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September 08, 2014


Kristen Parks

As a resident who lives close to Broadway, I'm worried that the city is going to turn Broadway into another revitalization project just like Burlingame Ave. I'm not a fan of the Burlingame Ave project and I like Broadway's old-fashioned feel. The biggest issue is always going to be attracting and keeping businesses (I'd love to see the vacancies filled), but I don't think a major cosmetic overhaul is necessary for that. Some of the businesses on Broadway are concerned about crime (Magdaluna and Weimax have experienced break-ins, I think) and I'd like to hear more about what the city is doing to ensure that the Broadway corridor is safe.


I agree with you, Kristen. I like the dramatic difference between our two main streets' appearances. Even though I am a south-ender, I spend a lot of time on B'way and enjoy it quite for what it is.


I hope people remember the not-so-long-ago infrastructure project on Broadway--definitely not time for a redo. Broadway has never insular, like Burlingame Avenue, just from the basic street grid and the main arteries into, and out of the city; so the vibe seems to be totally different, and there is a fair share of traffic, just passing through.

My main go-to stores are Earthbeam, Potpourri, GoodWill, and the gas stations on those corners. For me, those and occasionally a few others, are reason enough to visit once, or twice a week. There used to be an asian grocery across from Earthbeam, but that is long gone. I was sad to see some of the clothing stores fold but retail competition online and on Burlingame Avenue, is fierce. There are some great eateries, too, and a variety of price ranges, but one issue I've noticed is that with mainly the linear layout, I think it is hard for some, myself included, to get the street names corners and streets straight. They do look quite similar, and at some point, maybe people give up, or think the place they've visited, and enjoyed once or twice, is no longer there. This has definitely happened to me, because I am not as familiar with the Broadway area.

For awhile, there was kind of a "antique-home decor" vibe to the street, with the lighting store, the window shop, both which we've used, as well as the antique and consignment stores on both sides, but to some degree, that has also not panned out and is not a clear enough focus. Advertising is expensive, but maybe they need to come up with some different strategies that focus on what is uniquely their own that one cannot find elsewhere.

Bruce Dickinson

The Gorton's fisherman (aka Russ) stikes again, casting the big net, hoping to trap the next big "whale" of an idea. Given how Joe-baby was up in arms when I didn't take his last bait, Bruce Dickinson wouldn't want to keep everyone waiting anxiously with baited breath (no pun intended, in an ironic twist, as it were), so rest assured, Baleen Bruce is alive and well. By the way, that nickname was given to me by some execs at Columbia, as I was the one who always seemed to snatch the big whales of the super rock bands!

Alas, which brings me to: my opinion. Listen folks, it all comes down to choices. With any revitalization, you gotta embrace the old adage that my casino buddies liked to say in Vegas, "If you build it, they will come". Well guys, sorry to say, but with Broadway, it is a case of "you already built it, and they came and went". I'm not talking about the stores, some of which are dynamite places (mind you, living in my Burlingame Park residence, i don't often walk to Broadway). I'm talking about the neighborhood: It's overbuilt. What do I mean by this? I mean that there is no natural buffer between the businesses and the residential areas given the tiny streets. Putting a bunch of apartments and condos in those small streets is not scaling the buildings to what the streets can handle. Thus, parking is extremely difficult if you can't find a spot on Broadway. One time I had to park on the adjacent streets, barely squeezing into a spot and after I finish what I needed to do on Broadway, when I return to my car, a mirror was swiped right off my car. Thank goodness it was only the Porsche that I took that evening!

You're probably saying Bruce, I thought you were in the solutions business not the pointing out problems businesses. Well, given the hand that we were dealt (pay attention City Council as this is what's going to happen on the beloved Ave if you don't watch it with the mixed-use-transit mumbo jumbo nonsense I keep reading about in the papers), here's my prescription:

First, you need a parking garage, yes I hate to say those words, but this area needs one more than the Ave. Also, new condos, houses, apartments in that area need to have more parking spaces than usual (underground, first story, more driveway etc). Secondly, it's about choices. You can spend millions on a rec center and new city hall or you can do a complete facade, street, sidewalk reconstruction ala the Burlingame Avenue overhaul. This will make the area more desirable and "ritzy". Yes, it will cost the city a lot of money upfront, but guess what? People like ritzy, they like to walk, and they like not smelling urine or dog-poop. Patronage drives sales taxes and everyone benefits. Bruce Dickinson is unsure of the total benefit to Burlingame of a new rec center and new city hall. The existing rec center is "good enough" given it's probably losing money anyway. Money would be much better spent on a true Broadway cleanup, redevelopment, and revitalization at zero cost to the tenants. Also, parking will have to be addressed. Another thought for the Railroad Barons out there, what about making Broadway a true stop again, with the same level of service as Burlingame Ave. I know that's not in Burlingame's purview, but why can't we finally horse trade with Caltrain/Cal Trans. How about they build a parking garage by the train station? Go underground? Lots of ideas or as my sometimes overzealous and pompous pal Brian Eno used to say in his only Enoism English speak, "Oblique Strategies" , for addressing music production roadblocks.

Unfortunately, all these are big, expensive, long-term ideas, but like anything, not every medicine that you have to take is tasty, but it may still be the right prescription.

Kristen Parks

Bruce, I agree that we should bring back the Broadway Caltrain stop. Especially since there is going to be increased traffic congestion for 3+ years with the 101 construction project.


We lived in San Francisco for many years before we settled in Burlingame.
The Muni Bus routes stop at "every other block."
The Muni Bus system runs on the most viable streets in the City to accommodate commerce, schools, and low income groups.
Every other block means causing a massive amount of traffic, as well as safety issues for pedestrians and vehicles. The space between stops is usually less than 0ne Eighth of a mile.
My point is the need for starting up the Broadway Cal train Station again is not going to benefit the Community, or Commuters.
For example...
That restaurant has been vacant@ 10 years. In fact it may be closer to 15 years.
Considering stopping an entire train one quarter of a mile from "Any Station in the World" is just plain Stupid.
There is no need or reason for a stop at Broadway unless the Burlingame Ave. closes.
ESPECIALLY when that overpass project starts.
Has any City Elder told us how long that project will take?
Why not?


The Broadway station will be reopened when they electrify the Caltrain line.


Read an article in the Examiner...


...where some merchants and others were drawing conclusions regarding the future of Broadway including adding restaurants, etc.

The meeting scheduled to discuss Broadway's fate hasn't even happened yet and conclusions are being discussed. Aren't we jumping the gun a bit here?

Let's brainstorm first, no?


This is a clip from an article in today's Daily Journal

The Broadway Summit is taking place Oct. 18 to allow stakeholders give feedback on the business district. Still, the Broadway Business Improvement District sent a letter to the City Council in April asking the city to lift a moratorium on bringing food establishments and educational services to Broadway to bring new businesses to the street. For 20 years, Broadway has sought to encourage retail by restricting certain types of businesses but, in recent years, the nature of retail and the demands of the community has changed, according to the letter. The city currently allows only 28 food establishments on the street.

Although John Kevranian, president of the district and owner of Nuts for Candy on Broadway, wants hear from the citizens of Burlingame at the summit on what improvements the street could use, he is seeking to have the restrictions lifted now.


I'm having trouble seeing how 28 food establishments is too few!!! The street is only 4 or 5 blocks long (depending on whether you count on the north or south side). Even 28 seems like a lot!


Here is some follow-up on the Broadway Summit from the DJ article with the link below:

Such changes include lifting a moratorium on bringing food establishments and educational services to Broadway to bring new businesses to the street. The Broadway Business Improvement District, or BID, sent a letter to the City Council in support of such a proposal. For 20 years, Broadway has sought to encourage retail by restricting certain types of businesses but, in recent years, the nature of retail and the demands of the community has changed, according to the letter. The city currently allows only 28 food establishments on the street. Other limitations the city may look at modifying include office use and health service use on ground floors and parking requirements.

Meanwhile, the BID is already working on ways of improving the area using its own means. In the last month, it’s gotten BID member businesses, Gigi’s Boutique and Lulu’s Nail Spa, to sign up for a $500 rebate for redoing their awnings, said John Kevranian, president of the district and owner of Nuts for Candy on Broadway. This program has been in place for a couple years and he is trying to make landlords and businesses aware of it. He also believes the meeting Saturday went very well.


I'm still having trouble seeing how 28 food establishments is considered "only 28 food establishments".

John Kevranian


Burlingame Betty

What do I love about Broadway....??? Today, I parked at a convenient lot, popped over to the Wells Fargo to make a deposit, swung by Walgreens and picked up a few decorations for the office, headed into my favorite coffee establishment, grabbed some fruit and was on my way....I absolutely count my blessings every time I cross under the 'Broadway=Burlingame' sign.....

George Marshal

I agree that we should bring back the Broadway Caltrain stop. Especially since there is going to be increased traffic congestion for 3+ years with the 101 construction project.

Handle Bard

Caltrain cannot hear you and does not care. All that new housing a short walk away and the 101 mess don't matter to them. I wish it did but it don't.

David Joe

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I gave Joe 10,000 Camels....
Since he could not "fit through the eye of a needle," he gave the Camels away to HSP.

Think about it.
Or Not.


It looks like the spam filter is not up to the job yesterday and today.

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