There seems to be an elephant in the room when talking about the enviroment,air pollution,CO2, dependance on oil Palo Alto Issues, posted by GGRick, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Feb 20, 2007 at 11:47 pm
There is a lot of talk about pollution, global warming and dependance on foeign oil, but no one or almost no one is talking about an obvious problem and rather straight-forward solutions to this problem. The subject or elephant is "COMMUTERS" and the vast amout of gasoline they use. There are probably 60,000 commuters coming to Palo Alto every work day. I would guess the average round trip milage is about 100 miles each. At an average of 10 miles per gallon in commuter stop and go traffic. That would be 10gallons x 60,000 cars or 600,000 gallons per day. Even if it was 1/2 this it would be 1,500,000 gallons per week. Carpooling could cut this dramatically. I read about the gas burned by leaf blowers and lawnmowers and chuckle. Are people that out of touch with reality. The other solution is to reduce dramatically the housing to jobs ratio. A dramatic increase in housing would be required and/or move the jobs/companies to where the people live.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Feb 21, 2007 at 7:59 am
The commute vastly widens the employment opportunities while enabling the stability for raising children in a selected environment. While mitigations like the 4 day work week and telecommuting can ease the strain, in the opinion of most people the reward is worth the price.
Posted by ten18, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Feb 23, 2007 at 10:34 pm
I'm not sure of your point - not everyone wants to live in a little hovel within bicycle distance of their workplace, or in a "smart condo" next to a train station. Not exactly the "American Dream."
Most people want a large comfortable home with lots of room to raise a family. That takes money, and the money's here on the Peninsula. The problem is that unless you're born and raised in PA, or are independently wealthy, you can't afford to have a home here. The only decent affordable housing (in good, safe neighborhoods) is many miles from Palo Alto. That necessitates a commute.
So if all of these companies pick up and move to "where the people live," where does that leave Palo Alto? As a thriving community? I think not - that would be the end of prosperity in Palo Alto. The tax base here is already dying. We need more business here - not less.
Posted by GGRick, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2007 at 11:19 pm
I dought that the commuters or companies in Palo Alto contribute even enough in taxes to pay their way. The state takes 90% of property taxes. I haven't seen any figures about how much they contribute, but we hear that auto sales produce millions and retail sales produce millions. The point I was making it that commuters contribute vast amouts of CO2 and other pollutants to our enviroment yet nothing is said about this warming of the earth CO2 issue. The commuters should be at least carpooling or taking buses provided by their employers. Their employers could mandate that they carpool. This would be a first step on solving a bit of the CO2 problem. The solution isn't going to be easy. The city could mandate that if you are going to work for the city you will be expected to live in the city, carpool, drive a hybrid, drive a natural gas (Civic) car, take public transportation, etc., or else! That would be a start and if you don't like it go to work somewhere else.!