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Bedwell Bayfront Park Master Plan

From: domainremoved <Chris>
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2017 15:52:37 -0800

Dear Members of Menlo Park City Council,


Thank you for undertaking the Master Plan project for Bedwell Bayfront
Park. The plan contains some excellent proposals and will lead to the park
continuing to be the place where people go to walk and relax, or to jog and
give their dog exercise, or to enjoy seeing wildlife, or other ways they
enjoy the park. Having visited the park since the 1980s, and as a long-time
Menlo Park resident until 4 years ago (now living in North Fair Oaks), I
have a very personal interest in ensuring the quality of experiences for
anyone visiting the park. I am also an active member of Friends of Bedwell
Bayfront Park.


I have concerns about three items: the boat launch (included in the
recommendations), and a dog park and a glider launch area. I urge you to
keep all of these out of our park.


*Boat launch *

This is included in the plan’s recommendations. The graphic in the Master
Plan is misleading, showing a day when the usable tidal period for using a
launch site would be a long period during park open hours. Because tides
change daily, there will be many days when the window for launching or
returning will be narrow. If someone leaves on an ebbing tide, they may
return to find they can’t get themselves or their kayak out of a low-tide,
muddy channel.

People leaving the park by kayak to explore elsewhere will take up parking
spots that would otherwise be used by people coming to recreate at the
park. The site itself may erode and need repairing periodically. This may
require consulting with other agencies and getting permits.

There are excellent launch facilities off Seaport in Redwood City, and in
Palo Alto.


*Dog Park*

With the increased activity from dogs tearing around a dog park, barking,
and gliders being launched and tracked by their handlers, the feel of the
park may change, reducing what one FB reviewer described as “Bedwell has
that quiet and inescapable (sic) feel to it and you can take a moment and
breathe the air and see things like a bird taking to wing and a sunset
marked with gold”.

Dog parks are not unequivocally beneficial for dogs. They may do more harm
than good, especially if the owners aren’t skilled at managing their dog.
Instead of improving dog socialization, dogs may become more aggressive, or
more fearful, and overall less well socialized.

There are other dog parks. Belle Haven deserves a dog park closer to where
people live: perhaps you could look into that. Flood Park, just across
Highway 101, is a more developed park. Perhaps Menlo Park could recommend
a dog park as part of Flood Park’s planning process now underway.


*Remote-controlled glider flying*

As others have described, the time and effort that will be required to
oversee and monitor glider usage at the park would take up much of a
ranger’s time, if not most of it. I am so delighted that there is support
for reinstating ranger coverage at the park, and hope that he or she will
not only remind people to adhere to regulations, be a deterrent to car
break ins, but also provide information to visitors about the park’s
natural –and “unnatural” (in its former life as a dump)– history.


For both these last two activities, areas will have to be cordoned off for
the activities, reducing the overall attractiveness of viewing an
untrammeled open space in the park’s interior. Reviews of the park on
Facebook extol the vistas and peacefulness of the park.


I urge you to approve the park’s Master Plan as proposed, with the
exception of removing the boat launch site.

Thank you for your consideration.


Chris MacIntosh
P.O. Box 802
Menlo Park, CA 94026
Received on Tue Nov 14 2017 - 15:57:23 PST

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