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#MenloParkDoesntWantYouToPark

From: domainremoved <Purnima>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2018 23:48:50 -0700

Dear Mayor and Menlo council members,

I have been a thirty-year resident of downtown Mountain View. My family
​has ​
enjoy
​ed​
and promote
​d​
the small business
​downtown ​
atmosphere at Castro in Mountain View, at University Avenue in Palo Alto,
and also at Los Altos and Redwood City.

I am sorry to state that I am completely turned off by the ambience, rules
and practices of so-called downtown Menlo Park, if you can even call it a
downtown since there is nobody around. In comparison to Mountain View and
Palo Alto, Menlo is known as a not-so-diverse sleepy little town that does
little to promote local businesses to residents and visitors
​.​
Today, I fully understood the reasons.

I was celebrating my recovery from major cancer surgery at Mademoiselle
Colette on Santa Cruz Avenue, when I received a parking ticket because I
went a few minutes over the 90 minute parking limit, and when there were
easily ten empty spaces around. Where are the parking meters and signs for
visitors? The psychological experience of receiving a parking ticket after
celebrating a recovery from major surgery totally dampened my spirits. I am
not returning to Menlo or recommending the town to my friends and
colleagues. Later, I wasn't surprised to hear that Mademoiselle Colette is
unprofitable in Menlo Park and therefore opening a bigger and more
welcoming location in Redwood City, as well as another spot in Palo Alto.

During the past thirty years, I have never once received a parking ticket
for simply going over a few minutes on Castro or University Avenue or Los
Altos Main Street. Those townships understand the commonsense of keeping
their businesses competitive, and street life thriving. Menlo is mainly
interested in money, affluence, and gouging visitors and even its own
residents for a few measly parking fines at every opportunity it can get.
This is disgraceful.

If you're not already aware, the City of Menlo Park has two pathetic stars
on Yelp. I am attaching many Yelp reviews which echo my experience, to wake
you up from your stupor. It is ironic that a Mountain View resident would
have to raise something so obvious to the great minds of Menlo Park. In any
case, I feel compelled to contribute my honest review to Yelp, as well as
to publicize your "gouging" parking practices to all media outlets.

You ruined my day and my celebration, and I am expecting a $45 parking
ticket refund to my address below. Please contact me for further
information or clarification.

regards
Purnima Gauthron
562 Pettis Avenue
Mountain View
CA 94041

Phone: 650 968-1078
Email: purnima.gauthron_at_(domainremoved)
_____
Yelp reviews https://www.yelp.com/biz/city-of-menlo-park-menlo-park-2

I was given a parking ticket for $45 for parking on the street near Cafe
Barone simple because my license plate sticker wasn't current. The parasite
meter maid surely saw that my plates were paid up and current. I had simply
failed to put the sticker on (it was in my glove box). I take full
responsibility for my failure. And I think it is fair to charge someone
$20-$25 once they prove their plates were valid. Instead, I was rejected
and then charged the higher fee for taking too long to pay the original
amount.

I danced like a Russian Bear and jumped through the required hoops on the
website to appeal. To think they can reject you and then hike up the fee
during the process is ludicrous. So at the end of the day I paid $90 for
not placing the sticker on the plate but otherwise following all of the
rules.

Screw you city of MP.
____
One more person here complaining about the need to buy a $150 permit to
park on my own street. All reasons for this ordinance as listed on the
website are silly. What possible overnight congestion could this eliminate?
Who would stash their car here overnight and hitchhike to East Palo Alto?
Are they concerned about the looming threat of a fleet of dilapidated
vehicles? And how does paid street parking affect street sweeping? The car
is parked there, whether it has the permit or not. I don't believe anyone
gets rid of their car to avoid the ordinance. It's just a revenue generator
for an already affluent city.

Just another reason for low income people like myself to flee elsewhere and
leave the city to the Tesla driving well-to-do types who almost exclusively
populate it. Is it any wonder why the local businesses are hurting for
employees?
_____

The parking situation here is a scam. I work in downtown MP 1 or 2 days a
week. We don't have a parking lot, and there are none nearby. There is
plenty of public parking available, but it is all limited to 2 hours max.
And there is a swarm of parking attendants who blanket downtown all day
long. So, I've gotten used to leaving my office every 2 hours to move my
car.

This is a huge annoyance, but I've mostly adapted. Mostly. Last year I got
a ticket because I was parked for 2 hours and 4 minutes. Annoying, but
understandable. But then I got a ticket because the back of my car extended
slightly past the back of an undersized parking space. And, I got a ticket
for violating the 2 hour limit, even though I am absolutely certain that I
had moved my car during the time listed on the ticket.

I contested the last 2 summonses, providing evidence in support of my
claim, and lost both times with no explanation.

I understand that parking can be a scarce commodity, and that there should
be restrictions. In San Francisco, it makes perfect sense. But MP's parking
policy--2 hours everywhere, enforced with extreme strictness--is clearly
intended to generate revenue for a sleepy town that is already extremely
affluent. At the very least, it contributes to this town's generally
uptight and snooty vibe.
___

Lived here for eight months. The reason I am writing a review is because I
received a parking ticket for $55 for the crime of parking in front of my
own house. No warning, just walked outside to find a ticket on my
windshield!

Menlo Park is out of control in it's parking enforcement. There aren't any
no parking signs anywhere on my street! It's just a sleepy upscale
residential neighborhood.

When you receive a ticket for parking in front of your own house after dark
something is very very wrong.
____

The parking situation in this city is asinine. Cretinous. Inane. I received
a ticket for parking overnight in a residential neighborhood, when in fact
I was parked on private property. I contested my citation and provided
photographic proof of my lawfulness, and was denied. Knowing the city's
history, no part of me expects to be treated justly, but I'm requesting a
hearing anyways. Down with the affluent bubble that is the City of Menlo
Park.
____

This ridiculous city cannot even provide complimentary parking for its
downtown MP employees. Having to move your car every 2 hours on a daily
basis makes absolutely no sense. Furthermore, if you do get a parking
ticket, do not pay online or over the phone, bc they will charge you an
additional $3.95 for "processing fee." Take all of your
professional/personal business elsewhere -- this downtown isn't anything
special anyways, unless of course, you have to come here to work.

___

This city of Menlo Park department is the worst. They have been blocking
development. They have neglected critical streets with no sidewalks for
kids. City planning is pathetic and is the department of no and self
preservation.
Downtown Menlo Park is a disaster with no traffic lights or decent
crosswalks. Can't imagine this could be the heart of Silicon Valley

Parking enforcement is out of control randomly issuing tickets for the most
irrelevant stuff. They have horrible parking spaces and very poor planning.
The entire city administration needs to be changed. Pathetic and
incompetent.
____

I don't give the City of Menlo Park high ratings, particularly the
government of Menlo Park - oh sure the location is wonderful and all, but
the biggest claim to fame for Menlo Park is that it is next door to Palo
Alto - what I really object to is how such a small town has so few
amenities to offer has so many taxes and fees to endure. I have my
business here and my residence here - I play plenty of taxes and fees -
will these parcel taxes EVER end. Given the deepening financial crisis, and
the fact that many of the greatest expenditures, such as pension-fund
payments and health care for public employees, cannot legally be reduced we
are seeing additional attempts to increase revenues by raising taxes and
fees. Any city's greatest source of revenue usually comes in the form of
fees from licenses, permits, and parking tickets and so now on top of the
excessive property taxes the parking meter guys and gals are out in full
force. This month alone I have gotten 4 tickets for being as little as 8
minutes over. And when I contested them saying I was a Menlo Park resident
and that I should be cut a little slack it was like was directly taking
money out of their precious pension. One "customer service" woman, lovely
Susan Eldred listened to my contesting with as much such empathy as Count
Dracula had for HIS victims. My question is who ever hired that woman to do
customer service - were they drunk that day!!
_____
Received on Thu Jul 19 2018 - 23:50:10 PDT

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