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Original post made
on Mar 28, 2014
How many shops/stores are open at Edgewood Plaza? Apart from the supermarket and gas station the place seems very sleepy. Perhaps there is a problem getting retail interested in the area.
As for street parking, that is happening all over town. Loma Verde at Bayshore is now used for parking and with the design of the street and the volume of traffic on Bayshore, it is difficult to negotiate the intersection.
Midtown parking is spilling into neighborhood streets and PAFD using the street for lunch runs doesn't help.
Loma Verde outside Philz is another place where street parking in the bike lanes, particularly by PAPD and PAFD, makes for difficult driving and biking.
It seems that all these so called neighborhood shopping districts are used by people who are driving home and stop en route, rather than by people walking to go shopping.
If you live near a shopping destination, a new residential development or by new office development, then street parking is going to be a big problem. Welcome to the new Palo Alto.
Hmm interesting. Monitoring seems in order. A Little street parking is expected in a thriving area, the concern is when it is excessive. It's like we know that when we see it.
As a local resident near the center, I wish it to thrive, and it appears to be doing well so far - The Fresh Market reported that location to be doing well. If there were a little spillover of traffic/parking onto the smaller streets nearby, that would be ok - that is expected. For Heaven's sake, here in Duveneck/St. Francis and other city neighborhoods we have gardeners with their huge trucks coming in and parking every day of the week. I would think that commuters would get off 101 and drive right into the center to get to these little offices.
I heard that Specialties (sandwiches) is going in there, hope that's true.
So these residents also believe that they own the parking rights to their streets.
While I can walk there, I guess most people visiting a shopping center expect to be able to drive and park there. If all the spots are taken by an office, however small, or the office workers opt to park on all the surrounding residential streets, that does seem to merit consideration. It isn't primarily an "office" center....
Not surprising that planner Amy French is OK with inadequate parking.
She has held a similar view on Ken Hayes projects.
Residential parking permits solve almost all problems, can we get on with a city wide program?
After permit parking was instituted in much of College Terrace, JJ&F's parking lot of full of non-shoppers and no street parking there as well, because, in Palo Alto's infinite wisdom, it didn't put permit parking where small business customers need short-term parking. This was before the Garcia's sold the business, and lack of parking might have also contributed to fewer customers. The family tried to get something done with the city about the problem, but ha ha ha. I asked the subsequent owners if they knew about the parking problem when they bought it, and they said no, acknowledging it was a parking. I really like Fresh Market and I want to see it thrive. The new business needs to make due with 16 parking places, clearly marked, and the market will need to pay somebody to stand in the lot and police the use.
So the City staff hasn't changed it's old ways of doing things, When will they ever learn?
What's wrong with the office workers parking along the street during the day time?
Because they are parking in front of people's houses, and when you buy a house you are entitled to that space on the curb. Its in the constitution.
There is a school at the end of my street. Three times a day I can't even use the street for all intents and purposes since buses and parents are always making illegal u turns and clogging up the streets. Maybe I can get the city council make the school move.
It's a long shot I know. And NOT the same situation as Edgewood Plaza. Most importantly, a recent study showed nearly 95% of the residents surrounding the plaza have been there since 1954 or earlier--BEFORE the shopping center went in. So--it's easy to understand their concern. I guess I can't expect the same in my situation...the school was already there when I bought my home.
listen robert sporty and other tools for the Over-Development community,
here's whats wrong with parking up neighborhood streets with non-residential parking….its from the Comprehensive plan; ...law
" encourages commercial enterprise, but not at the expense of the City's residential neighborhoods."
City of Palo Alto Comprehensive Plan (Revised 7/17/2007), Chapter 1, Page 3
"Meeting Residential and Commercial Needs."
in addition, as the article stated , in this case with this building the director of planning at the time Curtis Williams , and his agents, Amy French et Al, made as a requirement of the PC zoning for Edgewood Plaza to go forward, a condition that this building could not be used by any business that would require more than 16 parking spaces…period
Thank you anon
The issue is that there is no street parking on the shopping center side of St. Francis. So I can see how the local home owners might be a bit concerned.
As for the first posting in this thread...the shopping center is still under construction. A bank branch has opened next to the market, but all of the remaining space in that bank's building, as well as the next building over (not the office space on the corner) is still under construction. You can't put in more shops until it's done.
There will be a coffee shop/bar going in. Rumor is Starbucks... but that is only a rumor.
@Crescent Park Dad - not only is there no parking on the shopping center side of St Francis, there is no parking on the shopping center side of Embarcadero. And in the process of the remodel, they removed over half the on site parking spots to make room for the additional houses they are building on the Channing side. If the city had held out for one fewer house, that probably would have been enough parking for the meditation center.
As I understand it, help may be on the way for the residential neighborhoods adjacent to the Edgewood Plaza. The Planning & Transportation Department is in the process of drafting a citywide ordinance for City Council review and approval that will enable neighborhoods impacted by intrusive parking to petition for a Residential Preferential Permit Parking (RPP) program.
At the same time, the City has convened a Stakeholders Group comprised of business representatives and residents from the neighborhoods adjacent to the University Avenue business district to develop a mutually beneficial RPP program for that area. That group has started meeting monthly and those meetings are open to the public. For more information about that group's efforts see:
So, Prof.resident, we should let things get really bad then organize for Residential Parking Permits, petition the city, with an uncertain outcome. Gee, so much trouble for the residents as long as the developer gets to maximize his profit now.
Don't prevent a clearly forseeable problem. As long as the developer isn't required to live up to the rules.
Hard to tell if you are serious and naive or what.
It is time to use Conditional Use Permits. The City Staff and Council need to set standards for residential neighborhoods, write Conditional Use Permits appropriate for those standards and then enforce the CUPs. It is really a simple process. The City Council can demonstrate its neighborhood stewardship and allegiance to the Comp Plan in this situation.
Here is the best advice I can give...and a history lesson, too!
Read this editorial!
Please don't shoot the messenger!
If you don't like what's going on organize your neighbors and get involved. Unlike the residential neighborhoods adjacent to the University Avenue business district whose streets are already wall-to-wall cars, you have a golden opportunity to act before intrusive parking actually begins to impact your neighborhood. Now is the time for you and your neighbors to go before the City Council as well as the Director of the Planning & Transportation Department to make them aware of the situation, to start writing letters to the three local newspapers, etc.
If I'm not mistaken, there are folks in your neighborhood who are already concerned about and beginning to work on the problem. Find out who they are and give them a hand.
The residents are always fighting from behind here just to keep the City
from sliding further into a disastrous decline in quality of life,
character, aesthetics, safety. There is something so wrong here it is
shocking. The track record of the Council and staff is so abysmal all
trust is gone- it is simply a losing fight to try and stay even.
In reality offices are mostly a 8 to 5 weekday use, you could park cars on outer edges of Edgewood parking lot which might work instead of the street.
Seen shopping busier on the weekends and in the evenings after when people get off work.
@Garrett - That would be totally reasonable given the current use of the site. But if the building ends up being used for tech/startup space, it could easily go from 16 people to 65-70 (assuming 150 sq/ft per employee, and all the storage space remains storage space). It makes sense to get in front of the issue.
That said, despite claims earlier in the thread, Fresh Market isn't doing well, and more workers in that building might help the market survive, which is critical for the health of the shopping center, and the good for the neighborhood.
The old Eichler building was also used by HP as a sales office and by Round Table Pizza as their HQ. Having been in the building when these three companies were there, I can say that there were a lot more than sixteen people occupying the place.
Welcome to the NEW Palo Alto.
Just wait until the the Grocery Outlet opens at the old MIKI's..... Edgwood plaza is like a walmart parking lot compared to that dinky place.
And just think what's gonna happen to the traffic on Alma and Middlefield when the counties narrow El Camino down to one lane for cars and one lane for buses in the grand boulevard scheme.
Many neighborhoods in this city are fighting for rights to have parking in front of their homes. We have yet to see the city step up and create a residential parking permit program for all of the neighborhoods that are impacted. This is just one more example of a big problem that already exists. The more this city builds the more likely it will impact more neighborhoods. It's a shame.
Yes...the "rights" to park in front of one's home - truly an entitlement, soughy by the very entitled. It seems in many parts of PA it's preferable to park on the street in front of one's home instead of the driveway.
@Hmmm - Is Oakland entitled? They have a RPP. How about San Jose? San Francisco? Burlingame? Berkeley?? The constant guilt trip you throw at Palo Alto is really tired. Cities are "entitled" to set parking policies, including residential parking permits to control undesirable overflow parking.
We have friends who live in an area where Residents have to pay for parking permits for their street parking. Practically every home has turned their front yards into large parking lots with gravel or similar. Some even rent out space to local employees. There is hardly a green area and the only flowers/bushes are in pots or hanging baskets although there are not many of those. The place looks dreadful in my opinion. And, there are few cars parking on the street. When we visit, there is room for us to park in front of the house off road.
I am sure that the residents here have mixed views about parking permits.
Recycle - yeah, the guilt you accuse Hmmm throwing is rather like the guilt Palo Alto constantly throws at Stanford. Hmmm is right about so many residents not parking in their driveways. I think it makes people more territorial.
How will the Edgewood landlord enforce parking at the shopping center? How about a city-run valet parking service in some areas, as Redwood City has? Why doesn't Palo Alto use pay station parking meters?
Not all of Oakland has RPP, only places that are near popular places. Lived in Oakland where no RPP, but seen them nearby. Grand Lake/Lakeshore, Rockridge, around BART, amd Piedmont/Kasier.
Parking controls aren't needed city wide.
Stanford is bringing a project to the ARB this Thursday morning at 2500 ElCamino for 70 BMR apts, with reduced parking, 145 spaces where 181 are required. More zoning breakage.
They make the standard excuses, low income people have fewer cars, it's near the bus etc. The ARB architects LOVE big developments, so expect them to love this one.
See the April 2 agenda at Web Link
@Garrett - You are right, parking controls aren't needed city wide, but there needs to be a city wide program where neighborhoods in need can easily opt in.
@Aquamarine - Stanford and Palo Alto are like a dysfunctional couple. EPA is like the cousin who is asking to borrow money and stay in the guest room.
Recycle - PA is fully deserving of the criticism, and more. Either you're electing the wrong city leaders, or you're getting exactly what you've asked for - development w/out the requisite important parts that make the developer more responsible, such as parking.
People are constantly decrying the loss of PA's character. As a native who lived there for many years, I understand that concern and upset. However, PA lost its ability to be a smaller city filled with character and charm *decades* ago when is smugly played up its Sili Valley mystique and further groomed its relationship with Stanford. It's completely okay if that's what you wanted, but it sounds like many residents didn't. [Portion removed.]
My observation that residents feel entitled to deciding who parks in front of their house stands. Perhaps the relationship between that attitude, who you all elect and who ends up doing business w/your city is better examined than defended.
I agree with Hmmm up to a point.
Insofar as local politicians letting developers get away w/o appropriate parking...hey, this is INTENTIONAL by the politicians, irrespective of the developer. Trying to manipulate the little guy/gal into somehow "having to" take public transit (what a joke here!) or bike around (got time for that??)(while likely, hypocritically, these officials are driving a single person luxury car at their own convenience...)
The SV mystique is no mystique it's called VC money. Money gets ya a lot, including overpriced status vehicles.
Yes, Hmmm is right that Palo Alto brought these problems on itself through greed, stupidity, lack of foresight, and probably a fair amount of corruption. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try make things better, or at least slow the decline.
This can't affect that many residents, can it? If not many, does that make it harder or easier to resolve?
What level of oversight is necessary to ensure that elected officials themselves ensure that developers provide parking? How sneaky is this part of the process, or how much collision actually occurs? I ask because of course the way that this all happens at Stanford is different. Or, maybe not.
I'm with the residents on this one. I think they've been pretty reasonable throughout the redevelopment process--and I think they've got a right to be concerned about having their street parking clogged up. As it is, I'm sure they already get spillover from Embarcadero.
So, why isn't there any parking on the shopping center side of the streets? Is that at all doable?
As for Loma Verde at Bayshore--yes, blame the city. They pushed through the townhouse development with inadequate parking and then, some years later, blocked Girls Middle School from moving into a site near the Baylands on Embarcadero because they didn't want to lose the possible tax revenues from a building in that area. So GMS ended up on West Bayshore where there's not much parking.
"So, why isn't there any parking on the shopping center side of the streets? Is that at all doable?"
The street current features bike lanes on both sides and parking on the residential side of the street. There is not enough room to add parking on the other side of the street...unless you eliminate both bike lanes and re-stripe the center line. I would expect the bike community to object to that idea...
If PA residents want to control the public streets, because you can't trust your elected officials and the developers to protect what you consider your interests on public roads, then maybe some grassroots organizing will work.
Trying to track the intricacies of parking issues w/development and redevelopment isn't easy. But creating an advocacy group to lobby for better parking solutions where development/redevelopment is happening might be a good solution.
I find your current trend in thinking that your property rights don't stop at your property lines deeply disturbing, and I am not the only one. My opinion doesn't matter, except that as a close-by former resident who is forced to use your streets and do business in your town, you may want to consider my words as possibly representative of a reasonable perspective. Avoid pitting yourselves in the "us vs. them" game that you did in Crescent Park, ensuring that as stakeholders you have a consistent voice. In truth, it's "us vs. us", and you can use that to your advantage.
On a personal, completely sympathetic note, this is my experience living in a neighborhood now overrun w/cars, and the requisite noise and the decreased quality of life that comes with all of it: Whatever your income level, age, or background, you have a right to quiet enjoyment of your home. You may not have a right to say who parks on your streets, but if the character of your neighborhood is changing significantly due to development, an organized voice of stakeholders canNOT be dismissed if elected officials wish to be re-elected. These future office workers who bring money into your area aren't the enemy, but they can also be conditioned to be considerate if they are to be good tenants. Being mindful that they're in a residential neighborhood is important, and that message can be expressed respectfully to them. For example, a small group of residents with good interpersonal skills might wisely approach the realtor or whoever to deliver good wishes and a request for reciprocal respect so that your quality of life isn't eroded by new tenants of the shopping center. Why people walking to and from their vehicles always love being loud remains a mystery to me, but perhaps they can be trained to behave otherwise. As for the larger issues that you all (and the rest of us who deal w/your city) are faced with re parking, I can personally attest to the power of the people - sometimes it can even best the power of money.
My reading of events is that legally construction should be halted at the center until a new EIR is completed. This seems very similar legally to building a damn and finding out that your assumptions about the wild life are incorrect. In this case, the EIR was passed base on the use of the office building not requiring more parking. As part of the PC zoning, if it now requires more parking, construction should be halted. It may be that there is a need for more parking space.
@EIR violation, I don't think it would be fair to halt construction at the shopping center based on potential parking problems caused by a building owned by someone else. The office building should solve the parking issues, not the shopping center.
And on a more positive note, that whole plaza and office was a horrible eyesore and detriment to the neighborhood for decades. The upside of the remodel far outweighs the downside of the parking issue. Just keep pressing the council for a citywide opt-in parking permit program.
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