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San Francisco Bay Area community news

Leaders admit name change was wrong

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Beth Winegarner
Daily News Staff Writer
July 7, 2005

Redwood City officials say they took a wrong turn when they proposed changing the name of part of Middlefield Road to Theater Way.

For nearly three years, the city has planned to rename the section of Middlefield between Winslow Street and Broadway in honor of the 20-screen megaplex opening next year. Not anymore, according to Redevelopment Agency Director Susan Moeller.

“We have listened to the concerns of those opposed to the change,” Moeller said.

Moeller recently discovered that the idea had been included in a parking-facilities agreement between the city and the retail-cinema project’s developer, she said this week at a Downtown Business Group meeting.

Renaming the street was intended to provide a conceptual link between the cinema, at Broadway and Jefferson Street, and the county parking lot on Middlefield Road near Veterans Boulevard, Moeller explained. This would encourage theatergoers to use the county lot and walk to their destination.

Several business owners along Middlefield have approached Moeller in recent months, however, angry at the proposal — and at the fact that they didn’t hear about it sooner.

“We are recommending that, rather than renaming the street, we use a sign program to meet the intent to make that direct link [between the cinema and the parking lot],” Moeller said Tuesday.

The item will go before the City Council Monday, July 11.

Jeff Filippi, one of the business owners outraged by the name change, said he hadn’t been told the city was changing its recommendation.

“I’m getting a petition together — we’re ready for a fight,” Filippi told the Daily News. He met with Moeller this spring, and spoke before the City Council in June to oppose the plan, saying it was inconsiderate and would cost business owners money.

Now, “It appears obvious that common sense has prevailed,” he said regarding the new recommendation. But he added that some business owners are distrustful of Redwood City’s government, staff and consultants.

Using signs and waymarkers, rather than formally changing Middlefield Road’s name, was a suggestion Filippi and others brought to Moeller, he told the Daily News.

This article originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily News.

Written by Beth Winegarner

July 7, 2005 at 9:02 PM

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