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By Paul Bendix

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About this blog: A 32-year resident of Menlo Park, I regularly make my way around downtown in a wheelchair. This gives me an unusual perspective on a town in which I have spent almost half of my life. I was educated at UC Berkeley, and permanentl...  (More)

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What's 'Too Much Traffic?'

Uploaded: Oct 29, 2013
Traffic congestion...it's the "third rail of Menlo Park politics." No public official wants to touch it. Yet, like a real third rail, this issue can propel us forward. So let's touch it. What constitutes "too much traffic?"

The answer depends on whom you ask.

One neighbor, a bank executive, encounters bumper-to-bumper traffic commuting through downtown Menlo Park. Another works at home, shops in the late afternoon and complains of El Camino's congestion.

Meanwhile, one restauranteur bemoans the lack of foot traffic on Santa Cruz Ave. A store owner wants more people driving downtown, not less. Both have given up on Menlo Park nightlife -- they know the action isn't here.

Can Menlo Park offer refuge after a hectic workday – and be an exciting place to shop and dine?

Not without traffic, it seems. But what about transit-friendly retail and housing development? Wouldn't this take the strain off our roads – and take the strain off our retailers?

Let's hear your thoughts....

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Erin, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks,
on Oct 29, 2013 at 4:58 pm

For me, it's not so much the traffic, as the lack of parking that makes me stay away from downtown. Downtown Menlo Park is still much better than downtown Palo Alto, but if I think it's a busy time downtown and I'm not likely to find a spot, I will stay away. Or take my business to Redwood City. Sorry Menlo Park, but I've had one too many parking tickets....



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