Stanford, Palo Alto near deal on hospital expansion | February 4, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 4, 2011

Stanford, Palo Alto near deal on hospital expansion

Aggressive $126 million traffic-calming package helps accelerate negotiations

by Gennady Sheyner

Stanford University's ambitious expansion of its hospital facilities will come with an equally ambitious traffic-management program that university officials hope will unclog some of Palo Alto's busiest intersections and smooth Stanford's path toward the city's approval.

This story contains 842 words.

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Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be e-mailed at gsheyner@paweekly.com.

Comments

Posted by 50 years of Caltrain passes, a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 1, 2011 at 9:12 am

I still can't believe the city is letting Stanford get away with this $126 million hoax. The vast majority of "traffic improvements" package is 50 years worth of Caltrain passes for employees.


Posted by Too much traffic, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2011 at 9:28 am

50 years of Caltrain passes--
"Staff has estimated Stanford's package of benefits (not including the traffic measure) to total about $50.9 million."
You don't think that 50.9 million dollars is enough extortion by the city? How much does the city extort from other businesses in town?

"It also helps that the hospitals already enjoy an alternative mode share of more than 22 percent."
What is the alternative mode share for other businesses in Palo Alto? What are the numbers for Facebook? Frys? Chipoltle? Borders? If traffic is such an issue for the city, then why aren't all the businesses in town made to agree to at least a 35.1 percent alternative mode share like Stanford?
And before some of you start saying that there are so many employees at Stanford, remember that even one additional car trip into Palo Alto is too many (or so the bandied about myth goes) so every business should be held to the same standards as Stanford.

BTW, it is refreshing to see some common sense on the council with regard to Stanford after the 8 years of Kishimoto, Drekmeier and Morton's biased views.


Posted by Hmmmmm, a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2011 at 11:13 am

What will the alternative transportation plan be if Caltrain service is reduced? Those Go passes won't work if there aren't enough trains.

I think the revenue guarantee is a good idea. I don't believe Stanford pays taxes (non-profit, though seriously well-endowed teaching hospital, I think?) like other businesses in town that were mentioned above. We need some help paying for the facilities that Stanford will need built around town to accomodate greater traffic load from their expansion. That is a fair and reasonable request.

Other businesses DO have to go through the EIR process (California State law--CEQA)when they build here, and development agreements for larger projects are not unusual. It is incorrect to say that Stanford is being treated differently. Given the scale of the project, I think the city has been more than fair.


Posted by Stef, a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 1, 2011 at 11:29 am

We need a free car parking lot at 280 and Sand Hill with a free shuttle (Marguerite) going from 280 to the hospital and clinic. Sand Hill and Alpine are crowded now. I am sure that the expansion will increase traffic from 280 on them.


Posted by Too much traffic, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2011 at 11:34 am

"Other businesses DO have to go through the EIR process (California State law--CEQA)when they build here, and development agreements for larger projects are not unusual. It is incorrect to say that Stanford is being treated differently."

That is true, but I do not believe that other businesses in town are required to guarantee that a certain percentage of people use public transportation. In fact, if you look at Stanford University (and not just the hospital/med center) you will find that the percentage that use alternative transportation is much greater than 25+%.
If all businesses in town were required to follow Stanford's lead in this matter, then we would not have this (mythical) traffic problem. Stanford goes above and beyond in the way of green technology and uses of alternative transportation, yet they get no credit for it from the city--just constant bashing, demands for higher numbers and more money into the city coffers.


Posted by Scholar, a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 1, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Stef is correct about the Sand Hill Road to 280 route. It gets jammed each weeknight, and drivers go past the speed limit to get up to 280. Are many of them from the Medical Center? Some months back the Police strictly enforced the traffic laws on Sand Hill to 280 at the evening rush hour, pulling so many cars over off of Sand Hill onto Sharon Park Drive that it looked like a parked parade.


Posted by Wilson, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2011 at 1:33 pm

> the Sand Hill Road to 280 route. It gets jammed each weeknight,
> and drivers go past the speed limit to get up to 280

Stanford has plenty of land that could be used to build an "Stanford only" access road to relieve the pressure on Sand Hill-to-280. Since it would be on Stanford land, it would not have to go through all of the "hoops" necessary to build a new road that a city/county would have to go thru. And, properly sited, it could be expanded in the future.

Moving several thousand car trips a day off of Sand Hill onto the Stanford lands would be a win-win for everyone.


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