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Did Amgen cause problems to the rest of us?

Original post made by Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Feb 19, 2008

We have heard from many who watched the race and really enjoyed it. I am really glad that it was a success.

What I am interested to know is if it caused problems to those who had to live their ordinary lives over the past weekend. Did it cause traffic/parking problems for those who had to work in non-related businesses, did it cause problems for local sports, entertainment, or Church functioning? Did it cause a problem for those attending the memorial at the Children's Theatre.

In spite of all the good it did us by bringing in so many outsiders who undoubtedly spent their money here, did the event cause any downsides to us as a community?

I personally had to go to SFO and was a little concerned that the extra traffic on the roads that were open would cause a problem, but was relieved to find that this was not the case.

Comments (9)

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Posted by PA Dad
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 19, 2008 at 11:03 am

No problem with my family -- we had a trip that would have taken us down University Ave., but we just went another way. The publicity worked for us and we weren't inconvenienced. That said, I could have done without the TV helicopter flying low over my house most of the weekend. It would be nice if it could be required to fly higher next time.


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Posted by Flyboy
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 19, 2008 at 11:58 am


FAA regulations state that except for takeoff or landing, "no person may operate an aircraft over a congested area below an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

When I used to fly out of PAO, we were requested to stay 1500 ft. AGL. If the helicopters were below about 1200 ft. they were out of compliance. However, there, possibly, could be an exception for news helicopters and/or police helicopters (I just don't know). If news helicopters are not given an exception, then call the FAA next time it happens. News helicopters are notorious bad actors.

I think I will go to the next cycling event, if it occurs. Sounds like a lot of fun. If I see an aircraft too low, I will call it in myself.


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Posted by think positively
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 19, 2008 at 12:25 pm

I am happy to see Palo Alto brought an event into town to boost revenue for the city. This is a great way to increase exposure to restaurants and hotels in Palo Alto. I think it's great. One cannot expect to be completely unfazed by a major event, but the city can create precautions in order to ensure citizens are notified and given alternatives. I hope you are asking if the planning was done right and not to drum up grievances., People complain so much around here.


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Posted by Citizen
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 19, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Don't forget that this event was totally free for spectators - a huge benefit to many Palo Alto residents and of course non-residents. We (as a city) live with a ton of traffic on Stanford Football game days, but I don't recall Stanford offering the entire town free football tickets for the nuisance that football traffic causes.

The race was a really great event and it looked like it was run flawlessly.


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Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Feb 19, 2008 at 2:49 pm

I don't recall the city of Palo Alto offering Stanford a portion of the money that is spent by visitors coming to the football games in Palo Alto. I am sure that the 5 or 6 Saturdays a year when there is a football game is something that the people of PA can live with or maybe Stanford should stop playing football so that Citizen and others will not be bothered by traffic

Some people never miss an opportunity to bash Stanford


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Posted by Noah
a resident of University South
on Feb 19, 2008 at 8:41 pm

We live just two blocks from University Ave, and the only impact we felt from the race was noise from the helicopters. The noise wasn't that bad, and seemed to peak for about 1-2 hours. Traffic was fine, and thanks to the event being well publicized both we and our visiting family avoided taking University to/from hwy101.

We didn't actually get to see the race, but I think it's pretty cool that we hosted it.


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Posted by Citizen
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 19, 2008 at 9:30 pm

Marvin - you missed my point. I enjoy both Stanford Football and the bike race, and I am fine with the traffic both cause. However, the bike race was free - a benefit that those complaining about the traffic are ignoring and something that should be factored in when thinking about the benefits of hosting a big event like this.


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Posted by A Tax payer
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Feb 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm

This event wasn't in any way free! I'm not at all against having this type of event, but the taxpayers ,homeowners, should not have to pay for it or a share of it. The daily news stated that the city is paying $195,000 minimum to pay for the 55 police officers working overtime and other city employees.

Divide this by 25,000 households and you get: $7.80 per household. There may be more costs when all is done and paid for.

There is no doubt that the downtown businesses benifitted in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

What is the city going to do to recover the funds used from the general fund of the city.??

If there were 195 businesses that benifitted from this event they would each have to pay a $1000 tax or fee.

This was a regional event and not a local event. I estimate that less than 10% of residences were involved or attended.


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Posted by Citizen
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 20, 2008 at 6:54 pm

Of course the event cost the city money to host. But the important "free" part is that anyone could walk up and watch it for free. You can't do that at a Stanford Football game.

Personally I think this is the best $195,000 the city ever spent. Also, to the extent that downtown businesses and hotels benefited, this will be reflected in the sales and occupancy taxes.

I seem to recall that the San Francisco Grand Prix cost SF around $1 million for extra police (the fact that the race couldn't reimburse the city for this amount led to its downfall). If it really only cost PA $195,000 in added payroll for the event it was a great deal.


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