Peter Carpenter – January 2015
It would be a tragic mistake if Menlo Park chooses a short term solution (one parking lot) to solve a small part of a long term problem (a more vibrant downtown).
Take all the public property including all the parking lots, all of Santa Cruz Ave and all the cross streets between ECR and University and Menlo and Oak Grove and put it into a design competition to create a totally walkable, bikable, playable, shopable surface area with ALL the parking underground. This total publicly owned land is incredible valuable and developing it in three dimensions could provide an exciting opportunity that would attract capital and encourage the current downtown property owners to either find ways to connect their current buildings to this project or allow their properties to be acquired by the City via eminent domain (which has great tax advantages to the current owners) and then placed into the pool for the new integrated design.
All it would take is vision, leadership and courage.