Town Square

Macabre Page Mill Road ducks scenario

Original post made by Debbie, Mountain View, on Apr 2, 2007

"1001 Page Mill Road is a four-building project surrounded by a park-like setting in Stanford Research Park." This is the enticing description (found on the Mozart Development Group's Web site (Web Link) of one of Palo Alto's largest business complexes.

What is not described is the macabre springtime scenario that each year plays out when mating pairs of mallards happily wander the lovely grounds of the 1001 Page Mill Road site and then attempt, individually, in pairs and with their ducklings, to cross Hanover Street to reach 1501 Page Mill Road, HP labs' lawns. These crossings most often end in tragedy, as this is an extremely busy intersection.

As a commuting cyclist traversing this intersection daily, I have been an unhappy witness for five years running to this repeating and maddening scenario for which all the most likely and responsible humans deny responsibility and over which they claim they have no control.

It is completely irresponsible of the property owners to create such a faux "country garden" spot in the service of "aesthetics" that entices whatever wildlife remains in this particular area to drink non-potable water and be slaughtered on the busy roads immediately adjacent.

What will it take to remedy this situation?


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Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 2, 2007 at 11:32 pm

1001 Page Mill is a delightful complex, but Debbie is right about the consequences that fall on wildlife who mistake the faux natural setting for the real thing.

Perhaps a sign that says "duck crossing"? That would be a start, and at least alert drivers.

Incidentally, this sort of thing also presents a hazard to drivers, one or more of whom may someday take evasive action to avoid striking a wild animal, and cause a serious accident as a result.

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Posted by Bird Watcher
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 4, 2007 at 6:56 am

Debbie, I used to work in that complex and sadly if the little ducklings don't get run down on Hanover, they are killed by racoons or dogs on the site. Animal welfare is overwhelmed at this time of year as the ducklings leave their concreted river homes. I have seen them on El Camino being rounded up by the Police, and last year they were wandering down Charleston.

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Posted by Phil Lanthrop
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 7, 2007 at 8:59 am

...just wanted to mention that I like ducks too....
but does "macabre" really help your argument....
seems to be a little out of might garner
more support for the furry critters by simply stating
the facts....when you use terms like macabre, which
is way out of place in this case, it makes many people think
that you must have lost your mind....which of course you
haven't, I hope....have you ever seen any real horror.....
cause this ain't it.....

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Posted by Carol
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2007 at 10:01 am

This story reminds me of a similar one in England some years ago. Instead of ducks it was hedgehogs. These hedgehogs for some reason were crossing a busy street at the same time, same place, year after year and the problem just wouldn't go away. The solution was that the community raised money to dig a small tunnel under the street just for the hedgehogs. It was a relatively small, but busy street, in a similar sort of area, newly urbanised, but the tunnel worked.

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Posted by Phil Lanthrop
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 7, 2007 at 12:15 pm

When/where shall we show up to start digging?

Bring shovels?

Anyone got a back-hoe?