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For some, gym decision pitted athletes v. library patrons

Original post made on Jul 31, 2009

Menlo Park's decision to place a new gymnasium near the library in the Civic Center complex has set up an opposition reminiscent of grade school, pitting library users against gym users, readers against athletes.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 31, 2009, 10:38 AM

Comments (5)

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Posted by Scott Lohmann
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jul 31, 2009 at 10:54 am

While reading the issues with the parking, I cannot seem to find the actual numbers that are being debated and discussed? Does anyone know how many parking spaces we have now, how many parking spaces we will gain or lose, and how many we believe we will need, once the gym is built? I think if we had that information, we may have a better discussion.

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Posted by weheartthekidslibrary!
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Aug 3, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Doesn't sound like number of parking spaces is the issue....more the people crowding, congestion.

The library is in a very quiet, peaceful, calm setting...great for kids and other community members.

My daughter and I are at the library every week. Sometimes a couple of times a week. We love it.

It's great that we'll have a good gym facility...we're currently really lacking one....but it seems the gym committee should be considering the impact the building will have on other

It would be a shame to spend so much time and money on a new gym -- but short change this aspect of the project.

Hope they'll consider being good, thoughtful neighbors...and consider relocating the entrance.

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Posted by frustrated
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Aug 4, 2009 at 10:37 am

The council appears willing to accept the staff's inadequate recommendation on parking for the new gym on faith. I think years from now we're going to wonder why we were so shortsighted that we invested in a fabulous new facility for the community but couldn't figure out that far more parking would be needed. Short-term thinking. No vision. Not unique to this council, but certainly frustrating when a project of this scale is undertaken and the community will have to live with the consequences forevermore.

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Posted by Sean Howell
Almanac staff writer
on Aug 4, 2009 at 10:38 am

Sean Howell is a registered user.

Scott: The numbers are a little complicated, and not necessarily reliable. Here's an attempt at summarizing the consultant's numbers, from the environmental impact report.

After the gym is finished and the parking lot is reconfigured, there will be about 130 parking spaces in the lot nearest the library. Gym users are expected to require 98 parking spaces on weekdays, and 103 on weekends. (But those numbers carry a big asterisk, because they are estimates taken from a fitness center -- not a gymnasium. City officials believe this overstates the parking that's needed).

The number of spaces that are currently filled in that lot during peak hours ranges from 33 to 105, depending on whether school is in session or out of session, and on whether it's a weekday or a weekend. Those numbers have a caveat, too -- they're culled from just a couple more or less random days, and some Planning Commission members have questioned whether those days are in fact representative.

The city plans to move employee vehicles and other city vehicles from the lot, saving 10-20 spaces.

The city says the parking crunch will not be nearly as bad as these numbers seem to indicate, but these are all we have to go on. The city plans to do three parking counts during the first year the gym is in operation, to see how full that lot is.

City officials would also point out there there are five other lots on the Civic Center campus, though some of those are pretty remote.

I got all these numbers from pages 73-75 of the EIR:

Web Link

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Posted by Scott Lohmann
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Aug 4, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Great information Sean, thanks. From what I had read, it seems that we're a bit overblown with the opinion that we haven't really studied the situation. I think it's a good thing that we're all watching this closely, if in fact the parking is a problem. There seems to be some remedies that we could implement, should it become heavily congested.(more bike stands, shuttles, possible consideration of a one story parking garage, etc.) Thanks again.

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