For some it might be a question of cost. For others it might be a question of ease. Undoubtedly, we have a parking situation which is complicated and only those "in the know" can navigate how to park more than 3 hours in Palo Alto.
1. We were promised signage of where to park and how many empty spaces are available and where. These signs have never appeared and no more talk about them. We need electronic signs helping visitors to find available parking before they enter a garage.
2. We need pay per hour machines in all garages and lots. No more secretive garages that have the machines. No more need to get to City Hall to pay for 4 hour parking.
3. We need to get rid of color codes zones in parking garages and on streets.
4. We need 30 minute parking outside retail in downtown, Cal Ave, Midtown and probably other places around town.
5. We need to get rid of $17 per day parking. Caltrain costs $5 and that means that people will park at Caltrain rather than a garage. Make the 4 hour plus charge affordable for those who want to lunch, shop and movie matinee.
6. We need to get out of town parking with speedy shuttles to downtown. This could be near 280 and near 101 at Bayshore. These parking shuttles need to be frequent and route designed to dissuade parking in neighborhoods and then use of shuttles.
7. We need to make parking efficient, simple and affordable.
There is obviously a need for 4+ hour parking that is affordable for low income workers, shoppers, moviegoers, seniors, etc. At present their needs are ignored. Telling them where they can't park doesn't help them. Making suitable parking available and affordable will.
Ultimately, I think the State should designate a free parking space at a place of employment a "benefit" not a "right".
I hope that those reading this will view this as a positive set of ideas and perhaps could add to them. I am one of those who have needed 4+ hour parking and found it difficult. I also anecdotally heard of seniors and visitors who have driven to downtown, found it impossible to park so have missed their movie or charitable volunteering session. Seniors do not like to have social activities in the evenings, much prefer them during the daylight hours. Seniors are amongst those who are being left out of the picture. They are unlikely able to ride a bike or walk any distance to get to either downtown or even to their nearest shuttle stop. Please think constructively and help people park rather than put up more restrictions.