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Protests target Arrillaga project in Menlo Park

Original post made on Nov 28, 2012

A small group of residents has a large mission: Save Menlo Park. Their target? The eight-acre, mixed-use complex developer John Arrillaga wants to build on property owned by Stanford University along El Camino Real.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 2:37 PM

Comments (10)

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Posted by Bill
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Perhaps Menlo Park could do a deal with the High Speed Rail authority to make some of the land necessary for the HSR project. (More productive and useful than playing super NIMBY with Palo Alto and Atherton in opposing the train).

Then we could get HSR and a smaller Arrillaga development.


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Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Those empty parking lots are a blight.

This complex is badly needed. The Palo Alto/Menlo Park/Mountain View is the heart of Silicon Valley and needs to remain competitive. In the coming decade, biotechnology and personalized medicine — as life extension becomes possible — will only become more important. Right now, Cambridge, MA (especially around Kendall/MIT) has the upper hand in medical start ups. We need a corridor for these companies or risk missing out on the next shift in tech.


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Posted by Herstory Buff
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 28, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Those abandoned car dealerships are ugly and reminiscent of the Rust Belt. Something needs to be done with them, but the proposed project by John Arrillaga is also ugly, in the sense of overkill. There has to be a happy medium somewhere. Why does it have to be one extreme or the other, when both extremes are butt-ugly?


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Posted by Adina
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 28, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Bill, HSR doesn't need any additional ROW in Menlo Park.

According the the Blended System which is what has been approved and funded, HSR will travel on the current Caltrain tracks, possibly with the addition of a 3 or 4 track passing track section. The location of passing tracks has not yet been decided. Only one of the options, the 3-track option, might travel through Menlo Park. That option wouldn't require extra ROW. I confirmed that with Caltrain because the question came up with regard to several land use issues.


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Posted by more more more
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm

You're right, Paly Grad. El Camino should be the home of next gen biotech. And customized medical treatments. And, since El Camino is El Camino, why not locate all the companies doing innovative transport technology there too? We don't want to forget about the old school software and hardware companies that made this valley what it is, so let's bring them to the nexus of Palo Alto and Menlo Park as well.

Just imagine how wonderful it would be to have every single important company in the same building. Mindblowing!


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Posted by judy
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 29, 2012 at 8:14 am

I believe Menlo Park axed the expansion of El Camino Real to three lanes in the past.If El Camino were expanded to three lanes as Palo Alto has done, traffic would flow more easily.


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Posted by Adina
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 29, 2012 at 11:18 am

The staff report for the El Camino/Downtown specific plan analyzed the intersections and found that expanding ECR to 6 lanes would save at most 17 seconds. And that analysis didn't even analyze the number of extra trips that would be sucked in from 280/101 if it was a little faster to get through ECR. I make decisions about whether to take ECR vs the freeway based on distance and time, don't you? Capacity added by going to 6 lanes would be sucked up by people deciding to take ECR instead of the freeway.

Meanwhile, I keep hearing from parents that they are afraid to let their kids walk and bike to the playing fields, parks, library, school etc. because it is unsafe to cross El Camino. Enabling cars to drive faster on El Camino, and making the crossing distance longer, will make it even less safe for kids. That traffic jam at 3:30pm? That's parents driving their kids. If it was safer to cross, there would be less of a traffic jam.

Better light timing so traffic could flow more smoothly would be a great investment. But adding more car lanes so that a driver can save 17 seconds traveling through Menlo Park, at the expense of people who want to cross the street safely? Bad bargain.


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 29, 2012 at 11:58 am

@ Judy: Don't know if you're aware, but it wasn't that long ago that ECR was 3 lanes running through MP.


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Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 30, 2012 at 8:36 am

What isn't covered in the story is another Arrillaga project south of Sand Hill Road on ECR that will add another 3K cars to the traffic for a combined total of 8K more cars per day. What are the chances there was a combined analysis of the traffic impact considering?

What truly is disappointing of Stanford was the request for more parking spaces under the guise of senior housing which was granted only to have them come back with traffic intensive medical offices - from basically 1 trip per day per resident (if that) to 3 appointments per hour per doctor.


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Posted by Less Government
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 3, 2012 at 8:15 am

Property taxes will be paid and the law of the land will be followed.
Also, Menlo Park and Palo Alto are provided with buckets of money from Stanford University in many, many ways. City "costs" pale in comparison.


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