Town Square

Post a New Topic

Should Palo Alto extend its street closure programs for outdoor dining and retail?

Original post made on Aug 4, 2020

The city of Palo Alto is hosting a community meeting today at 5:30 p.m. to gather feedback on the Summer Streets program to support local businesses during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, August 4, 2020, 9:25 AM

Comments (6)

11 people like this
Posted by Allen Akin
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 4, 2020 at 10:00 am

Allen Akin is a registered user.

A few key points from the Staff Report (Web Link):

* Businesses report the program is helping, but the number of patrons is still insufficient. On Cal Ave, revenue is 25-60% (median 32%) of pre-pandemic levels. On University Ave, it's 16-80% (median 35%); crossing streets are at 22-60% (median 22%).

* Parking has been a problem in one University Ave area; not much elsewhere.

* Traffic is back to pre-pandemic levels on Lytton, and higher than pre-pandemic levels on High and Hamilton.

I'm watching neighborhood traffic at Waverley and Lincoln. It's creeping up roughly 2% per week, currently about 60% of normal.

My take is that the program should be continued, but we need to be aware that a lot of restaurants are going to fail anyway without business from downtown employees. If/when those employees do return, traffic and parking are going to become significant issues. In the meantime, we should work to spread the benefits more equitably.

11 people like this
Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Aug 4, 2020 at 10:36 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

Yes continue and expand to 2 downtown side streets

Bryant between Hamilton and University and

Emerson between Hamilton and Lytton.

The revenue picture is accurate BUT expenses are down so hard to tell the bottom line.

I walk downtown 3 times a day and there are many close empty parking spaces. I do not see much car traffic either.

Cal Ave is great, too.

Perhaps there is a way to let retail use street space also.

Great program, keep it going.

Like this comment
Posted by Please sign petition to extend program through end of year.
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 4, 2020 at 11:46 am

Please sign petition to extend program through end of year. is a registered user.

Web Link

4 people like this
Posted by Please sign petition to extend program through end of year.
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 4, 2020 at 11:47 am

Please sign petition to extend program through end of year. is a registered user.

Web Link

4 people like this
Posted by Andy Protter
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 5, 2020 at 8:42 am

Andy Protter is a registered user.

Can we consider permanently closing California Ave? Replace the blacktop with stones or bricks and put in a center park. Imagine how inviting and relaxing it could be. With the large new parking structure less than a block away nearing completion, how important is it to be able to park so close to a store or restaurant.

Like this comment
Posted by Jim Fruchterman
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 6, 2020 at 9:04 am

Jim Fruchterman is a registered user.

My office is on Cal Ave, and if I go back there in 2021, I'd be happy if that part of California Ave was pedestrian going forward.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.

Get important election coverage sent straight to your inbox daily.

Former Flea St. Cafe chef starts meal delivery service
By Elena Kadvany | 1 comment | 6,897 views

10 ways to reduce your dog's "pawprint"
By Sherry Listgarten | 9 comments | 4,476 views

Why can't high schoolers write?
By Jessica Zang | 13 comments | 2,744 views

"Plant an Expectation, Reap a Disappointment"
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,893 views

'Ignoring what's wrong has never made anything right'
By Diana Diamond | 4 comments | 1,270 views


Benefiting local non-profits

The 36th annual Moonlight Run and Walk is Friday evening, October 2, wherever you are! Proceeds go to the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund, benefiting local non-profits that serve families and children in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Join us under the light of the full Harvest Moon on a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon.

Register Today!