Guest opinion: 'Big ideas' — and follow-through — needed for downtown Menlo Park | July 20, 2016 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


Viewpoint - July 20, 2016

Guest opinion: 'Big ideas' — and follow-through — needed for downtown Menlo Park

by Dana Hendrickson

Four years ago Menlo Park residents identified a small number of bold civic projects they believed would greatly increase the vibrancy of our downtown business district, and these were included in the Downtown Specific Plan. Unfortunately, while the local economy remains strong, and the city is benefiting from an unexpectedly large budget surplus, no major new improvements have been made since 2012.

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Posted by Elozabeth
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 20, 2016 at 4:22 pm

Excellent article on lack of leadership or maybe ideas regarding downtown Menlo. For example, the parklet. My question to that is why? We have a lovely spot, Fremont Park, that has become an eyesore. Rather than a parklet, why not start with what we already have and make it a beautiful resting stop. At one time, many took their lunch break there, sat and read, people watched, or visited with friends. On a warm night, it was a great to stroll there and just sit and watch the world go by. It fulfills everything that a parklet would do and even more. But no, the City has relegated it to the back burner.

Secondly, the parklet is a disaster. No charm, not inviting, and stuck between mundane buildings. Why would anyone gravitate there.

So, City Council members, adjust your priorities and bring back what was once a lovely oasis in Menlo.

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Posted by Leslie
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 21, 2016 at 12:27 pm

Thank you Dana for your very informative article, packed with great ideas! To Elizabeth's comment, I too would love to see improvements made to our existing Fremont park, rather than trying to insert a second parklet. A professional park designer would be key, but personally I would love to see more seating areas, drought friendly planting, and pathways. Let's get moving!!!

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