« More Parking: Perhaps You Missed It? | Main | BHS: Graduation 2020 Like No Other »

May 19, 2020



Here's the first comment from my cross-post comment on NextDoor:

Susan Dirksen, San Mateo Park

Joe, I’ve made a few arguments for closing the Avenue temporarily, to save the restaurants, but the anti-try it group seems to have a great point. Why favor some restaurants, in fact why favor any ? Instead of offering ideas for saving restaurants which I think are the character of Burlingame Avenue, and which I rarely use because I enjoy cooking, I’ll give up and watch what happens.

And keeping in mind your ravenous desire for my quarters to keep your town afloat, I’ll shop in San Mateo. Good luck.
I love comments that cause me to ask at the end "does she agree with me or disagree?" Let's also note that San Mateo is likely more broke than B'game.

Martha Yang

Good Guide to a WALKABLE Community



A lot of people just look at the shops and forget there are offices on the second floors all along the street. They need access for deliveries and clients. This is not well thought out at all.

Bruce Dickinson

Ha! Funny Joe, as Burlingame will not need San Mateo or Ms. Dirkson to get through this. As you said San Mateo is going to be in deep doo-doo and make Burlingame's balance sheet look like one of my Ferraris parked next to a Jalopy!

Now on to more important matters, such as my opinion. First, I think closing the avenue should be held up to a merchant vote. Secondly, most of the stores on the avenue have rear access along the parallel streets and parking lots, so deliveries and getting to stores/restaurants shouldn't be a huge issue. Thirdly, there is no way restaurant or general retail traffic is going to be as high as pre-COVID, so it's doubtful that parking would be a huge issue. For the disabled, just designate a few more temporary parking spots in the back of the stores.

How's this for creativity? How about start a gofundme campaign for the merchants to convert part of the grassy areas by the HS into parking spaces (like the car show)? Can even put these nice parking pallets on top of the grass/paths around the HS and the park.

Look, the restaurants in Burlingame have definitely improved and you gotta keep that going and allow the owners some flexility and what better way to do so than by closing down the street, extending out the tables and have the middle part of the Ave be for pedestrian traffic. Police and Fire can get to each building from the rear and time to use those parol bicycles, electric carts, scooters, and foot patrols to be on the streets.

C'mon let's rally around our community and keep it special! Let San Mateo have Taco Bell, Round Table Pizza, Burger King, McDonald's etc. We need to keep Burlingame unique!

Paloma Ave

Bruce usually knows what he is talking about. What happened here Bruce?


I agree. None of what he says will work. Did he bang his head on the Ferrari steering wheel going over a speed bump?

Bruce Dickinson

Ha! Gotcha..nice little ribbing from my fan base, whom I adore. Seriously guys, what would happen if you put this up for a vote and 80% of the merchants want it?

Don't forget foot traffic = retail traffic! You have to have an economic/commercial mindset.

This idea is working and is being implemented as we speak in other locales (cities, urban areas) with far more restrictions than the Burlingame Ave stores, which almost all have access in the rear either directly or indirectly.

You look to laterals as examples of "can dos"....that is the exact same mentality that gets you to own Ferraris!

Let's try to get into the solutions business....to that end, what is YOUR solution Joe, et al? Griping and poking holes doesn't count! Hypothetically...Let's say you're in charge. What do you do?

(And, no please don't propose bailouts from the Dickinson Bank either! no easy cop-outs!)


Ummmm.....parklets in front of each full-service restaurant that wants one? I think I said that.


I have no intention of becoming the admin that cuts and pastes stuff from responses to me on NextDoor. I'll do a couple more and then let them sink into the bottomless pit of ND:

Monique Kelleher, Burlingame Park

As for the ADA parking, as a user, I’ve noticed EVERY TIME there is major construction on the Avenue, the ADA Blue parking spotS ARE offered up for construction, reducing the number of available ADA parking spaces. There have been times I just go home and order online.

Sylvia Zanello, Hillsborough
I read your response and you make a lot of valid points. Most important fire and police access. I am not in favor of parklets because they only add to the parking problem.


Why does this have to be an "all or nothing" debate. What if the Ave closure is limited to certain days of the week and/or certain hours of the day akin to the Farmers Market. Say Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m. with restaurants and bars using the extra space to serve outside. Seems like you would get more foot traffic, lots of diners and casual shoppers. Shops can stay open and sell their goods and may benefit from the added foot traffic.

Lynn H

Hi All, I got one love the idea of Burlingame Ave. closed to traffic. Not sure about the parklet idea, I really don’t want to be dining close to traffic. As much as I love my neighbors, I don’t trust all of them behind the wheel.

How about a temporary solution of closing it for the summer and then see how it works out? We know a lot of the restaurants and businesses will die this summer without some changes.


@Lynn, Somewhere I have a photo of the parklet design (there were ones in front of Pausa and 31st Union in San Mateo) showing the substantial railings that separate the tables from the traffic. A lot of thought went into the design by professionals. I do understand the concern--just not sure it's enough to stop the idea.


Dear Mom,
Very Funny comment regarding BD.
I am surprised BD can even get his Giant Head in a Ferrari. Or what ever vehicle that BD has a Sun/Head Roof.

Barking Dog

Chowder - I agree.
Totally shutting down the Ave to vehicles in not practical or beneficial for ALL businesses on the Ave. Need a happy medium that benefits ALL businesses, not just a select few.

Bruce Dickinson

Holly-baby, the head in the Ferrari fits fine..the wallet however, totally different story! *wink*

SnitchDoor Sam

Snitch says follow the money. Who owns most of the buildings on the avenue and who do they donate to. More important is who on the council would like to get their donations for higher office. The poor little guys on the side streets are just gonna take in the you know what. The avenue is the real candy store in town. Right, Brucey?


Calculating a circle's arc length, central angle, and circumference from school days allows you to determine how far you need to walk to reach any store or restaurant on Burlingame Ave. The best I can tell you have an average of 150 yards. Who besides a handicapped person has an issue walking 150 yards?


It depends. If I have a kid on one hand and an armful of dry cleaning on the other I might not want to walk that far.

I spoke with one of the restaurant owners on Burlingame Ave. who thinks a complete shutdown is crazy. They would like Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 6-11pm only. That would solve a couple of the problems listed here. It's still not fair to the other restaurants though.


It works all across Europe, but as usual, it's simply impossible in NIMBY Burlingame. B-game missed a golden opportunity to become a pedestrian area during the redesign in the early 2010's, and here it goes again.

At Least Nimbys Have Backyards

Ah, the "works in Europe" argument. Please more of that. Can we have tiny cars and stinky scooters parked all over the sidewalks and bad teeth too?


Burlingame doesn't get that hot even in indian summer evenings. Can you imagine they amount of gas heaters we will be running to heat people dining on the street. So much for that green thing.


Dear Mr. Dickinson,
That comment was F'n Funny.
That is what really matters in the end.


After seeing the giant fire on Pier 45 yesterday I have a vision of our own fire trucks plowing through the outdoor heaters uhap knows will be out in the street to keep everyone warm. People diving out of the way and heaters being run over as the seagulls swoop in for the french fries and pizza crusts from Rise and Delfina. Just like AT&T with smoke and fire. Remember Chicken Chicken.


I am in favor of at least doing a trial shutdown of the Ave at certain times that make sense. It could be wonderful. The arguments I see here against the idea are not specific to Burlingame, and thus they ring somewhat hollow because we all know that there are lots of places in the US and around the world that make it work. Are there a few challenges? Sure, but that doesn't mean they by definition outweigh the benefits.

If you want to actually drive from A to B around downtown Burlingame, you don't go on the Ave anyway because it is so dang slow. And we have a pretty good network of side streets to handle the traffic and parking.

There are only a few streets on the peninsula that I know of that could make really nice pedestrian-only areas (at certain times). Burlingame Ave is clearly one.

Lastly, a minor point: I sure wouldn't miss those losers who drive back and forth along the Ave in their souped-up cars, blasting music and revving their engines. Makes Burlingame Ave feel more like ... Miami.

SnitchDoor Sam

I would hate to see more ugly No Parking signs attached to EACH parking meter on the Ave. like they are in front of the old Post Office for the Farmer's Market. We have too much visual pollution already. I agree with you on the noise pollution. Maybe the officers sitting in front of the Apple store could write a few nuisance tickets for $250 and solve that. And when is free parking ending? The spaces on the Ave. are almost full now.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

About the Voice

  • The Burlingame Voice is dedicated to informing and empowering the Burlingame community. Our blog is a public forum for the discussion of issues that relate to Burlingame, California. On it you can read and comment on important city issues.

    Note: Opinions posted on the Burlingame Voice Blog are those of the poster and not necessarily the opinion of the editorial board of the Burlingame Voice. See Terms of Use

Contributing to the Voice

  • If you would like more information on the Burlingame Voice, send an email to [email protected] with your request or question. We appreciate your interest.

    Authors may login here.

    For help posting to the Voice, see our tutorial.