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Palo Alto eyes another shake-up to parking policies in commercial areas

Original post made on Apr 8, 2021

Seeking to add flexibility to the city's rigid and confusing parking policies, Palo Alto is preparing to adopt new rules that will give visitors flexibility and steer workers away from residential streets and toward public garages.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 8, 2021, 3:41 PM

Comments (15)

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 8, 2021 at 4:24 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

How about making the employees shuttle into work from remote areas?? It's already tough enough to for shoppers/residents/visitors to park in any of our central business districts.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 8, 2021 at 6:23 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

As far as I understand, Mayfield (place) is exempted from a residential street parking permit — even the German, Klaus lift does not accommodate the elderly, disabled or families w children. The very demographic and reason the residential complex was approved . Good luck when the grid goes down for school, appointments , medical emergencies. I’d hate to be under the park puzzle with a 2ton car above when a 5 plus quake takes place (not if it’s when in Calif). Q: Does Japan, the other largest “ring of fire” location, have German made electronic auto storage lifts? A very unwise choice for residential life. Car storage is not parking!!!!


Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 8, 2021 at 8:10 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

The city should NOT follow Seattle in anything. The parking rules in that city are more confusing, backward and profit-motivated. The city should NOT charge city residents to park in city lots. Sadly, parking has become a cash cow for money-hungry politicians.


Posted by Carol Scott
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Apr 9, 2021 at 10:59 am

Carol Scott is a registered user.

Please note that this article reports on a PTC meeting that happened on March 31 — about 10 days ago. Unfortunately, Mr. Sheynar does not present any of the discussion points that residents raised to support the elimination of commercial parking in the residential, primarily R1 neighborhood of Evergreen Park. These include the current glut of public parking which presents the ideal opportunity to try out various practices designed to reduce not only parking, but also traffic and its attendant negative effects on greenhouse gas emissions and safety (think employees racing in to find parking in the morning or hurrying out to get home in the afternoon just as kids are going to or arrive from school). Evergreen Park contains a large park where children play, and yet all-day employee parking and traffic is allowed on the park’s border. When the City wishes to approve
under-parked office buildings or housing to reduce developer costs, we are told that this is such a ‘transit-rich’ area that no one will need cars. Yet, parking is always in such demand that we are then told that demand for all-day employee parking (in addition to two-hour customer parking) is so great that it must spill over into residential areas. The City just built a very large garage to alleviate parking in the Cal Ave area. We have been promised relief from it, and supported its funding for that reason. If the City does not get the cars out of Evergreen Park now — as it has in the similar neighborhoods of Old Palo Alto and College Terrace that also border Cal Ave and Evergreen Park — there will never be a better opportunity.


Posted by Carol Scott
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Apr 9, 2021 at 11:06 am

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[Post removed; consecutive comments by the same poster are not permitted.]


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2021 at 11:57 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Does this mean getting rid of the color codes and confusing signs in streets and garages?

No mention of the promised electronic signage, real time parking space apps, or paying for parking by phone!

$25 per day is expensive to me. For someone who wants to park for 4 hours there should be hourly parking. We also should have more 20 minute only parking.


Posted by jguislin
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 9, 2021 at 12:38 pm

jguislin is a registered user.

College Terrace had the first RPP in Palo Alto and allows no all-day non-resident parking. The Ordinance #5060 clearly states the rationale: "...Such long-term parking by nonresidents threatens the health, safety and welfare of residents of College Terrace."
In subsequent RPPs, the City has ignored this thinking and offered thousands of all day non-resident (commercial) permits. Why are College Terrace residents offered protections while other neighborhoods are not? No surprise, the answer is political pressures from business and their lobbyists.
Residents were promised reductions in the number of these commercial permits but the City has been slow to act. With the new California Ave Garage - which is currently mostly empty -
there is no sound reason to continue selling non-resident permits in Evergreen Park/Mayfield.
And next, let's ask our vaunted "innovative business culture" to find solutions to parking their employees somewhere other than our residential neighborhoods. We need to seize this moment of reduced workforce commuting to mandate the many benefits of reduced traffic in our neighborhoods.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Downtown North

on Apr 9, 2021 at 4:00 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Posted by ST
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 10, 2021 at 11:52 am

ST is a registered user.

Add more safe and easy-to-use bike parking in downtown and Cal Ave! And while you're add it, more protected bike lanes. And add more dense housing to these two trips (so people can live without cars). Easy and eco-friendly ways to reduce parking needs :)


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 10, 2021 at 12:44 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

@ST, re people "living without cars," how special of you to ask us to give up visiting friends not accessible by public transit and to give up our pets who haven't yet learned how to bike.


Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 10, 2021 at 2:20 pm

Annette is a registered user.

"No surprise, the answer is political pressures from business and their lobbyists."

WHAT?!? As I recall, the effort to add a RPPP in CT was undertaken by a small group of dedicated CT residents. A driver of the effort was Stanford. One reason their TDM program was successful was that people were driving to CT, parking, and then making their way on to campus by foot, shuttle, or bike. I live near Bowdoin and often saw people do this. That businesses and lobbyists were involved is news to me. Are you sure about that assertion?


Posted by Evan
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 11, 2021 at 9:50 am

Evan is a registered user.

Just charge market rate for parking. This isn't hard folks. And if we actually believe in climate change and want to reduce congestion, why is it $3,000/mo to rent a 1-bedroom but totally free to park my car for hours on end? Do we really care more about subsidizing space for cars than for people?

Also, it's dumb to to just ban people from parking in neighborhoods. If people want to park there, fine, but they should pay for it. The city (or better, the neighborhood) should keep the money. Having grown up on a Palo Alto block with a ton of vacant street street parking, I don't see much reason that blocks must be mostly empty of cars — when there are people who would pay to park there.

And want to give wealthy homeowners a pass? Fine, let people who live on the block not pay. But then let others pay to park there.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 11, 2021 at 10:29 am

Bystander is a registered user.

There is of course the idea of renting out driveways to workers. If you charge less than the City you win! It may keep one car off residential streets too and leave some space for those who live nearby and do not have enough space on their driveways! Here's one site, there are many others if you google them. Web Link


Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 11, 2021 at 11:42 am

Annette is a registered user.

@Bystander: excellent resource, thank you. Castilleja should consider using that site in lieu of building an enormous concrete garage. Win (school) win (neighborhood) win (student commuters) win (environment) win (those who rent a space in their driveway).


Posted by Pat Markevitch
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 13, 2021 at 3:39 pm

Pat Markevitch is a registered user.

I think the City should go old school on this. Get rid of the color coded areas and put in parking meters. Then you can pre-pay based on how many hours you intend to stay during the hours of 9-5. After work hours and weekends should be free.


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