To the Menlo Park City Council:
Today I had the occasion to speak with a couple of our Menlo Park merchants in regard to the idea you are researching to close Santa Cruz Avenue to anything but foot traffic. What in the world are you thinking? How is this going to improve life for your residents? It sounds to me as though the restaurants have the loudest and most important voice where you are concerned.
Believe me, most of us go to Menlo Park for the goods and services we need. The post office, FedEx, the cleaners, the hardware store, the grocery stores, the pharmacy, repair shop, bank ... The days when people strolled the main street in town, stopping into shops to browse, are over. Most places today’s busy people go are destinations to accomplish something in particular they need to do before moving on with their busy schedules.
Have you considered the success, or more correctly the lack of it, of the pop-up park? It became a hangout for homeless and for the junior high students and was in no way an attractive place to sit. Menlo Park has a history of constructing visions to try to make the city more vibrant. It hasn’t occurred to anyone that we can’t, and don’t need to be, everything for everyone. Menlo Park is just one part of a string of cities where residents go for various things. And that’s OK. We don’t have a nursery or an art store so we go to Redwood City. We don’t have (many) clothing stores so we go to Palo Alto. And that is fine. If I were you I would concentrate your efforts on how you are going to accommodate the hundreds and hundreds of cars and residents and commercial establishments that will bombard our city once the buildings in progress are done.
Felton Drive, Menlo Park