Menlo Park takes first step to rename bridge after Mike Harding | February 19, 2014 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - February 19, 2014

Menlo Park takes first step to rename bridge after Mike Harding

by Sandy Brundage

The family of a man known for tireless bicycle advocacy and engineering skill may see his name live on.

About a dozen community members spoke at the Feb. 11 Menlo Park City Council meeting to ask that the city consider renaming the San Mateo Drive Bike Bridge in memory of Mike Harding, adding their voices to a stream of emails sent to the council during past weeks that voiced support for the idea.

Mr. Harding, 74, died in December. He served on the city's bicycle commission, the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, and the San Mateo County Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. He typically traveled on two wheels — and even helped friends move offices via a bike.

"He rode his bike to work every day, rain or shine," son Andrew Harding told the council, and described his father as kind, thoughtful and stubborn, a brilliant engineer, and a proud long-term Menlo Park resident.

His father also played a role in getting the bridge built in 1976.

He said the bridge, while physically unassuming, makes a significant contribution to the neighborhood. "If you know the bike bridge, then you know a little something about my father."

The motion to rename the bridge passed 4-0, with councilman Rich Cline absent.

The bridge, which crosses the San Francisquito Creek, is jointly owned by Menlo Park and Palo Alto, which will also have to agree to the name change. If Palo Alto proves unwilling, Menlo Park may choose to mount a plaque in Mr. Harding's honor on its side of the bridge, council members said.


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