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Stanford backs away from divisive Dish parking plan

Original post made on Feb 20, 2014

After pressure from the city and an outpouring of opposition from hikers who frequent the Dish, Stanford University is backing a way from a proposal to reduce parking on Stanford Avenue and shift it to a location more than half a mile away from the popular hiking trail.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, February 20, 2014, 9:37 AM

Comments (31)

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2014 at 10:13 am

I hope Palo Alto residents are good at back in parking!


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Posted by Mom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 20, 2014 at 10:22 am

I've never seen this kind of parking anywhere else. I HAVE seen people hit other people's bumpers as they attempt to parallel park on Stanford Avenue. I can only imagine the chaos that back-in parking will bring.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 20, 2014 at 10:28 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

If you can parallel park then you can back in park - it is just the first part of parallel parking. And it is much safer when pulling out from back in parking than backing out from head in parking.


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Posted by Clueless nancy
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 20, 2014 at 10:33 am

"Shepherd wrote that the change of plans, which would shift 33 parking spots from Stanford to Coyote Hill Road, is "not acceptable to Palo Alto."

Once again we have an out of touch council member claiming to speak for all of palo alto. When we're residents asked how they felt? Or is nancy basing her conclusion on the opinion of a vocal minority ?

Of course this sets a prescedent-- palo,alto residents near downtown will not be able to complain about people parking in their neighborhoods.


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Posted by hoax
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 20, 2014 at 10:36 am

This "perimeter trail" is a hoax to begin with. Stanford's original promise was to build a trail between the Dish and the Arastradero Preserve. Palo Alto agreed to that in return for building permits for Stanford. Now Stanford is reneging on their promise and trying to build a sidewalk between the Dish and El Camino Real instead. Who really wants a new sidewalk here anyway? The street already has sidewalks. Is the new construction project really an improvement, or just a way for Stanford to renege on its original commitment?


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Posted by Concerned citizen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 20, 2014 at 10:41 am

Mayor Sheppard is in way over her head. She has no business being a mayor.
The woman has no experience/education about zoning, city planning, and all other skills that are needed to successfully guide a city like Palo Alto.
It's a pity that such a person is in charge of this town, during this time of intense growth.


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Posted by Junipero Parking
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 20, 2014 at 11:26 am

Am I the only one finding this comment interesting?
"The university also concluded that it cannot support adding parking to Junipero Serra Boulevard, finding that the roadway is too busy and would not be safe. ".

The state seems to have figured this one out a long time ago. Along our coast there are many 'strips' of beach parkings along highway 1. They have a separate entrance and exit. Seems to work just fine. Also in the spots that are more dense traffic wise.

Why could Stanford not turn part of their land along Junipero into such a parking lot. Seems it would work just fine. I assume it is the extra cost they do not want to incur as opposed to the claimed traffic safety issue.

In any event, doing that would help solve the safety issues along Stanford Ave and would address the concerns about parking shortage. This is really not rocket science. Or is it?


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Posted by Palo Parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 20, 2014 at 11:31 am

Junipero Parking, Simple answer: Busy street, land owned by Stanford to be now used as parking on busy street, accident happens, deep pockets (Stanford) get sued, their lawyers would never allow that that to be possible, get it?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 20, 2014 at 11:33 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Why could Stanford not turn part of their land along Junipero into such a parking lot. "

Has Junipero Parking ever heard of the concept of private property? Stanford already grants the public walking access to its Dish property and now JP wants Stanford to donate land for public parking - bizarre, but sooooo typical of Palo Alto residents' sense of entitlement to everything that belongs to Stanford.


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2014 at 11:44 am

I think Palo Alto should open Foothills Park to the public and build a parking lot for users from neighboring communities.....but they claim it is private, not public, property.




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Posted by Mikey Palo Alto
a resident of Gunn High School
on Feb 20, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Mikey Palo Alto is a registered user.

I'm sure the competent planning folks have thought about this longer than I have, but why does it have to be back-in parking? If they slant everything in the same direction as the traffic flow, you can pull right in... Also, seems to be enough room on both sides of the street to provide the same arrangement on the other side of the street?


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Posted by Marty B
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Feb 20, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Junipero Parking has it exactly right. So perfect a solution, it will never happen. Oh well...


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 20, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"If they slant everything in the same direction as the traffic flow, you can pull right in.."

But the problem is then you have to back out with limited visibility of oncoming traffic.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2014 at 1:03 pm

As a rule of thumb, the bigger the vehicle, the less likely it will be parked legally. There are lots of big vehicles parked along Stanford who will be "challenged" by this slanted parking.


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Posted by Spike B
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Feb 20, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Turn on your hazard lights when you stop to back in. AND add a large trailer hitch to your rear bumper. You should be okay.

The U-turn traffic at Raimundo shouldn't be a problem.


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Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 20, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

So a small, vocal group of Palo Altans get their way, again. I guess you can put your fancy signs away.

Yesterday on a walk on Stanford Ave. by the dish parking my dog found a fast food bag and banana peel. Oh, there was more, as there always is. Stanford kindly provides trash cans, so I suggest hikers and nature lovers please make use of them, if it's possible to walk the extra 20 or 30 feet out of your way after your several mile jaunt. I don't throw trash in your neighborhood, so please don't liter in ours. That said, I'm sure it's just a few bad apples, but they are certainly consistent.


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Posted by Aerdii
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 20, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Junipero Parking has it exactly right. Traffic would exit off Junipero into a one way, one lane "street" parallel to Junipero Sera, with diagonal parking all the way along. Traffic speeding by is thus insulated from cars backing in and out. Total "depth" of such a solution? Maybe 40 feet. Does this cut into Stanford land on one side or the other or both? Yes. Is it better than visitors U-turning violently on Stanford to claim a rare free spot? Yes. Then Stanford avenue can be used for pedestrians or bikes, and no one disturbs the Stanford residents who are disturbed by visitors.

Seems so easy. I admit ignorance of past battles that causes Stanford residents to be so disturbed by Palo Alto people, but surely "people visiting parkland in safety" is a higher goal than tit for tat over perceived slights over park access?


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Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 20, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Aerdii-- you know your suggestion of what Stanford should do to accommodate the residents of Palo Alto can also be used to solve the parking issues near downtown. We will just cut into the homeowners land on both sides of the street to make more space for parking by out of towers. Obviously if you have no,problem telling Stanford what to do with its land in order to enable palo,altos sense of entitlement, thee would be no'problem for residents near downtown to give up some of their property for visitor,parking.


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 20, 2014 at 5:41 pm

@peter....it's called being a good neighbor. Stanford benefits greatly from Palo Alto services, including schools and the ridiculous high-density housing and affordable housing causing problems in our town because Stanford doesn't want it on their land. They are already violating their agreement regarding a trail to Arastradero preserve.


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Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 20, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Neighbor--why would Stanford,a private university, allow Palo Alto to build housing on its land? Without Stanford, palo,alto,would be nothing. Palo,alto derives plenty of money from Stanford-- visitors coming to then hospital, arts, sporting events etc. what services does Palo Alto provide to Stanford?


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Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 20, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

Rupert of henzau,

Great idea!


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Posted by more than nothing
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Rupert

"Without Stanford, palo,alto,would be nothing."

Up until recently what Palo Alto provided/preserved for Stanford is a fairly safe town for the faculty and students which Stanford attracts.

When somebody considers Stanford, they also consider surroundings. Oh the town ,Palo Alto? Hmmm, let's see if it's OK.

Palo Alto is not a bad looking town, some people even love it. You can raise a family, start a company, have dinner at a new restaurant from time to time, and there is yogurt everywhere.

Palo Alto residents are from all over the world, educated people (some from Stanford, but not all) who are attracted by the schools, walking and biking to school, and the vicinity of the Bay area.

Oh, I forgot, turns out that the community also happens to shop at Stanford Shopping Center. It's got what they call "spending power." We also get sick, pay our bills at the hospital, and if we're not sick we go and cheer the Stanford games.

Palo Alto is a community which has complemented Stanford, and without the quality of life that Palo Alto is/was renown for, maybe Stanford would not be as attractive. People who grew out of Stanford have chosen to live here, but would not have done so without the qualities the town has maintained.

It's in both Stanford and Palo Alto's interests that both communities do well.


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Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 20, 2014 at 6:39 pm

More than nothing-- much of what you say is true. However, Stanford would survive without Palo Alto. The opposite is not true.
Stanford know what they are doing. Palo Alto,is dysfunctional, probably due to the PA process, that turns even simple projects into a soap,opera.
Note how Stanford has a wide ranging FREE shuttle service, while PA still can not get a handle on traffic and parking. Stanford puts up buildings in quick cost effective manner-- check out the new concert hall, the new stem cell center etc. PA cannot get a library built!!!
But at least we have solved the parking problem in the downtown area


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Posted by more than nothing
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm

Rupert,

You don't have developers trying to make an office park out of you.

And you also don't have an Architectural Review Board that think only glass is "innovative." We are too busy building the career of Ken Hayes we can't even build a library.


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Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 20, 2014 at 6:50 pm

More than nothing- you just proved my point that Palo Alto is dysfunctional-- also,probably due to too many " bosses" and " watchdogs" and people, who in general, are against anything.


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Posted by more than nothing
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Rupert,

Yes it's that vision thing. Supposedly we're interested in coming up with something called "Our Palo Alto"

It would be interesting to have Stanford provide a unified statement about what they/you think the vision for Palo Alto is.

Our city manager says it's a heart for the world to plug into, and some of us think that may mean a heart attack.

What does Stanford say in all this?




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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 21, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Can't the powers that be convert the existing parking along Stanford Avenue into slanted parking?

There is enough room on both sides of the street to add a few feet of space between Stanford Avenue and the parked vehicles (which studies show provide added vehicular/pedestrian safety).

The angled parking will also provide many more spaces and more organization than the existing parking.


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Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 21, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Nayeli-- that is great solution also for the parking problems near downtown Palo Alto. Palo Alto is demanding that Stanford accommodate palo,alto residents ( note mayor Nancy's comment that Stanford's plan was unacceptable to palo alto) - I suggest parking in downtown north and professorville be converted to slanted parking-- otherwise it us unacceptable to out of towners.


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 21, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Last I checked, there are,plenty of Dish walkers from other cities than Palo Alto. Do they park on Stanford Ave as well? If so, then all of the Palo Alto bashing seems to be a bit much.

I would also state that Stanford should have the last say in all of this; not PA or any other nearby town.


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Posted by Concerned Observer
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2014 at 8:03 pm

See

Web Link

for a description of how back-in slanted parking works.
The statement there is that
"For safety reasons, not one city in the U.S. has added front-in angled parking next to an active roadway since 2006 and the Downtown Pensacola Parking Management District (DPMD) has chosen to follow suite. After year one of introducing Downtown Pensacola to back-in angle parking, traffic accidents have decreased 100%."

However, it's N.I.H. so suspect, of course. As "Mom" said on 2/20, "never seen this kind of parking anywhere else"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Louise
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Feb 25, 2014 at 12:20 am

What good news! Instead of continued PA vs SU finger pointing, what's now on the table is a win-win proposal for back-in angle parking. More nearby parking for "Dish walkers" who drive to their walk (and currently face hazards as pedestrians in that last couple blocks) as well as many, many bicyclists using Stanford Avenue. I hope they'll all be at the County supporting this proposal at the appropriate time!

Thanks to Concerned Observer for the useful link with visuals. Love the instructional sign, really shows how easy it is. How about the documented decrease in crashes and "better lines of sight, improved safety for children and pedestrians, and improved loading and unloading". Skeptics of any change to the status quo probably don't realize how dangerous the current situation is.


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