There are a number of streets in Menlo Park without sidewalks or roadside paths which result in unsafe conditions for pedestrians. The city has a master plan for developing sidewalks or paths to address these areas taking into consideration the pedestrian and vehicular traffic use as well as the existing state of the roadside areas. This master plan is available on the Menlo Park city website at Web Link . Given the current financial state of the city, however, it is likely we will need to wait some time for the identified unsafe areas to all be retrofitted with paths or sidewalks.
However, there is a very inexpensive solution for the city to pursue that could greatly improve the safety of these problem roadside areas. The solution is to simply request each property owner whose land abuts the problem areas to bring their property up to code. The relevant section from the city municipal code is 16.64 Web Link .
In particular, 16.64.060 states:
"16.64.060 Trimming growth to avoid interference with use of sidewalks and roadways.
Any owner or occupant of a building, lot or premises shall keep trees, hedges and other growth on said premises properly trimmed in such a manner that the same shall not interfere with the free use of sidewalks, sidewalk areas and roadways. (Ord. 906 § 1 (part), 2001)."
It is a sad commentary on our city management that the city manager, Glen Rojas, owns a property that is clearly in violation of this code and contributes to the unsafe pedestrian use of Woodland Avenue. In deference to Mr. Rojas' privacy, I am purposefully omitting the property address at present. I hope that he will shortly bring his property up to code, and adopt my suggestion that he have his department ask all homeowners whose property abut the identified unsafe pedestrian areas in Menlo Park to similarly make corrections.