Town Square

Post a New Topic

Downtown Parking - More Needs To Be Done

Original post made by Christmas Shopper, Menlo Park: Downtown, on Dec 1, 2014

Nearly daily, one hears about what OTHER cities are doing about parking. For instance, in today's paper an article appeared about an innovative type parking garage proposed in the city of San Mateo. Both Palo Alto to the south and Redwood City to the north are actively reviewing althernatives.

What is Menlo Park doing? If I recall, three years ago, in 2011, the topic was considered and then it was STUDIED again early this year.

In the meantime, ticket after ticket is being issued, both for overnight parking in one and two hour zones along with being 6" or more over a white line.

Can anything else be done, such as 1) building a parking garage, much like just about everyone else has done(except for Menlo Park), extending the two hour parking to THREE HOUR parking (much like we now have during the RELAXED holiday season parking period, and so on.

It seems like we have more questions than answers. Perhaps the 2015 City Council will take a look at this and if not, well..... life goes on.

Comments (65)

1 person likes this
Posted by 2015 City Council
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 1, 2014 at 9:23 pm

With Cat Carlton's leadership as Mayor we will be in good hands.


4 people like this
Posted by Downtown Shopper
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 4, 2014 at 12:24 pm

I love the three hour parking in effect during the holidays. Any chance the city would consider this year round?


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 5, 2014 at 9:10 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

There are lots of examples of what Menlo Park COULD do if it has the will and the courage to think in terms of a long term solution.

First, SF's Union Sq garage is a great example of a public-private partnership. In the 1930s, the Union Square Garage Corporation was formed and lobbied for permission to build the world's first underground parking structure.

"The idea of a private corporation leasing public land underneath a city park was also new. Because of this, Union Square became a test case before the California State Supreme Court, which ruled in City of San Francisco v. Linares, that the City of San Francisco had the right to lease the subsurface area to the Union Square Garage Corporation provided that the park proper was not destroyed."

"After a California Supreme Court decision, permission was granted and they broke ground on May 31, 1941."

If you look at the plaque at the Geary Street entrance to the garage you will see the names of the businessmen who led the Union Square Garage Corporation - I am proud that my grandfather, Russell Carpenter, was one of them.

Second, here is another more recent and automated underground garage:

Web Link

"Design of the facility started in January 2004 with construction starting in October 2004. The construction was completed by February 2006 (roadworks took ten months and the entire project 16 months from the start of construction). The investment for the project was €11.35m (45% on building, 30% on the parking system and 25% on other costs).

The parking system provided is a combination of two Wöhr Multipark 740 Systems which will provide 284 parking places (150 plus 134). "

Third, here is a 700 space underground garage AND surface park in Brooklyn:

"After renewing efforts three years ago, the city has finally struck a deal with the Willoughby Operating Company for the joint park and garage project. The Willoughby Operating Company, an affiliate of the American Development Group, will lease the city-owned land. It will use $6 million from city capital, the city's Economic Development Corporation and private contributions from surrounding developers to construct the park.

The Willoughby Operating Company has also agreed to pay for any cost overruns and to finance the excavation and development of the garage. It hired Automotion Parking Systems, which has a principal in common with the American Development Group, to build and run the garage."


Web Link&

The only thing stopping Menlo Park from doing something equally attractive and exciting is a lack of imagination.

One would think that Menlo Park in Silicon Valley in 2014 could catch up with what was done in San Fransisco in 1941, Munich in 2004 and in 2013 in Brooklyn.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 5, 2014 at 9:15 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 23, 2014 at 7:09 pm
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.
I suggest taking the two existing surface parking lots between Santa Cruz and Menlo and Evelyn and Chestnut and building an underground garage covering that entire area including under Crane. The entire surface area would be repurposed as a pedestrian and bicycle park/plaza including an area for activities like the farmers' market. An automated garage covering that area could easily accommodate 5 times or more cars than the existing lots provide. The park/plaza would encourage existing Santa Cruz businesses to open out to the park/plaza.

An RFP outlining the concept would, I predict, produce some exciting development proposals that would minimize the cost to the city in exchange for a lease to the subterranean rights.


2 people like this
Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 5, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Great idea, Peter. More parking PLUS a beautifully landscaped central park available for multiple uses like the farmer's market, outside concerts and plays, "off-street" fairs, and evening strolls would be wonderful additions. A park with plenty of convenient nearby parking could become a centerpiece that would generate a great deal of pride in downtown Menlo Park. Let's get started!


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 5, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" Let's get started!"

Just like the SF business leaders in the 1930's created a private entity to build the Union Square Garage we should create a similar entity for Menlo Park.

How about MPDB = More Parking Down Below.


Like this comment
Posted by Downtown Shopper
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Keep in mind that Menlo Park

1) Does not have a Downtown Merchants Association,

2) Does not have a Business Improvement District (BID), and

3) Does not have a City Staff committed to building a garage.

Just what it will take to provide more parking downtown is a mystery. Without someone eagerly carrying the ball and following through until its fruition makes this entire thread entertaining, but not going anywhere.

Being realistic, downtown parking is now nearly at capacity. With the construcdtion of new properties on El Camino Real and other locations in town, will only exacerbate the problem. Planning ahead is essential.

"If we build it, they will come".


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 5, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The ONLY thing stopping an underground parking project in Menlo Park is the lack of courage.

Here is how the SF Union Square garage "happened":

"THE UNION SQUARE GARAGE

The idea of a garage under Union Square was first proposed in 1910 by W P, Fennimore, president and founder of the Downtown Association. Such a scheme was quite novel, and in 1922 and 1928, charter amendments to permit sub-surface use of public parks for automobile parking were defeated by the electorate. But in 1930, an amendment was finally passed.16

Because of downtown development and the increasing use of automobiles, the streets surrounding Union Square were becoming greatly congested, and there was an acute parking shortage. By 1940, for example, within the city's "Triangle District," an area between Market and Sutter streets, there were concentrated 17 large retail stores, 11 office buildings, 88 hotels, 15 clubs, and 7 theaters. The capacity of nearby garages could scarcely serve the patrons of a single store. Local merchants became concerned that they would lose business to outlying suburbs if something were not done about the parking problem.

Thus the Union Square Garage Corporation was formed in 1938 for the purpose of building an underground garage in Union Square. Such a feat had never been undertaken before, and three years of research were required before construction could begin.

The idea of a private corporation leasing public land underneath a city park was also new. Because of this, Union Square became a test case before the California State Supreme Court, which ruled in City of San Francisco v. Linares, that the City of San Francisco had the right to lease the subsurface area to the Union Square Garage Corporation provided that the park proper was not destroyed.

Work then proceeded with Timothy Pfleuger as architect and McDonald and Kahn as general contractors. No public funds were used, rather, financing was by stock subscription amounting to $850,000, mostly from local property owners and a Reconstruction Finance Corporation loan of $650,000.

Ground was broken on March 31, 1941, and the entire block bounded by Geary, Stockton, Post, and Powell streets was soon excavated to an average depth of 48 feet. Steel piles were driven into the ground for bulkheading and 160 massive columns were put in place to support four levels, including the garage roof surface.

The Dewey Monument, which weighed 350 tons, demanded special treatment, not only to move it to make way for construction and excavation, but to strengthen it against further earthquakes. The monument's granite cylinders, which were slightly askew from the earthquake of 1906, were hollowed out and fitted over a core of reinforced concrete that extends all the way down to the foundation of the garage.19

At full capacity, the garage housed 1,700 automobiles. Additionally, most of the space on the top floor was reserved for waiting rooms, restrooms, offices, a sales room for accessories, and an area for servicing cars. The garage became an immediate success and 766,000 automobiles were parked there in the first year of operation.

Fortunately, the garage was never used for another purpose for which it was designed: as a bomb shelter. The garage was well under way when on December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor was attacked, and the United States entered the Second World War. It was only because of its alternate use as a bomb shelter or as an emergency hospital that special materials were released for the building's completion.

By the summer of 1942, the world's first multilevel underground garage was finished. Mayor Angelo Rossi presided over the dedication ceremonies on September 12, 1942. The Dewey Monument was also rededicated on October 25, 1942 as part of the San Francisco Navy Day celebration.

THE ROOFTOP PARK

In conjunction with the garage's architect, Timothy Pfleuger, a landscape plan for the garage rooftop was designed by the Division of Engineering and Landscape Design of the City of San Francisco, whose superintendent was John McLaren. The park was the first in the world situated above a multi-level garage. A preliminary design completed in 1940 called for a large central pill-shaped plaza to contain the Dewey Monument. Two paths would run north-south, skirting the main garage entry, and on the east and west ends of the Square paths would connect to the street corners and run at mid-block. Along each path were to be several grassy areas. The central plaza was to be surrounded by planter boxes containing Irish yew trees."
******
Why not here, why not now?


2 people like this
Posted by Downtown Shopper
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 5, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Let's leave a lack of courage to fairy tales, such as the Wizard of Oz (remember the lion)?

Peter, what we need is leadership, tenacity, passion and committment. Years ago local downtown property owner and former President of the Chamber of Commerce, Albert Giannotti, a well respected "elder" in the community, wise and successful, tried his level best to get a garage built. He obtained bids, plans and a great deal of support, but in the end - zippo.

My hunch is, the city's plan is to hope that an El Camino Real developer will come along and offer to build a Downtown Garage at little or no expense to the city as a "public benefit" in exchange for an additional floor, or more apartment or condo units or some other concession.

What this does magically, is eliminate the bickering between store owners on who pays for what in a fair and impartial way and presto, it's done. No bond, no loans, funding is provided by others.

What we can't do for ourselves, due to lack of "courage" or other characteristics, is RESCUED by an outsider. This approach has worked in other cities.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 5, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"My hunch is, the city's plan is to hope that an El Camino Real developer will come along and offer to build a Downtown Garage at little or no expense to the city as a "public benefit" in exchange for an additional floor, or more apartment or condo units or some other concession"

That won't happen- there is no Santa Claus on Santa Cruz and the ECR projects would not benefit from a downtown garage.

Downtown Shopper can wring his/her hands all they want but hand wringing is not a solution.

All that is lacking is the courage to make it happen - SF CITIZENS made it happen at Union Square over 70 years ago. What is stopping the CITIZENS of Menlo Park from doing the same?


Like this comment
Posted by member
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 5, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Since the real issue is improving access to the downtown area, instead of focusing on just expanding parking an alternative approach could be to focus on putting together some sort of improved mass transit system. Properly implemented, this would have the added benefit of reducing traffic in the region (which was a major recent discussion surrounding proposition M).

While I am not a traffic engineer, I would expect the city could purchase and operate a large number of shuttles for significantly less than the cost of building an underground garage.


Like this comment
Posted by Bob McGrew
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 5, 2014 at 5:25 pm

It does seem like downtown parking is at capacity. In other places, I'd be sympathetic to improving mass transit, but downtown Menlo just doesn't get enough visitors to make mass transit feasible. I would support a parking garage, although I would think a two-story garage would have a lot of benefit at a very modest cost compared to an underground garage.

I would very much like to see a more lively downtown, with more restaurants and shops, and some housing up above. A lot of the spaces seem to be perpetually vacant - probably because the whole area is so sleepy and doesn't get any foot traffic from offices or housing.

What would it take to make that happen?


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 5, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

We seem to consistently vote in bond issues for a lot more money for schools. A bond issue for a parking garage, even subterranean, would be modest in comparison.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 5, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Please read the prior postings - an underground garage built and leased by a private company would cost the City of Menlo Park very little. Let's do some creative thinking rather than just more negativity.

here is a 700 space underground garage AND surface park in Brooklyn:

"After renewing efforts three years ago, the city has finally struck a deal with the Willoughby Operating Company for the joint park and garage project. The Willoughby Operating Company, an affiliate of the American Development Group, will lease the city-owned land. It will use $6 million from city capital, the city's Economic Development Corporation and private contributions from surrounding developers to construct the park.

The Willoughby Operating Company has also agreed to pay for any cost overruns and to finance the excavation and development of the garage. It hired Automotion Parking Systems, which has a principal in common with the American Development Group, to build and run the garage."


Like this comment
Posted by Downtown Shopper
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 6, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Peter, save your breath. The City is not listening. City STAFF have told me that they are not going to spend good money on a problem that doesn't exist. CITY COUNCIL members have told me that they don't read this column - as there are too many off the wall, bazaar comments. This may be a good column to vent, but change occurs in other ways.

Where are the decisions made? Who makes them? How does one get this topic center stage and on the agenda? Who pays for the solution? If not now, when?

The MAYOR likes low hanging fruit that can be implimented quick and easily. This may help short term problems but doesn't hold a candle to a long term solution.

I suspect if more people spoke during a City Council meeting directly to the decision and policy makers during PUBLIC COMMENT NO 1 OR NO 2, the topic may get some attention. In the meantime, go ahead and vent if it makes you feel better.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 6, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I continue to share my views with each of the Council members and with a carefully selected circle of influential citizens.

The critical issue is do enough citizens care?

If not, then the neglect and decay will continue. That is both the strength and weakness of a democracy.

So if no one speaks out then nothing will happen.


4 people like this
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 6, 2014 at 7:40 pm

[part removed.]
This is all politics now. Try to create a constant stream of negativity on anything. No support to back it up. No ideas. Just criticism. Ignore the improvements to Downtown. Ignore the City Council just went through an election completely focused on the long term of downtown. downtown shopper thinks somehow at the same time the council should have floated a bond for parking garages? Really? I don't think so. I think the criticism is actually a charade to must criticize and it's the only thing they can come up. Pathetic.


4 people like this
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 6, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Downtown Shopper, explain how you think it was possible for any member of the City Council to float a parking garage bond last year, just after two school districts floated bonds, while the high school district was floating a bond, and while in the middle of fighting off Measure M.

The low hanging fruit comment is laughable. Everyone who paid attention watched multiple long standing issues addressed in the City last year.

You obviously have a political agenda behind your comments. Whether it be to criticize the Mayor and Council or just to complain to get your way, mischaracterizing the past in order to do so doesn't fool anyone.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 7, 2014 at 11:49 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

My proposed solution would NOT require a city bond measure. Note that both the Union Square and Willoughby Park underground parking structures were built by private corporations who leased the subterranean rights from the city.

This is a win-win. The city leases the subterranean rights and gets a huge capacity parking garage for free and then still has the surface rights for a park/pedestrian mall, farmers' market etc.


Like this comment
Posted by mkeenly
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Dec 7, 2014 at 12:32 pm

mkeenly is a registered user.

This is a solution looking for a problem. Creative parking management schemes are inexpensive and can maintain parking availability.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

This is not "a solution looking for a problem." The parking problem has been carefully analyzed and a solution identified.

Figure D-6 and the associated language in the Specific Plan clearly support the City intention to build multi-level parking garages.

"Parking Garages
Due to their size, above ground parking garages are highly
visible and affect the character of the surrounding area.
Guidelines for parking garages help minimize their visual
impact and integrate them into the surrounding area.
Standards
E.3.7.09 To promote the use of bicycles, secure bicycle
parking shall be provided at the street level of public parking
garages. Bicycle parking is also discussed in more detail in
Section F.5 "Bicycle Storage Standards and Guidelines."
Guidelines
E.3.7.10 Parking garages on downtown parking plazas
should avoid monolithic massing by employing change in
façade rhythm, materials and/or color.
E.3.7.11 To minimize or eliminate their visibility and impact
from the street and other signifi cant public spaces, parking
garages should be underground, wrapped by other uses
(i.e. parking podium within a development) and/or screened
from view through architectural and/or landscape treatment.
E.3.7.12 Whether free-standing or incorporated into overall
building design, garage façades should be designed with
a modulated system of vertical openings and pilasters,
with design attention to an overall building façade that fi ts
comfortably and compatibly into the pattern, articulation,
scale and massing of surrounding building character.
E.3.7.13 Shared parking is encouraged where feasible to
minimize space needs, and it is effectively codifi ed through
the plan's off-street parking standards and allowance for
shared parking studies.
E.3.7.14 A parking garage roof should be approached
as a usable surface and an opportunity for sustainable
strategies, such as installment of a green roof, solar panels
or other measures that minimize the heat island effect."

Some posters seem not to have read the Specific Plan.


1 person likes this
Posted by Downtown Shopper
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 10, 2014 at 5:08 pm

The idea of providing parking in downtown Menlo Park that Peter Carpenter has suggested has a lot of merit and may be worth taking a serious look at. Leasing the land to an experienced company that has built parking garages for other cities, may make a lot of sense locally. There may not be any cost to the city, and in fact, they may be able to charge rent to lease the land, thus making money. At the same time, additional parking places would be available to merchants, their employees, office building tenants and perhaps most importantly, shoppers, consumers, restaurant patrons and others making downtown Menlo Park a destination, as opposed to the 1,000 of cars that simply pass through on their way to somewhere else, such as Stanford Shopping Center, Town and Country Shopping Center and downtown Palo Alto.


2 people like this
Posted by Sam Sinnott
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 11, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Last night I addressed the Transportation Commission on this very subject as a public comment. How do we build all three of the parking garages identified in the specific plan on the public lots? My goal is to try to get the TC to take the lead in planning these projects. The traffic downtown is a serious safety problem created mostly by the street parking.

Without the construction of these garages street parking cannot be reduced.

The specific plan incorporates a vision of the downtown that is bicycle and pedestrian friendly with wider sidewalks. This vision will never be realized without the parking garages and elimination of most of the street parking.

The Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, Co. is now a destination walking street that was once a tired old downtown. The retailers there now do incredibly well. Santa Cruz Avenue does not need to remove through traffic, just most of the street parking to also experience a Renaissance.

Pearl Street has 5 parking garages within two blocks of the walking mall.


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Pearl Street Mall is a great example of what came happen with some visionary thinking and some creativity in funding. Of course, the Pearl Street Mall doesn't really have a "village character," so I'm sure a bunch a folks would be up in arms if we try it here. Having a private company build and operate parking garages would be a boon for MP and would allow the elimination of street parking as Sam notes. Of course the city would probably lose a sizable chunk of income due to decreased parking fines, but I'm sure they can stick a few more red light cameras in to make up for it.


2 people like this
Posted by Ernst Meisner
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 11, 2014 at 7:22 pm

@Sam Sinnott ---------- My goal is to try to get the TC to take the lead in planning these projects. And, Santa Cruz Avenue does not need to remove through traffic, just most of the street parking to also experience a Renaissance.
1)
I agree with Sam’s goal of having a commission take the lead in creating the three garages. I hope that the City Council will commit to getting this accomplished as a matter of policy and by charging the TC or, if more practical, an entirely new, special body with the task. This group would find financing options, research legal issues, determine aesthetics, and physical details and a host of other issues surfacing along the way. I would also hope that Peter Carpenters suggestion of underground solutions would be seriously considered.
Menlo Park demonstrated before that determination, commitment and leadership can have positive results when it created the downtown group to transform Santa Cruz Ave into a more attractive experience.
2)
I would like to modify Sam’s idea of keeping Santa Cruz Ave open to through traffic. It should only be accessible as needed for emergecny vehicles and any deliveries should be restricted to nighttime hours. Daytime uses should be pedestrian oriented.

During my trip to Germany this September I drove 3.500 KM visiting towns and cities of ALL sizes. Practically all had found ways to preserve a core, usually historically significant area, into a market place / shopping district / pedestrian zone. These Zones have an abundance of flowers, landscaping and comfortable street furniture and are within short distance of public parking. This parking may be in form of open parking lots or structures of many types. Some of them having very sophisticated systems of indicating at entry how many open spaces available and in each aisle where the open spaces are.

Nobody seems to think twice about walking a couple of blocks and we may need to adjust our expectations of parking right in front of our various destinations.

Let us create a pedestrian friendly, human scale, downtown Character with attractive architecture. Forget the village label



Like this comment
Posted by Colin Jenkins
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 12, 2014 at 12:38 pm

I own Occasions, etc on SCA. The last I heard, maybe in 2006 or so, there was an idea of building a parking garage behind Flegel's. MPPC was offering to pay a portion in order that they be allowed to use it. The remainder was to be paid for by assessing the merchants. My recollection is that it would cost somewhere between $20K and $30K per parking space depending on what was built. At the time, after doing some quick math, I concluded that we would be out of business if the assessments were what I calculated them to be. This particular idea died on the vine much to my relief. I don't think many merchants here could survive the cost of paying for a parking garage


4 people like this
Posted by Robert Cronin
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 12, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Does anybody who doesn't live in Menlo Park, shop in Menlo Park? Menlo Park is tiny. No resident lives more than three miles from downtown. If you think parking is a problem, get on your bike. That's what I do. It's easy. You can do it.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 12, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

What downtown merchants need is more customers not more assessments.

We need to find a way to build an exciting and dramatic parking facility that pays for itself. Other communities have done this, there is no reason that Menlo park can't do the same.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 12, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here is an update on the Willoughby Square Park and Robot Parking Garage:

Web Link

They have done all the hard work of thinking this through and running the numbers - why not ask them how and why they are doing this?


Like this comment
Posted by (The original) Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 12, 2014 at 5:49 pm

I'm puzzled - how many more restaurants does downtown MP need? Every block has at least 1; some have 3 or more. For retail, how big a draw are rug shops? How many people come to town just to visit a spice store? I buy my spices at a grocery store. When MPPC raised the rent prohibitively on the family-run hardware store which had served the community well for 40 years, we were left without a much needed local source. Much later, another proprietor thankfully stepped in to rent a very small space to fill the most pressing needs.

Not everyone can bike 3 miles to town. Not all of us find what we want or need when we get there. The economic base of this town has changed greatly. People who buy 3-4 million dollars for homes now usually hire designers to furnish them instead of buying a new sofa at the local furniture store. How many people actually want to develop film now? We don't go downtown to buy new refrigerators as we did 30 years ago. Burlingame Ave has an Apple store, J Crew, etc. Menlo has prided itself on not having "chain" stores but people who come to town for those stores actually patronize other establishments too.

Maybe we don't need more parking or nail salons. How about a determined effort to attract a popular retailer not already represented at Stanford Shopping Center? Then additional parking will be needed.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 12, 2014 at 6:07 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"How about a determined effort to attract a popular retailer not already represented at Stanford Shopping Center? "

They will demand customers - no customers then no new businesses.

The Specific Plan provides for a big increase in customers for the downtown via the now vacant ECR sites.

And customers will demand better parking.


2 people like this
Posted by Nikki Stitt Sokol
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Dec 14, 2014 at 4:39 pm

I am delighted to see people here bringing up the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder. I grew up in Boulder but have lived here for almost 10 years. Menlo Park would be vastly improved by closing Santa Cruz Ave to cars and creating a pedestrian mall area similar to Boulder's. Foot traffic would increase as the area became an attractive place for gathering. Many families would support attractive, preferably underground parking garages in order to have a pedestrian area that would be filled with better shops, cafés, and restaurants. Menlo Park needs a great vision - and this is one. Let's do it!


1 person likes this
Posted by Sam Sinnott
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Good comments all. In response to Colin Jenkins - you are right. Different parking garage plans and funding options have been around for years. Most using an assessment district concept based on the assumption that the property owners benefiting most from the structures should pay for them. Due to the scale of these projects the burden quickly gets enormous on the few downtown property owners. 30 years ago an assessment district for the garages actually went to a vote and was defeated.

The best approach, in my humble opinion, is a city wide municipal bond for all 3 structures. Of course I have zero experience in such matters but conceptually it seems best to pool the cost city wide since we will all benefit.

Once the garages are built and the cars are off the street we will have many design options from slow through traffic to walking streets to create the downtown renaissance Menlo Park deserves.


1 person likes this
Posted by Adina Levin
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 15, 2014 at 4:51 pm

One of the secrets to the success of Boulder Pearl Street parking district - they charged for parking, and they used the money to fund transit passes, shuttles, and other services to help reduce the need for even more parking.

To Downtowner - true, not *everyone* can bicycle two or three miles. But many people can. Improvements to bike safety and low-cost bike parking can help more people make the trips by bike, and save he car parking for people who need it.

Our downtown is pretty small, and there is plenty of car traffic - it would be great if we could more help people get downtown without driving - so the parking spaces would be available for people who really need it!


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 15, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"One of the secrets to the success of Boulder Pearl Street parking district - they charged for parking, and they used the money to fund transit passes, shuttles, and other services to help reduce the need for even more parking. "

That is exactly what Stanford has been doing for over 25 years - and it works. Not a penny of General Fund educational dollars is spent on building parking structures, bike paths and running the shuttle service.


2 people like this
Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Dec 15, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

It is entirely appropriate that the costs of parking are borne by the party in the best position to avoid that cost. There is no free lunch, and there is no such thing as free parking. Everyone pays for it, even the people who don't use it. I suspect that if Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Redwood City and Los Altos all started charging similar rates for public parking, a lot more people would figure out how to get to their downtowns without driving alone in their cars.


Like this comment
Posted by Downtown Shopper
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 16, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Garages sound like a sensible solution to the crowded conditions in downtown Menlo Park; however, realistically, the construction of garages may take years, between studies, environmental impact reports, request for proposals and so on. In the meantime, what can be done? There is a problem NOW. Perhaps changing the two hour limit to three hour limit may help. Perhaps backing off overly aggressive overtime parking citations will help. Citations only result in chasing loyal customers away to shopping centers where there is No Parking Enforcement. I suppose the theory is, the longer you stay, the longer you'll shop, dine and spend money.


2 people like this
Posted by FTR
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 16, 2014 at 6:39 pm

I have never had a problem parking in downtown Menlo Park, nor have I ever gotten a ticket. Follow the rules, people! If the local government is going to do anything for downtown, it should focus on finding businesses that are worth going to. Especially after 7pm! Aside from the Refuge, it's a ghost town.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 16, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

FTR:

while I agree with you generally, Left Bank and Bistro Vida not to mention LB Steak don't constitute a "ghost town." We definitely need more restaurants and night life. It's not a ghost town, but it's close.


Like this comment
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 16, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

I'm not sure how many "used" clothing shops we currently have in our downtown shopping area, but it's more than 3. Our retail selection is horrible and not going to get better for some time.

I am tired of hearing this "charming small town (village) character" pitch in Menlo Park. We are a town that wrote over 22,000 parking tickets, there is NOTHING charming about that. Perhaps the answer lies with charging everyone to park after 60 minutes and using the proceeds to fund the garages. I can assure you the current situation is the WORST of both worlds: not enough parking since the lots are regularly full, and tickets because the lots are full of scofflaws (whinny ones at that)

The long term solution is to bring more people to downtown during the day to get more restaurants (Mountain View is an example of a city that did that)

Now that we've beat back the no growthers who back Measure M, perhaps the influx of office workers and the 600+ apartments in the two projects will help with our downtown vibrancy....pray that it does, since it's bleak right now.

Roy Thiele-Sardina


Like this comment
Posted by R u Kidding?
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 17, 2014 at 7:31 am

First things first - There is not a weaker leader in any city than the current City Manager. His lack of leadership and vision on all issues regarding Menlo Park should get him bounced from his job ASAP!! He is scared of his own shadow so proposing any bold new ideas for Santa Cruz is the last thing he would do without hiring an army of consultants and wasting tax dollars.

Much has been said about the Pearl Street mall and having spent many great times in Boulder I agree with all above.

Regarding parks - what has been done to Nealon Park? Over 1/3 of the grassy area has been destroyed by adding woodchips and mulch. Families and friends will no longer be able to gravitate to this park and enjoy such a beautiful spot. What prompted this?


3 people like this
Posted by maximusgolden
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 17, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Menlo Park needs to embrace a new vision for its future.

The Peninsula has changed. More workers commute from the City than to San Francisco. Nearby cities like Mountain View and Redwood City have embraced this better by allowing larger scale development, including housing, in and near downtown to create walkable communities. Younger people are settling in San Francisco, where they walk easily to nearby commerce, and filling up trains and busses to get to work in Menlo Park and other Peninsula cities.

In the meantime, many in Menlo Park continue to embrace the obsolete self-image as a suburban, car-centric village and want to build more parking and discourage development in near the retail and transportation hub to improve car transit.

IMHO, Menlo Park should be looking to more intensive downtown development, to enable a community that walks to shops and restaurants, thereby assuring downtown vitality, and to deploy shuttles and other forms of shared transportation to reduce the need for parking and traffic lanes.

Compare the parking-oriented vision of Menlo Park to many vital parts of San Francisco which are limiting parking like Hayes Valley, the Inner Mission, Noe Valley, etc.

Menlo Park needs to a vision for a vital future with greater downtown population density and shared transportation.


Like this comment
Posted by Sam Sinnott
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 17, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Maximusgolden - I agree with you but this debate was settled with the specific plan - a very long, democratic, expensive and contentious process.

Now that the specific plan is the law (with the defeat of measure m - Thanks Roy!) and the parking structure locations are defined, we need to work to get them built and free our streets from the chaotic, choke hold of street parking. A good way to move forward is through the transportation commission with the urging of a council member. Funding for design could come from the City or a private beneficiary like the Presbyterian Church. Once designed and approved a municipal bond would probably be the best way to fund the construction of all three.


Like this comment
Posted by henry fox
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 18, 2014 at 10:11 am

Roy, right on. However Santa Cruz Ave has 7 second hand stores--unless some have gone out of business :-)


Like this comment
Posted by Downtown Shopper
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 18, 2014 at 12:17 pm

What I'd like to see is an ol' fashion TOWN HALL MEETING, where anybody interested in this, or any other topic, would have an opportunity to chime in and express themselves. This would be instead of the limited, formal, 3 minutes one receives at a twice a month City Council meeting. City Staff, City Council, Planning Commission and Transportation Commission members could be invited and available to join in on the community conversation.

This column confirms that there is interest on the topic.


Like this comment
Posted by Steve Taffee
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 18, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Like many of those who have commented in this thread, I too would like to see steps taken to alleviate parking issues in downtown Menlo Park. However attractive the idea of a parking garage or underground parking, I would like to see the City also attempt to alleviate parking issues by encouraging more downtown employers encouraging their employees to take transit to work, leaving more spaces for clients, customers, shoppers.....

I also think RWC has the right approach in charging for just about every downtown parking spot. This might encourage some shoppers to be be more strategic in their chopping expeditions, running several errands at the same time rather than making multiple trips to downtown. An added benefit is that additional revenue from "no such thing as a 'free' parking space" is that the money could be put towards programs that both encourage transit alternatives, as well as forward-thinking parking strategies, such a garages that use elevators to place and fetch cars, using less vertical space per vehicle, smart meters that announce when they are vacant via your smartphone, and time of day/congestion parking (as in San Francisco) where rates vary based on demand.


Like this comment
Posted by Colin Jenkins
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 19, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Some more thoughts on the subject. It seems that the general feeling is that the merchants would benefit the most from a parking garage solution and should bear the brunt of the cost. Perhaps not very widely understood is the fact that there are office buildings on either side of the downtown whose tenants use a large majority of the parking spots. I counted total parking spots in the lot behind our store one morning around 8:30 am (well before the retail stores open) and came up with a number close to 100. Then a count of the cars with permits taking up spaces was around 60 which leaves roughly 40 spots for the 10 or so storefronts that front SCA. Most of the full spaces were adjacent to the office buildings so I made the assumption that given the time of day and the location that the spots were mostly used by the office dwellers.

I'd like to know what number of parking permits were sold relative to the total number of parking spaces. If it's 60%, perhaps there some room for adjusting which may free up spaces for shoppers.

Also not widely known is that the merchants actually purchased the parking lot land in the 40's or so and gave this property to the city. This is what I was told by one member of a family that has owned property in MP for some time and if that's true, it seems like double jeopardy to ask the merchants to pay again.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 19, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

There is no reason that building an underground lot or above ground structure should cost the merchants anything. The land involved is very valuable and if the City puts it up for a long term lease to the best bidder who will build and operate a pay parking facility this could be done at very low cost to the city.

Palo Alto is just completing a design competition for a new bicycle bridge over 101 - they got some great designs at zero cost to the city. Why not have a design competition for a really exciting "parking solution" for downtown Menlo Park. A "parking solution" design competition because there should be minimal constraints on what such a solution might involve so that we can tap into some real creativity.


Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 19, 2014 at 5:58 pm

I've lived in Menlo Park for 30 years and I've never had to park more than a block from my destination, or had to wait to get a spot. I don't see why we need more parking.


Like this comment
Posted by Sam Sinnott
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 19, 2014 at 5:58 pm

All of the comments seem to favor the parking garages. The questions now focus on funding and the design. The sites are designated in the specific plan. Before we can get into the details we need support from a council member and either get the transportation commission 'taking the lead' or a special committee. The traffic and parking downtown are especially bad this year and something needs to be done. The transportation commission meets in the council chamber the second Wednesday of every month at 7 PM. Please show up and make a statement favoring this effort in the general comment period at the start of the meeting.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 20, 2014 at 11:07 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here is the kind of creativity that the City of Menlo Park needs to sow:
"SamTrans and developer reach deal to let San Carlos Transit Village project begin
By Rhea MahbubaniDaily News Staff Writer

Courtesy of the City of San Carlos A rendering of the... ( Courtesy of the City of San Carl )
SamTrans announced Monday that it has reached an agreement with developer Legacy Partners, paving the way for construction to begin on the San Carlos Transit Village.

According to its press release, SamTrans will receive $750,000 a year over the next five years for leasing the Transit Village site to Legacy Partners, plus an additional amount after that period "by a to-be-determined percentage of gross revenues generated by the project."

Web Link

Note that neither SamTrans or the City of San Carlos is paying a penny for this project.


Like this comment
Posted by Jim Lewis
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 20, 2014 at 11:38 am

I'm in agreement with you on this proposal, Peter. What can we do to move the project forward? It seems like a win-win situation. Potentially there is no cost to the City nor the downtown merchants with additional parking available for shoppers, diners, office employees and others. As Sam Sinnott has pointed out, the new Specific Plan allows for up to three garages to be built in the downtown area. As it has worked in other cities, is there any reason why it couldn't work in Menlo Park? Count me in. Let's make it happen.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 20, 2014 at 11:53 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"I'm in agreement with you on this proposal, Peter. What can we do to move the project forward?"

1 - email the City Council at:

city.council@menlopark.org

2 - Speak during Public Comments at the beginning of each Council meeting

3 - Encourage others to do the same


Like this comment
Posted by Downtown Shopper
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 3, 2015 at 12:16 pm

I've read about this topic for years. Most cities face a downtown parking problem, but it seems particularly problematic in Menlo Park. Why? Perhaps it is due to a variety of reasons. One explanation stated above is the need for one or more parking garages.

Several people have suggested that a private company could build it, as they have done in other cities, both in California and out of state. In that way, there is no cost to either the city or the downtown merchants. Sounds like a win, win situation to me.

If the Specific Plan provides for up to three garages, what will it take to impliment it? Does a Business Improvement District (aka BID's) such as those in Palo Alto, San Francisco and a variety of other places need to be formed in Menlo Park? Does the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce need to take a stand? Is there a Merchants Association that can speak up?

Perhaps we will see some progress being made on this long standing issue in year 2015. Bottom line, a more vibrant downtown for the benefit of merchants, shoppers, store owners and others.


Like this comment
Posted by Progressive Pete
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jan 4, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Has anyone talked to Mayor Carlton about this thread or the downtown parking garage idea?

Does anyone know if she plans to start the process this year?

Should we have people start emailing her?


Like this comment
Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 5, 2015 at 2:39 pm

I am "all in" on the idea of underground parking beneath a pedestrian-friendly park/plaza. Perhaps it could be partially funded by the fees/taxes the two projects will generate. I would caution, however, those who believe that parking fees are a significant part of a funding solution, either directly or thru a lease arrangement. Palo Alto does NOT charge for downtown parking because the Stanford Shopping Center does't and PA does not want to create another competitive disadvantage. Does anyone know how to get a hold of any early studies of potential parking structures in MP. I intend to follow, analyze and support new progress on this opportunity AND others associated with improving the vitality of our central business districts. Constructive, fact-based contributions are always welcomed at www.reimaginemenlopark.com


Like this comment
Posted by who will pay
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 5, 2015 at 4:09 pm

Who will pay? As the city's consultant pointed out, the downtown plan expects a lot of improvements but never got around to figuring out how to pay for them. The public benefit process is one.

Shouldn't any new parking be as close to the need as possible? The area behind Flegel's is not at all where more parking is needed. That lot area is at the opposite end of downtown from where the greatest demand is.

BTW - I have never had to search long for a parking spot. Somehow people are less tolerant of walking a couple blocks in Menlo Park than in other towns.


Like this comment
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jan 5, 2015 at 8:44 pm

Before building a parking garage, why not have more paid parking, with modern pay machines that take credit cards, can be refilled with a mobile phone, etc.? Seems like you'd get the benefit of improved parking utilization and more available parking at probably less than a tenth of a percent of the cost.

See Redwood City for the details.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 6, 2015 at 7:17 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Just "keeping up" with Redwood City is not the way to create an exciting new attraction in Menlo Park.

The idea is not just to maximize the use of existing parking spaces but, via an underground parking facility and a surface area pedestrian and park area, to create an exciting new downtown Menlo Park that attracts more sutures and generate more business and tax revenues.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 6, 2015 at 7:18 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

corrections - that attracts more customers and generates more business and tax revenues.


1 person likes this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Jan 9, 2015 at 4:34 pm

Dana, I just checked out your web site. Why is the photo on the opening page a rural scene that looks like Portola Valley? What exactly are you selling? You support the 400,000 SF of office development on ECR and you claim to worry about parking and the financial well being of MP. Your photo is a confusing message. We may not be a village, but we're sure not rural Portola Valley either.


Like this comment
Posted by Good News
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 12, 2015 at 9:33 am

Menlo Park City Council Email Log

Re: Parking Tickets Downtown

Date: Fri, 9 Jan 2015 10:41:43 -0800

Julie,

Thank you for your letter. I could not agree with you more, and plan to have this issue reviewed by the City Council as soon as I can get it on the agenda. It is my most passionate wish to make our downtown parking more friendly, as you have suggested. I also look forward to progress on this issue, both in short-term solutions and over the long-term.

Best regards,

Catherine

Catherine Carlton
Mayor, Menlo Park




> On Jan 8, 2015, at 8:28 PM, Julie Gosler <juliegosler_at_(domainremoved)
>
> To the Menlo Park City Council,
>
> I would really appreciate a second look at the parking restrictions for downtown. As a frequent downtown shopper, I find it frustrating to be ticketed for shopping at multiple businesses and exceeding my time limit. Why can't all shoppers park for 3 hours in the backlots? If you want people to stay and spend money, they need somewhere to park. Parking attendants are over zealous!!! Please stop punishing shoppers and diners who want to support downtown businesses.
>
> I look forward to your progress on this issue.
>
> Sincerely,
> Julie Gosler
> 645 evergreen street
Received on Fri Jan 09 2015 - 10:36:11 PST

Email communications sent to the City Council are public records. This site is an archive of emails received by the City Council at its city.council_at_(domainremoved)


Like this comment
Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 13, 2015 at 12:18 pm

Huh? You might not like either the photo on my website or my views on making Menlo Park a better place to live BUT your comment displays pure pettiness. Menlo Park is not an island and my website stresses the assets our city enjoys including living in a beautiful area. Grow-up!


Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 16, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Since three hour parking limits worked well during the Christmas season, wouldn't it make sense to give it an honest try during the rest of the year, perhaps on a one year trial basis?


Like this comment
Posted by Downtown Shopper
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 22, 2015 at 11:46 am

Would Mountain View's proposal work in one or more of the 8 downtown parking lots? It's a novel idea, but perhaps worth considering in Menlo Park.

MOUNTAIN VIEW

Council favors hotel on parking lot

◾ 12 city-owned parcels downtown scrutinized for vertical development, increased parking space, revenue

BY RHEA MAHBUBANI

Daily News Staff Writer

Mountain View is aiming to capitalize on the roaring economy by adding a hotel to the downtown area.

At a study session Tuesday, the City Council backed developing several city-owned parking lots in ways that would increase the number of public parking spaces, generate revenue and provide additional housing.

Four of the 12 parking lots — 4, 8, 11 and 12 — hold “particular promise,” said Assistant City Manager Melissa Diaz.

Lot 4 is nearly 1.1. acres and can be reached from Hope and Villa streets and Evelyn Avenue. Located across Hope is the 0.65-acre Lot 8, which includes 61 parking spaces. Based on their proximity to the city’s transit center, both are ideal for commercial uses, including offices and retail, with a maximum height of four stories, according to a city staff report. Developers could build individual projects on the parcels or connect them with an underground tunnel or bridge.

While Lot 8 is a candidate for housing, the Downtown Precise Plan would require any new development on Lot 4 to include on-site parking, as well as replace the 88 spots it already has. Virgin Hotels has expressed “unsolicited interest” in building a hotel and office complex on lots 4 and 8, according to the report.

The council ultimately directed city staff to return in the spring with a plan to seek proposals for the development of lots 4 and 8. A hotel and a net increase in parking are preferred, Diaz said.

“Having something … with conference space and stuff, I think, is an amenity that is needed downtown,” Councilman Mike Kasperzak said. “And 10 percent or higher transit occupancy tax is really beneficial to the city.”

Lot 11 is 1.2 acres and provides 99 parking spaces at Villa and Franklin streets. The parcel is a candidate for senior housing and retail, according to the report.

Accessible by Mercy, Bryant and California streets, Lot 12 is 1.46 acres and provides 160 parking spaces.

The council opted to host a study session later this year to investigate adding housing to Lot 12, Diaz said. Lot 12 was singled out because it is located midway between the transit center and El Camino Real and is within walking distance of the public library, as well as several parks and restaurants. Noise could be a problem for Lot 11 because it is near Steins Beer Garden and Tied House.

PARKING, page A4

Article Continued Below
See PARKING on Page A04

PARKING

From page A1

Nine residents addressed the council Tuesday, offering a mixed bag of opinions.

“We certainly don’t need job creation,” said Louise Katz, referring to a statement in the report that a hotel would generate new jobs. “It also talks about needing to preserve the vitality of downtown and I think again that’s a gross misstatement. I think we all know downtown is quite vital.”

Jim Neal said he liked the idea of another hotel in Mountain View, but believed that building it on a parking lot was “completely unworkable.” He disagreed with the city staff recommendation to develop lots 4 and 8, which are among four paid lots used by Levi’s Stadium-goers. He also pointed out that the farmers market uses Lot 12.

“If you take this parking away and don’t replace it with anything, you’re going to create significantly greater problems than the ones that you’re resolving,” Neal said. “And you may bring in more revenue to the city, but it’s going to mean that there are going to be more traffic jams, there’s going to be less parking in the neighborhoods, and it’s just going to make Mountain View the same as San Francisco.”

In response, Kasperzak suggested moving the farmers market to Castro Street in the coming years. Reserving lots 11 and 12 for parking is an “incredible under-use of taxpayer resources,” because the city acquired and assembled the parcels with an eye toward future development, he said.

Councilman Lenny Siegel floated the idea of establishing community land trusts to provide affordable ownership housing on city-owned land. In Mountain View, a trust could lease the land; in exchange, residents, although able to make the switch from renting to owning, would not fully benefit from the property’s appreciation when they sell, he said.

Councilman Chris Clark said developers should be asked not only to replace parking but to build more. The city should also act quickly if it hopes to profit from the rebounding economy.

“I think the market is just in the right place where we can get a lot more bang for our buck and a lot more of what we would want, regardless of what it is — whether it’s affordable housing (or) it’s a hotel,” Clark said.

“When this issue came up on the agenda, my first inclination was to say, ‘No,’” said Councilman Ken Rosenberg. “There’s a lot going on in Mountain View. … The last thing we need to do is change the area that is probably the most vibrant of all of Mountain View in terms of residential and commerce in one spot. But as Chris says, there’s a lot of opportunity and the moment is now.”



Powered by TECNAVIA
Copyright © 2015 thedailynews 01/22/2015


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Be the first to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Downtown Palo Alto gets new Vietnamese eatery
By Elena Kadvany | 15 comments | 6,318 views

Composting Works
By Sherry Listgarten | 2 comments | 1,785 views

On Metaphor and Mortality
By Aldis Petriceks | 1 comment | 1,089 views

Premarital and Existing Couples: Marriage Rules: Yours, Mine, or Ours?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 783 views

No sand toys, no problem
By Cheryl Bac | 2 comments | 333 views