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Old Palo Alto poised for new parking restrictions

Original post made on Aug 28, 2019

An effort by residents in the Old Palo Alto neighborhood to institute new parking restrictions on their blocks is expected to advance Wednesday night, when the Planning and Transportation Commission considers the proposal.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 28, 2019, 9:55 AM

Comments (22)

17 people like this
Posted by Miriam Palm
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 28, 2019 at 10:35 am

Miriam Palm is a registered user.

Stop doing this! I live in OPA, and I don't want my taxes to pay to have even more streets and neighborhoods policed for 2+ hour parking. These are public streets, for Heaven's sake.


16 people like this
Posted by Kat
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 28, 2019 at 10:45 am

Oh for heaven’s sake, Palo Alto already has the moadt complicated, chaotic parking restrictions anywhere.


8 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 28, 2019 at 11:05 am

Makes sense. There seems to be no other way to control commuter parking and prioritize residents, and their visitors, parking. I would like to see the entire city covered. You can't tell me that they can't own a car or commute in their car. About the only thing you can control is parking-- just part of participating in that grand urban vibrancy.


5 people like this
Posted by Diamond
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 28, 2019 at 11:41 am

We have lived in Old Palo Alto for over 16 years and have seen the situation get progressively worse. This plan is way over due! Bowden Park parking has become free parking for Caltrain commuters and many other non-Old Palo Alto residence turning what you used be a safe, family-friendly community into a loud nerve-racking and congested neighborhood. We can't wait for the RPP to be implemented!


5 people like this
Posted by Anne
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 28, 2019 at 11:48 am

I support Old Palo Alto residents on this issue as I find my neighborhood inundated also.

I do wonder though where commuters are supposed to park. Aren't we supposed to be supporting getting people onto public transportation?


3 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 28, 2019 at 11:49 am

Makes sense to establish an RPP given it is so congested as a result of Caltrain commuters and the fact there is spillover from the RPP on the other side of Alma. I wouldn’t want Caltrain commuters parking in my neighborhood (shouldn’t they use the Caltrain lot or better yet bike to the station?)


1 person likes this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 28, 2019 at 11:50 am

It's about time the city did something about this situation! My neighbors and I are tired of having to park blocks away from our our home. There is a Caltrain parking lost that costs money, and people think that they have a right to park for free in a residential area. What's ironic, I see at least 3 cars with Downtown RPP tags hanging in their cars parking on my street everyday. They must know first hand what's it's like to have no place to park.

Chris also mentioned the safety issue... the city chose to ignore this issue, as they are not including Bowden Park in the RPP. High St is used by bicyclists to get the the CA Ave underpass. There are commuters rushing to find parking and to catch the train. There is a dead end, which most cars have to turn around when they don't find a spot. Bicycles have to avoid them, as the drivers are too distracted to notice them. It's an accident waiting to happen. The city continues to ignore the safety issues raised by residents. There are numerous safety issues that the city is aware of in the vincity of the park that they continue to ignore. It will obviously take a serious injury to have them take action.


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Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 28, 2019 at 11:55 am

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

I'm convinced this problem will never be solved to the satisfaction of everyone. I think some progress is being made but it seems like the plan has to be continually expanded to include other neighborhoods. What is the goal? We have very few parking problems in our Midtown area and further south in my neighorhood, the Charleston Center area. Come and shop here in SPA where milk cows used to graze...in my back yard. lol


7 people like this
Posted by Robell
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 28, 2019 at 11:59 am

The significant safety and parking congestion concerns are a result of Caltrain users parking in our neighborhood since they (a) don't want to pay $5/day to use the Caltrain parking lot, and (b) cannot park on the other side of Alma since they have an RPP (so OPA gets the spillover).

The RPP should incent Caltrain commuters to hopefully bike or walk to the station or, if driving, use the intended Caltrain parking lot.

The safety issue, to be clear, arises when there are lots of Caltrain commuters all looking for spots in our neighborhood at the same time as Jordan/Green Middle and Paly students are biking to work and going through the tunnel.

This is NOT a major cost to taxpayers....impacted residents who overwhelmingly want this are willing to pay for the permits to help cover the enforcement cost.


10 people like this
Posted by Barron Park dad
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 28, 2019 at 12:00 pm

Is there a good argument why Palo Alto has a patchwork of residential parking pass programs, instead of a uniform one? Wouldn't it be simpler administratively to have just one program?


6 people like this
Posted by Evergreen Park Resident
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 28, 2019 at 12:55 pm

I would love to have the Planning and Transportation Commission and the City Council tell me what makes Old Palo Alto and College Terrace so privileged that they do not have to accept ANY employee parking permits. When worked for over 3 years to get an RPP for Evergreen Park — and area that was originally supposed to be included in the College Terrace plan — we asked for no employee permits and were told we could not have that. Instead, we had to accept over 100 employee parking permits. Despite the fact that the parking problems in Evergreen Park were caused by the decisions of these two governing bodies to consistently approve large office building projects without adequate parking for the employees. There were supposed to the Transportation Management Agreements, but that was a joke. After requesting a copy of even one of these TMA for over 6 months, we finally saw a copy of one. The top TMA transportation idea was the proximity of California Ave. to Hwy 101. Why does the Planning Commission and the City Council favor some neighborhoods over others?

The City needs to make office space developers pay the costs of their own activities. The residents shouldn’t have to pay for their profits.


4 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 28, 2019 at 1:21 pm

Caltrain parking here seems to indicate people commuting from Palo Alto to jobs elsewhere. I thought there were more than enough jobs in this city for everyone.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 28, 2019 at 2:03 pm

These RPPs only move the parking problems, not solve them. Many people commute with a bike/skateboard in the trunk to get them to where they work. Instead of making it difficult to park, something must be done to aid those who need to park all day but not every day. How about lots at highway ramps with dedicated shuttles?

As for Caltrain parking, why can't Caltrain lots be free after 3.00 pm? This would encourage more use of Caltrain for evenings, Sharks Games, Giants Games, Warriors Games, etc.


6 people like this
Posted by Kurtb
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 28, 2019 at 2:15 pm

I fully support RPPs. Non residents that take all parking spots in front of a house force resident teens that have a car to park far from home and that is a safety issue for the kids. Kids safety should be a high priority. In my experience, non-residents also don't know about or honor street-sweeping days and we've had very thick piles of rotting leaves that are another safety issue. That we hear the Cal Train lot is generally 20-30% occupied says that cal trainers simply want free parking at other's expense. Cal Ave corporate employees can buy a city permit for the new structure.


8 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 28, 2019 at 4:03 pm

I walk to the Cal Ave station. I have never seen a car "racing" to get a spot. As for the complaints about having to park further, people need to get more exercise anyway. This is Old Palo Alto for chrissakes - if we are really worried about having to walk in our neighborhood, maybe we shouldn't be bothering the police about leaf blowers so much.

BTW, you don't "own" the spot in front of your house, unless you're willing to take on the cost of maintaining the pavement on your street personally so no public money (ahem "our money") is used.

I am just amused that my neighbors voted to tax themselves an additional $50/car/year.


8 people like this
Posted by RolledCurbIssues
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 28, 2019 at 5:54 pm

How about we get some parking enforcement in South Palo Alto - the Land of the Rolled Curbs. Lets get parking enforcement to get people OFF THE SIDEWALKS and OUT OF THE BICYCLE LANES. There are parking issues all over the city, and not just in favored north palo alto.


Like this comment
Posted by midtowngrrl
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 28, 2019 at 7:43 pm

freaking nimbys don't want the riff raff parking in their neighborhoods...it's ok if they work in town but gawd forbid they actually park here! it is indeed shallow alto.


4 people like this
Posted by Actual Residential Parking
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 28, 2019 at 11:57 pm

So this RPP will actually be resident only?! That's great but what about the other neighborhoods that have had their RPP include business parking? Let's get consistent and make residential parking for residents including Evergreen Palo, Professorville, and elsewhere.


6 people like this
Posted by Recovering caltrainer
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 29, 2019 at 7:42 pm

I used to park in this area as it was the only way I could drop off my kids and make it to the city via train. If the city votes to block parking there they are voting to:
1) increase traffic on the Oregon expressway underpass which is already extremely backed up in the morning.
2) increase Cal train parking, because that is where most people are going.

I am a little sick of the city's lack of support for public transportation. I try to bike everywhere now, but some people still need to drive part way, and I don't think there is going to be a better solution for crossing the tracks than walking under the tunnel any time soon.


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 30, 2019 at 8:45 am

If you're using Caltrain, please use the parking lot provided at the Caltrain station. Why do people think that they are entitled to park in a residential neighborhood for free instead of parking for a fee provided by Caltrain? That's part of commuting expense... parking. Just leave earlier if the traffic backs up onto Oregon Expressway. You can always ride your bike and avoid the entire mess.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 30, 2019 at 8:55 am

I think a couple of commenters have mentioned that getting to the Caltrain lot by car is horrendous and parking to use the pedestrian tunnel makes a lot more sense.

If we have a serious aim to reduce traffic and increase public transport usage, then providing parking for Caltrain as well as for those who work in the Cal Ave area East of the tracks makes sense.

We are continually talking about restrictions on our grade crossings. If Churchill is closed, if we have more trains with grade crossings being closed longer, then it is going to make the Oregon/Embarcadero busier. Getting cars to park East of the tracks makes a great deal of sense. There are lots both sides of the tracks at University, and the same should be done for Cal Ave.

It is now time to put serious thought on how these Caltrain riders can access the station without using Oregon tunnel.


Like this comment
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 30, 2019 at 1:42 pm

"If we have a serious aim to reduce traffic and increase public transport usage,"

If we really wanted that, we would have more transit-oriented development around these stations. The fact that you have to drive your car to Caltrain already shows that our density doesn't support public transport usage.

"then providing parking for Caltrain as well as for those who work in the Cal Ave area East of the tracks makes sense."

From where are these commuters going to Cal Ave station? That would be an interesting study. In any case Palo Alto Station has a much better schedule and if the driving distance is close enough, drivers would be better off going there anyway.

As for providing parking east (technically "northeast") of the tracks, the only place potentially available is to pave over a public park. I'm sure that would go over well.

But the bottom line is that if you have to drive to a Caltrain station, then maybe we aren't doing it right.


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

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