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Will parking for gym push out library patrons?

Original post made on Jun 3, 2009

As plans progress for a new gymnasium in Menlo Park's Civic Center complex, some residents are arguing that the Civic Center is getting too crowded — and that there aren't nearly enough parking spaces for the new visitors.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 7:07 AM

Comments (9)

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Posted by Kathryn Lewark
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 3, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Books, si; gymnastics, no! Long-time Menlo Park resident here to say this town puts way too much money and energy behind gymnastics, a course to which I wholeheartedly disagree.

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Posted by LocalYocal
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 3, 2009 at 12:45 pm

People who can use alternatives to driving do not include seniors and families with small children, who are among the most frequent library users.

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Posted by Topsy
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 3, 2009 at 2:31 pm

I'd heard such great things about Menlo Park's gymnastics program that I had high expectations.

I have to say, my child's taken four sessions over the past two years, and overall, the experience was mediocre, at best. Maybe it's great for older kids, but the classes for younger kids are not very good at all. Of the three teachers, one was good and two were real duds. And the good one left the program.

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Posted by Tom McDonough
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 3, 2009 at 2:46 pm

To the Library Community and the Community at large –

The Library Commission held a special meeting on Thursday May 28th reviewing information from Public Works and Staff. As of this date, we are continuing to gather data regarding parking and traffic, particularly in Lot #6.

My thanks to the Almanac for publishing an online article of that very important meeting, to Lisa Ekers from Planning (who came at the last moment) and to the public that attended. Additional thanks to Mayor Robinson and Glen Rojas helping facilitate Public Works’ involvement.

The Library Commission will be having its regular meeting this Monday June 8th at the Library. Lisa will be making a 10 minute presentation including an overview of City campus parking/traffic and some preliminary but not finalized solutions to concerns on that topic. As is always the case, the public is welcome to attend.

I would encourage you to express any concerns and opinions (no matter which side of the “issue fence” you might be on) via email to the addresses below:

City Council

Planning Commission

Tom McDonough - Library Commission, Chair

While it is an effective and wonderful service the Almanac offers, it is very important for the community to remember to post concerns and opinions through official City communication channels. It’s the best way to be sure they’ll reach the appropriate decision makers.

Tom McDonough
Chair – Library Commission
Menlo Park Library &
Belle Haven School Library

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Posted by oldtimer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 3, 2009 at 11:00 pm

The project as now proposed in not acceptable. The library and what it provides out weighs anything that a new gym can provide.

I want the new gym, but not at expense of those who want and need to use the library. The parking problem must be solved. Underground parking should be the solution, regardless of the cost..

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Posted by gym rat
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 3, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Sheesh. Whether or not your family likes or uses the gymnastics program is irrelevant. Other people obviously do. The gymnastics and basketball gyms are both in bad shape and need to be completely renovated. Photos of those gyms were main selling points for Measure T...and the gyms' condition hasn't improved in the last 8 years.

The proposed location is terrible and makes no sense. Why not instead rebuild the old gym with two floors, including an upstairs basketball gym? That way you wouldn't have to build a whole new locker room.

Parking remains an issue, and I am really tired of hearing that solutions cost too much. Constructing a multi-level parking structure is cheaper now than it's going to be in 10 years, and thanks to the lack of foresight of the people who ran our city in the 1950s and 60s, we don't have nearly enough land for park space. We need to conserve what we've got and not cover the whole park with spaces for cars.

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Posted by Park It
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 4, 2009 at 3:32 pm

The current focus on access and parking at an expanded Civic Center/Burgess suggests that it is time to revisit the possibility of closing Alma Street, using part of it for parking and part for direct pedestrian access to Middle Avenue.

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Posted by Patti Fry
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 5, 2009 at 5:31 pm

How about thinking ahead for a change and looking at the whole Civic Center/Burgess complex as well as future needs. We will need a new Rec Center some day and need to think about where that will be. Do we really need the fake stream and duck pond? We do need park space for activities and for restful contemplation, and we do need useful parking.
How about a parking structure with city employees assigned spots on higher levels. Then, even some of the existing parking lots could be used for more park space!

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Posted by oldtimer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 28, 2009 at 12:55 pm

The comment by Patti Fry above is on point. The Measure T bonds did not foresee such a large gym project and certainly there was to be no intention to make going to the library any harder.

The rec center was to be high on the list and now seems to have been pushed by by those pushing for more gymnastics before working on the Rec Center.

Yes, what about a parking structure. Yes what about serious examination of closing off Alma.

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