News

California Avenue to remain car-free

Palo Alto City Council moves to keep street limited to bicyclists and pedestrians until December 2023, as it explores a new vision for the street

Diners eat lunch on California Avenue in Palo Alto on Nov. 11, 2020. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

​​

California Avenue will remain closed to cars at least for the foreseeable future as the eclectic strip is likely headed toward another major transformation.

In a marathon meeting that reflected the community division about the future of the city's second downtown, the City Council clashed on Monday night over what to do about the long-term future of the ever-changing street, which was shut down to car traffic in the early days of the pandemic and which was due to welcome back cars on June 30.

After hearing from both proponents and opponents of reopening California Avenue for the second time this month, council members indicated by a 5-2 vote, with Vice Mayor Lydia Kou and council member Tom DuBois dissenting, that they would like to keep the car closure in place until December 2023.

They also unanimously agreed that the street needs major improvements and launched a master plan for the retail-and-restaurant strip, an effort that will roll out over the next two years. The goal is to give the charming and somewhat haphazard strip a stronger sense of identity and transform it into something more akin to State Street in Santa Barbara, a car-free thoroughfare that evolved into a thriving dining, drinking and retail destination with a distinct identity over the course of the pandemic.

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Though the council did not explicitly preclude the idea of cars returning to California Avenue, the combination of the two votes makes that prospect extremely unlikely. DuBois and Kou argued that keeping cars away from California Avenue hurts area retailers, some of whom spoke out against the closure on Monday night. But DuBois' suggestion that the city explore keeping it car-free only on the weekends failed to win over his colleagues, most of whom supported limiting the strip to bikes and pedestrians seven days a week.

"I think it is kind of unsightly right now," DuBois said. "It seems like if we don't reopen the street soon, we'll have effectively closed it for three years while we're going through COVID and the planning sessions."

Diners visit California Avenue on Feb. 25, 2022. Photo by Gennady Sheyner

Others were more sanguine about keeping the street closed to traffic, even as they agreed that the current configuration is less than ideal. Mayor Pat Burt and council members Alison Cormack and Greer Stone were particularly enthusiastic about transforming California Avenue into something more dynamic.

"I don't think it's a problem to be solved. I think it's an opportunity to be seized," Cormack said.

Stone also favored the Santa Barbara model, which relied on a series of design charrettes and architect teams to develop concepts that were then integrated into a master plan, according to Bruce Fukuji, an architect who gave a presentation about State Street to the council.

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"The only way we can really embrace this opportunity to the greatest extent is to really be looking for opportunities for permanent closures," Stone said.

Because the interim status of California Avenue was not on the agenda, the council will have to hold another meeting to formally approve keeping the street closed to cars until end of 2023.

Even those council members who agreed over the long-term vision for California Avenue split over what process to use. Burt proposed launching a design charrette for the street — a collaborative design process that involves participation from all the stakeholders in the divisive debate. Santa Barbara's planning effort resulted in improvements such as a dedicated bike lane, new street furniture and planters.

With most restaurants supporting the closure of California Avenue to cars and many retailers opposing the closure, Burt maintained that bringing everyone to the table would eliminate the "winners and losers" dynamic.

"I think we'll have solutions that will have winners and winners," Burt said. "And that's what comes out of this stakeholder process."

But most of his colleagues opted to stick with the type of long-term plan that was recommended by staff, which will require soliciting a consultant and spending between 12 and 18 months and as much as $500,000 on analyzing everything from traffic and parking demands and bicycle improvements to the proper design of parklets and landscaping.

The council is taking a similar approach on a small stretch of Ramona Street downtown just north of Hamilton Avenue, which was transformed into a pedestrian area during the pandemic. Much like in the public debates over California Avenue and University Avenue — which the city reopened to cars in November — the decision process for Ramona created a schism between restaurateurs who supported the pedestrian-only design and merchants who advocated for the return of cars.

A small stretch of Ramona Street in downtown Palo Alto has turned into an outdoor dining area blocked to cars during the pandemic. Photo by Kevin Legnon.

Cherry LeBrun, whose store De Novo Fine Contemporary Jewelry is located on the closed-off portion of Ramona, argued for returning cars to the area.

"Not having through traffic means there's no drive-by visibility that allows people to discover my store and it makes it difficult for existing customers to reach my store because access is limited and complicated," LeBrun said.

Rob Fischer, owner of the restaurant Peninsula Creamery, which is located just beyond the closed-off portion of Ramona, also proposed bringing cars back.

"I can't stress enough how important it is to have the streets open," said. "If you want life to get back to normal you have to act normal."

Others suggested that keeping Ramona Street and California Avenue closed to cars enhances the two streets and attracts diners and shoppers. Midtown resident Lorenzo Manueli said he recently visited California Avenue with his grandmother to celebrate her 75th birthday and they had a great time walking up and down the car-free street.

"It's become one of my favorite areas in Palo Alto because of the closure and pedestrian walkway," Manueli said. "Even though the street look the same way as it did when it had cars on it."

The street has suffered over the course of the pandemic from growing vacancies and decreased foot traffic — a function of the fact that the many employees who traditionally supported local businesses are now working from home. At the same time, Burt suggested that the new configuration of California Avenue has given people more reasons to visit and that it is now showing signs of recovery.

Burt also agreed with DuBois that the current street configuration — a collection of scattered tents with no unifying theme — is less than ideal. And he also expressed some frustration about the length of time it's taking the city to improve the streetscape.

"We're overdue … What we have is sloppy compared to surrounding communities," Burt said.

Editor's note: The story has been modified to note that the council will have to hold another meeting to formally approve keeping California Avenue closed until December 2023.

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Gennady Sheyner
 
Gennady Sheyner covers the City Hall beat in Palo Alto as well as regional politics, with a special focus on housing and transportation. Before joining the Palo Alto Weekly/PaloAltoOnline.com in 2008, he covered breaking news and local politics for the Waterbury Republican-American, a daily newspaper in Connecticut. Read more >>

Follow Palo Alto Online and the Palo Alto Weekly on Twitter @paloaltoweekly, Facebook and on Instagram @paloaltoonline for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

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California Avenue to remain car-free

Palo Alto City Council moves to keep street limited to bicyclists and pedestrians until December 2023, as it explores a new vision for the street

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Mar 1, 2022, 1:10 am

​​

California Avenue will remain closed to cars at least for the foreseeable future as the eclectic strip is likely headed toward another major transformation.

In a marathon meeting that reflected the community division about the future of the city's second downtown, the City Council clashed on Monday night over what to do about the long-term future of the ever-changing street, which was shut down to car traffic in the early days of the pandemic and which was due to welcome back cars on June 30.

After hearing from both proponents and opponents of reopening California Avenue for the second time this month, council members indicated by a 5-2 vote, with Vice Mayor Lydia Kou and council member Tom DuBois dissenting, that they would like to keep the car closure in place until December 2023.

They also unanimously agreed that the street needs major improvements and launched a master plan for the retail-and-restaurant strip, an effort that will roll out over the next two years. The goal is to give the charming and somewhat haphazard strip a stronger sense of identity and transform it into something more akin to State Street in Santa Barbara, a car-free thoroughfare that evolved into a thriving dining, drinking and retail destination with a distinct identity over the course of the pandemic.

Though the council did not explicitly preclude the idea of cars returning to California Avenue, the combination of the two votes makes that prospect extremely unlikely. DuBois and Kou argued that keeping cars away from California Avenue hurts area retailers, some of whom spoke out against the closure on Monday night. But DuBois' suggestion that the city explore keeping it car-free only on the weekends failed to win over his colleagues, most of whom supported limiting the strip to bikes and pedestrians seven days a week.

"I think it is kind of unsightly right now," DuBois said. "It seems like if we don't reopen the street soon, we'll have effectively closed it for three years while we're going through COVID and the planning sessions."

Others were more sanguine about keeping the street closed to traffic, even as they agreed that the current configuration is less than ideal. Mayor Pat Burt and council members Alison Cormack and Greer Stone were particularly enthusiastic about transforming California Avenue into something more dynamic.

"I don't think it's a problem to be solved. I think it's an opportunity to be seized," Cormack said.

Stone also favored the Santa Barbara model, which relied on a series of design charrettes and architect teams to develop concepts that were then integrated into a master plan, according to Bruce Fukuji, an architect who gave a presentation about State Street to the council.

"The only way we can really embrace this opportunity to the greatest extent is to really be looking for opportunities for permanent closures," Stone said.

Because the interim status of California Avenue was not on the agenda, the council will have to hold another meeting to formally approve keeping the street closed to cars until end of 2023.

Even those council members who agreed over the long-term vision for California Avenue split over what process to use. Burt proposed launching a design charrette for the street — a collaborative design process that involves participation from all the stakeholders in the divisive debate. Santa Barbara's planning effort resulted in improvements such as a dedicated bike lane, new street furniture and planters.

With most restaurants supporting the closure of California Avenue to cars and many retailers opposing the closure, Burt maintained that bringing everyone to the table would eliminate the "winners and losers" dynamic.

"I think we'll have solutions that will have winners and winners," Burt said. "And that's what comes out of this stakeholder process."

But most of his colleagues opted to stick with the type of long-term plan that was recommended by staff, which will require soliciting a consultant and spending between 12 and 18 months and as much as $500,000 on analyzing everything from traffic and parking demands and bicycle improvements to the proper design of parklets and landscaping.

The council is taking a similar approach on a small stretch of Ramona Street downtown just north of Hamilton Avenue, which was transformed into a pedestrian area during the pandemic. Much like in the public debates over California Avenue and University Avenue — which the city reopened to cars in November — the decision process for Ramona created a schism between restaurateurs who supported the pedestrian-only design and merchants who advocated for the return of cars.

Cherry LeBrun, whose store De Novo Fine Contemporary Jewelry is located on the closed-off portion of Ramona, argued for returning cars to the area.

"Not having through traffic means there's no drive-by visibility that allows people to discover my store and it makes it difficult for existing customers to reach my store because access is limited and complicated," LeBrun said.

Rob Fischer, owner of the restaurant Peninsula Creamery, which is located just beyond the closed-off portion of Ramona, also proposed bringing cars back.

"I can't stress enough how important it is to have the streets open," said. "If you want life to get back to normal you have to act normal."

Others suggested that keeping Ramona Street and California Avenue closed to cars enhances the two streets and attracts diners and shoppers. Midtown resident Lorenzo Manueli said he recently visited California Avenue with his grandmother to celebrate her 75th birthday and they had a great time walking up and down the car-free street.

"It's become one of my favorite areas in Palo Alto because of the closure and pedestrian walkway," Manueli said. "Even though the street look the same way as it did when it had cars on it."

The street has suffered over the course of the pandemic from growing vacancies and decreased foot traffic — a function of the fact that the many employees who traditionally supported local businesses are now working from home. At the same time, Burt suggested that the new configuration of California Avenue has given people more reasons to visit and that it is now showing signs of recovery.

Burt also agreed with DuBois that the current street configuration — a collection of scattered tents with no unifying theme — is less than ideal. And he also expressed some frustration about the length of time it's taking the city to improve the streetscape.

"We're overdue … What we have is sloppy compared to surrounding communities," Burt said.

Editor's note: The story has been modified to note that the council will have to hold another meeting to formally approve keeping California Avenue closed until December 2023.

Comments

Joe
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Mar 1, 2022 at 8:48 am
Joe, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Mar 1, 2022 at 8:48 am

I'm so glad they made this decision and I hope it continues to revitalize the Cal Ave commercial district, where storefronts had been going vacant even before the pandemic. Now it's long past time to organize the street as if this situation is actually intentional. There's more than enough room for restaurants, pedestrians, and cyclists to share, but right now there's a weird mishmash of wide-open spaces and precarious choke points. The end of Ash St is a frustrating car trap because every driver imagines they're the first person to think of parking there, instead of the big shiny new garage they passed on the way, then with all the double-parked vehicles there isn't even room to turn around when they realize their mistake - maybe cut it off earlier and move Joanie's outdoor seating to that side? And the El Camino traffic signal needs to be urgently reprogrammed even before the intersection is eventually redesigned (and repaved!). But what we have now is already better than before so I'm optimistic.


ALB
Registered user
College Terrace
on Mar 1, 2022 at 10:27 am
ALB, College Terrace
Registered user
on Mar 1, 2022 at 10:27 am

Thank you Mayor Burt for leading on this important issue. I agree with the above comments by Joe. The design that is successful on State Street presented last night is a good reference to enhance the avenue with a unified look going forward. These changes including greenery and better pedestrian access to sidewalks that will attract shoppers and diners. Thank you council members who understand how important California Avenue is to residents
as a much desired refuge from the crazy pace of SV. Chapeaux!


Palo Alto Res
Registered user
Downtown North
on Mar 1, 2022 at 11:15 am
Palo Alto Res, Downtown North
Registered user
on Mar 1, 2022 at 11:15 am

Time to open up California Ave. The retailers who set up shop did it expecting car traffic. The pandemic is ending. Open up California Ave!


Palo Alto Res
Registered user
Downtown North
on Mar 1, 2022 at 11:17 am
Palo Alto Res, Downtown North
Registered user
on Mar 1, 2022 at 11:17 am

Random closures of streets is really irresponsible. California avenue was closed for the pandemic but now that the pandemic is no longer a worry, it's ridiculous to keep it closed. People have businesses and homes expecting the traffic to go through California Ave. Now traffic is being diverted to side streets while California Ave is closed and it's not only an inconvenience but unfairly impacts retailers as cars can no longer drive close by. Open up California Ave.


Eva_PA
Registered user
Ventura
on Mar 1, 2022 at 11:33 am
Eva_PA, Ventura
Registered user
on Mar 1, 2022 at 11:33 am

Yay. Now that the decision has been made Cal Av can be transformed to accommodate all of the businesses on the strip. Thank you for listening to the citizens of Palo Alto.


Steve O
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2022 at 11:46 am
Steve O, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 1, 2022 at 11:46 am

Wow. Thank you Palo Alto city council and mayor for screwing over the businesses on Cal Ave. Bravo to all of the residents that think that they know how businesses work.
Congrats to the very small number of restaurants that will benefit from this egregious decision. Again the city council lacks the ability to look long term for a solution, bending to the whims of a few. Thank you for killing a once vibrant business district.


Sunny Living
Registered user
Midtown
on Mar 1, 2022 at 11:46 am
Sunny Living, Midtown
Registered user
on Mar 1, 2022 at 11:46 am

Yay!!! So excited to see what they're able to come up with. Lots of opportunities to build an awesome shopping and dining destination for the whole mid-peninsula area.


Resident near the site
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Mar 1, 2022 at 12:11 pm
Resident near the site, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Mar 1, 2022 at 12:11 pm

We need to make sure that we don't create another University ave. Cal ave needs different character from University ave. Let the University ave. be the big name business street, and keep Cal ave. for small businesses with sustainability in mind. I am not sure how State st is local/small business friendly.


Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2022 at 12:13 pm
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 1, 2022 at 12:13 pm

Providing wayfinding for all people, including people who walk, bike and drive to Cal Ave and to behind-the-shop entrances of these businesses --as well as the very ample parking behind these businesses is critically important. Create prominent street and parking facings for businesses that are attractive and VISIBLE to help people find what they are looking for. Bringing people in to ALL of the businesses must be prioritized in the design process.


Ferdinand
Registered user
Barron Park
on Mar 1, 2022 at 12:33 pm
Ferdinand , Barron Park
Registered user
on Mar 1, 2022 at 12:33 pm

Thank you city council for making this difficult decision. Let us know how we can support you! There is truth that most successful businesses do rely on their physical presence being seen by pedestrians and motorists, but I hope we can make this a win-win for both restaurants and businesses. Shopping patterns have been changing for years, and the pandemic accelerated the shift to online. If we want a varied Cal Ave we all need to do our part to support the businesses, and to advocate for more of what we want/need. Many patterns are cyclic, and there are opportunities here:
- General Store concept, capturing a resurgence in hobbies (knitting, sewing, crafts) and DIY (hardware), stationery (no more Fry's/), etc.
- Bakery (PA Baking Co was good for treats but didn't have good, healthy breads)
- Small brew pub (get Devils Canyon to move in!)
- A teen space that isn't babysitting, maybe with music opportunities, fun classes targeted to them
etc, etc. etc!



Rose
Registered user
Mayfield
on Mar 1, 2022 at 12:50 pm
Rose, Mayfield
Registered user
on Mar 1, 2022 at 12:50 pm

Before COVID it was difficult to navigate this tight Cal Ave area that is closed off by the railroad and the bollards that protect Evergreen Park from cut through traffic. Now it is awful — time consuming and awkward. Cal Ave should be reopened to protect the struggling merchants and to improve the movement of pedestrians, bicyclists and cars. Eating and drinking isn’t everything! We want balance on Cal Ave.


Midtowner
Registered user
Midtown
on Mar 1, 2022 at 12:58 pm
Midtowner, Midtown
Registered user
on Mar 1, 2022 at 12:58 pm

I've lived here for 30+ years, used to love walking/shopping on California Ave. Now I avoid it. It's ugly and barren. Restaurants have taken over, and the retail is hard to get to. I am sorry for the various little shops I used to frequent - the cobbler's, the boutique, the paint-shop, the health-food store and others. Their rights have not been respected, nor have those of the older pedestrians who could easily access them.
The only people who will benefit from this narrow vision are those who have good, strong legs and the money to sit in restaurants.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2022 at 1:14 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 1, 2022 at 1:14 pm

Looking forward to continuing to walk and browse in the various shops while walking to lunch or dinner. It is so pleasant to not to have to watch for traffic while chatting and looking at the various options.


CEQA Required
Registered user
Ventura
on Mar 1, 2022 at 2:05 pm
CEQA Required, Ventura
Registered user
on Mar 1, 2022 at 2:05 pm

Reopen it now! The current closure IS a project under CEQA and IS impacting other roads where nearby previous projects were built under environmental analysis that assumed Cal Ave was open to traffic. Time for the affected merchants to file suit.


Carl Jones
Registered user
Palo Verde
on Mar 1, 2022 at 2:40 pm
Carl Jones, Palo Verde
Registered user
on Mar 1, 2022 at 2:40 pm

A comment to Midtowner and others. You speak of walking and browsing the stores along California. And when you did, you parked your car, made your look, then returned your car and left. No reason you cannot do so with the street closed to cars. However, it DOES need to be made easy to get to the area (the adjacent parallel streets) and park easily so that you can still do the walk and browse. THAT is still a problem to be solved. But it can be done. There is Pearl Street in Boulder Colorado (Web Link as an example. Traffic is nicely routed along the parallel streets and there is ample parking. I think it is worth a try. But it certainly cannot be left 'as is'.


Ken Powell
Registered user
Barron Park
on Mar 1, 2022 at 2:43 pm
Ken Powell, Barron Park
Registered user
on Mar 1, 2022 at 2:43 pm

I'm so happy the council decided to keep Cal Ave closed to cars in order to investigate a better setting for a permanent change. Yes, it's upsetting to merchants who assume things will always remain as they are; but we in the US (including our beloved Palo Alto) have gradually built our cities and infrastructure for cars and not for people.

It was a slow and steady process over decades (a century, actually) and it now feels like "normal". And it's understandable that people want "normal" after Covid. But that "normal" is not the stasis point I and many others want, nor is it the design of more livable cities.

Cheers for council to leverage one of the silver linings of Covid to shake us out of our conservative desire to return things to how they were as quickly as possible. Congrats to having the willpower and leadership to at least explore the possibility of coming away from Covid a bet better for the experience.


jimfruchterman
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Mar 1, 2022 at 6:14 pm
jimfruchterman, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Mar 1, 2022 at 6:14 pm

My nonprofit organization has been on California Ave for 20 years (well, we're still paying rent for our office even if our team is mainly working from home!). I'm also a resident of Palo Alto. I am supportive of this decision: I think it makes Cal Avenue even more attractive for me personally and our team. I get it wasn't an easy decision, and look forward to doing a pedestrian mall conversion well, rather than pandemic ad hoc.


DON AUSTIN HAS A SPINE
Registered user
Community Center
on Mar 2, 2022 at 7:21 am
DON AUSTIN HAS A SPINE, Community Center
Registered user
on Mar 2, 2022 at 7:21 am

Businesses should have the first say. Do cars on Cal Ave bring in more pedestrian traffic? If I’m in a hurry, I personally avoid “doing business” at Cal Ave. Not sure if I’m in the minority.


NB
Registered user
Barron Park
on Mar 2, 2022 at 8:41 am
NB, Barron Park
Registered user
on Mar 2, 2022 at 8:41 am

If Cal Ave is to remain car free then the City really needs to engage Caltrans immediately to fix the timing on the traffic lights at El Camino Real to take that into account. Ever since it has been closed there have been useless cycles in the light sequence that delay traffic on ECR to allow non-existent traffic flow onto Cal Ave.


Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2022 at 2:56 pm
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 2, 2022 at 2:56 pm

There is more-than-ample auto parking ONE block away--on the street, in at-grade parking lots, and in a brand new, enormous, multi-story new parking garage. I sometimes drive to shop there for groceries, house paint, shoes, clothes. It is more convenient parking than Stanford Shopping Center, in my opinion. I often bike there--also a very pleasant experience.

Let's please calm down a little and work together on next steps to make it better.

I agree that some redesign is needed to support wayfinding to parking and businesses. An intentional street design is coming, as I understand it.

Cal Ave CAN be closed to vehicular traffic AND be a successful shopping and dining destination. This has been done all over the world. We certainly can do it here.


Tom DuBois
Registered user
Midtown
on Mar 3, 2022 at 7:47 am
Tom DuBois, Midtown
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2022 at 7:47 am

The headline is a little off. Council decided to have an action item to consider closure until Dec 2023. That decision has NOT been made and will be coming to council before June. While council members stated their opinions at this point in time , the vote was only on whether to agendize the topic.


California Dreamin'
Registered user
Southgate
on Mar 3, 2022 at 8:09 am
California Dreamin', Southgate
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2022 at 8:09 am

As per Mr. DuBois' clarification, it appears that many here are jumping to conclusions with their pro-con positions.

As a nearby resident, this decision should be based on input from the Southgate, Evergreen, and Ventura neighborhoods and not by those who reside outside of the California Avenue shopping district.

Perhaps best to focus on one's own immediate neighborhood rather than focusing attention on your personal conveniences.


red
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2022 at 11:30 am
red, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 4, 2022 at 11:30 am

lived in this town for a long time......
for better or worse....and have been going to cal ave throughout the pandemic....wondering if the street will ever come back to life.....it is on
life support still.....many shuttered store fronts......as many of you know....and then it comes to life on the weekends during the farmers market....one day a week really.....and most of the stores are not the center
of attraction.....except for the few dining places that have managed to stay afloat the majority of local venues are neglected......and sure, it's great to be able to walk or ride a bike down the street without fear of cars.....but at what point does this simply become a short sighted selfish trio for the few that do....of course it's great to see......but let's get real.....the situation is bleak at best at the local retailers and all of you folks who are to foolish to realize this should try to pull your head out of the sand where it is presently burrowed and open it back up and try to help the local stores who are being crushed by your selfish and shortsighted ways......get a clue iut is not working!


MyFeelz
Registered user
another community
on Mar 4, 2022 at 2:44 pm
MyFeelz, another community
Registered user
on Mar 4, 2022 at 2:44 pm

My crystal ball sees a lot of lawsuits springing up, for those residents who live near or have businesses on CalAve since the City decided to prevent passage to and from their destinations using tax-payer funded streets.


MyFeelz
Registered user
another community
on Mar 4, 2022 at 3:01 pm
MyFeelz, another community
Registered user
on Mar 4, 2022 at 3:01 pm

CEQA Required, I'm in. As a disabled person who is now told I have to walk (lol) a block from the parking lot to CalAve, I believe my civil rights have been violated under the "California Unruh Civil Rights Act". It's very easy to prove the City has been violating my civil rights since they first blocked a city thoroughfare to streets that used to be accessible to disabled people.


Old Steve
Registered user
St. Claire Gardens
on Mar 4, 2022 at 3:30 pm
Old Steve, St. Claire Gardens
Registered user
on Mar 4, 2022 at 3:30 pm

As a Mountain View resident who can walk to Castro street, I frequent Cal Ave because waits are shorter and parking easier. The cobblery never seems to be open when I am on the street. Printer's Inc and Keeble & Shucat were the only retailers I ever used. Folks drive next to parklets in other Cities. That may be what Palo Alto comes up with. Many people have become fans of outdoor dining, so I guess you could run the experiment backwards. Close off outdoor dining, see how many stay open through next summer??

BTW I know many disabled folks who cannot walk a block, but they are faster in wheelchairs than I am on a bike, and they can get anywhere.


MyFeelz
Registered user
another community
on Mar 4, 2022 at 3:36 pm
MyFeelz, another community
Registered user
on Mar 4, 2022 at 3:36 pm

Steve, your assumption that I'm in a wheelchair is typical of ableist culture and thinking. Stop while you're behind. All I have to do is prove on ONE occasion that I was denied equal access to places you can go to without having to consider all of the ramifications I have to think about before I even step outside of my front door. I can prove MULTIPLE occasions when CalAve has violated the Unruh Act.


MyFeelz
Registered user
another community
on Mar 4, 2022 at 3:41 pm
MyFeelz, another community
Registered user
on Mar 4, 2022 at 3:41 pm

Web Link

After you read this, think about how you would feel if you didn't have legs that worked, or arms that worked, or sight that worked, or any other barriers that are protected under the Unruh Act. The reason the Unruh Act exists is because most of our culture is ableist and doesn't allow for the free travel of many people with disabilities.


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