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World Music Day to bring road closures to downtown

University Avenue to be closed to traffic during music festival June 17

Downtown Palo Alto will have traffic closures during World Music Day, Sunday, June 17, when as many as 25,000 people are expected to descend on University Avenue and City Hall on Hamilton Street, police said.

The event will have 50 bands performing from 3 to 7:30 p.m. University Avenue will be closed to traffic from High to Webster streets from 11 a.m. to about 9 p.m. Hamilton Avenue will be closed in front of King Plaza (at Palo Alto City Hall) between Bryant and Ramona streets, Palo Alto police Sgt. Wayne Benitez said. About 50 yards of Ramona will also be closed from Ramona to The Old Pro restaurant.

Pedestrians wanting to hear bands at King Plaza can walk safely along Centennial Way, Benitez said.

Adding to the traffic congestion, Stanford University is also holding its graduation commencement, which begins at 10 a.m. Motorists should expect traffic delays in downtown starting at 8 a.m., Benitez said.

Motorists leaving the commencement ceremonies to drive to U.S. Highway 101 will be funneled onto Lytton Avenue and Hamilton, but Hamilton drivers will need to take a side street to Forest Avenue to skirt City Hall because of the music events, he said.

Residents and motorists can expect additional traffic disruption on Saturday, June 30. Stanford Stadium will host a major league soccer event between the San Jose Earthquakes and Los Angeles Galaxy. The game starts at 7 p.m. and is expected to draw 50,000 people. As of last week 40,000 tickets had been sold, Benitez said.

Police expect to use similar traffic controls as those implemented during football games at Stanford, Benitez said. But unlike football, visitors won't trickle in to tailgate parties before the game. The soccer match will have two 45-minute halves and a 20-minute intermission, he added.

"Everyone will be showing up at once. The traffic will strain our resources," he said.

Police could turn all four lanes of Embarcadero Road into one way to accommodate traffic coming to and from the match, which is often done to manage heavy traffic volume during football games, he said.

Related story:

Feature story: Face the music and dance

Comments

Posted by reader, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Poor poor job from many event planners here. Palo Alto is too small to not do due diligence when planning for enormous crowds like this. A shame. Makes the weekend miserable for us residents just trying to live our normal lives.


Posted by reader, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2012 at 3:26 pm

(And of course makes it hard also on all those attending graduation, the music day, soccer game, etc)


Posted by PA Resident, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Who on earth planned to close University for an event bring an estimated 25000 people on the same day as Stanford graduation? Do they not have access to the Stanford calendar?


Posted by Bob, a resident of Community Center
on Jun 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Most of the city staff do not even live here and are clueless as to what is going on outside of
City Hall.


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 14, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Nobody goes downtown anymore, because it's too crowded.


Posted by Stanford and Downtown Fan, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 15, 2012 at 10:13 am

Such craziness! In that the poor planning or absence of planning altogether diminishes the potential enjoyment of all involved in either event. I agree that one would have assumed that the City of Palo Alto was in the loop about Stanford events, such that they could schedule these special events (and they could be special if planned better) around them.


Posted by svatoid, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 15, 2012 at 10:16 am

"I agree that one would have assumed that the City of Palo Alto was in the loop about Stanford events, such that they could schedule these special events (and they could be special if planned better) around them."

Palo alto is more than happy to collect the tax revenue from Stanford visitors that stay, shop and eat in Palo Alto.
Maybe this year those visitors will stay away from Palo alto and give their business to our neighbors to the north and south.


Posted by ap, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm

World Music Day is an annual event that occurs every Father's Day. This year the two happen to coincide. Deal with it and stop complaining about everything. Maybe join in on the music. It is a wonderful event.

The City is not the coordinator or primary sponsor of the event, so stop blaming the City. It is put on by private citizens/organizations and lots of volunteers. Stop blaming the City of PA. There is a city liaison from the Rec dept. to help things run smooth.


Posted by KP, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 15, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Who cares...the more the merrier! HAHAHAHA
I will ride my bike to the music event and enjoy the sunny day without a care in the world!
:-)


Posted by KP, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 15, 2012 at 12:30 pm

@ ap
You're right, stop blaming the City of Palo Alto for your issues...This is one they ARE NOT responsible for! (Whew)
Just relax (mon) and make the best of it. Palo Altans complain about so much (which most are very justified) but not this one so just enjoy the day.


Posted by PA Resident, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm

AP -

While World Music Day may be organized by volunteers and is a wonderful event - an individual can't close the streets in Palo Alto only the City can. It has only been an "annual event" for a couple years, no where near as long as Stanford Graduation (which is often on Father's Day also). No one is denying it is a wonderful event, just VERY poor timing this year. BTW, the Palo Alto Music Day is is based on World Music Day in France which takes place on June 21st - so this event could have easily been planned for next weekend instead.

I feel very badly for the out of town visitors to both events and for the downtown restaurants that will loose the Graduation related business because visitors can't get there.


Posted by SW, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm

@ PA Resident:
I totally agree about feeling badly for the out-of-town visitors, particularly those who might also be in the process of moving their graduates out of apartments, dorms, and houses, and in need of a celebratory dinner that is easy and relaxing. As well as the restaurateurs who will likely bear the brunt of the logistics-associated frustration. It seems to me that communication all the way around- including Stanford, the City of PA, and the event organizers, even if the event is sponsored by a private foundation and staffed by volunteers - would have yielded the most optimal outcome for all.


Posted by Sam A, a resident of Stanford
on Jun 15, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Incredibly poor planning to hold this the same day as graduation. Unbelievable. Unfortunately our next step will be to move our dinner reservations from downtown to another town, since we and the 80+ year old grandparents will have no way to get to the restaurant.


Posted by Just Say No, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 15, 2012 at 7:58 pm

World Music Day needs to be held somewhere else. Palo Alto does not have to be the site for this event if the organizers insist on holding it the same weekend as Stanford's Commencement. Stanford's Commencement date through 2020 is publicly available.


Posted by relax, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Stanford graduation begins in the morning. The music event begins in the afternoon. What's the problem? Sam A, get a wheelchair for grandma and take a stroll to your restaurant, it's a rare chance to take in downtown without trafiic.


Posted by Oh please, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2012 at 12:19 am

Sam A

There is no parking of merit on university, your grandparents would have to walk anyway.


Posted by Oh please, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2012 at 12:19 am

Sam A

There is no parking of merit on university, your grandparents would have to walk anyway.


Posted by Bill, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 16, 2012 at 10:32 pm

A bit of information. The 'general' all-school graduation is ( or used to be) in the morning (was in the stadium but I don't know if it still is) , then individual schools - Law, Medicine, various 'grad school' degrees, and separate undergrad degrees are done separately later and in the past were followed by luncheons given by the various schools.At least that's what happened in my day. And yes, traffic on University would have have been heavy, and yes, grad families would have patronized downtown for dinner. Note to City Hall: THINK!!


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