I love our Downtown and I am dedicated to improving it! I am proud to have been advocating for many of the overdue improvements. There are numerous hardworking business owners who take pride in their diverse stores that offer great products and services. I choose to shop Downtown numerous times each week getting a coffee, groceries, a meal, a snack, and much more. Our community’s diversity is truly reflected in our downtown.

Our downtown has not aged very well and I worked with previous councils to complete two important studies to plan the way for much-needed improvements.

Downtown Streetscape Plan

The Downtown San Mateo Avenue Streetscape Plan was also completed in 2019, however the project’s cost was approximately $20 million. Unfortunately we do not have the funds to implement the plan. However the council has been able to start doing the things in the Plan that we can afford as discussed below.

San Bruno Downtown Parking Study Downtown parking has been problematic for many years.  In 2016, the City initiated the preparation of a comprehensive Downtown parking study.  The Downtown Parking Management Plan (PDF) was accepted by the City Council on January 22, 2019.   A set of phased parking management recommendations were developed to manage the high afternoon and evening parking demand, help users find and use available parking, improve parking availability for residents, and potentially increase the parking supply.

  • Adjust enforcement hours to better manage the heavy-use evening period
  • Adjust time restrictions, primarily to convert 5-hour spaces to 10-hour spaces for employee use
  • Install improved signage to help drivers locate available parking
  • Improve parking lot maintenance and security
  • Explore temporary use of the Sylvan Avenue Caltrain Station as additional public parking
  • Explore converting parallel parking on San Mateo Avenue to diagonal parking to increase capacity
  • Install parking meters on San Mateo Avenue to encourage short-term parking and direct long-term parkers into lots
  • Formalize overnight parking arrangements in public lots to increase supply available to residents
  • Begin process of planning and securing funds for a parking garage

Unfortunately funding wasn’t available to implement most of these recommendations. The cost estimate for the parking structure with 259 spaces was $18 Million (in 2018 dollars).

In the past couple years council has directed staff to proceed with the installation of parking meters and the modification of hourly street parking to loading and short term (24 minute) parking zones. The first round of these modifications have been completed and staff are currently reviewing the creation of additional zones to assist with the safely dropping off of customers, a quicker turnover of shoppers, and to allow food delivery companies to quickly and safely pick up customer orders.

Improving Cleanliness

Garbage Cans and Power-washing. Last year the council authorized the installation of new garbage cans and increased the sidewalk power-washing to a monthly schedule. All of the downtown’s trash cans were replaced with a combination of traditional and new self-compacting Big Belly cans.

“Green Machine”

The City Council approved the purchase of a new “Green Machine” to sweep downtown along San Mateo Avenue.  This is the City’s first fully-electric piece of equipment which replaces an old diesel sweeper. It charges fully overnight and can operate for 7 to 8 hours before needing a recharge

Downtown Improvement Committee I initiated the creation of the Downtown Improvement Committee where I serve with Councilman Tom Hamilton. We have met with merchants, residents, the Chamber of Commerce, the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center, Shop Local personnel, and city staff, to obtain ideas on how to improve our downtown.

We have also spoken to new business owners to obtain their feedback and relay it to staff. It’s important to understand new business owners’ experiences in opening a business in San Bruno. What was good and not-so-good? How can we improve our service and make it easier to open a business.

We also promote our Downtown observations and experiences on social media. Something we all can do to show our support!

Centennial Plaza

For too many years the space leading to our Downtown from Jenevein Avenue was not very inviting.

Tom and I are proud to have assisted in developing the redesigned Centennial Plaza. This project will be the largest investment in beautifying and reactivating this roped-off space. It was approved by the city council contingent on funding… stay tuned!

Downtown Events

Last year was the start of new and the return of old events in our Downtown.

DOWNTOWN CHRISTMAS TREE. We had our first Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in Centennial Plaza last year. It was a beautifully festive event with Christmas Carolers and a visit from Santa Claus on the fire truck. The San Bruno Lions provided hot chocolate and cookies. Numerous residents told me that it was so nice to see something finally new Downtown.

Posy Parade and Community Day

It was wonderful walking in the Posy Parade this year… Although there were changes in the parade route it was still very satisfying to hear the team chants, pass out candy, and see the smiles.

The addition of Community Day to Downtown was fantastic. I am sure we will make some changes so there is more participation!

Looking forward to next year!

Business Owners and Residents Working Together

It has been a pleasure working with business owners and our incredible residents that volunteer to improve our Downtown. Community clean ups have focused around our Downtown and in various neighborhood on a monthly basis.

When we work together we can do so much more… every little bit helps!

Thank you Nancy for leading the effort to beautify the Planters! Our residents and businesses did a wonderful job making things look great!!

Our business owners are doing their part by sponsoring an Easter Egg hunt with the Easter Bunny and Photos with Santa Claus. They also sponsored a Halloween Trick-or-Treat event, a canned food drive during the holidays, and participated in Karin Cunningham’s “Downtown Stroll”. The stroll provided a checklist of the businesses and samples of the various dining options around downtown.


There are a number of relatively new and remodeled businesses with more are on the way! Come Downtown and show your support and Shop Local. The parking lots along the east side of San Mateo Avenue, on Mastick Avenue, are generally available.


Community Garage Sale

The city council has directed staff to investigate relocating the Community Outdoor Sale from City Park to Downtown.

Let’s do our part to help our local businesses!