News

Judge halts plan to cut lanes on Cal Ave

City has to reapprove its environmental analysis after judge sides with opponents of streetscaping plan

Palo Alto has to halt its plan to reduce lanes on California Avenue and reconsider its environmental analysis of the streetscaping plan for the business district, a Santa Clara Superior Court judge ruled earlier this month.

The ruling by Judge Patricia Lucas was a victory by a small group of opponents of the California Avenue Streetscape Plan -- a group that includes Terry Shuchat of the California Avenue camera store Keeble & Shuchat, resident Joy Ogawa and former Vice Mayor Jack Morton, whose accounting practice is located a block away from California Avenue.

In her Nov. 9 ruling, Lucas found flaws with the council's sequence of actions. The city conducted its environmental review for the project at the same time as it was applying for a grant that would pay for the street modifications. Thus, Lucas reasoned, the city settled on its lane-reduction plan, as described in the grant application, before the environmental analysis was complete.

Once the council approved a resolution submitting the city's grant application, Lucas wrote, there was no longer any "'genuine flexibility' in the planning process for the California Avenue improvement project." This means other options, including the "no action" alternative, were out of consideration. This, she said, violates the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

"The City's application committed it to a lane reduction: a design feature that foreclosed other options, including leaving the street as it is with four lanes (the "no project" option required to be considered under CEQA)," Lucas wrote.

City Attorney Molly Stump said the court ruling means the council will rescind its approvals of the grant-application resolution and the project's "negative declaration" (an environmental analysis) and consider them once again, in the sequence ordered by Lucas. The council will rescind its earlier approvals at its next meeting, on Nov. 21.

"The court just said there was a problem with timing," Stump said. "The council needed to reconsider the project after adoption of the environmental-review documents.

"We don't think anything needs to be redone in terms of staff work."

Lucas rejected other complaints from the plaintiffs, including their assertion that the city violated the Brown Act by not giving them a chance to comment on all the documents before council approval. Lucas found no evidence of any prejudice from the city against the plaintiffs. She also found the plaintiffs' argument that the project violates the city's Comprehensive Plan "moot."

William Ross, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said he disagrees with Stump that the judge's ruling is largely "technical" and said he is still examining the ruling for elements that could be appealed.

Shuchat said he is pleased with the judge's decision, which will require the city to conduct further review before implementing the plan. Shuchat said the city's proposal would only create more congestion.

"I would like the city to keep the street at a four-lane configuration -- two lanes in each direction," Shuchat said. "I feel traffic movement is very good on the street now. There's no reason to make it two lanes."

The council unanimously approved the environmental analysis for the California Avenue Streetscape Plan on Feb. 14 after hearing from dozens of residents and several merchants. The overwhelming majority spoke in favor of the plan, which the city planners say will make the commercial stretch more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly. The plan, which is largely funded by a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority grant, also includes various landscaping improvements and new street furniture. Council members had words of praise for the proposal, with Greg Scharff calling it a "fabulous project."

Shuchat said that while he opposes lane reduction, he supports other elements of the streetscape project and hopes the council will proceed with its plan to beautify the business district. He also said he hopes the city would seek more input from neighborhood stakeholders.

"What would be really nice is if the city had better contact with the merchants and property owners," Shuchat said.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 18, 2011 at 10:20 am

> "I would like the city keep the street at a four-lane configuration -- two lanes in each direction," Shuchat said. "I feel traffic movement is very food on the street now. There's no reason to make it two lanes."

I don't hear very well, but I'm guessing he really said: ""I feel traffic movement is very good on the street now. ..."


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Posted by ticked off
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2011 at 10:24 am

It fries me that a few people with enough cash in hand to hire lawyers can stop a perfectly good project. There was nothing inherently wrong with the conclusions of the EIR, just the timing. So, the EIR did not conclude that "no project" was superior to the proposal, only that we now have to go through the grant application process all over again.
Next time you hear complaints about the Palo Alto process, don't blame it on the city.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cal Avenue shopper
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 18, 2011 at 10:36 am

I have stopped shopping at Keeble & Shuchat since Terry has opposed the lane reduction. If you are unhappy with the delay, I suggest others do the same.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2011 at 10:40 am

Thank goodness! It seems like the City of PA just looks for things to waste money on.
There is absolutely NO reason to make any changes to California Ave!!
There was no reason to screw up Arastradero either...but, leave it to the City council and they will find something to waste money on.

HEY "ticked off"...

Let's find things that are useful and need extra dollars...Hmmm, l what about the Magical Bridge project at Mitchell Park...Now THAT is something that is worth spending time and money on!

LISTEN UP CITY COUNCEL! LISTEN TO YOUR CITIZENS for a change!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2011 at 10:42 am

And the same for Mollie Stones. This project, when completed as one lane each direction, will HELP their businesses by bringing additional motorists to California Ave. Why don't they realize this?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pedestrian
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2011 at 10:55 am

I only come to the Cal Ave area for the farmer's market, when the street is closed off for traffic. No wonder the shops and restaurants are having a hard time, with the street being made for through traffic for no reason.

I have been known to shop at Keeble & Shuchat and recommending it to friends in the past, but those days are definitely over.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Karen White
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 18, 2011 at 11:14 am

Do any of you go to Castro Street in Mountain View? The lane modifications and streetscape improvements they made several years back has made a huge improvement -- and I'd bet the business owners are very happy with all the foot traffic. Terry, I'd think it would help business rather than hurt it...


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Posted by Too-Many=Crazy-People-Talking
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2011 at 11:14 am

> This project, when completed as one lane each direction, will
> HELP their businesses by bringing additional motorists to
> California Ave

How in the world can any rational person make such a claim? Oh, yeah .. Palo Altan's are the "smartest people in the world!" They don't need any facts, any evidence, or any proof. No .. they just have to get some sort of vision, and all sorts of gobbledygook comes out of their mouths.

While it is possible that over the course of a 24-hour day the number of cars passed through a 2-lane corridor will be the same as a 4-lane corridor (remembering that the street's traffic volume is almost zero after 9PM), any claims that people will come from hundreds of miles around to drive one-two blocks on a one-lane street to shop at a 3rd-rate, underdeveloped retail area, is simply .. well .. insane!

There is absolutely no evidence that motorists prefer 2-lane streets over 4-lane streets. None, whatsoever!!!


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Posted by Awful decision
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2011 at 11:22 am

What's ironic is that any additional research, as required by the judge's decision, will further validate that a lane change will be the best thing for the neighborhood. The article states that Schuchat thinks that additional congestion will occur with a lane reduction. He doesn't realize that there's a significant pedestrian congestion issue.

Sadly, the opponents don't realize how much the proponents want the lane change as well improvements in the neighborhood. Additionally, lane change projects like this in most other places have been big improvements. Los Altos, for example, is beautiful.

So basically, Ross, Schuchat, Ogawa and others apparently want California Avenue to be ugly and outdated. That's unfortunate. I suspect their inclinations here will affect their businesses.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MT
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 18, 2011 at 11:23 am

The only reason this project is event discussed is the county grant. City just looking for ways to keep the employees and contractors on payroll. Most of the merchants on the street are opposing the project, at least the ones I talked to. From my point of view, it's another money pit.


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Posted by Karen White
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 18, 2011 at 11:28 am

Too Many Crazy People... -
I agree that an underdeveloped retail area will not draw shoppers. That's why I think that the Castro Street, Mountain View, model with one lane each way is a good one. There are lots of outdoor seating areas, places where restaurants can have tables outdoors. Bottom line is that folks LIKE to linger on Castro Street. The longer they stay the more likely they are to patronize one of the businesses nearby.
If memory serves (Jay Thorwaldson will know), California Avenue years back continued across the train tracks; so at that time it truly was a "through" street. Perhaps that's why it was designed as a four-lane street in the first place. Maybe someone can share the history of this.
Granted, the construction impacts would dent business, but the improvements would be a long-term benefit. Just my opinion.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Frank
a resident of Ventura
on Nov 18, 2011 at 11:29 am

To Too-Many=Crazy-People-Talking -

when you say "no evidence that motorists prefer 2-lane streets over 4-lane streets" You miss the entire point. Motorists do not shop - it's only after they stop and get out of their cars that they can actually go into a store or restaurant and spend some money.

The questions should be does the 2 lane design discourage motorists from coming in the first place (no evidence of that - just look at University Ave or Castro St) and does the 2 lane design encourage _shoppers_ once they are there; would someone who came to buy a camera see an inviting pedestrian area and walk half a block to patronize another vendor - and I think there is some evidence of that.

As I recall there was some trepidation over the Farmers Market before it started - the thinking was regular customers would not patronize Cal Ave on Farmers market days. This has been proven wrong as the businesses I've spoken to all say business is way up on Sundays.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pedestrian
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2011 at 11:36 am

Can someone explain to me why a merchant would prefer unhindered through traffic on a dead end street over improved parking and increased foot traffic?

But maybe it's true that we in Palo Alto are smarter than people like those who invented "stroget". Look it up.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ronna Devincenzi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2011 at 11:54 am

The lane reduction from 4 to 2 did *not* originate with the city. It was proposed *to* the city by the CAADA Board, in a unanimous decision, after the Streetscape Committee, chaired by Terry Shuchat with Elizabeth "Feeta" Bishop as a member, designed the Concept Plan & brought it to the rest of the CAADA Board for our support in 2007.

The Streetscape Committee did due diligence, coming up with a good plan to address the safety of pedestrians in crosswalks, a problem that had been a district concern for more than 10 years prior to the Concept Plan vote.

I voted for their plan, which included the lane reduction. The whole project would have been completed by Thanksgiving, 2009, had the Streetscape Project not been halted because the city failed to notify the public, and those businesses closeby, as they said they would do six weeks before work commenced in Sept. 2009.

Brief background:
I had kept 80 mostly ground floor retail businesses for whom I had email addresses, in the loop about the entire Streetscape Project since Day One: Fall, 2004. When on Sept. 9th, 2009, the city asked me to "notify everyone" about the work commencement, I did so, not knowing the entire city was only hearing from me, about work that was to happen 5 days later. But 80, mostly ground floor retail merchants were in the loop, regularly.

I doubt there are as many merchants opposed to the 2 lane configuration as has been suggested. And if they were given FACTS, some of those now opposed to it may feel differently. My gut feeling is that this is not as much about the lane configuration for most as much as it is they think the street will be torn up for a year.

But for those merchants strongly opposed to it now, in the year 2011, they should have come to the many meetings I called from 2004-2007, with important desicions made from 2007-2009, encouraging them to participate in the Concept Plan, as it was being designed.

I even arranged for meetings to be held Thursdays, instead of Wednesdays, to accommodate more merchants that told me Wednesday wasn't good. But not one more merchant showed up. They had no interest.

It was always the same group of people. So the representatives that *did* show up made the decisions: like the clear cut of 3 blocks of trees. Note: I was the *only* director that spoke for phasing, *prior* to the vote. I lost.

All other directors voted with the city's suggestion to clear-cut, and that was after a last minute review of each tree was done (and photos of each tree was taken, a tidbit of information that was not made public, to my knowledge).

Terry Shuchat has been a CAADA board member for over 25 years. His Streetscape Committee worked closely with Public Works (Bob Morris) while creating the plan, including the lane reduction from 4 to 2. Yet, the city is being "blamed" for this. It was the CAADA Board that created the plan in the first place. NOT THE CITY.

Very odd is had Streetscape Phase 1-including lane reductions, been completed in Nov. 2009, as planned, the entire project budget was $335K. That's the *whole* project: new trees, street resurface,
new crosswalks and the installation of a NEW crosswalk on Cal Ave at Park Blvd.; and after Jan. 2010: new benches, bike racks, trash cans would be installed, and newsracks would be addressed.

I find it odd that $300K was planning to be spent on a study, when by Thanksgiving 2009, the whole project budget was $335K.

Further, comparing California Ave. a 3-block business district with plenty of areas for drivers to turn off (cross-streets, alleys) to University Ave, a street 4 times as long with fewer ways to turn from, is not practical. Frankly, it's ridiculous.

The ideal configuration for Cal Ave is what the Streetscape Committee brought to the CAADA Board for approval in 2007 & that sat around, waiting to be done, until Sept. 2009, when the Utility work was done.

If I had to vote again today, even given all the hype about this, I'd still vote for the lane reduction from 4 to 2. PROTECT PEDESTRIANS in the best way possible, and from every expert I've spoken with, one lane in each direction is the solution.

It would have been really good if Jack Morton had come to a CAADA meeting in the 20 years I served as President, or if he even contacted me once, when he was still on the council. Then he would have facts about the background of this.

And if the council liason to CAADA showed up to Board meetings, council would have been in the loop too. Council members have to *request* being a liason, so one could assume there was interest in the district. But the last council liason to attend CAADA Board meetings was Yoriko Kishimoto, prior to her being elected mayor.

I'd not hold this turn of events against the "merchants" as a whole, as most of them are just trying to make ends meet, in their own little shops. But speaking up would help - as a customer, as a pedestrian. Just my view.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Responses to previous posts
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2011 at 11:57 am

Too-Many=Crazy-People-Talking, your post is not clear. The poster that you quote states that this project will help bring business to California Avenue. This is a fact. There is plenty of evidence which states that both a new streetscape and a lane reduction will be beneficial to the businesses on the street. Oddly enough, the small number of businesses which voice their opposition refuse do any research on where similar projects have been beneficial.

Further, the project is about far more than cars. However, Schuchat and others don't want change and are only concerned about preventing positive change.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jo Ann
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 18, 2011 at 11:57 am

Sanity in Palo Alto!

Why would the merchants prefer to leave things as they are?

Because people DRIVE to their stores and use their CARS to carry the merchandise home.

Because their customers come from more than 2 miles away, especially to specialty stores like Keeble and Shugat's.

Because people don't tote their groceries home on bikes in the rain, making 5 trips to collect their grocery bags.

Because merchants prefer to make money than lose business.

Because there are fewer pedestrians walking to Cal Ave than drivers driving there, hence less business.

Because they don't want a long drawn-out construction project that will cause them to lose even more business in this lousy economy.

Because the idiotic back-in diagonal parking plan made them consider leaving Palo Alto.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sane response to insane post
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Here's a point, counter-point to Jo Ann's unsubstantiated post.

"Why would the merchants prefer to leave things as they are?"
Only a few merchants want to leave the street in its current state of disrepair. Ironically, their businesses reflect this attitude.

"Because people DRIVE to their stores and use their CARS to carry the merchandise home."
Feel free to quantify the number of people here. Some people certainly do this. The lane change will not prevent anyone from carrying merchandise.

"Because their customers come from more than 2 miles away, especially to specialty stores like Keeble and Shugat's."
People likely come from various places to visit merchants on the street. Again, a lane reduction will not prevent visitors from visiting.

"Because people don't tote their groceries home on bikes in the rain, making 5 trips to collect their grocery bags."
Again, how many people are we talking about here? Jo Ann does not say. Further, the 2 grocery stores on the street are adjacent to parking structures or lots. Neither will be affected by a lane change. I've never seen a smart bicyclist try to carry 5 full grocery bags in the rain or otherwise. And if they did they'd have a bicycle association approved bike area on the road to further ensure their safety.

"Because merchants prefer to make money than lose business."
Most merchants are in business to make money. Lane reductions in nearly all other locales have shown to bring more customers and thus increase business. Nearly blighted neighborhoods like the current California Avenue definitely do not have a track record of business growth.

"Because there are fewer pedestrians walking to Cal Ave than drivers driving there, hence less business."
This is a fairly ridiculous statement which is patently false. The number of pedestrians and cyclists on the street outnumber the amount of motorists. The city performed multiple traffic studies which conclusively showed a minimal volume of automobile traffic in comparison to other neighborhoods which have undergone lane reductions.

"Because they don't want a long drawn-out construction project that will cause them to lose even more business in this lousy economy."
We don't know that the project will be "drawn-out". However, even if it were "drawn-out", most proponents will accept this over the current status. The City and the proponents do not want a negative impact on businesses. However, the neighborhood and the lane change need to move forward.

"Because the idiotic back-in diagonal parking plan made them consider leaving Palo Alto."
The back in parking idea was shelved long ago.

Hopefully this clears up many confusions posted here.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jo Ann
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm

The woman from the cobblers shop strongly opposes the lane reduction for people turning onto Cal Ave from northbound El Camino because she's SEEN the traffic backups.

Reducing the lanes would further backup traffic when people are trying to park since cars can't levitate around them yet.

Yes, the proposed back-in diagonal parking was FINALLY shelved after spending a ridiculous amount of time on it because the Traffic Dept. never did their homework and/or bothered to check with the ONE town (Fremont) where they tried it in a a small lightly traveled area and realized what a disaster it is. It should NEVER have even been proposed.

Re "long-drawn out" construction, previous articles discussed this and the bright lights thought if they do it in small pieces over a longer period of time it would be less disruptive. Ask the poor merchants in Los Altos about how well that worked.

Tell me where lane reductions brought in new business with retail where people tote home merchandise, not with dominated by restaurants like Castro is where there's nothing to lug.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Personally, I don't drive Cal Ave, I go in through the back roads and use the parking lots. I don't expect to be able to park outside the business I'm visiting - usually a restaurant. At lunch time it is impossible to find somewhere to park so I have been known to park on a side street by Alma and use the tunnel.

Get out of thinking that unless someone can park outside the business they won't shop. Unless we are talking groceries or large single items (paintings, rugs) then parking offstreet is fine. Leave the parking spots on Cal Ave for the disabled!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ugh! Just say yes.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Terry Shucat, you just lost my business FOREVER! By joining forces with Joy Ogawa (perennial naysayer--has there EVER been a project she liked?) you have taken a completely community unfriendly position. I am a regular Cal. Ave. shopper, and I support the plan. Say goodbye to my shopping dollars.

Sometimes change is good. This project is a good idea. Please get out of the way.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 18, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

RE Jo Ann: "Tell me where lane reductions brought in new business with retail where people tote home merchandise, not with dominated by restaurants like Castro is where there's nothing to lug."

Cal Ave _is_ dominated by restaurants. During business downturns, it gets hit hard because of loss of pedestrian traffic from nearby businesses, especially Stanford Research (and Lawyer) Park. I used to work at the corner of El Camino and Cal Ave and saw the daily volume of pedestrians at lunch time.

Many of the other businesses are those where there is little to "lug". For example a Yoga studio where people can also buy books and accessories.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ralphc
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2011 at 1:07 pm

The City has done enough damage with unhelpful street "improvements". California Avenue has already had it's share: tree removal, ridiculous debate over a fountain, etc. The merchants of California Avenue have every right to influence City plans object for good reasons, and prevent implementation if they can. The planning department has too much free time or there wouldn't be unnecessary, unpopular, and wasteful ($$) projects. Too bad you can't get a grant to simply better-maintain what we have.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jo Ann
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 18, 2011 at 1:07 pm

If you're going to boycott Keeble & Shugat, you'd better add Mollie Stone's and the cobbler to your list.

Mollie Stone's threatened to close its store and turn it into condos if this went through.

The merchants might have a clue about what's good for their businesses. Do you like all the empty stores in downtown Palo Alto??

Change for change's sake isn't smart.

And some of the "studies" are laughable, like the fact that the hospital expansion and construction won't add cars and contribute to traffic jams. Actually, the out-of-town consultants who advise Palo Alto on traffic studies are laughing -- all the way to the bank.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by myhometoo
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm

California Avenue needs rejuvenation, if you don't agree with that then you need to open your eyes. Leave it the way it is it will die.
There is no need for four traffic lanes,the inside lane is only used by people speeding past everything, running the crosswalks, putting pedestrians at risk. Why can't we just make it a beautiful street again?
It deserves it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Myhometoo
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 18, 2011 at 1:33 pm

If Molly Stones moves believe me it won't be because that little piece of road by their store becomes two lanes. Try standing where the fountain was and just count the traffic.
Jo Ann you need to get real and stop believing the crap you read in the newspapers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Reality Check
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Merchants and shopkeepers often oppose streetscape plans that are in their best long-term interests. Just because you buy and run a shop, doesn't make you knowledgeable about urban planning and complete streets and so on. The same fear-of-change/NIMBY attitudes that you see among homeowners exists in merchants/shopkeepers too. High-volume/free-flowing through traffic does absolutely nothing for healthy retail districts, yet you will often see change-fearing lay merchants misguidedly claim they will suffer all manner of harm when planners propose what are major improvements to the very retail environment the merchants mistakenly believe will ruin their businesses, etc. Very common phenomenon.


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Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

On the "pedestrian shopper" issue, both sides seem to be detached from reality. I was involved in this issue early on, but gave up on it out of frustration with the various sides and with City staff. Read Ronna Devincenzi above to get a sense of why.

The vast majority of the parking on Cal Ave is on the parallel streets and many of the people using that parking don't get there via Cal Ave.
For the many commenters unfamiliar with this area, here is a satellite view : Web Link

The backup of cars turning from north-bound El Camino onto Cal Ave has nothing to do with the number of lanes -- it is a result of a pedestrian crosswalk and parking that is too close to the intersection.

When I was participating in these considerations, no one was ever able to present an even mildly credible account of the lane reduction causing any non-trivial congestion. The big Cal Ave problem is inadequate parking.

The anti-auto ideologues distort the pedestrian issue as being one of people walking from home. With so little of the parking on Cal Ave itself (now and in the various futures), almost everyone going to the business is going to be walking by many other businesses. Even more so for people walking in from the SRP for lunch. One of the original goals of the lane reduction was to convert the badly underutilized lanes into something more supportive of the business, for example space for outdoor tables for the restaurants to enlarge and enhance their lunch-time business.

As in many issues in Palo Alto, the City has worked hard to drag out the consideration and most of the reasonable voices have given up in frustration and exhaustion and what is left are the ideologues that want to "make a statement" rather than have a pragmatic solution.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by mIdtown resident
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm

I am also upset at K and S. I love the main street in Santa Barbara and there are lots and lots of shoppers on that street all the time.


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Posted by James
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I want to rant about Arastradero Ave lane reduction. Now that is a true boondogle, I'm there 5days per week, and the bottleneck traffic jam is so horrendous......whoever okayed/designed this had zero foresight. There are two schools on/off that road, so the volumne of traffic is immense, twice per day....and it jams up well into ElCamino ave....now I don't believe Cal ave has this problem. And if the one lane each way were like Castro St., then maybe everyone would benefit......,but Arastradero needs to be refixed, two lane each way, all the way......


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Posted by Ronna Devincenzi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm

In response to MyHomeTownToo-

First, you are correct about not believing what one reads in newspapers. No more than 50% of facts are accurately reported, and at that, it comes out in dribbles. As for the Streetscape Project, I'm still waiting to see who leaked the erroneous "Executive Summary" to the press.

Secondly, I love the folks at Mollie Stones & it's a terrific store. But they are experts with groceries, and not with street design or of promoting a business district.

Mollie Stone's also threatened to close when we (the CAADA board) put the Farmer's Market issue on the table. Another director and myself were responsible for bringing it to the district, over Mollie's objections.

Country Sun got behind the market, because they wanted folks to eat healthy and have a variety of produce, even though *some* of the vendors at the farmer's market competed with them.

But Country Sun found out their business boomed on Sunday mornings, an otherwise sleepy time of day for the whole district. Market goers bought things from other stores that were not sold at the market.

Mollie Stone's stayed in business, as did other merchants. Keeble and Shuchat, that was closed on Sundays in previous years, changed their hours to be open that day. Droves of folks come to the market.

RalphC - the city did suggest the clear-cut of the trees, when the project could have been phased out over time. But it was the decison of the CAADA Board to vote for their recommendation. The Streetscape Committee vision was to have a uniform canopy, with trees having fall colors, of one variety (Red Maple).

The city failed to NOTIFY the people that were within (500 feet, or so) of the project, as they said they would do, 6 weeks before, and the city failed to own up to the fact that it was their recommendation to clear-cut. But the Holly Oaks were to come down, one way or the other, & one by one, they were being taken out before.

I second what Doug Moran wrote in his last post:
"As in many issues in Palo Alto, the City has worked hard to drag out the consideration and most of the reasonable voices have given up in frustration and exhaustion and what is left are the ideologues that want to 'make a statement' rather than have a pragmatic solution."

Yes indeed. This is why there has not been one drop of water in the fountain for 3 years, when it was to have been handled long ago. A sign about the upcoming fountain plans keeps going up from the city manager's office/art commission, and then taken down, and being put up, and taken down. Last I saw, it was down. It's rather a joke now.

There hasn't been one official CAADA Board meeting in two years. I don't know how anyone can use the term, "Merchants" want this or that. Not even I spoke for "merchants". I only spoke for the CAADA Board, and after a decision was vetted and votes cast.

Yet, Civic Engagement was a city priority. Sigh. Doug Moran is correct.


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Posted by Another outrage
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 18, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Another absurd lawsuit! [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Mr. Morton has NEVER shown a close interest in California Avenue affairs; I know that for a fact from many local merchants that I am close to. Is Mr. Morton acting in a service role, as an accountant to Keeble & Shuchat, and the FEW other merchants that oppose this street UPGRADE? I wonder.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Money, money, money
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I agree with those who say our City Council is just looking for things to spend money on - just wait until the Blue Ribbon Infrastructure Committee comes back with all their recommendations for spending money!!


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Posted by Floyd
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
You've probably never been in the best photography store in N. California on California Avenue anyway.
I live off Arastradero Road. This kind of "improvement" should never happen again in Palo Alto.
First they came for the trees...............


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Posted by Hank
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2011 at 8:05 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by bill g
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 18, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Ms. Devincenzi and Mr. Moran seem to be the only ones with factual information. Read their (rather long) posts before making complaints based on opinion.

Why Money, etc. wants to bring up the Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Commission (IBRC) in this thread is puzzling. Its task is to define the projects that have been delayed for years and recommend how the Council can reduce this total.

The >$500M of City projects' backlog must be addressed. Otherwise they will become so bad that the money needed to catch up will escalate further. No one postpones repair of his/her home, but somehow many think the City should ignore the same problems a homeowner or landlord faces.


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Posted by frederickb
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2011 at 11:48 pm

terry, everyone who shops at your store will continue to shop there because you provide great customer service and employees who know what they are doing. they know their stuff when it comes to anything that's camera and photography. thanks for having guts to stand up against the city. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

how about for once come together to find a solution that meets the needs of the community as a whole not specialized groups like bicyclists, developers, property owners, etc... palo alto is becoming more of "un"pleasant place to live. car dwellers and bicyclists run city hall not the community at large.


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Posted by Fan of Calif Ave
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 19, 2011 at 1:09 am

I absolutely agree with JoAnna and her clear and sensible points.

I frequent the shops on Calif Ave quite often and agree with the merchants that the street is fine as is and there is no need to mess with it, causing construction obstruction, waste of money, and risk repeat of the mess that was made of Arastradero.

I for one will make it even more of a point to frequent K&S and the cobbler. Why should we punish small businesses who are concerned with serving the community and staying afloat? They have a great interest here and have a right to ensure proper decisions are made. They should be able to speak up and be heard without retribution.


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Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 19, 2011 at 2:25 am

Ronna, Mollie Stones may know groceries and not street design but what makes you an expert at it. You were a big part of the reason why the trees were cut not Terry. You as a President of CAADA steer headed projects. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Another outrage
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 19, 2011 at 2:38 am

In fact, excellent urban transportation research shows that having a slight *shortage* of parking spaces *encourages* shopping!

Ultimately, the Shuchat/Morton/Ogawa power play will be defeated, and Palo Alto taxpayers will foot the bill for the delay. My company will no longer be doing business at Keeble and Shuchat (we're a creative outfit, 75 strong), and I am going to spread the word to my commercial creative peers. Mr. Shuchat bit off more them he could chew on this one. He found an ally in Ms. Ogawa, who is expert as causing delay and creating dissension. I am tired of having my community held hostage by obfuscation.


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Posted by Another outrage
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 19, 2011 at 2:42 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Another outrage
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 19, 2011 at 2:55 am

Too many says: "While it is possible that over the course of a 24-hour day the number of cars passed through a 2-lane corridor will be the same as a 4-lane corridor (remembering that the street's traffic volume is almost zero after 9PM), any claims that people will come from hundreds of miles around to drive one-two blocks on a one-lane street to shop at a 3rd-rate, underdeveloped retail area, is simply .. well .. insane!

There is absolutely no evidence that motorists prefer 2-lane streets over 4-lane streets. None, whatsoever!!!"

First, some years ago a lane reduction was proposed from Page Mill to Sand Hill. Serious studied we completed and it was CLEARLY shown that traffic speeds and throughput would INCREASE with reduced lanes, as long as lights were timed appropriately.

Second, I have attended at least 4 urban planning meetings where experts from all over the country have talked about how it is not necessary to have 4 lanes in a small commercial district. Several communities around here have instituted 2 lane roads (from 4 lanes) and they ALL like it!! (including merchants and pedestrians).

Shuchat, Ogawa, and Morton all have egg on their face. The judge, when presented with urban design research, and actual conversions to 2 lnes (HUNDREDS of them!) is going to rule in favor of the change. I hope you enjoy paying a higher tax bill to pay for this Ogawa-Shuchat-Morton folly.


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Posted by Too-Many-Crazy-People-Talking
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2011 at 8:11 am


> The poster that you quote states that this project will help
> bring business to California Avenue.
> This is a fact.

"Facts" are provable. Events in the future are not "provable", so they can not be "facts".

> The lane modifications and streetscape improvements (in
> Mountain View) they made several years back has made a
> huge improvement

Downtown Mountain View is fundamentally a "restaurant zone" and transportation hub. It is much longer in length, and services a far greater number of companies and residents, than the postage-stamp-sized California Business District. The following link lists over 200 restaurants/food-related businesses in the Castro Street area:

Web Link

How many restaurants are there in the California Avenue Business District? Ten, maybe? Supposing there is a lane reduction .. how many new restaurants will this cause to be built? Ten, twenty, fifty? It's hard to believe that the lane reduction itself will be anything but a turn-off to any bottom-line thinking business man. Maybe some Birkenstock-wearing, yogurt-selling, aging hippie might get off on this idea, but how many legitimate restaurant owner is going to sink $750K to $1M in a new, world-class, restaurant in this three-block dead-ended street?

Now is the time for these folks to step up to the line and announce their intentions if this street is downsized.

(Well .. the silence is deafening ..)

Most people support the "beautification" of this street. Given the cost, it would be better if the merchants footed the bill, or some significant portion of it. It would also be a good idea to start charging the promoters of the "Farmer's Market" up to $5K a weekend, to help pay for the beautification project. Over a ten-year period, ever $1K "street use" charge would generate $50K a year (on a 50-week use basis). At a minimum, that comes to $500K. It would not be hard to pay for the whole project by adjusting the "street use" fees to an appropriate level (~$2,500 for a 10-year paydown).

It would also be a good idea to charge restaurants an appropriate fee for the use of the sidewalks. Clearly some restaurants have taken advantage of these public spaces. A $2,500/year sidewalk use fee would generate about $25,000/year (per ten restaurants) and $250,000 over a ten-year period.

Given a well-designed fee schedule for the use of these public properties, then the costs of whatever upgrade finally is approved can be self-funding, not requiring any outside money (like VTA or MTC). The customers who shop on California Avenue should ultimately be expected to pay for the level of service they expect. It's time to stop pretending "it's all free in the library" .. and realize that everything costs money .. and a lot of money here in Palo Alto.


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Posted by Sherry
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 19, 2011 at 8:28 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 19, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

In the self-referential posting by "Too-Many-Crazy-People-Talking", s/he chooses to misinterpret "bring business to California Avenue" as bringing new merchants to the area rather than bringing additional sales to the existing businesses. The remainder of the posting is similarly "challenged".


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Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

For the people attacking Terry Shuchat for his role in the suit:

Ask yourself why someone who was a leader of the initial effort to reduce CalAve to 2 lanes (see Devincenzi msg) now opposes it. I don't know the answer, but speculate that he opposes a bad implementation of a good idea.

At the time I dropped out of active participation, the plan had been reduced from one that had many benefits to the merchants to one that had only negatives. The lane reduction was used to create a median and dedicated bike lanes, with none of the sidewalk improvements that would benefit the merchants. In considering the cost/benefit to the CalAve businesses, remember that the impact of construction for this project (mentioned by others above) is not inconsiderable.

The median was a killer because it seemed that it could create significant congestion. Without it, cars could simply use the opposite lane to pull around blockages in their lane, and with traffic on CalAve routinely being so light, this is easily accomplished, resulting in minimal delays. With the median, you are stuck until the blockage clears.

The proponents of the median have argued (correctly) that a median works on Castro Street, but I argue that Castro is not a comparable situation because the traffic on CalAve is so light that people could be tempted to think that blocking a lane is inconsequential. Unfortunately, this seems to be a situation where it is try-and-find-out.

Aside: I find the comparison to Castro and University Ave to be largely irrelevant because both are major connectors between highways. CalAve is more like the lanes in a shopping center connecting an entrance to the various blocks of parking.


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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm

There are several common threads here from both the "crazies" and the "sanes."

1. "There is plenty of evidence which states that both a new streetscape and a lane reduction will be beneficial to the businesses on the street."

Please provide links to all this evidence.

2. Narrowing CA Ave. will bring more business to existing merchants as well as bring more new businesses to the street. Evidence given is Castro Street.

Can anyone provide data to prove this? Wouldn't University Ave and Castro Street be even more enticing with 4 lanes instead of 2, i.e., NO TRAFFIC JAMS?

The ONLY reason the CA Ave plan calls for cutting lanes from 2 to 4 is to get the grant money. So, obviously the city has to prove that narrowing the street is a good thing.

The 2010 traffic analysis on CA Ave was done according to the city's planning regulations, which only allow for CURRENT data on traffic flow to be taken into account.

It claims -"…no major projects are expected in the area in the near future, so the volume of traffic should not change."

This is clearly not true. High density housing and office space for the California Avenue area is the stated goal of the Planning Department. They are actively working on changing the area's zoning to encourage high density housing and office space. Several projects have already been approved.

3. "Ross, Schuchat, Ogawa and others apparently want California Avenue to be ugly and outdated."

Now this IS crazy. Every merchant I've talked to says the street needs to be resurfaced AND it needs beautification. This is completely independent of the number of lanes.

4. Shuchat and Molly Stones should be boycotted.

Shuchat exercised his citizen's right to file a lawsuit – and he won! Why boycott a business owner who had the courage to challenge the city and prove it was wrong in violating CEQA?

5. "There's a significant pedestrian congestion issue."

When and where? I'm on CA Ave. 2 -3 times a week at various times of day and evening. I've never bumped into anyone, nor has anyone ever bumped into me. The only congestion issues I've faced is on University Ave. trying to maneuver around outdoor restaurant seating. (BTW, how much do restaurants pay for the privilege of seating customers on the sidewalks?)

6."Because there are fewer pedestrians walking to Cal Ave than drivers driving there, hence less business..." "The number of pedestrians and cyclists on the street outnumber the amount of motorists."

Where's the data showing how many people drive to CA Ave. and then walk vs. how many walk or bike there?

7. "… lane change projects like this in most other places have been big improvements. Los Altos, for example, is beautiful."

Beautiful? Maybe. Good for business? Ask the merchants in Los Altos, e.g., "People still call asking if we're open. … It has decimated the second half of our year. … If we were just retail (the store also offers nutritional consulting), we would probably close. … Steve Oberhauser, manager of European Cobblery shoe and repair store at the other end of the project, said his business is down approximately 30 percent since construction started midway through summer. Many other merchants impacted by the estimated $2 million First Street project tell similar stories." Web Link

8. Ronna Devincenzi bashing.

WHY? As bill g points out, "Ms. Devincenzi and Mr. Moran seem to be the only ones with factual information." They've got institutional history behind them. Both point out one of the big problems with Palo Alto residents: Everyone has an opinion, but no one wants to vote with his/her feet.

9. "The >$500M of City projects' backlog must be addressed."

Thanks for bringing this up, bill g. In all the talk about individual projects, the big picture is lost. How is the city going to fund this backlog? And how much time is staff and council spending on it vs. on CA Ave.


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Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

Correction to previous: "...but speculate that [Shuchat] opposes a bad implementation of a good idea." I should have speculated that it was his _perception_ of the merits of the project. I didn't intend to imply that that was also my perception -- I don't have a judgment either way.

Addendum to previous: Several commenters have minimized the number of restaurants on CalAve, for example the self-referential "Too-Many-Crazy-People-Talking" states "How many restaurants are there in the California Avenue Business District? Ten, maybe?"

I went to Google Maps and found labels for 24 restaurants on Cal Ave itself and the immediate cross streets (you need to zoom in fairly tightly to have all labels displayed), plus two grocery stores with outdoor seating for lunch, plus 5 restaurants that came immediately to mind but that weren't labeled but could be seen via Google Street View (Quizno's Subs, Mediterranean Wraps, Roundtable Pizza, Ramona's Pizza, Cafe Pro Bono). Would not be surprised if I missed at least 5 more. And there are more in the remainder of the Business District.

By my count there are 13 restaurants in the first block of Cal Ave (from El Camino). Hardly "Ten, maybe?" for the whole district. Makes me wonder whether some of the commenters have actually ever been to Cal Ave.


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 19, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Good news! Keep the 2 lanes each way. The lane reduction was nonsensical "make work."


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Posted by Too-Many-Crazy-People-Talking
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2011 at 8:16 am

> s/he chooses to misinterpret "bring business to California Avenue"
> as bringing new merchants to the area rather than bringing
> additional sales to the existing businesses.

Most people know that the California Avenue Business District almost qualifies as "blighted". There are numerous people complaining about too many "nail salons" filling in the holes of the older businesses that are either fleeing this tiny little business district, or simply going out of business because the of shifts in the demographics of Palo Alto.

Anyone who claims that this Business District does not need "new blood" is either seriously deluded, or has no understanding of how retail business works. (Keeping in mind that most small businesses go out of business with the first five years of their existence, so any business district needs to be constantly "recruiting" new owners, or existing businesses, to fill in when restaurants, or other points-of-retail fail.

Of course it is obvious that those promoting this project are claiming that the reducing the 4-lanes to 2-lanes will somehow increase business--but they have failed at every level to prove it. They could have researched the current sales tax base from those businesses that are on this three-block segment, and then produced a projection of how sales would increase--using sales tax as a provable indicator. But they have not. All they have done is trotted out a non-stop sequence of claims of "unnamed experts", and personal attacks against those involved in the suit.

Anyone who claims that new business should not be considered as a factor in this equation really is out of his/her depth.

> rest of the posting .. challenged.

Really .. is that the best you can do?


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Posted by Too-Many-Crazy-People-Talking
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2011 at 8:19 am

> I find the comparison to Castro and University Ave to be
> largely irrelevant because both are major connectors between highways

Agreed.


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Posted by Don't shop there
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2011 at 10:40 am

Is California Avenue blighted? Yes and No. The present street scape is blighted because the large trees were removed that screened off the ugly buildings. However, it is the many early 1950s buildings that make it look blighted not whether there are four or two lanes in the roadway.

Hopefully in another 10 years the new trees will have grown tall enough to hide the blighted buildings!!! Anyway I'm not a fan of California Avenue and I don't shop there.


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Posted by Eva
a resident of Ventura
on Nov 20, 2011 at 11:12 am

Wow, I can't believe this discussion is still going on. It's four blocks and I agree with several posters that most traffic will come in as it now does on side streets where the parking lots are. For now I guess we'll be stuck with an outdated looking semi-shopping district. It could be so much better.


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Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 20, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

Cal Ave Business District is NOT almost blighted ("Too-Many-Crazy-People-Talking" again trumpeting his ignorance of Cal Ave). Yes there are older buildings, but there are also some very new buildings and more new buildings proposed. Blight is when people are unwilling to invest in new and remodeled buildings.

Also the age of buildings is unrelated to blight -- I have been to many vital business district where the buildings are predominantly over 100 years old -- but to the buildings not being maintained as functional. While appearance can be an important factor in the vitality of some business districts, my _intuition_ is that convenience is the overriding factor for CalAve, although as a previous poster noted, having the trees grow back will be a positive.

Nor is there a problem with replacement: For example, when the owners of the (successful) Oaxacan Kitchen decided to close, the space was immediately taken over by the Anatolian Kitchen.

Reportedly, the most common reason for a business to decide against moving to the Cal Ave area is that there is at least a 6-month wait for parking permits for its employees. A persistent shortage of parking spaces is strong evidence against claims of decline and decay.


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Posted by Anna
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 20, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Just 2 lanes makes bad traffic. I avoid University Ave. and Castro street, for that reason. California Avenue has nice shops, including the wonderful Keeble & Shuchat. The City should just make California Avenue look nicer, but keep the traffic flowing. It would also be less expensive. Also, "pedestrian friendly," like "bicycle friendly," discriminates against those of use who can't walk distances or ride bikes. We are people too.


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Posted by Donald
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2011 at 6:10 am

Making an area bicycle friendly and/or pedestrian friendly is NOT discrimination -- in fact it is just the opposite. Non-motorized road users have been discriminated against for decades until most people just accept them as being of lesser value. The recent "complete streets" movement is an attempt to bring back a sensible and healthy balance, not to discriminate against those in cars.


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Posted by SteveU
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 21, 2011 at 10:57 am

SteveU is a registered user.

Something missed in the comparison of Castro St (MTV) and Cal Av.
Cal Av is not a through street. It stops at the train Station, Castro intersects with Central Expy.

CPA Forget "grant Money", do something ONLY if it make good business (budget)sense. There are los more worn infrastructure items to spend limited $ on.


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Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

One of the cognitive mistakes people seem to be making in opposing the reduction to two lanes is to presume that there must be a reason for there being four lanes.

California Avenue _was_ a major connector between Alma and El Camino, warranting 4 lanes. However, when Oregon Expressway was built (in the 1960s or 1970s?), that crossing of the tracks was eliminated and it became the deadend it is today, but the 4-lane configuration remained. (based upon what I have been told and read in the histories -- I was not here at that time)

How "Pat" has an important reminder above -- that Palo Alto is pushing to greatly increase the density of residences and offices in this area. The City has avoided the issue of traffic circulation for this increase by using unwarranted assumptions that produce very little additional traffic: That the new people will make overwhelming use of transit, that CalAve will have such a rich array of merchants that the residents will rarely need to go elsewhere, and that there will be very few children (this is a location where parents are likely to feel they need to drive their children to school).


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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm

The judge's ruling/opinion on CA Ave.is short and worth reading.
Web Link

Some excerpts:

- The money from this grant would constitute approximately 68% of the proposed project's budget: roughly $1.15 million out of an estimated $1.7 million total…The city stated its intention, if awarded the grant money, to "transform California Avenue into a bicycle and pedestrian corridor," to be "accomplished by DE-EMPHASIZING VEHICLE TRANSPORTATION MODES through a 4- to 2-vehicle lane reduction …" [Emphasis mine. Clearly cars are meant to be bottlenecked.]

- Traffic counts collected by the City do not show any significant impact with the lane reduction on California Avenue….

- These "traffic counts", presumably taken October 4, 2010, are not further identified in the record, but are apparently not the same taken later in November 2010…

- The statements by City Staff in reports prepared for the City Council and the Planning and Transportation Commission meetings that the program for "streetscape improvements" on California Avenue was consistent with goals of the City's Comprehensive Plan.

I can't help wondering how it can be legal for the city to apply for a grant claiming no "significant impact" with lane reduction while the city's master plan calls for lots of development along the CA Ave corridor.



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Posted by keenplanner
a resident of another community
on Nov 24, 2011 at 4:11 pm

No wonder they call it Shallow Alto.
There are many examples of business districts that have improved after pedestrian improvements and lane reductions. In fact, it's hard to find an instance when making the street-scape more pedestrian-friendly didn't improve business.
Cars don't shop. People shop. Businesses pay premium rents for areas with heavy FOOT traffic. Heavy CAR traffic makes districts less desirable, even for an auto parts store.
The poster child for this should be Valencia Street in San Francisco. Once a 4-lane traffic sewer, now a ped-bike friendly 2-lane neighborhood corridor. Traffic throughput hasn't suffered b/c there are now left turn pockets at some of the busy corners, so no more dangerous lane-jockeying. The change like night and day. Businesses are flourishing, there are tons of pedestrians and bicycles. What else? The signals are now timed for bicycle traffic.
You can build your transportation system to accommodate car traffic, or safe pedestrian and bicycle traffic. There really is no in-between, and the latter is much better for retail business than the former.
Most Bay Area planners think Palo Alto is a bad joke. It's as dead-on sprawling and suburban as any city, such as Fremont or Vacaville, but the NIMBY residents seem to think it's somehow sophisticated, while they pour their resources into fighting anything that resembles smart growth or transit-oriented development. Really, it's just another big mall surrounded by housing tracts.


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