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Re: My Menlo (Now and Next Generation)

From: domainremoved <Kirsten>
Date: Sat, 10 Sep 2016 07:33:12 -0700

Hi Erin,

Please feel free to attend our Bicycle Commission meeting this Monday at
7:00 pm., if only for a half hour. You'll meet a great group of people and
hear about the many projects going on.


On Friday, September 9, 2016, Erin Cooke <erinmcooke_at_(domainremoved)

> Thank you for taking the time to respond. I assumed this much, and will
> try, when time permits to peruse the council/commission agendas that relate
> to smart growth and its aims to achieve a better quality of life and
> mitigated environmental impacts via dense transit-oriented development - a
> critical pathway for (re)designing our arterials like el Camino.
> I am certainly Quite passionate about expanding active (and safe)
> transportation options in our city and am encouraged by the work of our
> bike and transportation committees. Hopeful the Council will consider
> dedicating a position to this. Palo Alto is achieving massive
> results/engagement/traffic mitigations through their safe routes
> coordination team, as is Cupertino, sadly after tragedy struck their city
> following the loss of a teenage bike commuter on his way to school.
> Thanks again for all you do in service and support to our shared
> community! - Erin
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Sep 2, 2016, at 5:05 PM, Kirsten Keith <kkeith_at_(domainremoved)
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','kkeith_at_(domainremoved)
> Hi Erin,
> Thank you for your email. There is a lot going on in Menlo Park. One way
> to engage is to check out the different types of commissions and meetings
> going on and see what you are interested in. I look forward to meeting you.
> Best regards,
> Kirsten
> On Friday, September 2, 2016, Erin Cooke <erinmcooke_at_(domainremoved)
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','erinmcooke_at_(domainremoved)
>> Good afternoon esteemed Council Members and our City Manager -
>> I'm writing to share both complements of your staff/our City but also a
>> few questions on how to get better engaged to help usher in a new, greater
>> Menlo that I see pieces, but impermanence, of in our community.
>> Our family was lucky enough to find/buy a (wildly tiny) home in your
>> community (Allied Arts) last year. We've been busy with minor upgrades
>> since welcoming our 2nd kiddo so haven't engaged a great deal with the City
>> just yet. Our recent trips to City Hall (planning department - garage
>> demolition), visits from Code Enforcement (redwood tree - Eleanor by the
>> way, amazing!), and/or trips to the library make us ever so grateful to
>> have landed here for the long term (I'm convinced our 700 sq.ft. house will
>> be *perfect* for retirement). Your staff have been friendly, helpful,
>> courteous and all around great representatives for our City and I'm a firm
>> believer in sharing accolades vs. critiques, as they deserve just as much
>> time/emphasis.
>> We live across the street from teamLab and it's so wildly cool. When we
>> first moved into town, from SF by way of Palo Alto and Boston, we were so
>> disappointed by the "gateway" to our community via this "grand boulevard"
>> that seems more route 66ish circa 1960 in Menlo. It's such a disconnect -
>> this arterial being so maintained by Palo Alto, and even modestly in
>> Redwood City. You cross our boundary and it's abandoned car dealerships,
>> restaurants that may never open (Chum Ya what? BBC has literally be under
>> construction our entire time here). For me it's a reflection of our civic
>> pride - how can "this" be our "welcome" sign? With investment in our
>> downtown, adorable little parklets popping up, is there no "take back"
>> strategy for our main drag?
>> I recognize that these parcels are owned by unique developers who have
>> likely been delayed due to funding post-recession and now, via folks in the
>> community conflicted by change. Traffic, congestion, burdens on our
>> schools all roadblocks, referenced by some, for evolving our community.
>> But I am confident that we have amazing visionary leadership and planners
>> that can help with this transformation - as I'm seeing with teamLab - let's
>> try more pop-ups, more greenery, more parks, greater active mobility
>> options that can mitigate traffic, technology solutions that let civil
>> society interface with these options - let them design, choose, ideate -
>> let's not let the university town neighbor beat us here. We are just as
>> good as Palo Alto but for some reason we don't have the infrastructure,
>> aesthetic, businesses to prove it.
>> So how do we do better? You tell me - how can we engage? We the current
>> generation of Menlo-ians (so new I don't even know what to call "us" yet)
>> want more from our town and we know that requires us to get involved. I'm
>> a working mama with two kiddos so make it easy for me so that the
>> collective "voice" of our city isn't the same 7 people that show up to
>> council meetings.Our town is a composition of so many, retirees, families,
>> youth. Menlo is about families, about quality of life, about
>> opportunities, about more for our kiddos, and hopefully a little bit of fun
>> (please, please more than 1 bar downtown!). I don't want to shop in Palo
>> Alto, I don't want to eat in Palo Alto - I want my Friday night bike ride
>> to be to a restaurant in Menlo that's not a Left Bank, where my kids can
>> roam free, where I can be less buttoned up after a long day, and ride home
>> safely via our "grand boulevard" that screams - welcome to Menlo isn't this
>> place awesome!
>> I'm a government gal myself, so I'm not looking for a long-winded answer,
>> despite this long- winded email :) - please save your staff time. Just tell
>> me what meetings to attend or where to send my words. I will show up, but I
>> can't always before my 3yo goes to bed (can you help with that too?). I'm
>> most interested in our downtown and el camino's transition to something
>> great. Got the M-2 postcard and am hopeful that can be a reflection of what
>> folks living adjacent to FB want for that area (but also maybe some
>> community benefits funding to ensure that we're putting in great bikeways
>> to/from that areas and corridors that connect with downtown to get them to
>> these services/$ - maybe a shuttle?).
>> Thank you for reading and considering these comments and for all you to
>> to build a better Menlo - I see it - it's emergent - and I'm hopeful it
>> will become our new normal!
>> Erin Cooke
>> Cambridge Avenue
Received on Sat Sep 10 2016 - 07:39:06 PDT

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