Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - August 5, 2011

Letters

Thanks to city

Editor,

Despite budget cuts along with increasing service needs, the City of Palo Alto employees across departments continue to keep residents in "The Garden of Eden" to which they are accustomed.

Within a few blocks of neighborhoods, beautifully landscaped parks filled with flowers offer sustenance and place to connect with nature in our hurried times. Similar extraordinary services, while perhaps not so easily visible, also contribute to a most special place to live.

The art commission's Art in Public Places program provides stimulating works that provoke thoughtful reflection. The magnolia trees that grace King Plaza, now heavily laden with their huge white blooms, make as beautiful a cityscape as can be seen anywhere.

Thank you to the mayor, City Council and special individuals who also work for the City of Palo Alto who offer so much to create our lovely art- and park-filled city.

Bette Kiernan

Sherman Avenue

Palo Alto

Menlo Park bike issues

Editor,

I read with interest the article on Palo Alto striving to become the nations best bike town. It would be fabulous if Menlo Park joined in the effort to be more bike friendly also.

I am a bicycle commuter to Menlo Park from Portola Valley and my biggest obstacle is getting across Highway 101, because my company is on the east side of Willow Road and there doesn't seem to be a safe way of getting across the overpass. The bike lane on Willow abruptly ends, and then resumes after the on and off ramps to the freeway, leaving cyclists at risk with the traffic flow. A bike overpass would be really useful in this intersection.

I also wanted to mention that a very dangerous intersection for pedestrians and cyclists is the one at Sand Hill Road and El Camino Real; every time I am waiting to cross, there are drivers running the red light going north, and drivers not heeding the "no right turn on red" sign going south. It is essential to wait a few seconds before entering the intersection to avoid getting run over. It would be a great revenue enhancer for the police department to cite the violators.

Kathy Wright

Gabarda Way

Portola Valley

Try a bike

Editor,

John Elman is quoted in the Weekly (July 29) as complaining that due to the Arastradero Road lane reduction it takes him "an extra 16 minutes" to drive the two miles from his home off Arastradero to the gym at the JCC (Charleston and San Antonio).

He could save time and frustration and help reduce the traffic volume if he rode a bicycle for that short distance.

Ellen Fletcher

E. Charleston Road

Palo Alto

Killen exhibit

Editor,

In 2005 when I started looking for new ways to address environmental issues, little did I realize that six years later I would be instrumental in bringing the largest painting in the world on sustainability to Palo Alto City Hall. Green gigabytes of gratitude to think tank businessman turned artist Michael Killen for painting the 24' x 5' "As Bold As California: Sustainability" and to the City of Palo Alto for hosting its inaugural showing during July.

I commend Palo Alto's strong commitment to the arts that made two Michael Killen climate change art exhibits possible and also the many community organizations who have supported "Painting to Change the World," the moniker that we have adopted for what world-acclaimed climate scientist Steve Schneider called our "out-of-the-box thinking and creative ways to align the forces of art with those of analysis and science — an essential union to strengthen by group activities and events."

Carroll Harrington

Melville Avenue

Palo Alto

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