasonal or permanent basis, or in another location, but agreed to postpone the discussion until a later date.

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Councilwoman Catherine Carlton endorsed the movie nights that were hosted at the park, saying she saw upwards of 100 people at one recent showing, but supported removing the mini park. "I would like to see the program, where successful, remain," she said, noting, "I think the paseo's time has come to an end."

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Menlo Park: Goodbye, mini park

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Wed, Sep 27, 2017, 3:38 am

After hearing from a chorus of critics about the temporary pop-up park or "paseo" installed on Curtis Street in downtown Menlo Park, the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to shut it down.

The park will likely be removed in two to three weeks, according to Assistant City Manager Chip Taylor.

At least 20 people at the council meeting raised their hands when asked from the council dais if they opposed the mini park. Only one or two raised a hand in favor of the park.

In a previous council meeting, several people who work in the area had several complaints: the mini park generates noise, eliminates car access and six spots of street parking, and attracts transient people.

The council did not rule out considering whether a mini park might work on a seasonal or permanent basis, or in another location, but agreed to postpone the discussion until a later date.

Councilwoman Catherine Carlton endorsed the movie nights that were hosted at the park, saying she saw upwards of 100 people at one recent showing, but supported removing the mini park. "I would like to see the program, where successful, remain," she said, noting, "I think the paseo's time has come to an end."

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Comments

whatever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 27, 2017 at 10:06 am
whatever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 27, 2017 at 10:06 am
Joseph E. Davis
Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 27, 2017 at 10:29 am
Joseph E. Davis, Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 27, 2017 at 10:29 am

This is evidence that even the Menlo Park City Council can do something sensible occasionally.


Downtown user
Menlo Park: University Heights
on Sep 27, 2017 at 12:22 pm
Downtown user, Menlo Park: University Heights
on Sep 27, 2017 at 12:22 pm

AWESOME News. Good bye


SteveC
Registered user
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm
SteveC, Menlo Park: Downtown
Registered user
on Sep 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm

should not have been done in the first place.


nbr
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 27, 2017 at 12:33 pm
nbr, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 27, 2017 at 12:33 pm
BH resident
Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 27, 2017 at 2:02 pm
BH resident, Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 27, 2017 at 2:02 pm

How was something that tacky approved in the first place? Please work with artists to bring sense of design to Menlo Park--long overdue.


another rez
Woodside: other
on Sep 27, 2017 at 2:36 pm
another rez, Woodside: other
on Sep 27, 2017 at 2:36 pm

WooHoo - finally and Thank You! It was (is) gross!


YES!
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 27, 2017 at 2:47 pm
YES!, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 27, 2017 at 2:47 pm

It was a 2 year fight and crazy to see how far the city went to keep it. The place was disgusting and please do not let them move it to another block. Our tax dollars at their best.


Menlo Nights
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 27, 2017 at 3:43 pm
Menlo Nights, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 27, 2017 at 3:43 pm

While the pocket park didn't live up to everybody's expectations, it is worth recognizing that the outdoor dining spaces (the parking space annexes) have been a smashing success. As somebody who drives down Santa Cruz ave. during my daily commute, it is wonderful to see how much more vibrant downtown has been since their addition. Lot of full dining tables and much more walking traffic -- families out for evening strolls before/after dinner.

In hope the city and the downtown businesses reconsider earlier proposals to set aside a number of nights during the summer to shut down Santa Cruz ave. to traffic once a week for a family night out. Similar to what San Carlos has been doing on Laurel St. for years, and what San Luis Obispo has been doing for decades.


Resident
Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Sep 27, 2017 at 4:02 pm
Resident, Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Sep 27, 2017 at 4:02 pm

I guess I'm in the minority, but I'm sad to see it go. It was a nice place to be able to sit and hang out. Children enjoyed it, and the chairs and umbrellas were inviting. Considering the dearth of evening dining and activity in MP, you'd think they'd want to encourage something like this.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 27, 2017 at 4:11 pm
Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on Sep 27, 2017 at 4:11 pm

This was an experiment. Hopefully there will a careful evaluation of the lessons learned.


Fremont Fan
Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Sep 27, 2017 at 5:57 pm
Fremont Fan, Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Sep 27, 2017 at 5:57 pm

Glad the pop-up will be gone and street access returned. It made no sense to me. when we already have a park with real grass only a few blocks away.

Why not make Fremont Park a more enticing destination for the hang out crowd. Perhaps some of the plastic Adirondack chairs can be relocated there. I'm sure the stores and restaurants on the west side of downtown would appreciate the extra foot traffic heading to Fremont.


Resident
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 27, 2017 at 6:13 pm
Resident, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 27, 2017 at 6:13 pm

Thank you council for voting to remove the mini park, finally! Why not make Fremont Park the place to hangout? It's a nice little park. Brighten it up for the holidays! Have musicians come and perform.


Manlo Punk
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 27, 2017 at 8:06 pm
Manlo Punk, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 27, 2017 at 8:06 pm

Cant get rid of this soon enough, and agree with the suggestions for putting effort into sprucing up Fremont Park. That makes a lot of sense.

While the outdoor dining is a nice to have, it still takes away from sorely needed parking spaces. I don't mind (and frequently do) park at opposite ends of Santa Cruz ave, and walk to my destination. But for people who may have challenges with mobility, accessible parking is abysmal.





MP Resident
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 28, 2017 at 5:57 pm
MP Resident, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 28, 2017 at 5:57 pm

Finally. Not sure why it took so long. This was a disaster from the start. We have a park down the street. Invest in that. The people will come.


Cmon
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 29, 2017 at 4:40 am
Cmon, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 29, 2017 at 4:40 am

I think it was a great idea to test and we should continue to stretch and test innovative ways to energize the town. Once we get the much, much needed garage (which I hope also benefits from the council's wisdom), it will open up other ideas. I have advocated for the bike routes to be tested too -- learn and adjust. We just got smarter and had a good dialogue because of the park. Lets keep the ideas flowing.


unbelievable
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 6, 2017 at 10:10 pm
unbelievable, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 6, 2017 at 10:10 pm

Disappointed that it wasn't made permanent.
Now the walk-averse majority can happily use another road to target the few pedestrians who actually dare to walk along or even cross Santa Cruz Avenue.

This is a thrill and adventure even for the young and quick, and I understand that people won't stroll along Santa Cruz, but instead duck in and out the businesses back doors to the parking lot.

One step forward, two steps back.
I predict the same fate for the bike corridor.


Dana Hendrickson
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 7, 2017 at 9:37 am
Dana Hendrickson, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 7, 2017 at 9:37 am

The poor planning and execution of this "orphaned". THREE-YEAR experiment guaranteed its failure. And this highly visible failure will have the far-reaching impact of discouraging the City Council from pursuing the pedestrian-friendly downtown civic projects proposed in the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP). The Curtis Street "mini-park" was neither a paseo (boulevard) nor a pop-up park. (Note: a real park does not use artificial grass.) This experiment has clearly demonstrated that our city lacks the vision, commitment and planning processes essential to successfully undertake even small innovative projects. So the "bold" ideas in the DSP will likely never be enjoyed by Menlo Park residents.


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