Residents question need for new downtown garage | News | Palo Alto Online |


Residents question need for new downtown garage

Palo Alto officials put off decision on parking structure until early 2016

Palo Alto officials often liken the city's strategy for dealing with the city's parking crisis to a three-legged stool: reduce the demand for driving, make better use of parking structures and increase the supply of garages.

With 2015 coming to a close, the city can point to plenty of progress on the first two legs of the figurative stool. The third leg, however, is now starting to wobble.

The City Council last week elected not to go forward with a staff proposal to begin design work on a new downtown garage, a facility that was included in the city's 2014 infrastructure plan and that was to go up on a city-owned lot on Hamilton Avenue, near Waverley Street. Public Works Department staff had asked the council to approve the scope of work by which companies would bid on the project. The approval was placed on the council's "consent" calendar, a list of non-controversial items that get approved in bulk and without discussion.

But rather than move along the staff recommendation, the council agreed to hold a hearing on the downtown garage at a future meeting. The decision came after several members of the public questioned the need for the new garage and suggested that it would instead exacerbate the area's parking crunch by encouraging more people to drive.

Among the speakers was downtown resident Sandra Slater, a steering-committee member of Palo Alto Forward (a pro-housing citizens group) and the northern California director of Cool City Challenge, an environmental project. Slater noted that the city is already pursuing numerous measures for discouraging driving, including the new Residential Preferential Parking program (which forces employees to buy passes to park on residential streets beyond the newly established two-hour time limit); and the new Transportation Management Association, a nonprofit with a mission to reduce the number of people driving solo to work.

Slater requested that the council compare the costs of these new programs with that of a new garage. A recent survey by the Transportation Management Association revealed that many downtown workers would be willing to ditch their cars if they had a more reliable and affordable transit option. The Epiphany Hotel, she noted, recently purchased Caltrain passes for its employees, resulting in about 25 percent of them commuting to work by train.

"We should evaluate what the effectiveness is of this and other innovative programs that are in the works so that the council can be spending citizens' money wisely and effectively," Slater said.

Adina Levin, member of the groups Friends of Caltrain, likewise beseeched the council to focus on getting people out of their cars rather than building a new garage. Through the transportation nonprofit and work on the permit program, numerous opportunities to achieve the former objective have been identified, she said.

Neilson Buchanan, one of the architects of downtown's new Residential Preferential Parking Program, went a step further and urged the council to ditch the garage project. Buchanan acknowledged the irony of his opposition to a measure that aims to relieve his Downtown North neighborhood's parking squeeze. Even so, he said, "I don't see the garage as part of the solution for neighborhood quality at all.

"The garage is only going to attract more cars like bees come to honey," Buchanan said.

The council didn't discuss the garage but merely agreed to hold a full hearing on it early next year. But thus far, the council majority has been supportive of a new downtown garage. The $13 million facility is one of several city infrastructure projects to be funded largely by hotel-tax revenues. Palo Alto voters agreed in 2014 to raise the hotel-tax rate from 12 to 14 percent with the understanding that the increase would be used to improve the city's infrastructure.

In that sense, backing away from a downtown garage would come with some political risk for the council. It would also attract opposition from the downtown businesses who see new parking facilities as crucial to relieving congestion.

Business leaders have asserted the importance of a new garage in light of the new downtown parking-permit program, which the city is considering making even more exclusive. During a Dec. 14 council discussion, several business representatives criticized the council's proposal to limit the number of permits that would be sold to employees in the future. Charles "Chop" Keenan, a prominent downtown developer, said setting a cap on employee permits would be "premature." But if the council were to pursue this strategy, he said, it should be done "in concert with more supply."

Chamber of Commerce CEO Judy Kleinberg likewise urged the council to evaluate constructing a new garage for employees, or building more affordable housing, rather than capping the number of employee permits. Consider the negative effects that would have on small businesses, she said.

For Councilman Greg Scharff, abandoning the new facility would be tantamount to betraying the public trust. At a Dec. 9 discussion of the city's infrastructure projects, Scharff lauded the fact that the city is "moving forward on every item that we set forth when we went to the public" to ask for the hotel-tax increase.

"One of the things we've done in Palo Alto over the years, as you look at these things, is that we've always honored our commitments to the public," Scharff said. "I think it's important that we do all of these (projects) and get them done."

According to an evaluation that the council commissioned last year, the lot on Hamilton and Waverley would accommodate 300 spaces and increase downtown's supply by 214 spaces (86 spaces exist on the current lot). In October, the council chose this lot, known as Lot D, over other potential sites and directed staff to also evaluate Lot G, which is located on Gilman Street, behind the downtown post office. Councilwoman Liz Kniss was the only member who voted against the proposal. Kniss argued that the city should first see how the city's permit program and other demand-oriented programs shake out before moving ahead with the parking structure.

In addition to a downtown garage, the city is also looking to build a new structure near California Avenue. That plan advanced last week when the council directed staff to move forward with design work on a new public-safety building on a city-owned lot on Sherman Avenue. As part of that project, the city is also looking to build a parking garage on an adjacent Sherman Avenue lot, between Birch and Ash streets.

The parking structure near California Avenue would include 460 spaces, replacing the two lots that currently offer 300 spaces, according to a report from the Public Works Department. Staff expect to issue a design contract for both the public-safety building and the new California Avenue garage next spring.

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30 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 24, 2015 at 9:57 am

Why is it so difficult for Palo Alto officials to understand? The cars are here and need to park. Making it more difficult is not going to magically make them go away. I don't see solutions to the parking problem here, only difficulties.

We need to put parking a priority, not eliminating it but finding a solution and doing it quickly. Even if a garage was decided on, it would be a long time coming because nothing is ever built quickly. A much better idea would be to put a parking lot at the Baylands and near 280 with dedicated shuttles that do not stop except in downtown and business areas. This would provide a reasonably efficient mode of getting people into downtown and their work places without having to do the endless circle of looking for somewhere to park. It won't prevent people who have permits or somewhere dedicated for their personal use or those who want to use the 2 hour minimum, but it would give those who need to park much longer a reasonable alternative to what they already have.

Parking has to be completely rethought. We don't have reasonable transportation options for those who come across the Bay, or those who come from Half Moon Bay. The north/south options do suit a large number of people, but not everybody and I would guess not every day either.

Even those of us who live outside the downtown area need to come into downtown on occasions for personal, business or pleasure reasons, and the present system is expensive and onerous.

Let's get some pay per hour machines. Let's get some 30 minute parking. Let's get some out of town parking with dedicated shuttles. Let's get some signage as to how many empty spots at the entrances to garages. Let's get some parking efficiency and less hindrances, please.

4 people like this
Posted by Commentator
a resident of Professorville
on Dec 24, 2015 at 10:20 am

[Post removed.]

20 people like this
Posted by AllYouCanEat
a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 24, 2015 at 10:43 am

Buy a bike. Problem solved.

22 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2015 at 11:01 am

New parking garages will need to be built. If not now, then soon. Why
not get a proactive jump on it to save residents a little misery ... Happy

Hearing the California Avenue area being mentioned I just hope the City
can learn from their mistakes ... that is, making parking spaces too small
in order to try to cram more cars into a given area.

The lots behind Izzy's Bagel store for example have spaces that are so
small that people end up parking astride two spaces, or they drive into
the only space left and then can barely get out of their cars.

Or, people come back to their cars and find them so tightly hemmed in
they have to squeeze into their car doors if they can get in at all, or climb
in through the back.

If only the people who manage the City would go there and take a look,
and that goes for all their responsibilities, they would see this within a
few minutes.

The solution to this particular parking lot is so simple ... just repaint the
lines removing one or two spaces that don't get used anyway because
no one without a Smart car can fit into those spaces.

Once people get used to parking in the garages, it is a pretty quick
proposition, get downtown ... not a space in plain site, head to the
garages and find a space ... walk a little bit ... it's good for you.
It works great.

Happy Holidays!

22 people like this
Posted by Concerned Retiree
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 24, 2015 at 11:05 am

Yes to the parking garage! No to more housing. Work or shop here -- and live in a surrounding community which has more space to put housing units. Simple.

Very few of us can work and live in the same community. Accept it.

9 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2015 at 11:07 am

I've literally never had a problem finding parking downtown, though to be fair if I think its going to be busy I just take Caltrain or the 22. To be fair, $13 million in taxpayer funds seems like a good expenditure to keep some people from having to avoid that perceived inconvenience...

12 people like this
Posted by Neilson Buchanan
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 24, 2015 at 11:21 am

Let the City Council know what you think? IMO this is a true "guns vs butter" social and economic decision.

Main choices
1. Invest in archaic garage infrastructure and directly reduce intrusion into residential neighborhoods
2. Invest in showcase downtown housing project
3. Invest capital into the worthwhile but floundering Transportation Management Association

If the City feels that millions of dollars can be invested in a small gain of 200 parking spaces, then isnt it 100% rational to reduce the number of 2000 non-resident permits issued to park on residential neighborhood streets?

The city is clearly violating the comp plan which states the goal of the city is to promote commerce but not at the expense of residential neighborhoods. Therefore, the sole purpose of any new garage MUST reduce massive intrusion of all-day parked non-resident vehicles in four adjacent residential neighborhoods.

20 people like this
Posted by Midtown
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 24, 2015 at 11:45 am

Don't go downtown any more ... problem solved (except for the businesses who'd like to have customers.)
Anyone who thinks that they can coerce people intyo giving up their cars has got to do some more thinking. Our population is aging, can't use bikes, and won't give up their convenience. (Foprcasts are that by 2030 Palo Alto will have near 30% seniors.)

22 people like this
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 24, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Palo Alto Forward - wrong about absolutely everything. If I hated Palo Alto, and wanted to plot to destroy it, I'd do nothing because PAF is already doing it.

15 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of University South
on Dec 24, 2015 at 12:20 pm

Charging for parking downtown and using the proceeds to pay for mor and better shuttles will increase the availability.
The people who insist on more garages first don't seem to understand that. After effective TDM plans are implemented, then reevaluate the need for garages.

14 people like this
Posted by property owner
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 24, 2015 at 12:57 pm

The City wants more RETAIL yet doesnt want parking. The CITY wants less traffic yet wants more RETAIL.

None of this makes sense at all. This Council wants it both ways and someday they might realize they cant.

12 people like this
Posted by Mama
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2015 at 1:08 pm

The city and residents should NOT pay for any garages or lots to be built. And those in existence should be for residents only. Most businesses have inadequate parking for their workers. It is up to them to fund any needed parking for them. If they don't like that, they can locate elsewhere. The city council must require more than adequate parking for any new commercial buildings.

5 people like this
Posted by accountability/transparency
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 24, 2015 at 4:47 pm

That is great that Epiphany Hotel is buying Caltrain passes for its employees. Maybe Sandra Slater could shed some light on how much Epiphany paid in Downtown Parking Assessment fees when Casa Olga was converted to the Hotel use. Also new underparked office buildings Downtown which are outside the Parking Assessment District, like 611
Cowper for example, should be called upon to
pay some parking related program costs.

7 people like this
Posted by KenAgain
a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2015 at 5:17 pm

Too small. Buy up nearby property and build 1,000 spaces, go higher and deeper. But, make sure the Down Town property owners pay, not residents. City has already given them a half billion dollar subsidy, time for them to provide the parking promised when the assessment district was formed.

Next step - rezone downtown property from office to high density housing, like Mountain View.

15 people like this
Posted by not with my money
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 24, 2015 at 7:54 pm

A new downtown parking garage will cost at least $100 MILLION. If the city charges $20/day per car, no one will use it. If they charge less than that, it will never pay for itself without huge taxpayer subsidies. If businesses want more garages for customers and employees, I say build them yourself using your corporate profits. No more taxpayer subsidies.

12 people like this
Posted by Ned
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 24, 2015 at 8:06 pm

Want commuters out of their cars? Make parking more expensive than mass transit, and make mass transit convenient. If Palo Alto businesses were interested in inspiring their employees to using mass transit, find out where they are coming from, when they commute, get the chamber of commerce to consolidate that data and work with the city to press VTA and SamTrans to run where and when most employees need that service. Then employers could subsidize mass transit for their employees and actually make a difference. I have little confidence that VTA or SamTrans could pull that off by themselves. Getting Menlo Park and Mountain View doing the same thing would probably be a good idea too.

10 people like this
Posted by Stew Plock
a resident of Triple El
on Dec 24, 2015 at 8:29 pm

By improving our regional transportation services, we can and indeed must find alternatives to single drivers getting into cars to drive downtown. The city government's responsibility to "honor commitments to the public" is to be creative and to find ways to move people around town without adding to vehicular congestion that is a constant in our lives today. Building more garages is just like building more lanes in our roads...they both draw more people to cars as the primary means of local transportation. Some day, I would envision a Palo Alto with fewer cars, fewer public garages, and a flexible, responsive transportation system. Let's start by not building any new garages.

14 people like this
Posted by KenAgain
a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2015 at 11:34 pm

Ned: Property owners/developers don't want to pay for a solution, they like the public subsidy.
Stew: This is the logic that got us into this mess - destroying neighborhoods, passing the buck to them, not the people profiting.

16 people like this
Posted by Occasional Visitor
a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 25, 2015 at 12:00 pm

I used to visit downtown Palo Alto for a nice meal, retail binge or to go to the Apple store to get my computer fixed.

These trips are NOT appropriate for a bicycle!!!

Now, I won't come into Palo Alto downtown anymore. There is never anywhere to park, and if I do find a place, I usually have to walk BLOCKS to get to my destination. I have a bad knee. It hurts to walk.

So, now I go elsewhere. I won't go downtown anymore.

12 people like this
Posted by not with my money
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 25, 2015 at 1:57 pm

@Occasional Visitor - downtown businesses should band together and build private garages for their employees and customers. Charge whatever they think is appropriate.
City taxpayers should not be subsidizing parking in business areas. Taxpayer subsidized parking just discourages private enterprise.

I am in favor of installing parking meters around downtown as well. Other cities on the peninsula are doing this; why not Palo Alto? Especially where parking and traffic are problematic. A token fee of $1/hour wouldn't scare away customers, but it will discourage local workers from monopolizing public parking.

5 people like this
Posted by Johnny
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 25, 2015 at 7:14 pm

"The city government's responsibility to 'honor commitments to the public' is to be creative and to find ways to move people around town without adding to vehicular congestion that is a constant in our lives today. Building more garages is just like building more lanes in our roads...they both draw more people to cars as the primary means of local transportation"

I wholeheartedly agree that creativity is the true solution to deal with traffic congestion, but such innovation will only come from a competitive free market... and not from a round table meeting of slow-operating bureaucrats deciding to schedule things for a later date.

As to the parking garage... seems too expensive. I'd rather they tax us less, and cut %80 of the useless positions at City Council.

We'll figure out parking solutions on our own.

8 people like this
Posted by Absent Resident
a resident of Meadow Park
on Dec 26, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Paying more than $60,000 per extra space that will be occupied by one or maybe two drivers, plus incurring all the maintenance expenses for those spaces isn't worth it. It would be better to spend that MINIMUM $13 million on undergrounding utility lines, installing bus shelters for our shuttle riders (for sun! not rain!) and implementing pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure throughout the city. After all, hotel taxes are being paid city-wide and we need to cater to 214 downtown drivers? What about just charging the right price parking...what people are willing to pay? Palo Alto has never tried that! Or are the poor drivers who pine for more parking really unaware of the laws of supply and demand? Amazing how such intelligent people can't wrap their head around the idea that supplying more of something free doesn't satiate the demand. The color zones are a joke and a waste of time and fuel. Let us pay for the time we need and use that money to improve the area rather than pour a bunch of concrete to house a few more cars that add no value to the area.

7 people like this
Posted by EricNee
a resident of Professorville
on Dec 26, 2015 at 5:54 pm

I can't understand why the city council would cave to a few vocal opponents, rather than following what it's staff recommends, and which i believe the majority of citizens would support, the building of another city garage. (Witness public support for the building of the previous two garages.) Building a garage and promoting public transit are not at odds with one another. The fact is that some people drive to work, and unless the city is going to stop allowing developers to build more office space downtown (which they clearly are not going to do), then the city needs to provide more parking spaces, and garages are the most space-efficient way to do that.

6 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2015 at 7:15 pm

PACC will never solve the parking problem in Palo Alto by working with the hair-brained three legged stool model. No matter how strong you make the legs of the stool, the real-estate developers will load the stool to the breaking point.

Palo Alto is caught in a viscous gentrification-urbanization cycle, and the real-estate development industry has hoodwinked the tax-payers into funding the infrastructure construction that fuels the cycle, in the false hope that somehow, the taxpayers can buy enough infrastructure will solve the problem.

The only way to break the cycle is to stop building the infrastructure that fuels the cycle. No more parking structures, no more roads, no more trains, no more airports, no more bike paths, and no more stack-n-pack housing.

Once the viscous spiral down is broken, we will be stuck with overburdened infrastructure (which sucks), but at least we will be left standing in a smaller hole, and Palo Alto residents will eventually get relief, when the QE(n) driven real-estate bubble economy corrects.

9 people like this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Dec 26, 2015 at 10:05 pm


Before building a new garage, start charging for the parking in the current garages at price that would be required for the parking spots in the new garage to pay for themselves.

After you start charging $15-20/day to park in the current garages, you will likely find that you have grossly overestimated the number of parking spaces required.

When a small permit fee was required to park in the RPP, look at how many people stopped parking in the RPP and found another way to get to work or another FREE place to park.

PRICE is what motivates commuters.

17 people like this
Posted by Let Chop and his friends pay for the parking they need.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2015 at 5:55 pm

I moved here more than two decades ago. The home I bought had a one-car garage (which I use for a workshop and storage) with two driveway parking spaces then. We owned two cars then, and we own the same two twenty-year old cars now. We drive for about half of our local trips. The rest we bike or walk.

I want to know why developers are allowed to add significant more square footage, creating demand for more parking space while they are are not required to pay for the additional parking space they need to acommodate that growth. Why am I required to pay for their businesses' parking spaces? I have built nothing to increase parking demand. Why are my tax dollars being used to subsidize parking lots for parking demand THEY created?

The developers are laughing all the way to the bank. Chop Keenan is a very rich man. If he needs parking space for his big new buildings, let HIM pay for it.

I'd rather see safer conditions for bicycles and pedestrians. I's rather see better transit. There are soooo many better ways to spend that money.

4 people like this
Posted by Build_IT
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 27, 2015 at 8:54 pm

With 9000 spaces paid for by the downtown parking district, we already need these spots. These is building for current use, not the future. Build it now

6 people like this
Posted by one big parking lot
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Dec 27, 2015 at 9:50 pm

Pretty soon Palo Alto is just going to be one big parking lot. Don't give people an incentive to drive here.

Plus, parking garages are just targets for crime. That's where most of the crime happens. Another parking garage, prepare to see the crime rate go up too.

5 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2015 at 10:54 pm

Building any transportation infrastructure in Palo Alto to alleviate congestion, is like drilling a hole in the bottom of a boat to let the water out.

Any parking structure that is built downtown, will eventually just become part of some bogus parking and traffic study, and used by developers to justify additional commercial and/or residential development.

You cannot build your way out of this problem. Palo Alto residents need to stop funding the construction of transportation infrastructure that enables additional commercial and/or residential construction.

It's a viscous cycle, and yes, the developers are laughing all the way to the bank.

Like this comment
Posted by Vanessa Warheit
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 28, 2015 at 12:06 pm

I'm sad this article didn't mention the testimony that I gave at City Hall, in which I suggested a modest proposal for solving Palo Alto's parking woes. [Portion removed.]

5 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 28, 2015 at 1:36 pm

Double decker roads are not the answer to insufficient parking spaces.

And we are not going to turn Palo Alto into one big parking lot either ...
that is why a parking garage that concentrates cars in one place close
to downtown is a good idea. Simple mathematics can tell us that.

I don't really understand people who rail against this project ... we need
more parking. If our streets are already choked, much of it is because
people are driving around looking for parking places.

I think we ought to get rid of all on street parking and require people to
park in parking garages. It would make Palo Alto much more walkable
and less dangerous, and also people who needed to walk or even drive
to a handicapped spot could do it faster and easier, though I forsee a
problem with fake handicap stickers, but that is another matter.

Also, putting more people in the parking garages would make it less
dangerous, and also safer if we have cameras to monitor those garages
more people and cameras means less propability of crime or problems.

You drive up, find a spot, get out, take the elevator down or the stairs
if you want to exercise, and you are close to whereever you want to go.
The garages we have now do not occlude the sun, they are nice and
pleasant and THEY WORK!

I am all for this ... there is not any other better solution. 13 million
is very that much for such clear utility. If we had more parking downtown
people would not have to park in our residential areas either.

4 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Plane Speaker said:

"I am all for this ... there is not any other better solution"

This sounds good, but is meaningless because, a parking structure isn't a solution. A soon as you complete the parking structure, cars will instantly flood in to take up the capacity, and the congestion will be the same.

The hamster wheel is going around, but if you look to the side instead of at the wheel, you will see that you are not getting anywhere.

2 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2015 at 6:38 pm

Plane Speaker said:

"The garages we have now do not occlude the sun"

Palo Alto's parking structures are bigger, blockier, less articulated, have shearer faces, have smaller sidewalks, have less landscaping, and occlude more sunlight from the street and adjoining structures, than any building even the most developer friendly members of the PACC would ever let any developer build in Palo Alto.

Like this comment
Posted by SteveU
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 29, 2015 at 8:23 am

SteveU is a registered user.

Charge the Employers, not the employees.
Fine them for requiring hours where public transit for their staff is unavailable (or not affordable. 'Take a Taxi' is not a solution for hourly workers. Ride a bike is not a choice for those with handicaps or equipment)

All High parking lot rates do is drive people to avoid using the lot (diverting to neighborhoods or pirating other companies space)

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2015 at 8:53 am

I love the way people think that there are potential parkers just waiting for a new garage so they can come to Palo Alto and park! What nonsense! People only come to Palo Alto if they have good reason and parking is an aid for them not an incentive. I doubt if any person will choose to drive rather than use the train or the bus, or even a bike, although it might make people not park in neighborhoods.

My thoughts on the matter, for what it's worth, is that a free parking pace in an urban or suburban area, should be classed as a perk and taxed accordingly. When taking a job does the fact that it provides a free parking spot influence the person to take the job? It is an interesting question. If someone is offered a job in a business park with free parking and another job in a downtown area with parking restrictions, will it influence which job they choose?

A perk is something that employees get because they work at the business. Restaurant and grocery store workers often get food about to expire either for free or for heavy discounts. An employee who works for a company with high speed internet, can use the internet for personal use as cyber Monday seems to indicate. Other places have free gym memberships, or canteen facilities, or services such as dry cleaning or hair salons. I have never heard that free parking is a perk, but in this very congested area, it would certainly be valued as such.

2 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 29, 2015 at 4:38 pm

>> Occasional Visitor says:
>> I used to visit downtown Palo Alto for a nice meal, retail binge or to go
>> to the Apple store to get my computer fixed.
>> These trips are NOT appropriate for a bicycle!!!

I agree with you there, they are barely OK for pedestrians they way people drive.
One thing that might help that is more police presence. People regularly run
stop signs these days, and speed as well.

>> There is never anywhere to park, and if I do find a place,
>> I usually have to walk BLOCKS to get to my destination.

Now that is just not true. I have never even come close to not finding a
place in the parking garage immediately in front of the Apple Store, even
when I have had to lug my 27" iMac in for service. You just might have to
drive to the top, usually not, just park at the corner closest to the Apple Store
and walk a little ways ... half a block. If you expect to get closer parking
every time you go anywhere I think your expectations are out of line.

>> I have a bad knee. It hurts to walk.

Have you looked into a handicapped certificate?

2 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 29, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Ahem ... I never said Palo Alto's parking structures were perfect, but they
are not terrible, they work ... and after all ... they are parking structures
for goodness sake!

Most of them are stuck between places of the same height, and do not
occlude any more sun than would normally be occluded. They are well
designed and well placed, and they all about 95+% of the time have a
space in them if you look.

The idea of saying that as soon as we build a parking garage that it
gets filled up is a bit of an exaggeration, but to the extent it is true, it
means we are undersubscribed in terms of the number of parking
garages we do have.

I think it would be great to turn the huge lot between what used to
"The Good Earth"/"Palo Alto Bike Shop" and the "Aquarius Theater"
into a big parking garage ... it is just a parking lot know that one can
barely every find a place to park in. It would hold a lot of cars as
a parking garage and be very close to places lots of us want to go,
including two theaters.

Like this comment
Posted by K
a resident of another community
on Dec 31, 2015 at 1:09 pm

Palo Alto needs to support VTA's Bus Rapid plan for El Camino! Additionally, VTA should connect with the cities north of Palo Alto (up to at least Redwood City). Samtrans currently connects with Palo Alto but that ECR bus only runs every 15 minutes, and if you need to travel south of the downtown Caltrain station, it is necessary to wait and transfer to VTA anyway. Caltrain itself is packed, more expensive, and only runs every hour locally.

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