LA, LAH deserve new library
Comparing the Los Altos main library with other libraries in the county system (indexed for population): Seating is 40 percent of norm; there is zero space for children’s programs compared with up to 1,000 square feet in newer libraries; we have half the computers; we have no dedicated computer class space to teach coding (other libraries can offer coding for young girls); and we have one group study teen room compared with multiple rooms at newer libraries. Also, there is no room for new books in the children’s and adult sections.
Based on a needs assessment conducted in 2008 by Page+Moris, the recommendation was to increase the library’s size from 28,000 square feet to approximately 40,000 square feet – it would probably be more if commissioned today.
Newer libraries in the county system are making plans to increase size to meet the needs and demands of the residents. I would guess that if we took a survey of the 97 communities in the Bay Area, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills would rank No. 1 for how residents value a public library.
Libraries serve everyone and are free – this community should have a new modern library.
First Street Green would serve all ages
As a 50-year resident of Los Altos and former Los Altos Parks and Recreation commissioner, I know and appreciate the need for additional parks and open space in our city.
While serving on the parks commission, I monitored the Green Street summer parks over the three years they were established.
What did I see?
In the morning, I saw moms gathering with their toddlers. Later in the morning, I saw shoppers and office workers taking a coffee break. At noon, many people were enjoying an outdoor lunch. In the afternoon, older children came to play and hang out. In the evening, there were families bringing picnics or takeout dinners. And all day long, there were seniors enjoying the community of being with their multigenerational neighbors.
I cite these observations because the First Street Green will be a year-round magnet where all of these groups can enjoy being together in a beautiful, accessible city park.
This is how we will build community in Los Altos.
Third Street Green not good for downtown
Call me an “old grouch,” but I don’t get that “Green Street” thing at all.
It is a hindrance to long-standing traffic patterns, and it gobbles up lots of scarce parking spaces in the parking plazas that normally empty into that street.
A stretch I know, but its intent seems to be providing an entertainment space for young children, so I’m even ready to wonder if it sends the wrong safety message to them – playing in the street.
Los Altos already has enough closings for the Farmers’ Market and festivals, so I cannot help wondering why this cute area couldn’t be established in some empty schoolyard or in the lightly used parking lot near old Hillview School.
This is another dandy idea that promotes staying away from there, and I’d bet Los Altos merchants would wish it would go away.
Reasons LACI plan is bad for city
I’m responding to a letter to the editor that appeared in the Town Crier authored by Roger Heyder that offered a cogent argument against Los Altos Community Investments’ plan to go around city building codes (“Parking requirements are out of date,” July 19).
I’ve objected to the plan all along, but my arguments are not as hard-hitting as Roger’s. However, I might as well let you know about them, since I’ve gone this far:
A big part of the town character is the excellence of the parking plazas’ configurations and their ingress and egress. They are some of the best on the Peninsula, and I’m sure they are a big factor in why customers like to come into town.
Just compare the Los Altos parking plazas to Menlo Park’s, and you’ll understand my point.
Underground parking is an abysmal alternative. Cramped quarters, crime and earthquake concerns will render them extremely uninviting. Try the underground parking in Toronto or Montreal, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
According to a past article in the Town Crier, my understanding is that LACI gets approximately 77,000 square feet and the city gets a paltry postage stamp 4,700 square feet of so-called park. My guess is that by the time the planters are all added up, that 4,700 square feet will shrink to less than 3,500, which for a park is pathetic. It’s a very bad deal for the city and a boon for LACI.
The old Beausejour restaurant seems to be an example of the kind of project the people behind LACI have foisted on the city. A badly planned project turned a Los Altos jewel into an ugly eyesore, and it just sits there year after year as a blight on that section of town. Correct me if I’m wrong.
Bob Garrow Sr.