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Palo Alto takes 'multi-pronged' approach to fixing downtown's parking problems

Original post made on Mar 19, 2013

Faced with booming downtown development and a severe parking shortage, Palo Alto officials endorsed Monday a wide range of potential solutions to make life easier for downtown residents and commuters, including exploration of a new garage on High Street and a fresh look at a permit-parking program that exasperated downtown residents have long clamored for.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 11:27 AM

Comments (10)

Posted by lazlo, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 19, 2013 at 1:23 pm

So begins another round of blue ribbon and red ribbon committees who recommend further study sessions and public input followed by several outsourced contractor studies who give the city numerous scenarios after bilking the city of public funds and all because the city manager lacks any leadership skills and a city council who lacks any vision on city needs and are unable to make a educated conclusive decision. Let the nonsense begin.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2013 at 2:09 pm

And, no mention yet again of pay per hour parking in all city lots for beyond 2 hour parking.

Nowhere in this article does it mention those who want to park for a full day once or twice a week or several times a month. None of these solutions will solve occasional parking for personal or business all day visits to downtown.


Posted by A nonsense city government, a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Neighborhood parking challenges in Palo Alto is not just a downtown issue. Parking is a problem throughout Palo Alto, and specifically in the California Avenue residential areas as well. It seems the City Council, and the city administrators should include the PAPD in these discussions. The major problem is the city's aggressiveness with issuing parking citations/violations because it is greedy. Why not just install parking meters like Redwood City. One can park in Redwood City for 25 to 50 cents per hour. Meaning, you can get you business done in Redwood City in two to three hours just for about $1.00 to $2.00. The merchants in Palo Alto always scream about not wanting to charge customers for coming to downtown Palo Alto. Certainly if people can spend hundreds of dollars to shop or buy meals, they can spend a couple of dollars to park.


Posted by Not again.., a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 19, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Here we go again, same ole BS


Posted by lazlo is right, a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 19, 2013 at 7:46 pm

They want to make a deal with Chop Keenan. Kniss and Burt couldn't wait to say let's go! Chop's investments in their campaigns is paying off nicely.
How much do you suppose the $1million will turn into? (like it increased in the Lytton Plaza public-private deal). And the Plaza sterile wasteland was part of the deal.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm

The reality is that Keenan had his project in the hopper before the city and council considered canceling the developer-friendly parking requirements. And like it or not, he was correct to say you can't change the rules after the project has been approved.

Now they have found a way to alleviate the parking issue created by the original project and provide an even greater benefit by providing parking for the general public.

Or would you rather that Keenan just build his project and do nothing about the increased parking needs that were going to go without a solution?


Posted by Wondering?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2013 at 8:59 pm

> And like it or not, he was correct to say you can't change
> the rules after the project has been approved.

Who says?

Why not?

If Keenan recognized that he was creating a problem, why wouldn't he welcome a rule change to mitigate the problem he is causing?


Posted by laxlo is right, a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 19, 2013 at 11:11 pm

The project has not been approved. It is in process.Going slowly -- Chop Keenan's process not being held up by the city. So the city CAN change the rules before approval.


Posted by Lazlo is Still Right, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2013 at 11:48 am

The Council -should- tell Keenan to go build his building per code, with its own parking, etc. And -should- deal with the city's parking issue independently, as if Keenan weren't around. They won't do this, but it's what the -should- do.

The problem with these complicated, custom deals with guys like Keenan is the city staff and council are no match for the developers on negotiating what the city (ie the residents) gets in exchange. The current parking imbroglio is to a great extent a result of other downtown PC development deals. What did we get in return as "public benefit?" Drinking fountains, doorways with car sculptures, etc.

The city needs to deal with its infrastructure problems without trying to play Three-Card Monte with Keenan and his brethren. We get hustled every time.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 20, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Sorry laxlo, you're incorrect. Once a planner or resident has entered the planning process and has paid fees to the city, the city cannot change requirements that would create greater restrictions on the project.

Easy example was when the city and FEMA applied a greater flood zone blanket on the residential areas. If your project was already in the planning department, you did not have to comply with the new basement restrictions (personal experience). Same thing applied when the city applied tougher "green" restrictions for demolition.

Projects in the system are grandfathered.


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