back to article Neighbours not Liking Facebook's new campus

Facebook has only just moved into its new digs at Menlo Park, but already there are rumours of problems with the neighbours over traffic disruptions and parking spaces. The social network's new campus, part of which used to be a Sun Microsystems house, only has permission for 3,600 employees, but Facebook wants closer to 9,000 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They run a social network... why the hell do they need so many people in one physical place? Not practising what they preach, clearly.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Damn. You beat me to it by a minute. I shall uprate you in honour of your achievement.

  2. jake Silver badge


    Anyone who grew up in that neck of the woods knows that traffic is a major issue along the Bayshore section of Hwy 101 ... Facebook would have done better moving into somewhere in the Petaluma to Ukiah corridor. The locals are jonesing for work, and are educated. Power, water & network capability exist, along with a boat-load of existing empty square-footage of industrial space.

    Nicer living conditions for growing families, to boot.

    1. LateNightLarry
      Paris Hilton


      Commute traffic in Marin and Sonoma Counties isn't exactly a piece of cake either... Highway 101 from Windsor to the Golden Gate bridge and back at the end of the day is pretty much a slow moving parking lot ... The Novato Narrows, just north of Novato slows traffic considerably when you try to squeeze four lanes of traffic northbound into two lanes in the space of half a mile... and while CalTrans IS working on the road from Cotati to Santa Rosa, there's still several years of work to bring it to where it should have been ten years ago... CalTrans is just a bit s....l....o....w in their freeway planning. And from Windsor to Ukiah... don't plan on any real freeway through that area soon... the environmentalists have slowed that work so much that CalTrans looks fast.

      Paris, 'cause I need something to look at besides a Kardashian.

      1. jake Silver badge


        Where did I mention Marin County? I avoid it at all costs ...

        Nobody who has actually lived in Sonoma County for more than a couple years uses Hwy101 during commute hours. All the idiots in that clusterfuck are south-bay (and further) transplants who either can't read a map, or are blindly following their satnavs.

        Consider: I can get from any point "A" to any point "B" in the Petaluma/Napa/Santa Rosa triangle in under an hour and a half, at any time of the day, and any day of the week, without bruising the speed limit too much. (Sonoma's Plaza to Santa Rosa's Coddington Town Center in under 40 minutes, for example, under any conditions, without driving like an idiot, assuming nobody's got into an accident in front of me).

        Windsor to Ukiah averages 70MPH (CHP radar traps in Healdsburg, Cloverdale & Hopland not withstanding). What do you consider "real freeway"?

        Drop the "Paris" meme. It's older, tireder, slower and uglier than the commute from Fremont to Palo Alto & back. Beer?

    2. thickasthieves


      Traffic on both University Ave and Marsh Rd, from highway 101 through East Palo Alto to the peripheral portion of Menlo Park which houses the new Facebook campus is a major issue. I can't disagree.

      In the mornings during the school year, you have the additional burden of the students at Mid-Peninsula High School. And in the evenings on University Ave, you always have a traffic jam right at the 101 exit, there where Ikea, Home Depot, and Best Buy are sited.

      But your suggestion, really? Have Facebook move from the heart of Silicon Valley to a location 2-3 hours to the north, when the bulk of their employees live on the peninsula, in the city, and in the South Bay.

      I understand the Ukiah Chamber of Commerce needs to drum up business in a major way, but you're just not thinking it through.

      It would be far better for those educated Mendocino County locals jonesing for work to find a cheapish weekly rental in East Palo Alto and do the Monday commute down, Friday commute back north.

      1. jake Silver badge


        Not Mendocino County. Sonoma County. By way of reference, it's almost exactly 2 hours by road from Palo Alto to Healdsburg.

        "Cheep housing" in EPA is about twice as expensive as "expensive" housing in Mendocino. Sonoma's a little more expensive than Mendocino, but not by much[1]. There are plenty of houses for sale/rent in the area, moving a large workforce up here would be (relatively) easy. Allow those who don't want to move to telecommute most of the time.

        Yes, I've thought it through. I doubt Facebook has ... And for the record, I have made the move myself (Palo Alto to Sonoma). I will never regret it. Over all, life's a hell of a lot better up here. The thought of moving back to the smoggy rat-race makes me nauseous.

        [1] 1200 square foot three bed, 1 bath house with attached 1 car garage on an 0.20/0.25[2] lot in Palo Alto runs about a million bucks. Here in Sonoma, under US$300,000. In Mendocino, under US$250,000. The difference in cost of rent is even greater. Utilities/food/fuel etc. are pretty much the same state-wide.

        [2] In acres. I'll leave it as an exercise for the student to convert that to more enlightened hectares (2.47 acres to the hectare, if the Yanks in the audience are wondering).

  3. AndrueC Silver badge

    Why does a company that specialises in building and operating the world's biggest social networking site need a lot of employees in one physical location?

    Just musin'

  4. ratfox

    There goes the neighborhood! etc.

    Maybe they should install a toll charge for transit vehicles?

  5. Craig 12

    Any argument that starts off "Clearly" and ends in worrying about money going to someone else is bound to be totally legit.

  6. GT


    If 47% of the employees could use these efficient methods of transport, then 53% couldn't. On their own that would make 53% of 9,000 or 4,700 odd parking spaces, plus whatever the 47% use. Doesn't add up to 3,600.

    OTOH I visited that campus several times when I worked at Sun. As you leave, you have 3 or 4 main routes to use: a great way to disperse traffic.

    OTOOH, I visited that campus several times when I worked at Sun. I can't understand how you could squeeze two and a half times as many people on to it.

    All very odd.

    1. Richard 120


      How many hands do you have?

      1. jake Silver badge

        @Richard 120

        There are a lot of SciFi aficionados here ... Look up "gripping hand".

        SciFi aside, sometimes life's more than black & white or ones & zeros ... There are a gazillion shades of gray. The world would be a very boring place if we all lead identical lives ...

    2. thickasthieves

      Three points of the compass

      I also visited that site often when I sold to Sun. There's really one main exit from that campus, a stoplight controlled exit that allows you to head east on the Bayfron Expy, south on Willow Rd (CA-84), or northeast onto the Dumbarton Bridge.

      It wasn't all that good for Sun, and I knew of a number of Sun employees who chose to work out of the nearby Sun location just across the bridge in Newark to spare themselves the burden of having to wait fifteen minutes just to leave campus in the evening.

  7. deshepherd

    I knew someone who used to work for Sun and was based there .... and the best thing he said was when he was allowed to "hot desk" at another Sun office closer to his home instead of having to go into his "proper" office (after all, the network is the computer, or was that vice versa).

    I assume it a case of wanting a big building on the bay shore line so that they can be just like Google.

  8. squilookle

    You would think they would make sure that they could fit all the people they need into the building *before* moving in... perhaps the folk that are supposed to sort these things have spent too much work time on Facebook?

    1. Dan 10

      Good point

      Do you think HR has a policy that says "thou shalt not surf p0rn, use hotmail, youtube or facebook" like other companies?!

    2. dssf

      No, they're acting like SF's "Academy of Art"

      Where AA keeps seduc... immm, recruiting ever more students, but has nowhere to house them unless it buys up "apartels" or roach motels (SF's SROs, or Single-Room Occupancies, more akin to 1848 saloons of rooms with a wash basin and shared hallway bathrooms, but AA might actually have mostly or 100 fully-featured rooms) converted into apartments and adorned with Academy of Art signs, probably to look as if they are business space -- in the case of business space converted to apartments. SF has done minor battle with AA, but probably is relenting on the zoning issue. After all, rental income that is taxable to businesses means SOME revenue for SF.

      So, Palo Alto/Menlo Park areas probably also grumble but make emergency waivers on the basis of income/revenue streams that can be used for closing budget gaps in a city or county.

      FB should install trams or tubes akin to Space: 1999 and link them up with doorways that read and open only to FB employees, contractors, and scheduled visitors, based on card swipe, PIN entry, facial recognition AND a sample voice print -- all simultaneously -- to prevent tourism rides and criminals/vagabond/etc from sullying their tubes. These thnigs could be linked to CalTrain, San Mateo transit buses, VTA, shuttles, and others. The portals could probably be something out of Star Trek (maybe even like on Eminiar VII, or out of Logan's Run (the TV show, not the movie), and so on) so they are almost non-descript.

      Or, a ski lift/tram/gondola system that stays above traffic, looks futuristic, and doesn't add too much energy cost to all involved.

  9. SpecialGray
    Thumb Up

    I work for anyone that promised a free shuttle for my daily commute.

  10. mark 63 Silver badge

    wot, no aerial pic of the new office?

    preferably in lego

  11. Peter Murphy

    This is El Reg! You got the byline wrong!

    It should be: "Rapidly expanding workforce could cause traffic and parking issues... bitch."

  12. HCV


    *All of which* used to be a Sun campus.

    Confusion may lie with the fact that a few of the buildings are still, in fact, occupied by former Sun units (now part of Oracle, of course) for a little while longer.

  13. pooky2483

    'Too many friends'... They need to get rid of some...

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