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College Terrace wants parking permit system
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by Walter_E_Wallis, Midtown,
on Jul 30, 2007
Along with a system of barracades that denies use of public streets to others, the Terracers now want to eliminate stranger parking. Obviously it is time for them to buy back their streets and become a walled, gated community.
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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 30, 2007 at 3:23 pm
I moved into CT in 1977. I did so, because I saw that the streets were being blocked off. Before they were blocked, this place was a real zoo, with cut-through traffic to Stanford. NO cars were traveling at 25 mph... I saw 45 mph on a regular basis. Also dead cats. No rational parent would have allowed their kids anywhere near the streets, at least not Oberlin, Harvard and Hanover.
Some dedicated people in this neighborhood decided to make the fight to turn this place into a real neighborhood, one where children actually COULD play in the streets, occasionally. I salute them.
Other neighborhoods have had their streets blocked, notably the one across from Palo Alto High School. The neighborhood north of University tried it, but they, apparently, did not like it. They had their chance. Many neighborhoods in South PA have cul-de-sacs, or curved streets that act like a maze, in otherwords, streets that are not friendly to through traffic. Barron Park has a cozy little situation, because there is no reason to travel through it to get to anywhere else. Crescent Park gets relatively little cut through traffic, except for the bridge over SF creek. Let me put it simply, many neighborhoods in Palo Alto are already protected, and those that wish to be protected need to demand as much, then not turn their back on it.
College Terrace was a student ghetto for many years. Mrs. Stanford sold that piece of land to a subdivider in order to have worker housing for her university, especially during initial construction phases. Over time, the students moved in as the workers moved out. When I first looked at it in the late 70s, there were very few children here...either that or they did not dare wander near the streets, due to speeding traffic in high volume. After I moved in (post street blockage), families began to to move in, or form from within. Let me be specific: KIDS started to happen, slowly at first, then more and more. As I write this, I am listening to kids playing in the street and front yards...a musical sound to my ears. I like kids and families. I also like the mix of people in CT, many of whom do not have kids.
Now to the subject of parking permits. I think Stanford should give free permits to their own students and staff. That would alleviate the problem, I think. If it does not, then I would favor parking permits for the entire neighborhood. Yes, I would pay, even though I am not particularly impacted by the Stanford cheaters. I have been impacted by some Research Park cheaters (they like our shady streets over their own ample parking lots, because the paint on their expensive cars is preserved by the shade)... but I have been able to deal with them, on my street, by going to the the firms that border California Street (the problems were solved).
I support Stanford, SRP, CT, PA. I like to think that I look at the larger picture, at least in certain contexts. I supported the Mayfield Playing Fields, and the housing element that will join CT in the next decade, along with the additional development rights of SRC.
I don't think College Terrace is being particularly selfish, considering its exposure to traffic, and its history. We have been able to fashion a neighborhood, similar to other neighborhoods in PA, by being active. I would especially like to thank Kathy Durham of the CT Neighborhood Association for fighting the good fight. She is an example of the type of gladiators that have been able to craft a neighborhood out of what was once a pass-through traffic corridor.
CT is now a desireble place to live. We should not be criticized for doing the right thing. Please meander through our neighborhood, either on foot, bicycle or car...you WILL be able to get out, unless your IQ is below 50. Please take a moment to shop at JJ&F (great little market, with fantastic service!); Like gardening? ...try Common Ground. CT library is a little nugget. The new Califonia St. farmers market seems to be a success.
I have no official role in College Terrace, and I am not a real estate agent. However, as an individual, I welcome you to our neighborhood. It has been a long struggle, and it continues, but we are happy and proud of what we have achieved, under unfavorable circumstances.