Menlo Park Considering New ‘Mini Pocket’ ideas

by on April 24, 2012

in consumer

Menlo Park Concert in the Park final 2011 Concert

I picked up the April 24th edition of the Daily Post and saw an article about Menlo Park considering, or having proposed two mini-parks, or parklets for the town.

One mini-park or “pocket park” would be on Crane and other park would be located at Chestnut Land at Oak Grove Ave.  The parks will be replacing some parking spaces in those locations.  This idea is motivated by the idea that the city of Menlo Park wants to increase the charm of the town, and I’m sure it will.

The article notes concerned citizens perspective on the “pocket parks” attracting overnight homeless.

The Daily Post article, by Kristen Peters, noted how San Francisco’s attempt at mini-parks became a hot-spot for the homeless.

In an oddly vague answer, the Associate Planner said the small parks will be no different than the larger parks they already have in town.

(This is where I’m asking, How’s that?)

Peters noted that when the planner, Thomas Rogers, was asked about homeless folks in the parks, he’s quoted to saying that,

“The city would take measures to eliminate the potential problems.”


“There are ways to deter that sort of thing.”

This is when I lit up and became inspired to add this piece here and I’m wondering what Rogers has in mind.

Because I’m not sure about you, but when the milder weather settles in for the long haul, Rogers and anyone else who might be interested, should take a good, long look at the far back corner of Fremont Park.

If they did, they’d notice the tent or whatever contraption was set up last summer, that stayed there for quite some time through the season, making it unsightly and undesirable.

If that’s the result of deterrents, they need better deterrents and an increased motivation to move the homeless that set up camps, like the nightly camp in front of the church at Arbor and Middle.  Or the folk that wheel their over-burdened shopping carts up the middle of University at 5am in the morning, blocking traffic in the process. (I’ve seen where cars almost hit the woman who plods up the middle of the road… with no lights or no reflectors.  And if no one is looking at the wrong time, well, they’ll have a new package of guilt to carry around with them.)

I know it’s a bit difficult to enforce rules on the homeless.  That would be an endless cycle, so I’m not sure what the right answer would be here.  But to toss out cavalier answers to legitimate questions, when those answers are already ineffectual premises, that just gets my goat.

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