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Developments trigger downtown Palo Alto study

Original post made on Aug 24, 2012

Two new buildings in downtown Palo Alto, coupled with a flurry of complaints from downtown residents about parking, have prompted the city to embark on a comprehensive analysis of downtown zoning regulations and parking policies.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 24, 2012, 8:46 AM

Comments (13)

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 24, 2012 at 9:28 am

To start any type of parking strategy, it is important to change the system in our parking lots. We need pay per hour machines at all garages and lots. The first two hours can still be free, but modest charges easily available at all lots and garages will help people to park for many hours on an occasional basis.

Redwood City has meters for 25c per hour. There is always adequate parking and no one seems to mind using loose change for parking.

What we have in Palo Alto at present is so complicated it is no wonder that people choose to park on the street in residential neighborhoods.

Posted by no more parking lots, a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 24, 2012 at 10:21 am

New parking lots will cost a fortune (like $100 million) that the city cannot afford. I agree with the previous comment that the city needs to adapt parking policies, like meters, that encourage drivers to move on. Most downtown areas on the peninsula charge at least token parking fees (like 25 cents or 50 cents per hour) that do encourage people to share the parking spaces.

Posted by Allow more density?, a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 24, 2012 at 10:24 am

"They will also consider the possibility of allowing denser development downtown, according to a report from Chief Transportation Official Jaime Rodriguez."

That's right, don't solve anything, just do a study. Let the developers come up with a profitable (for them) solution, like city-funded garages.

Posted by ExtremeC, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 24, 2012 at 10:53 am

Another 250K classic study..

Posted by Jake, a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2012 at 11:52 am

"ExtremeC" You said it all!!!!

If the residents of PA ever saw the total amount of money the City Council has spent on studies and consultants the las 5-10 years they would be sick!!!!
I can only imagine what other positive uses all that money could have been used for.
Just ONCE I would like to see the media print the TOTAL amount of money the city of PA spends on this type of stuff year after year after year!!
250K would pay for a lot of school crossing guards, pot hole repairs, etc.

Posted by Sherry, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 24, 2012 at 12:24 pm

If the downtown BID is still viable and operating, where does it stand on this issue and what is it doing to represent and protect the interests of the downtown retail and professional operations?
Important to note that the developers man and chair the parking district committee in town, clearly influencing any guidelines set forth.

Posted by ExtremeC, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 24, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Jake, Thanks for mentioning pot hole repairs.. There are numerous wide open crack holes along Embarcadero road (Bryant&Webster) where hundreds of kids walk and bike each day for more than a year. Guess they are still waiting for repair funding

Posted by desperate, a resident of Southgate
on Aug 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm

More money wasted on studies, trying to appease the chronic malcontents that still think that we are in the 1960's. Palo Alto constantly talks about attracting business and people to the downtown--unfortunately any efforts to accomplish that is immediately attacked bythe naysayers and NIMBYists whose sole purpose is to thwart any attemp to enter the 21st century (Palo Alto was so nice decades ago they whine).
Times change, people change, cities change.

Posted by Julian, a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 24, 2012 at 8:05 pm

"If the residents of PA ever saw the total amount of money the City Council has spent on studies and consultants the las 5-10 years they would be sick!!!!"

Agree. How about it, Bill?

Posted by DDee, a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 24, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Why not put large city-owned and operated half or all-day pay lots in the area of the airport and animal shelter then provide a continuous loop shuttle taking people directly downtown with a loop that covers the parking lot, the California Caltrain station/Dumbarton Express stop (given that the Express parking lot is also going bye-bye), Town and Country (where riders could transfer to the Stanford shuttles), University Caltrain and one or two stops parallel to University - one on Lyton and another on Hamilton.
The property is cheaper out of the downtown and the shuttle would cover a variety of needs not currently addressed for people who keep a long working or studying schedule --- including on weekends.

Posted by Homer Resident, a resident of Professorville
on Aug 25, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Last week we called parking enforcement because a large truck was blocking our driveway. A policeman showed up, drove into our driveway, turned around and said...well I can make it okay so I'm not going to issue a ticket. We were shocked. Clearly a visual hazard and at least three feet into our driveway. I was also surprised a policeman showed up and not the parking enforcement person. The policeman told us he didn't want to issue a ticket because he didn't want to have to go to court in case it was contested. This is just crazy stuff...

Posted by Paul, a resident of Southgate
on Aug 26, 2012 at 12:48 am

It doesn't matter what the comprehensive analysis shows. Council will either raise the Cap on non-residentail growth or eliminate it all together. There is a lot of money to be made by developers, landowners, lawyers, architects, and consultants. The current City Council will neither limit development nor profits. There will be little or no consideration of the cost to taxpayers. The analysis will show there are little to no negative impacts, even though common sense has shown otherwise.

Posted by curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 28, 2012 at 11:28 am

"They will also consider the possibility of allowing denser development downtown"

Brilliant. To solve the parking shortage, just create a need for more parking.

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