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City mulls 'master list' for Stanford funds

Original post made on Jun 26, 2013

Two years after Palo Alto officials agreed to allow the expansion of the Stanford University Medical Center, dubbed the largest construction project in Palo Alto's history, City Council members are deciding the best way to spend the spoils of the deal -- some $44 million.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 4:58 PM

Comments (18)

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 26, 2013 at 11:05 pm

When all the new Stanford hospital employees hit the road, traffic will be a nightmare-squared. City, please fix the traffic mess at PALY, Town and Country, Embarcadero!!! Build an overpass for the students between PALY and T& C, take out the student street crossing and not allow students to push a stop light button at will, thereby jamming up westbound traffic all the way back to Waverley and beyond and eastbound into El Camino. It is a mess.

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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 27, 2013 at 7:17 am

A master list for prioritizing spending would be a great idea. It’s a shame the City doesn’t use this approach managing all of its business. By the way, is there currently an up-to-date master list for all infrastructure related issues on the City’s web-site?

> David Ramberg: spending the funds sooner might be better than later.
> The timing of the investments would be affected by the quickly inflating
> costs for construction rising faster than interest rates, meaning that
> waiting for interest to accrue on the money before spending it
> could be counterproductive.
There are various commercial data sources that provide information on construction-related matters, such as cost—
Turner Construction Foresees Continued Slow Growth in Non-residential Construction:
Web Link

Karl F. Almstead, Turner vice president responsible for the Turner Building Cost Index, says: “A modest increase in construction costs over the last few months is driven by labor and material cost increases. Market optimism also contributes to the moderate increase in costs. However, any significant change in the market will require a change in the overall economy.”’

One can only wonder if Mr. Ramberg ever consults these data sources before making these kinds of pronouncements in public?

Also odd is Ramberg’s comment about “waiting for interest to accrue”. Even at a modest 4% annually, the small principal of $44M will only generate about $175K/year. It would take almost “forever” to generate any significant money to deal with infrastructure issues this way. It makes more sense to just spend this money on projects that need attention now.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2013 at 7:30 am

One of the biggest traffic problems is caused by the Alma/Sandhill intersection. To avoid this intersection, traffic uses Churchill which adds to the T & C mess.

Since this Stanford money is supposed to alleviate traffic caused by the Stanford expansion and since Stanford traffic uses Alma/Sandhill, then it makes sense to me to open up this intersection so that Stanford traffic can get where it needs to get efficiently.

Traffic needs to move efficiently, this would help by taking traffic from other intersections which has problems also.

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Posted by Carrie
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 27, 2013 at 8:17 am

Don't spend it all at once! Save some for a "rainy" day!

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Posted by Gary Gechlik
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jun 27, 2013 at 9:03 am

I would spend the money on making the city more bike friendly. Where I live on Skyline is the only place where you can really ride safely due to a combination of geography as well as history. Skyline was specifically designed to be a beautiful and scenic curvi-linear road. The long term solution to biking has to involve separated lanes, scenic and well funded. Bike related deaths are generally preventable.

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Posted by Carol K
a resident of University South
on Jun 27, 2013 at 10:54 am

No brainer. Send Samsung packing and restore the Varsity as a theater with a public courtyard!!!

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Posted by Ree
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 27, 2013 at 11:01 am

Since Traffic in all of Palo Alto is a mess, why not do a City-wide Comprehensive Traffic and Parking Study, and then actually do something about it! Make life Safer for children Biking and walking to and from school. Perhaps reduce the frustration of drivers trying to get from one place to another in Palo Alto in a reasonable amount of time, as well as getting people to and from work, with a place to park while they are here. Wow! what a concept?
This City has been hiring consultants for every other thing imaginable,and the traffic is horrific all over town, not just near Palo Alto High, so why not look at the "Big Picture" instead of thinking "Band Aid" my part of town??

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Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Jun 27, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Stanford charges a lot of money to park and runs shuttles all over.
Why doesn't Palo Alto follow suit and charge money to park, using that money and the Stanford money to run shuttles around Palo Alto
(not just the 2 current limited lines)?

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Posted by Soroor
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm

This is so sad. This Council just voted yes on the Maybell Project while not saying a thing about these funds. We have asked them many times to put city funds into this project and they don't answer.

The article says: " The agreement allocates the funds in various categories, including $23.2 million for "infrastructure, sustainable neighborhoods and affordable housing," ... The Maybell project is affordable housing. Isn't it?

If they allocate $3 or $4 million to this project the developer can potentially reduce the high density of the market rate houses.

What a shame.

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Posted by Highland Mary
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm

I agree with Bob. before doing anything that will add exponentially to the already outrageously bad traffic situation, PLEASE have a care! Fix the mess on Embarcadero between Paly and Town and Country. Remove the troublesome stoplight at Paly and build a pedestrian bridge in its place.

A lot of Palo Altans refuse to shop at T&C until that logjam is fixed!

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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I also agree with Bob - traffic is a big problem.
Stanford related traffic will only get worse, the idea that everyone will take Caltrain is a joke.
Stanford traffic causes delays, stress, redlight runners off 101 heading up Embarcadero to Stanford, and various intersections like Alma and El Camino Real and Embarcadero and El Camino Real are atrocious and need to be fixed now. I think Stanford should pay out of pocket (not out of this special fund) for the terrible traffic they create in Palo Alto.

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Posted by Chu
a resident of Green Acres
on Jun 27, 2013 at 4:29 pm

The 12homes is outlandish! What are you doing to our traffic problem. Seniors will have to have cars as there is no grocery store close by, plus they would have to get their groceries the city planning transportation for them? The owners of the homes will probably have at least two cars . Our council seems to be giving favors to the down town developers. We do not need their money but a place for housing.

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Posted by jayne
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 27, 2013 at 4:35 pm

You palo alto people!!!!! You've got a golden goose in Stanford and you're complaining about it....


Stanford should just move everything out of palo alto into other places or else contract with Menlo Park for services --

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Posted by Blondie
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 27, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Projecting the pathetic progress of the bike bridge in south Palo Alto, these funds might just barely cover the cost of the dozens of consultants, designers, architects, artists, visionaries, digital eggs, and other horrific 'public art' accoutrements for the bridge the city simply can't live without.

Please don't be stupid city managers, spend this money wisely on truly needed projects, or save it, if allowed, for when really worthy projects present themselves.

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Posted by Thomas the Rhymer
a resident of Monroe Park
on Jun 28, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Really? Prepare for mega-traffic jams before allowing Stanford Hospital ( recently voted one of the worst hospitals in California) to expand..widen roads, get rid of the traffic light at Palo Alto High on the Embarcadero side, get rid of some of the stop signs on Galvez and Campus Drives.

This is a traffic nightmare waiting to happen.

Remember that Palo Alto is supposed to be a bedroom commu ity, not an employment destination! This city gets more and more unattractive by the day!

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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 28, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Thomas- is this the ranking you are talking about?
Web Link
#4 in California and #1 in San jose area?
Care to exaggerate some more or You can provide us with a link to your rankings.
And you are wrong again-- atherton is a bedroom community-- palo alto is a business destination. Does Facebook, sun, HP, groupon etc ring a bell? How about the Stanford shopping center, university avenue shopping area, California avenue shopping district-- sound familiar?

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 29, 2013 at 1:22 am

Since we'll never agree on how to spend the $44M, how about just give each resident their $700 share? Or are some of us more equal than others?

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Posted by nimby
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2013 at 2:57 pm

how about building some high-density affordable housing to get ABAG off our backs? just don't but it in my 'hood.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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