Letter: Writer sees disaster in downtown planLast Tuesday night (June 5), in spite of hearing many residents and merchants speak out against the downtown plan in person, in spite of the many emails and anguished letters to the City Council and local newspapers, in spite of the fact that these residents and merchants have raised dozens of serious issues with the city's aggressive downtown plan, the Menlo Park City Council ran roughshod over its constituency and passed the downtown plan. In my opinion, this council will be known as the City Council that destroyed Menlo Park.
Just as the sham facilitator-led "visioning" meetings in Menlo Park came up with the same template we're seeing all over the Bay Area — Plan Bay Area/ABAG-style high-density infill building, "pedestrian-and-bicycle-friendly" hostility toward drivers (which all of us are when we're in our cars, magically transforming into pedestrians if and when we can find a parking space) — the council meeting seemed also to have had its outcome fixed well in advance.
This plan was going to move through regardless of its fiscal irresponsibility, its harm to merchants, its inconvenience to residents, its alarming traffic congestion implications, its overburdening of our already strained schools and infrastructure, and the swell of public indignation over its multifarious indignities to our community.
A plan this flawed and this contentious should at least be put before the voters as a ballot measure rather than forced down our throats by a majority of the council, dutifully marching to city staff's drumbeat, and catering to a few developers waiting hungrily in the wings.
Cherie Zaslawsky, Menlo Park downtown