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A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

How Bad Policy Happens

Failure to lay proper groundwork for deliberations is a common cause of bad decisions. Sometimes this failure is simply ineptness, and sometimes it is a deliberate...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Jul. 25, 2014
Last comment by Douglas Moran, 10 hours ago | 19 comments | 1073 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Public Transit Follies

Two false assumptions about public transit underlie "Smart Growth" as it is practiced here. The first is that trips other than commutes can be (largely)...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Jul. 1, 2014
Last comment by Greenacres, on Jul 20, 2014 at 11:27 am | 26 comments | 1574 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Shills and Charlatans of "Smart Growth"

"For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong." (foot#1) Any decent manager approaching a new project asks about the lessons-learned...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Jun. 16, 2014
Last comment by Douglas Moran, on Jul 3, 2014 at 4:12 pm | 36 comments | 2451 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Should Palo Alto really aspire to be more like a Chinese factory city?

The concept of "community" is much diminished in "Smart Growth". The Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) process in the 1990s was conducted...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Jun. 22, 2014
Last comment by cw, on Jul 1, 2014 at 2:13 am | 13 comments | 2261 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

The Law of Supply and XXXXXX

Palo Alto's development policy is littered with bad economic analysis. The most patently absurd one is that the way to reduce the infamous Jobs-Housing Imbalance...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Jun. 10, 2014
Last comment by resident a, on Jun 24, 2014 at 5:35 pm | 13 comments | 2764 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Stupid Growth: So-called "Smart Growth" is a cancer on the community

Rule of thumb: Anything that needs to be labeled "smart" isn't. Classic Brainteaser: "Why aren't there ants that are the size of elephants?" The...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Jun. 7, 2014
Last comment by CrescentParkAnon., on Jun 14, 2014 at 11:07 am | 27 comments | 2797 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Visioning or Potemkin Villages?

The city government of Palo Alto has announced that it will be sponsoring a series of meetings about the future of Palo Alto and wants ordinary residents to participate...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on May. 8, 2014
Last comment by david schrom, on Jun 2, 2014 at 2:55 pm | 10 comments | 2083 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

El Camino Sidewalk Width and the "Grand Boulevard" Delusion

The City is once again talking about wanting to make El Camino more "pedestrian-friendly" (foot#1) and once again refusing to consider what the actual problems...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Mar. 29, 2014
Last comment by need for change, on Apr 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm | 11 comments | 3908 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

The Palo Alto Bicycle Lobby: Impeding more and safer bicycling?

I did a lot of around-town bicycling from the late 1980s through the early 2000s (foot#4) and became involved in the City's bike planning. I found myself often in...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Mar. 16, 2014
Last comment by pat, on Mar 31, 2014 at 11:47 pm | 52 comments | 13769 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Die, Pedestrians, Die: The City's implicit response to major long-term safety problems

City Staff claims that pedestrian needs are an important part of bicycle projects (see

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Feb. 18, 2014
Last comment by Right on, Doug, on Mar 4, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
19 comments | 1888 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Candidate Slates for City Council: Time to reconsider?

Slates of candidates for City Council could address two major problems with Council elections: It could allow a broader range of candidates to compete, and it would...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Jan. 18, 2014
Last comment by Current council, on Jan 24, 2014 at 11:39 am | 2 comments | 1060 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Supporting a candidate for Council: Not too early to start

There has been much talk about having Council members from outside the political establishment, and the policies and attitudes that that group represents. Although...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Jan. 6, 2014
Last comment by Douglas Moran, on Jan 17, 2014 at 10:35 pm | 7 comments | 1030 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

A Self-inflicted Hardship: The City caves in yet again (Alma Village sign)

The City Council's approval of an over-sized sign for the grocery store at Alma Village--formerly Alma Plaza--is but the latest sordid chapter in the Council's mismanagement...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Dec. 18, 2013
Last comment by Marroll, on Jan 8, 2014 at 7:52 pm | 14 comments | 1874 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Listen for Yourself: An index into "A Conversation on the Future of the City"

At the December 2nd City Council meeting, there was over 3.5 hours on zoning, planning, traffic, parking,... (f1) The general themes and specific items have presented...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Dec. 13, 2013
Last comment by Douglas Moran, on Dec 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm | 5 comments | 12025 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Yet another "Questionable" Staff Report/Survey

At Monday's Council meeting (12/9), the City Manager will present an Informational Report on a...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Dec. 7, 2013
Last comment by Margaret Fruth, on Dec 11, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
3 comments | 8657 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Why the City doesn't hear residents' perspectives? It doesn't want to (part 3 of 3)

This recognize some promising, albeit understated, reactions of several of the Commissioners to a bad Staff report. The previous parts of this series addressed persistent...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Dec. 6, 2013
There are no comments yet. 1393 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Why the City doesn't hear residents' perspectives? It doesn't want to (part 1 of 3)

"Watch what we do, not what we say" was famously said by John Mitchell, as then-President Nixon's Attorney General and political strategist. I was watching...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Dec. 3, 2013
Last comment by Joan Larrabee, on Dec 5, 2013 at 8:13 am | 6 comments | 7773 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Why the City doesn't hear residents' perspectives? It doesn't want to (part 2 of 3)

Residents complain that they and their viewpoints were not treated fairly after far too many of the Council and Commission hearings that I have participated in over...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Dec. 4, 2013
Last comment by kludged, on Dec 4, 2013 at 1:56 pm | 1 comment | 1221 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Palo Alto's Culture War: Analytics vs. Aspirationals

Many assessments of why the debate on Measure D was so bitter and divisive incorrectly cast it as a series of individual, isolated mistakes. Instead much of it was...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Nov. 10, 2013
Last comment by stephen levy, on Nov 17, 2013 at 12:27 pm | 37 comments | 13538 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Can Palo Alto Afford the Vanity of its Ruling Elite? Part 1 of an infinite series: Intro and Fiber-to-the-Premises

"Ruling elite" in the title is meant to provoke thought about how far the priorities of the decision-makers diverge from those of the typical resident. One of the...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Oct. 31, 2013
Last comment by Douglas Moran, on Nov 6, 2013 at 5:56 pm | 37 comments | 12624 Views
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