'Every seat outside would help.' Cities consider closing streets to traffic to make space for struggling restaurants | Town Square | Almanac Online |

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'Every seat outside would help.' Cities consider closing streets to traffic to make space for struggling restaurants

Original post made on May 13, 2020

Midpeninsula cities are considering temporarily closing downtown streets to traffic to give restaurants and other businesses more outdoor space to safely serve customers when they're allowed to reopen.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 11:38 AM

Comments (18)

12 people like this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 13, 2020 at 4:12 pm

Our downtown restaurants already have outdoor eating which has removed needed parking and made sidewalk use more difficult for those with walkers and wheelchairs. It will also lessen the safe distance needed when walking. We pay our taxes to provide ample and safe parking and unimpeded safe sidewalks. Also removing more parking makes it more difficult for the disabled to shop. As it is the city has a shortage of handicapped parking. For those who park in the lots for the disabled many businesses only have entrances on Santa Cruz.
Giving special treatment to expensive eateries is not fair to the other downtown vendors who rely upon their clientele being able to find reasonable parking. This primarily helps those who have the disposable funds to eat at pricey eateries. Once again the city staff and council ignore the needs of the vast majority of its residents in order to help the wealthier minority.


4 people like this
Posted by Details
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on May 13, 2020 at 4:30 pm

The City said all businesses would be able to move their goods onto the street to allow for social distancing.


4 people like this
Posted by new guy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 13, 2020 at 5:23 pm

You can take over the streets for your business as long as I can move MY property line further forward into the street. Only fair, right?

Did anyone take economics at any point in their feeble education?


7 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 13, 2020 at 5:31 pm

We used to patronize restaurants along and near Santa Cruz Ave, at least once a week. But finding parking at lunch and dinner time is now very challenging, even given the many lots on either side of Santa Cruz Ave. If Santa Cruz Ave. were to be further constricted than it already is, we would not even bother to go into downtown Menlo any more. Unintended consequences.


35 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 13, 2020 at 5:40 pm

You can close Santa Cruz Ave. There's plenty of parking on the plazas behind the shops. God forbid someone should have to walk 5 minutes to get to a restaurant. If Santa Cruz was turned into a level pedestrian plaza it would actually make it easier for pedestrians and wheel chair bound folks to get around. Just look at Pearl St. Mall in Boulder for a model.


18 people like this
Posted by kbehroozi
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on May 13, 2020 at 10:05 pm

Amen, Menlo Voter. And I think if we don't do *something* to help restaurants and other businesses re-open in accordance with mandated social distancing standards, we won't need any parking at all in the downtown during dinner time. Or most other times. It'll be tumbleweeds.


6 people like this
Posted by PV Reaident
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 13, 2020 at 10:29 pm

No wonder Menlo Park and Santa Cruz Avenue are failing miserably. This poorly constructed idea is simply a disaster in the making. A terrible waste of time and money


5 people like this
Posted by home
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on May 14, 2020 at 5:44 am

First - there will be plenty of parking available in the 'new normal'.

That said, not a fan of giving free space over to business. Can you imagine when a few chains move in to replace the businesses lost?

Yeah, no.


2 people like this
Posted by K
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 14, 2020 at 12:18 pm

“God Forbid any one should have to walk 5 minutes to a restaurant.” Menlo Voter, how exactly do you propose those patrons with mobility challenges get to Menlo Park business and restaurants, medical offices and the Post Office?

There is never enough accessible parking in the downtown area NOW. If this plan prohibits cars on downtown streets is approved, there is no access for physically challenged citizens and visitors - which invites legal actions of discrimination. Do we want that? I don’t. I’d like the City Council to consider how this affects everyone, not just the business community. Access issues affect all of us.

And Menlo Voter, those of us with physical challenges (and there are a lot of us) would love the privilege of being able to walk 5 minutes to get to a Menlo Park restaurant. You’d do well to remember there is a world beyond your fingertips.


3 people like this
Posted by pvrez
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 14, 2020 at 1:41 pm

sounds great plus the new sidewalks and bike lanes on santa cruz ave tie it all together with the neighborhood at large.
theater way in redwood city is another successful example of this concept.


5 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 14, 2020 at 2:56 pm

K:

First, I'm sorry for your physical challenges.

Second, if Santa Cruz Ave and ONLY Santa Cruz Ave was closed it would have no effect on getting to the post office, the doctor or any of the other things you mentioned.

Third, if Santa Cruz Ave was closed it would trigger an INCREASE in accessible parking in the parking plazas thus making it easier to find.

Lastly, there would be ramps giving access to the Santa Cruz Ave plaza, just like there are for sidewalks. No denial of access to those with limited mobility there.

Sorry, but all of these tried and true excuses for not doing things in Menlo Park have been repeatedly used by the "no birds". Any change that gets proposed and the "no birds" swing into action with a million reasons why something can't be done or why it shouldn't. Instead, let's look at why it CAN and SHOULD be done and look at ways to mitigate any issues that come up. I'm tired of the way Santa Cruz Ave looks. We don't live in a "village", let's stop pretending we do.


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 14, 2020 at 2:59 pm

home:

simple solution. Charge the businesses "rent" for the space they use.


2 people like this
Posted by home
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on May 14, 2020 at 4:09 pm

> Charge the businesses "rent" for the space they use.

Yup. When the chains replace the out-of-business locals, it'll be great to take their money.

BuffaloWildWings/Applebees/OliveGarden/Panera/RedRobin will gladly pay a couple extra bucks. Seeing all those corporate neon signs will be fantastic. Just like the old food courts in the malls.


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 14, 2020 at 6:29 pm

home:

beats empty storefronts don't you think? Or do you like the way our downtown looks?


10 people like this
Posted by Robert Cronin
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 14, 2020 at 10:40 pm

I remember events in the past when Santa Cruz Av was closed for a few hours. It worked fine, and attracted lots of people. Why not try it out every weekend, and then every day if it's successful? Won't know if you don't try.


2 people like this
Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 15, 2020 at 10:55 am

In the meantime ... keep ordering take-out from your favorite restaurants, however this resolves.


Like this comment
Posted by Inquirer
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 15, 2020 at 12:47 pm

What would be the plan for restroom use? What is the current restroom plan for the restaurants serving patrons on sidewalk/pop-out tables?


Like this comment
Posted by Pv resident
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 18, 2020 at 7:25 am

Hopefully, porta Pottys will be prohibited - can't think of a more dangerous place to be


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