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Parking program shifts problem, again

Original post made on Sep 29, 2017

Channing Avenue and Edgewood Drive are the latest streets to become parked up as drivers seek parking spots outside Palo Alto's ever-expanding zone of prohibited overnight parking.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 29, 2017, 6:45 AM

Comments (39)

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2017 at 8:11 am

I have lots of sympathy for the residents of this area. It sounds awful.

However, an overnight parking ban citywide would encourage homeowners to park on lawns, extend the width of driveways and generally cause problems for those who have overnight guests.

In many neighborhoods the number of cars parked on the street overnight is acceptable. With rolling curbs parking on lawn and widening driveways or putting in a second driveway is already happening a great deal. This in effect reduces the amount of street parking as it reduces the amount of street space for parking as there is no parking in front of driveways. I am assuming that most of these driveways and second driveways have been done without City permits.

I would suggest overnight parking permits for homeowners rather than banning overnight parking.eQTdz

Posted by Palo Alto Native
a resident of Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
on Sep 29, 2017 at 10:13 am

I moved to east palo alto last year. I've lived in this area my whole life.

Having a car parked on your PA street between 2am and 5am is not ruining anyone's quality of life. Give me a break. There is no parking available on Woodland Ave and if you live there and want to have overnight guests there is no where to park except across Newell bridge where there are signs saying no parking between 2am and 5am. So, the natural solution is to have your guests park on Channing st where overnight parking is allowed and shuttle them to your house. I do it all the time with my girlfriend. If you ban overnight parking it's like having a landlord say "NO OVERNIGHT GUESTS." Which is a total bunch of BS.

People on Woodland ave and other parts of EPA are parked in red zones because there is no parking. The solution is not to cut off more parking supply in palo alto. Stop being a bunch of jerks.

Posted by Edgewood Neighbor
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 29, 2017 at 10:48 am

Hey Eric Griswold, Thanks for the offer of parking in front of your house. Please post your Edgewood address for us and I'll make up a little flyer and give it to the folks who park and sleep in their cars around the Edgewood shopping center. That will make a lot of folks happy but you might ask them to not dump their trash out when they're done; you know, like fast food trash, cans, bottles, cigarette butts, etc. You'll be a hero.

Posted by True Residentialist
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 29, 2017 at 11:32 am

Wow, we're bearing the consequences of not assigning a proper real estate value to parking spaces!

Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Sep 29, 2017 at 1:20 pm

Palo Alto Native,

Get your landlord (through City Council if necessary) to provide more parking. Don't pass YOUR problem onto another city.

Posted by C
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 29, 2017 at 1:26 pm

Complete government over-reach, and the wrong solution to a problem. The streets are a public space and belong to the citizenry. If it's trash from the homeless you're worried about, I'm sure there is already a law against littering. If you post a cop top patrol and ticket litterers, then those people will move on. One more way government intervenes in our lives, and gets rich legislating and criminalizing normal behavior.

Posted by Why This Keeps Happening
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 29, 2017 at 6:07 pm

Both the City of Palo Alto and the State of California pretend that parking isn't a problem. They pass laws dramatically lowering parking requirements -- and then surprise -- too many cars show up.

It's a statewide problem. As housing goes up in cost, more people crowd into the same residence. When I lived in a three-bedroom house, we had four cars. Palo Alto recently changed parking rules to require just one off-street parking space for houses with an attached accessory dwelling unit (ADU). That's simply irresponsible.

Our parking problems are going to get worse and worse and spread across the city. We need councilmembers with spines who will insist on adequate parking.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 29, 2017 at 8:08 pm

Include Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood in the overnight parking ban. It's gotten to this point now where this is necessary.

Posted by Mark L
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 29, 2017 at 8:16 pm

Great article on this topic, good to read there is some possibility of Palo Alto and East Palo Alto collaborating on working out more parking to solve this problem. Thank you Palo Weekly for allowing editorial space on this.

I've lived on Woodland Avenue in East Palo Alto since 2002. There were not many cars parking in my block back then. With the Palo Alto overnight parking ban, areas of Woodland along the creek that had "no parking" signs along the creekside, were suddenly removed. Since the Palo Alto overnight parking ban, there is now little or no parking in my neighborhood. I wake up early in the morning to the sounds of doors closing or commercial trucks beeping while backing up, while the working class people who park their vehicles in my block return.

Because of the unfortunate NIMBY attitude of some Palo Alto residents, plus local apartments having limited parking, or charge for extra vehicles combined with the fact that gas is cheap and people have to many cars have all helped to turn my neighborhood a parking lot. I also deal with trash and late night drama with people parking in my neighborhood that don't live on my block. Thanks Palo Alto.

I'm regret that so many Palo Alto residents, with their million dollar homes appear to be so selfish with regard to these parking issues. Nobody likes other people infringing on their turf. But public streets should remain public. Yes, ticket or tow-away the abusers, but don't block overnight access to public streets. It's nice to see comments by a few Palo Alto Residents that seem more enlightened on the big picture and opposed to parking bans.

I would personally like to see a ban on all commercial trucks on Woodland avenue or actual enforcement of 72-hour parking limits. Some people dump cars on my block as place holders and park two deep in the evening next to creek. The same vehicles have been dumped in the same place for months only moving 10 feet. Screw this.

I mostly ride a bicycle, I have a car, but have found I don't have to use it so much. If you don't like cars or ones parking in your neighborhood, then don't own one (or as many) and ride a bike.

Posted by nmao
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 29, 2017 at 8:45 pm

Let us remember this East Palo Alto parking debacle next time a developer claims they don't need to include parking because low-income people don't drive, or because people who live in apartment buildings don't drive, or because people who live within a half-mile radius of a bus stop don't drive. Residents of Woodland Apartments are willing to walk a mile to Channing Avenue to park their car. I count 5 bus stops within 0.3 miles of Woodland Apartments. People drive. Rich, poor, estates or apartment buildings, we all drive. No more excuses for under-parking buildings. Above all it is a disservice to the residents of those buildings. Read the yelp reviews for Woodland Apartments, the lack of parking certainly isn't putting a smile on those residents' faces.

Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 29, 2017 at 9:11 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

Please, just give us a citywide policy of overnight parking by permit only.

Posted by DTN Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 29, 2017 at 10:21 pm

DTN Paul is a registered user.

A citywide overnight parking ban is a ridiculous idea.

Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2017 at 11:09 pm

We need to stop pretending bicycles can solve our traffic and parking problems. We need to stop pretending "mass transit" is going to solve our traffic and parking problems. We need to stop pretending all of these gimmicks are going to solve our traffic and parking problems.

The only thing that is going to halt the growth of traffic and parking problems is a halt to commercial and residential real-estate development.

Meanwhile, just today Jerry Brown signed 15 pieces of legislation that make it HARDER for local governments to limit out of control growth. From the lowliest Palo Alto council seat to the governor of the state, the whole California Democratic party is controlled by real-estate developers.

The only way to end the corruption is to stop reflexively voting Democrat. Do your research. Find an honest independent or the extremely rare California Democrat (Ro Khanna 17th district) that refuses to take developer money. Any candidate that is endorsed by corrupted Party apparatchiks is probably also corrupt, or corruptible.

Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 29, 2017 at 11:52 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@DTN Paul - Ad hoc permits and parking restrictions are a ridiculous idea. They just shift problems to the neighborhoods that don't have them. A uniform citywide program would fix instead of shift the various problems that permits and overnight restrictions address.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 30, 2017 at 1:14 pm

"I would offer my spot in front of my house"???? Even though he's against the parking ban, that resident reflect some of the heart of the problem: It's not YOUR parking spot. It is a PUBLIC street. This means obeying the laws that dictate how long you can park a vehicle, and - again - it doesn't belong to any individual.

Posted by DTN Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 30, 2017 at 2:50 pm

DTN Paul is a registered user.

@john_alderman, what percentage of the city has an issue with overnight parking?

Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 30, 2017 at 5:33 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@DTN Paul - All of it to some degree, and more will as some areas get permits, and push the problem elsewhere. I'd note, DTN Paul of Downtown North, that you just got a permit program that pushed a ton of your parking problems into Crescent Park. You don't seem concerned about that, but I know that as we inevitably get permit parking in CP, that if it doesn't also happen in Community Center, then the problem will just migrate there, so I'm looking out for my neighbors. Even if they don't think they want it, they will.

Posted by parking issues
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 30, 2017 at 6:42 pm

parking issues is a registered user.

@MarkL - Your comment "I also deal with trash and late night drama with people parking in my neighborhood that don't live on my block" that is exactly why Palo Alto has the 2-5 am ban. Trash, fights, condoms, beer cans, etc. on the street. Its not the cars, its the behavior of the drivers and passengers.

Posted by Juan
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2017 at 6:55 pm

It's not ok to park your car in the neighboring city (or in this case neighboring county) because your city / county refuses to build enough parking spaces. This is a case of San Mateo County dumping their unused cars in Santa Clara County, just like they use our airspace without paying.

Posted by DTN Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 30, 2017 at 10:09 pm

DTN Paul is a registered user.

@john_alderman - I question your assertion about 'all of' Palo Alto having a overnight parking problem. Seems unlikely - why would there be one? I get that there's one in Crescent Park, but that's a particular and isolated circumstance.

As for you point about Downtown North's parking permit program pushing problems around, I agree. I think the permit program in Downtown North is stupid, and makes our problem someone else's problem. I'd be happy to do away with it.

Posted by Zayda
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 30, 2017 at 11:53 pm

Zayda is a registered user.

Take a good hard look at Menlo Park. They have been doing it right for years.
Web Link

Posted by Parking issures
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 1, 2017 at 11:04 am

@zayda, Menl Parliament will only issue annual overnight permits to apartments residents. That would be problematic for many residents with no or little off street parking, not uncommon in much of Palo Alto.

Posted by Mark L
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 1, 2017 at 5:59 pm

To anonymous @parking issues who posted:
"Its not the cars, its the behavior of the drivers and passengers."

Sorry, You are incorrect, It's really a combination of factors, including (NIMBY) Palo Alto residents that is why this issue has showed up in the Palo Alto Weekly press in the first place.

Fight back against Palo Alto discrimination.

Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 1, 2017 at 7:02 pm

I'm fine with a city-wide overnight parking ban with residents allowed to purchase permits. No more kicking the can into other neighborhoods.

Posted by Clean up your act
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 1, 2017 at 8:35 pm

This is a tough one. I do feel sorry for people in EPA who have no place to park. On the other hand as a resident 0f the duvenck area I see cars parked for weeks at a time not moving and trash on the streets. If you are going to park in our neighborhood please obey laws and don't litter. For those who want to see what maybe coming to your neighborhood next, go visit Channing/Edgewood.

Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 1, 2017 at 10:14 pm

Residents of EPA should not expect a neighboring city and county for that matter to accommodate their overnight parking needs. That is an infringement, overreach, and unfair expectation.

Far too many people would leave their cars on Palo Alto city streets for days without moving them. Not having a direct interest or ownership in the Edgewood neighborhood would lead to trash and litter being strewn about. People simply dumped their ashtrays and cigarette butts on the street along with fast food bags and other debris. The high volume of car sound systems became a nuisance. All of this is what led to the push for permit parking.

If EPA has a parking issue, then deal with it within your own community. Appeal to your own city leaders and elected officials to bring about change. I'm sure they would be more than happy to have Palo Alto continue to provide parking spaces. That's easier than solving the problem from within.

Posted by Malia
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 2, 2017 at 11:21 am

For years Menlo Park has had a no overnight parking law. You have to apply for a permit or pay for a nightly one. It's really no big deal. I also live in a neighborhood that has no street parking during the day so I have to get a different permit if I know I can not park in my driveway. With that said, there are no RVs/Campers camped out on the streets of Menlo Park. Just saying.

Posted by ndn
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 2, 2017 at 9:55 pm

So, I who own a home (expensive, well well above average price) with a two car garage but no parkable driveway would not be able to have my children to stay overnight if there is a parking ban. Ban proposers seem to think that we all have either accommodation for several cars or do not have visitors....It is a ridiculous idea.

Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 2, 2017 at 10:01 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@ndn- Sounds like you think have discovered and an unsolvable problem. Good news, there is an answer called a parking permit. Visit the Newell area to see it work. You just hang a permit in your children's window. And it will be easier for them to park once the a program is in place, so win-win.

Posted by ndn
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 2, 2017 at 10:21 pm

john-Alderman, so if my son and his family decide to stay over on the spur of the moment at 6:00 pm I can go and get a permit? And if my daughter, at midnight, coming from the city feels that she better stay at her parents instead of driving home an hour more where do I then get the permit? Just tell me that family spontaneous gathering cannot be had....What a small minded proposal this is....

Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 2, 2017 at 10:32 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

My Dad had the foresight to widen the driveway to the utility ROW when we built the new ( enclosed ) garage for his race cars. That gave our 4 bedroom house FOUR PARKING SPACES! That meant we could have me working on a sports car while driving another, then moving it out of state. ( yay! one less car in CA ). Now, gee, who in PA had the ability to respond THEMSELVES to a future problem like that???

How about the city providing PARKING GARAGES and transit like Boulder, CO ( a real sister city who has the same 'tude Palo Alto has ) created to get the hated automobile into a parking garage instead of cluttering their treasured bike and pedestrian laden streets.

It is time to address all the problems of developer's not providing parking spaces for their build-ups in Palo Alto ( and the graft money to the PA government elite that ok'd the permits ) that you live with each day. Time for all to get a needed reality check on what has been done. I know where to get a fence rail, a bucket of tar and some chicken feathers...I think you are going to need them soon.....

Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 2, 2017 at 10:34 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@ndn - or, you know, you could just keep one on the dresser in the living room in case anyone drops by your (expensive, well well above average price) house.

Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 2, 2017 at 10:35 pm

Unless I'm mistaken "ndn" the parking permits, including guest permits, are issued at the time the resident registers as a permit holder. You'd have one or two guest permits ready to hang from your rear view mirror whenever needed.

Posted by ndn
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 2, 2017 at 11:53 pm

Right, dropping $100.00 or more/yearly just so the occasional visitor can stay over. A money maker?

It really is a problem that I and many of my neighbors owners of single house have no land at all where to add parking spaces... Is it our fault?

Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 3, 2017 at 1:26 am

john_alderman is a registered user.

@ndn what percentage of your (expensive, well well above average price) house with a two car garage is $100? Is it really is a problem that people who already have two parking space, but are freeloaders and want to use street parking have to pay a very little for it?

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2017 at 3:33 am

The problem with forcing a city wide overnight parking ban with permits for households at $100 is totally unfair for homes in areas with no overnight parking problems. This is really forcing every household in town to pay a $100 parking tax to the city coffers. I have no idea of the number of homes in Palo Alto, but if each one of those homes buys a permit which is a strong possibility as we would all want to occasionally have the ability of allowing an overnight guest park, would be a huge windfall to City coffers. I would imagine many homes would widen driveways or add extra driveways and areas with rolling curbs would end up with a lot less street parking space as a result.

If an overnight ban means big bucks to the city I am totally against it. We don't have an overnight parking problem. However, we do have a problem with daytime parking on street sweeping day and we do have problems with trash cans taking up curb space and bike lane space being left on the street for days at a time and the city refuses to do anything about that.

Posted by Andy
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 6, 2017 at 3:49 pm

I think an overnight parking ban citywide is ridiculous. Our street has dozens of cars parked on it every night, there isn't enough driveway space for them. In this era of practically one car per person, even a "typical" family with 2 kids can't avoid parking on the street.

Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 7, 2017 at 5:13 pm

The only problem with what people are calling "out of control growth" is that when our city approves any growth they cut bring in cars and cut the number of parking spaces. The end result of this is to eventually make it so that we will have to open another revenue stream to the city hundreds of times more than it costs to administer the busy work or parking management and bother people who just want to live in peace in their own costly neighborhoods.

The see this money that they know they will be able to get forever, and raise like they raise very other frickin fee in this town, and they just get so excited by it. After all how else do they employ all their families and cronies and buddies who otherwise would have to move out of Palo Alto.

This seems like a make work plan to suck more money from people.

It is a fact of like that we have more dense living now and more dense cars. Deal with it and manage it City Of Palo Alto instead of playing games around it. Serve the people. Cars are not going away and moe people are coming, and if we want sufficient parks we need to find a way to build more dense housing - AND PARKING, instead of hiding our heads in the sand or imagining that forcing people into more expensive micromanagement does anything other than add to stress and detract from what should be our rights.

Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 7, 2017 at 7:11 pm

Since we are talking about parking then we need all of the streets marked for street cleaning. My street has an abundance of trees that are now dropping leaves all over and we have the sewer openings at the end of the block at Louis. The trees are at the Louis interchange. So now we have the Oshman people who think a R-1 residential neighborhood is an assigned parking area for their employees and visitors. That creates a giant mess when the leaves are piling up and are sitting under people's cars. As we are now concerned with flooding and working to prevent the circumstances which create flooding then the street cleaning has to address that problem. There is a total inconsistency throughout the city on signage for street cleaning. Please come up with a policy and put into effect throughout the city. If someone is making any assumptions that any one area has bigger problems then rest assured that the whole city is catching up.

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