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September 16, 2013



Do you know who will maintain the "accidents" that will happen?
Will it be the business owner or City of Burlingame Public Works?

Pete Garrison

Street is looking good.
Love the trees.


Zelkova Musashino- nice pick, Bob. They are very substantial, already. All is looking great, and even the parallel parkers have made themselves at home.


I have not seen the trees yet.
Who is Bob?
That street is going to look great whatever trees are put in.
Thank goodness there are trees being installed.


Bob Disco is our city arborist, and he and his crew are responsible for the welfare of the Trees in Burlingame. I think it was he (with the Beautification Commission) who choose this type of tree, as well as gingkos, the latter of which will go in on the portions of the 1100 and 1400 blocks.


Stains on new sidewalk pavers causing concerns: Burlingame officials want to make sure new streetscape kept clean
January 06, 2014, 05:00 AM

By Angela Swartz Daily Journal

With a good portion of the Burlingame Avenue Streetscape project completed, the city wants more frequent cleanings and more cooperation to make sure the revamped blocks are kept clean amid growing concern about dirty new sidewalk pavers.

Since the opening of the wider and revamped 1200 block of Burlingame Avenue in September 2013, the city has been receiving complaints about dirty new pavers spewed with trash, stains, food and drink spills, cigarette butts, chewing gum, dog waste and other items. The City Council will vote Monday night whether to put in $25,000 to increase cleaning, conduct outreach to businesses and property owners seeking their cooperation to keep their frontage sidewalk areas clean and require restaurants and food/beverage-related businesses to clean and maintain their frontage sidewalk areas as part of their tables and chairs encroachment permit conditions, according to a staff report.


Pete Garrison

A bit of warm water and elbow grease is all you need.
No mega-bucks, city-scheduled special equipment needed- just someone with pride-of-place to care enough to scrub the sidewalk.

Why does it come down to someone else's money and time when the happy shop owners can send a kid out to make their store look nice? My kid keeps his proud boss's store shining and even dusts off the awnings.


Well there are such things as paying Worker Compensation Insurance, Child Labor Laws,Social Security dues, and if someone slips and falls on some nasty sidewalk, ie Crepevine, Starbucks, proof of due diligence too.
I think the sidewalks look great.
However, they belong indoors-like Whole Foods in San Mateo.
Walking down the street,The day after Thanksgiving this year reminded me of leaving a "Kiddie Matinee" in the 1970's.
I believe the City should clean the sidewalks once a week to set a standard that all shop owners, and Mega Corparations on Burlingame Ave adhere to.
After all, that is just the cost of doing business.
Or is it?


Today's San Mateo Daily Journal:

Letter: Sidewalk stains? Tax gum


Money shouldn’t be a problem when it comes to keeping downtown Burlingame sidewalks clean (“Stains on new sidewalks” in the Jan. 6 issue of the Daily Journal). There’s a simple solution: tax gum, cigarettes and any product that’s a problem. If smokers are made the main target, the other products will simply be regarded as collateral damage. The quickest way to get public attention is to link something to tobacco. I can see the signs now: “This is a gum free building.”

James O. Clifford Sr.
Redwood City

Hey, why not? Makes about as much sense as charging 10 cents for a paper bag.


I don't understand why people are now surprised that the sidewalk won't look as good as it did the day the pavers were first laid. It is a sidewalk after all not a dinner plate. Fast forward to 2015. There will be an emergency sewer lateral or other needed utility work. Think PGE will be as conscientious in restoring in kind? Cable companies?

I feel bad for the business owners who are now being sought to pay for maintenance. We were all sold a bill of goods. We would have been better off with a regular sidewalk with paver edging and/or insets every 20' or so. As it is now, any trench that needs to be done in the future will require several square feet of paver work that nobody can afford. Enjoy the way the sidewalk looks now. It will never look as good as it does even today.


This is like a new, unscratched car before the first ding or keying incident. Love the dinner plate remark-BMW...

The aggregate was very forgiving: courser, darker, and browner, so the spilled coffee and gum kind of blended. With time, this sidewalk will have a patina, too, and it will still look much better than anything we've ever had.

As far as I remember, there are going to be a bunch of these pavers stashed somewhere for replacements involved in future digging projects or other damage.

I do think people and businesses where food is served can be paying a bit more attention to immediate spills, no? Who hasn't seen the shopkeepers tending to their street frontages in Europe? When we lived there in the 1980s, we were expected to mop the old stone stairs between floors, I'm talking old-fashioned wet mop, once a week, or we'd get the evil eye by the owner and would be treated like parayas- and this was on top of rent. People with houses swept the sidewalks every Saturday. But in the land of plenty, we hire gardeners and expect the city to take care of this kind of stuff-

I don't think this is really an issue of who has paid for what.
People have forgotten to respect their surroundings- Remember the motto, leave it better than how you've found it? It's called Pride of Place- 'comes being told early on to respect your surroundings, not to be a litterbug. And there were fines for littering, too.

Unfortunately, people are so glued to their cellphones, these days they barely know where they are without using GPS, much less caring about finding a proper place for that dirty cup or cigarette butt. It's a miracle more aren't run over, not just spilling stuff.


Clean or not, we will get used to it.
Forget about it too, as soon as it rains.
Has anyone ever tried that "Blue Bottle Coffee"
What the heck is that stuff anyway?


With an 18 million dollar streetscape project, you think there would have been some money budgeted for the maintenance/cleaning of the sidewalks. Just saying put it on the merchants is kind of wrong, they're already paying for it for like the next twenty years in parcel taxes. I mean litter and big messes sure, but the sidewalks both on Burlingame Avenue and Broadway should be subject to a routine cleaning by some city department.


I agree with you Fred.
Obviously, the project manager, I believe her name is Jane, over sees the project and signs off on the entire process.
I am aware that "jane" has caused multiple building permit problems in the past that resulted in expensive litigation awards all over the City of Burlingame.
How is it that Civil Service Employees can be resposible for Million Dollar lawsuits and still remain employed.
I was recently told that a Public Works employee was fired for stealing petrol over many years.
I hope not.
We need good Civil Service workers from the top down.
For the most part I believe we have them.
That sidewalk is a travesty that most likely will never be able to do anything but cause problems.


My understanding is that both downtowns are routinely cleaned already, but they are going to make the routine more frequent. This is going to add up, and if we keep cleaning up after sloppy people, I'm not sure they will stop being sloppy or care any bit more about the sidewalks and look of the area, will they?? Is this the same theory as keeping after vandalism, repairing broken windows, painting over the tagged surfaces and graffiti , etc?? I'm not sure. One is deliberate vandalism, while the other is being inconsiderate and not even thinking about it.

When we clean up after people who don't care (or are perhaps just oblivious) and continue to drop stuff and litter, does that make them care more? I don't think so. It's like cleaning your kid's room because you can't stand looking at it anymore. They still don't keep it clean after that, but know someone else will do it for them if they wait long enough.

Maybe we gave up on peoples' behaviors long ago and are going to have to be content with cleaning up after them (and paying for it). It's going to make an interesting experiment.

Holyroller, Blue Bottle is really great coffee (I think) . It is organic and fair trade (maybe some other quality that I am missing)- also quite pricey--definitely a splurge.

In town, the little market that is undergoing a business model change to a cafe (on Lorton next to Radio Shack) has carried the beans for quite awhile. I think this is one of the only local places that gets the coffee beans delivered twice a week.

Bruce Dickinson

Babies, I got a joke for you: what's the difference between a porcupine and a BMW driver? I kid, I kid, its an old joke and you probably know the answer. Bruce Dickinson drives a Porsche, which one must admit, is even worse! Actually I agree with BMW in that "Jane" or whomever decided materials, didn't think things through. I mean everything looks dynamite and all, but I gotta tell ya, it could'a used pavers that weren't "glossy" which seem somewhat slippery and seem to emphasize stuff stuck to them (which don't have a glossy texture) and worsens the contrast with the pavers. Rather than have concrete, couldn't there have been pavers with a rougher non-glossy surface?

Contractor Guy

Pavers are the cheapest, best looking alternative for this application by far. All you amateurs should go back to selling BMWs, coffee, overpriced ladies clothing or whatever else you do and leave the construction to people who know what they are doing.

Bruce Dickinson

Fellas, another joke for you:

A contractor wanted to give a City council member a BMW.

The council member objected, saying "Sorry, but common decency and my sense of honor and integrity would never permit me to accept a gift like that."

The contractor said, "I understand. Suppose we do this, I sell you the BMW for $10."

The council member thought for a moment and replied "Well in that case, I'll take two."

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