Menlo Park's Future


Study.  Do Nothing.  And Win?

Fellow Residents:

I have noted in previous emails that when council members make decisions, they also make enemies, so the politically safest course of action is taking no action at all. Hiring consultants to study an issue is the perfect cover for doing nothing.

An article in the Aug. 27th, Palo Alto Daily News demonstrates the point:

        “It took almost two years to get to this week’s Menlo Park City Council vote on revitalizing El Camino Real, which set in  motion a process that could take another two years to complete. So far, the city has spent $176,000* on the visioning process .The budget for the second phase is still unknown, he [City planner Thomas Rogers] told the council, {the second phase} could ultimately cost between $500,000 and $1 million.”

*This cost does not include staff time; it does not include the many millions in lost revenues if housing and retail were in place now, not to mention the profits lost to our home-town merchants, because of the ever-worsening blight on our section of El Camino Real.

Just think, another two years of blight. Also think about the fact that another two years of El Camino Real study and do nothing could get our city’s politicians through the upcoming Council election and the next one. This may be clever political maneuvering but is it really in the best interests of Menlo Park?  Especially since this is the fourth comprehensive visioning study dealing with El Camino/Downtown Menlo Park.

Note, too:

·         We are having yet another consultant study on a possible El Camino Bike Tunnel,
·         Yet another consultant study on Traffic in the Willows,
·         And yet another potential study on sidewalks for Santa Cruz Ave.

I think that before any new study is undertaken; the City Council should review, in depth, all previous consultant-driven studies on the issue in question. Then it could decide if a new comprehensive study is actually needed.  But, wait, that may mean making a decision!

Let’s end the cycle of Study, Do Nothing, in order to Win. And let’s end the blight on El Camino Real.

If I sound testy, it’s because I feel testy.

Lee Duboc, former Mayor and City Council member

P.S. As always, I appreciate your comments.  So, please communicate with me at
Also, if you would like to read any of my past emails, please go to the