News


Residents clash over Dish parking plan

Proposal to move parking from Stanford Avenue to Coyote Hill Road draws mixed and heated reaction

A plan to move dozens of parking spaces from the street next to the Stanford Dish to a parking lot more than half a mile away has created a rift between visitors to the scenic preserve and the residents who live next to it.

Opponents and supporters of the controversial proposal squared off at City Hall on Monday night, with each side painting the debate over driving and hiking as a matter of life and death.

For Palo Alto's regular Dish hikers, dozens of whom attended the City Council meeting, the plan proposed by Stanford University in partnership with the city would do nothing less than cut off access to the immensely popular nature preserve, which attracts a reported 600,000 visitors annually. Jacques Adler, a regular Dish runner, told the council that he has had four bypass surgeries and was told by his doctor that he probably wouldn't have been alive if not for the regular exercise he'd been getting. The council can help save citizens lives by keeping Dish access as is, Adler said.

But for residents who live on Stanford land near the Dish, it is the existing situation, not the proposed one, that requires fixing. Cars routinely clog up Stanford Avenue, numerous speakers told the council, and drivers regularly make illegal U-Turns and other hazardous maneuvers, a troubling trend given that Nixon Elementary School is just a few blocks away from the main gate. By removing 33 of the 60 Stanford Avenue spots and creating a new parking lot on Coyote Hill Road, a largely undeveloped area a little more than half a mile away from the Dish, the city will improve safety and prevent a future accident, proponents of the plan said.

Tim Assimes, who is on faculty at Stanford and whose children go to Nixon, called Stanford Avenue an "accident waiting to happen." He said that while he supports opportunities for leisure and exercise, he will not support these opportunities "at the expense of the safety of our children."

"I think the Stanford perimeter trail project is a good compromise," Assimes said. "It improves access to the gate without increasing traffic."

Many of the residents on campus, Assimes said, support the plan, which is part of a broader proposal by Stanford and Palo Alto to enhance trails around the Dish and make various pedestrian and bike improvements on El Camino Real. But if an accident occurs near the popular Stanford site, he said, faculty will rally and "will close the gates."

James Mark, a physician who has lived on the Stanford campus since 1965, stressed the issue "is not access or convenience."

"As far as I'm concerned, it's safety," Mark said.

Other Stanford residents wondered aloud why so many hikers vehemently oppose walking an extra 10 to 20 minutes to get to the Dish. Several Palo Altans, meanwhile, countered by wondering why Stanford has decided to place a parking lot next to what one speaker called a "path to nowhere," a location that (as another pointed out) would require them to cross the big and traffic-heavy Junipero Serra.

Critics of the plan also brought props -- green signs that read, "Palo Altans for Dish Access." At least one Stanford campus resident took issue with this message.

"Stanford is not eliminating Dish access for anyone and I think that's very misleading," Dee Dee Schurman told the council.

The debate over Dish parking was prompted by a successful joint application by the city and university in 2012 for grant funding to pay for a slew of trail and bike projects. The money, which was distributed by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and initially contributed to the county by Stanford as part of its permit requirement for campus development, will help pay for Palo Alto's proposed bike bridge over U.S. Highway 101 and for a new system of trails around the perimeter of the Dish, a project that campus residents have long coveted.

Because the subject was not on the council's agenda, members did not discuss it Monday. But after both sides had their say, Vice Mayor Liz Kniss told the speakers, "We have heard you," and pointed out that top city staff heard the comments as well. The debate is now likely to resurface at a future council meeting.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Enos Slaughter
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 4, 2014 at 5:42 am

DirecTV is better anyway.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hiker
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 4, 2014 at 7:21 am

Not sure why this fuss of the dish. It is not really a park like Foothill or Arastradero where you can hike on a trail that is not paved, listen to the birds, see the natural wildlife and commune with nature. They both have plenty of parking and restrooms and are not much further up the hill.

I recommend both to anyone who wants an alternative to the problems of parking at the Dish.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Matthew a Self
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2014 at 7:48 am

The new proposed trail is part of a larger effort to create a network of great walking and biking trails through the community.

Be sure to take look at the whole plan when thinking about this:

Web Link

This trail network will be a huge benefit for safety, access, and recreation. The best solution would be to proceed with the trail but find other options for additional parking besides the Coyote Hill idea.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by scam
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 4, 2014 at 8:09 am

This "perimeter trail" is just a scam by Stanford to get out of their 10+ year old promise to build a safe and direct trail from Old Page Mill Road to the Arastradero Preserve. Come on Stanford, we are not forgetting your commitment, so you had better not either.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2014 at 8:45 am

I have to chuckle about this issue. What is the main reason why people visit the 'Dish'? To 'walk' or exercise. The folks complaining the loudest want to visit the dish to 'walk', but don't make them park and 'walk' another 1/4 or 1/2 mile. They want to park right at the gate or as close as they can. Why would anyone want to park on Coyote Hill Rd and 'walk' to the dish and 'walk' some more? The existing path from Coyote Hill Rd along Page Mill Rd is physically seperated from the traffic by a fences, and there are huge cross walks on all four crossings. Stanford wants to establish reasonable and safe walking trails on J Serra and Stanford Ave to 'walk'.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Janet L
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 4, 2014 at 10:24 am

"Palo Altans for Dish Access"? No, it's Palo Altans for parking in somebody else's backyard. Why is it that when non-residents parking in front of people's houses in Professorville or Northside to shop or go to work it's seen as a huge problem, while relocating (not eliminating) parking near a recreation area is seen as a infringement of access.

Be grateful that Stanford is building a parking lot for people who drive to the dish to walk or run. You're there for exercise, for goodness sake.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 4, 2014 at 10:40 am

@Hiker - The dish is about exercise, not about the birds. It isn't worth the extra 20 minutes to drive to foothill park.

@Janet L - All residents deserve a parking permit program for their neighborhood. But the stretch of Stanford Ave where most park isn't in front of anyone's houses, and should stay available for parking.

@David - It isn't really chuckleworthy. The Dish is a great hike for exercise because it is up a hill. Adding a 1/2 mile flat walk to get to the start does very little to increase the exercise value, and wastes time. What would you think about a gym that had a parking lot 1/2 mile away, and tried to justify it by saying you come here for exercise, so don't complain.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by mytwocents
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 4, 2014 at 10:47 am

Why not actually pave and make official parking spaces along Stanford Avenue near the intersection with Foothill. Then put a barrier in the middle of the road to prohibit U-turns. There is also a gate further 'north' on Foothill. Provide some official parking there as well.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by regular dish walker
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 4, 2014 at 10:54 am

I totally sympathize with residents near the dish. it must be annoying to have to deal with the added cars every day of the week all hours of the day. i too am baffled why people who go to the dish are so obsessed with parking as close as possible to it. while cross junipero serra is daunting and probably could use extra safety measures & ADA features, isn't an extra 1/2 mile a benefit?? how about walking/running/riding your bike to the dish, parking problem solved.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by lulz
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 4, 2014 at 11:07 am

The irony in complaining about walking 1/2 a mile to an exercise location is just too rich.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 4, 2014 at 11:09 am

The barrier suggestion down the middle of Stanford Ave. may be a good idea to consider. Just recently the city installed a low-profile barrier on Lincoln at the Channing intersection. The barrier is about 6-8" tall - it provides just enough incentive for drivers who had regularly cut the corner to instead stay on their side of the street.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Feb 4, 2014 at 11:09 am

Just to clarify…i am not against the parking changes per se, however perhaps not everyone realizes that you cannot park on any of the Stanford residential streets unless you are a guest of a resident.

Also there is limited parking in College Terrace during weekdays, so there is really little parking for everyone.

That being said i am very appreciative of being able to use the Dish at all!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arthur Bienenstock
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 4, 2014 at 11:14 am

Why is it that Palo Alto residents fight strongly to gain easy access to the Dish trails on Stanford's land, yet also ensure that Stanford residents DO NOT have access to Foothill Park? That seems quite unfair.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Left of Boom
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2014 at 11:16 am

Left of Boom is a registered user.

Parking on Stanford Ave is an accident waiting to happen. Cars are barely parked off the bike paths and on the roadway. Walkers and bicyclists have to weave into traffic to avoid them. There are illegal U-turns and frantic drivers trying to rush to the last available spot.

If Stanford can produce a safer parking system which involves 10-20 minutes of walking, that's a major improvement. If the extra walk somehow prevents someone from hiking the Dish, there was already something wrong before the parking change.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 4, 2014 at 11:32 am

@ Mr Recycle- Consider an extra few minutes of flat walking time as a warm-up for the incline, then speed up on the slope. Every personal trainer I know starts clients with 5 minutes on a treadmill, flat, before enhancing the workout. If you can't walk an extra 10-15 minutes before climbing, consider that your exercise limit.

I've seen people do crazy U-turns to get a space on Stanford Ave & agree that it's hazardous. It's especially dangerous when those same folks won't wait for a signal change & jaywalk across JuniSerra.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 4, 2014 at 11:34 am

Arthur Bienenstock - bingo!! I heard this complaint as both a Stanford resident and a Palo Alto resident. It is odd!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2014 at 11:41 am

Janet and Mr. Bienenstock have it exactly right.

Palo Alto closes off all non-resident access to Foothill Park, and now even wants to do the same for the public streets in the town. It fights every single campus project, usually demanding that blackmail property gifts be paid to PA.

Stanford: Have the guards require University ID for free access to the Dish. Require all others to pay an entry fee to pay for maintenance of the trail and the proposed offsite parking area.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tom
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 4, 2014 at 11:53 am

I'm a bit mystified. As a longtime resident of Palo Alto, longer-time employee of Stanford and occasional Dish user, I don't understand why one (to me) obvious solution has never been pushed. About 1/2 mile NW along Junipero Serra there is another gate, now firmly shut, into the Dish area. The Dish trail comes down to the gate, and there is a lot of flat ground where a parking lot could easily be placed. Across the street, on the Stanford side, is a large empty field bordered by Gerona Road, Campus Drive and Junipero Serra: no residents, esp. private houses, anywhere close. Solution: open this gate and close the Stanford Ave. gate, put a parking lot here (on the Dish side), and let folks find something else to squabble about.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 4, 2014 at 11:57 am

@Downtowner - It isn't a warm up, it is just a waste of time.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dish hiker
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2014 at 12:07 pm

I walk the Dish. Sometimes I drive and sometimes I bike to the trailhead. I support the proposed plan. The proposed Coyote Hill parking will be well connected to the trail head with a new off-road trail. It will work just fine for me. It will add about ten minutes to my total hiking time. No biggie.

I agree with the guy who commented that the current situation is really unsafe. It needs to be fixed. Stanford has proposed a good plan.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jane
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2014 at 12:07 pm

You are missing the point.
Stanford pledged an obligation to create recreational paths on its land as a condition for being allowed massive additional development.
It has stalled, and diverted, and proposed one path along Alpine Road next to the cars, and stalled some more on their pledge. It finally offered some beguiling money instead.
Stanford has done what it could to avoid fulfilling their pledge.
Yes, this land belongs to Stanford, but they had agreed to open up trails on the land for public recreational enjoyment.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2014 at 12:27 pm

The pledge was about a perimeter path, and had nothing to do with the Dish.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Allen Edwards
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 4, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Stupid proposal. Just let people park on Junipero Serra. Problem solved.

Nobody wants to walk a mile on a busy street as part of their nature walk. How hard is that to understand? Besides, the loop is pretty long. Adding that extra milage makes it too long for many people. Stupid.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 4, 2014 at 12:31 pm

@Mr Recycle- If you could accelerate your pace, you can keep your "workout" the same number of minutes. Turn around at your halfway mark, wherever that is. No time wasted! Or maybe you simply resist change?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mary Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 4, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Arthur Bienenstock...the Foothill Park issue is a little off topic, but people should be aware of the facts. Palo Alto acquired the Foothill Park property by eminent domain after losing a court case that went all the way to the Supreme Court in the 70's for $10 Million - a lot of money back then. Palo Alto negotiated with other local cities (Los Altos, Mt.View and others - I think also Stanford) to share the cost of the parkland acquisition. All these cities declined to participate - leaving Palo Alto taxpayers stuck with the whole bill. You can hardly blame people who paid the entire freight for the Park (and continue to pay for its upkeep for declining to turn it into a regional facility open to residents of cities that preferred to save their money for their own residents when offered a chance to join in the expense.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lew Wexler
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 4, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Jane is under the misperception that Stanford has an obligation to open its land for public recreational enjoyment. In fact, the terms of the GUP require Stanford to provide recreational mitigation to the Stanford community, it's residents,,students, faculty and staff who will be losing recreational space when land is used for academic buildings. Stanford has been more than generous to allow access to the community, particularly when our neighbor, Palo Alto, has on repeated occasions refused to allow Access to Foothill Park to ThenStanford community, as pointed out by Art Bienenstock.

I support Tom's idea to complete the proposed trails and to remove parking from Stanford Ave. completely. Stanford could use a small portion of its land for parking, either at the entry near Campus Dr. and JSB, or at the corners JSB and Page Mill with entry from Old Page Mill Rd. This would provide less congested and safer parking with safe entry and exits from heavily trafficked roads. There would be mo need for hikers to cross any major intersections and the additional walk would be minutes more than currently required from Stanford Ave. The latter plan would also serve as parking for the S1 trail system which is an extraordinary hike that currently is sadly underused.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dish User - PA Resident - Stanford Alu
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 4, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Two key words: COMMUNITY and BATHROOM
- After reading the other comments and the article, no one seems to mention what drives the desire to keep the status quo - it is the sense of COMMUNITY that the current parking situation provides. It is fun to park with others and walk together to the gate. There is a definite *feeling* that the current situation provides. I think that if the new proposed parking could touch on the COMMUNITY aspect of the proposed solution, it would be more successful. Thus I propose the following solution:
- BATHROOMS - if the new parking area also had safe, clean, bathrooms (that moms would feel OK taking kids into) a new COMMUNITY would develop and people would stop all the caterwauling...

-WHO SHOULD PAY? This would be a great D-School project... Perhaps some way to donate by Pay Pal that would help pay for bathroom cleaning and security but also save a rainforest, etc. Cloud funding? Ads inside the bathrooms? Annual Benefit in the parking lot with food and bands? Let's put our heads together and be creative.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 4, 2014 at 1:49 pm

@Downtowner - walking uphill will burn calories at between 2 and 3 times the rate of walking on flat ground. I oppose change when it is for the worse, and support it when it is for the better. If people were parking in front of people's homes, I'd support parking restrictions. But if the best argument is that a few people make u-turns, then there are better solutions than a [parking lot 3/4 of a mile away.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 4, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Mary Ann - I think you are wrong on the facts:
"The land for Foothills Park was sold to the City of Palo Alto by Dr. Russel Lee, founder of the Palo Alto Medical Clinic, in 1958, on the condition that it be preserved as open space. "


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stretch
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2014 at 2:02 pm

You're correct, Peter. It was the Arastradero Preserve that Palo Alto bought in the 70's.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 4, 2014 at 2:10 pm

@Peter - I can't vouch for the source, but:

"The city of Palo Alto purchased Foothills Park in 1958, in a $1.294 million deal proposed by Dr. Russel V. Lee. Palo Alto supposedly offered the neighboring cities of Portola Valley, Los Altos Hills and Los Altos a chance to buy into the park purchase, and share the land, but they weren't interested."


Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 4, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

How many people protesting the new parking lot site are actually Palo Alto residents? I know many, many Dish users who aren't Palo Alto residents.

It'd be lovely, however, to see Palo Alto get a taste of its own medicine, after whining so much about people who park in *their* neighborhoods.

As for the guy who says he wouldn't be alive if not for exercise - it's a good thing that the Dish isn't the only place offering it!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mary Anne
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 4, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Peter Carpenter and Mr. Recycle are both correct. The parkland for FP came mostly from the purchase from Dr. Lee. The $10million figure is an estimate of what the purchase price is in today's dollars (and probably understates that amount). It was the Arastadero Preserve that was the subject of the Supreme Court case.

But it is also true as Mr. Recycle states, that local cities were offered to share in the purchase and declined to do so. So it's still easy to understand why some Palo Altans are loathe to turn FP into a regional facility while bearing all the costs. There's also the environmental impact that more visitors would cause.

I apologize for the errors in my first post here. Here's another link to some Foothill park history. Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 4, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

Posted by lulz, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
3 hours ago
The irony in complaining about walking 1/2 a mile to an exercise location is just too rich.
______________

Isn't it though!

Stanford's proposal will be an excellent way of dealing with the current parking mess. I drive or walk by almost daily, and have seen accidents, near accidents, questionable driving/parking, not to mention all the roadside liter left by nature lovers. I hope this plan is implemented, and soon.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 4, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

Dish User,

Would you like porta-potties in your neighborhood? (Other than at construction sites, of course.)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by park along side of dish
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 4, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Create parallel parking along Junipero Serra for people to park right next to the friggen' mountain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by the path
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 4, 2014 at 2:58 pm

The reality is, this "path" is being used as an "excuse" to rid of the cars. There's absolutely NO reason the path HAS to go where the cars are instead of somewhere else....just another excuse to ruin things...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jeff
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 4, 2014 at 3:28 pm

I want fast food, I want fast exercise ... the dish is so popular that the current situation is a mess. It should be changed.

Foothills park: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Amanda
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Feb 4, 2014 at 3:31 pm

As a dish walker, I hope Santa Clara County will not accept Stanford's plan. I am sympathetic to the neighbors' concerns about the congestion, but Stanford could easily solve that by opening more gates, making parking available on more streets, building a lot nearby, etc. The proposal to cross Page Mill Road to get to the gate is just silly. Stanford residents, consider this: What if your gym was located at the Stanford Ave. gate and you were told to park on Coyote Hill (pack up the baby stroller, cross seven lanes of traffic, etc.). It's really not laziness that causes us to oppose this. Maybe for some people it's a shortage of time. But please make that walk yourself before you criticize us for opposing it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alum comment
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Feb 4, 2014 at 3:49 pm

The article should have been titled "Palo Alto Residents Clash with Stanford Residents over Dish Parking Plan." I believe 100% of the people who spoke in favor of moving parking to Siberia are residents of Stanford and not of Palo Alto.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alphonso
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Feb 4, 2014 at 4:42 pm

One more small addition to the Foothills Park acquisition history. Dr. Lee offered the land sale at $1,000 per acre when the land was actually worth about $3,000 per acre. While it is true PA purchased the property, in effect PA only paid fair value for a third of the land - the rest was given to the city.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 4, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

We all know that this publication needs to pander to PA residents, but somehow I doubt that everyone against the parking lot is a PA resident. The Dish attracts many people from neighboring communities, not just PA.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jim Hols
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 4, 2014 at 5:53 pm

@downtowner
How did you get crowned as dictator of how and where to exercise. People want to spend their exercise walking in the Stanford hills, not along a road from a parking lot. 20 minutes walking from the parking lot deprives a hiker from the same amount of hiking on the dish trail.

Let me propose a few other solutions.

1. Regarding illegal U turns. Part of the reason these happen is that there is NO legal U TURN anywhere. Why not make one at the junction of Stanford and Junipero Serra?

2. If you want to reduce congestion, why not have Stanford sell card permits to park on Stanford Ave. $25/year for a permit would help Stanford pay for painting parking spots and managing the Dish path. People could then decide whether parking her is worth the $25.

Because there are reviews of the Dish on Yelp, this area has become the go to hiking spot for all of the bay area. One day I checked all license plates and over 80% were from cities outside Palo Alto or Stanford. I would have no problem paying for a permit.

Honestly I do not see why folks that live near Stanford Ave are so upset about parking there. No houses have driveways to Stanford so no parking places are being displaced by hikers. Am I wrong about that?

Foothill Park situation can't be compared in any way to the Dish because Palo Alto paid for the park and there was never a commitment to Stanford residents. Whereas, the Stanford commitments came in exchange for development rights. However, maybe another solution to the anger from Stanford residents would be to allow them access to Foothill Park for their commitment to stop trying to drive away hikers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by BarronParker
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 4, 2014 at 5:57 pm

BarronParker is a registered user.

Even if 1000 people repeat the fiction that the new parking lot will only add 0.5 miles to the hike, it remains untrue.

The parking lot is about 0.7 miles from the gate at Stanford Avenue. So to use it, you need to walk an extra 1.4 miles along busy highways. For most people walking at a fast pace, that's about 25 extra minutes along the highway. So -- this is not an "ironic" situation -- it's merely a mean-spirited proposal.

Instead of reducing parking on Stanford Ave, Stanford should add parking along Junipero Serra to alleviate the crowding on Stanford Ave.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sunshine
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 4, 2014 at 6:16 pm

I am a Palo Alto resident and have been for over 40 years. At one time the dish area was open, without a paved trail. Our family walked up there often. We parked either along Old Page Mill road or Foothill Expwy or on Stanford Streets near the empty space. We walked the entire area, often bringing a picnic. Yes, we always removed anything left over from the picnic.
The dish became less attractive once it was paved and walkers were required to stay on the trail.
Stanford made an agreement with the city when they were allowed to expand building on campus.
The new parking solution is not good; it is very bad. The point of walking the dish is to be able to walk away from traffic in an open area. A half mile walk to the dish rail will cut out many walkers, especially older ones. Are you suggesting that seniors should not have access to the dish?
The best answer is to allow parking on Foothill Expwy, on campus in the open area along Foothill Expwy, and along Stanford ave. there is also sufficient room along part of Page Mill Road near the Eexpressway door more parking.
Foothill park is for Palo Alto residents only because we paid for it. Other communities were invited to share in the expenses. They declined. Therefore, Foothill Park is for Palo Alto residences only.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 4, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Foothill park is for Palo Alto residents only because we paid for it"

Yes, and Stanford should be for Stanford because they paid for it!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 4, 2014 at 7:11 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

Heavens, this is almost taking on proportions of the East Coast/West Coast rap wars!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 4, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Oooh, Nora - you hipster, you - you're the cat's meow!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by at Hmmmm
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 4, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Hey there Hmmm

It's true - many people in others surrounding communities walk the dish - but guess what - when I mention that I live on campus it's only the Palo Alto residents who launch into their hate speech about the dish - never anyone who lives in Menlo Park or Atherton or Los Altos or Mountain View. Just PA.

Many PA people are all smiles and kisses when they want their kids to have an internship or they want me to vote for their PAUSD bond measure - and then they pee in my lawn and complain about their access to the dish and wonder what's wrong when I won't give them full run of my driveway. Amazing!


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 4, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

at Hmmmm - oh, very interesting! Thank you for your informed opinion. I'm sorry that your firsthand experiences have unfortunately dovetailed w/some of mine, in other areas of Palo Alto life. How do you respond to these folks? What do you think is behind their attitude? I admit that, overall, I'm surprised that the Dish is still so popular. I prefer less popular places, it would seem.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kevin Fish
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 4, 2014 at 8:18 pm

The aim of the plan is to separate pedestrians, cyclists and cars to improve public safety. Right now, chaos exists on Stanford Avenue. When people come to walk, they lose all common sense. Drivers crawl or double park on the side of the road regardless of whether there are walkers, cyclists in their way or drivers trying to pass them. People walking to the dish are oblivious to the fact that they are crossing a highway, don't look, force cyclists out into the path of cars, and are totally focused on themselves or their companions. As a frequent cyclist, I have had as many as three cars on one trip pull a U-turn in front of me on Stanford Avenue with no regard for my road rights. I have been sandwiched between a passing car and a parked car when a space looked like it was becoming vacant- banging on the roof of the car finally got the drivers attention. You do not have to park in front of my house to be a nuisance- it is surprising how many people set off their car alarms and don't know how to silence it on a Sunday morning. The litter you leave is evident to all along the road- if you see it, it would be public spirited if you would pick it up. Regardless of how much this plan will inconvenience you, the status quo or anything like is not acceptable. And no one mentions the parking available at Nixon school when school is out- nights and weekends, there have at least 30 additional spaces available. Oh, I forgot, that is a longer walk to the dish and therefore not a favored option.


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Posted by at Hmmm
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 4, 2014 at 8:47 pm

at Hmmmm

I try to kill them with kindness - and to not get upset or get sucked in - but I have stopped shopping and dining in Palo Alto - there are many nice places up and down the Peninsula with lovely people. No reason to go to downtown PA. Also - we Pulled the kids out of PAUSD and put them in a small private school in another community. I find Palo Alto isn't worth the stress.


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Posted by Marie
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 4, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Marie is a registered user.

People continue to complain that Foothills Park is available only to Palo Alto residents. This is not strictly true. Palo Alto has allowed paths in Foothills Park to be part of a regional trail system which allows any hiker to enter Foothills park by foot since 2008. Below the Palo Alto Open Space Trail Map states, "For foot traffic only in Foothills Park and Los Trancos."

Web Link

There was a well publicized incident in 2008 where a Portola Valley man reported being attacked by a mountain lion in Foothills Park but didn't report it until the next day as he was not in the park legally. Page down to July 14, 2008, 8:34 AM where Frank had this to say:

Web Link

"Second question: What is a man from Portola Valley doing in Foothill Park when it is restricted to residents of Palo Alto? Just shows you that restricting Foothill Park to PA residents does not work.

Answer:
Since 2005 non Palo Alto resident hikers are allowed to enter Foothills Preserve from either Los Trancos Open Space or Enid Pearson Arastradero Preserve.

BTW, if I remember correctly, they never found the mountain lion. Park rangers concluded it was probably a large dog as they could find no evidence of a cat although Foothills Park is definitely in mountain lion territory.

In practice, during the week, anyone can hike at Foothills Park, as the kiosk is not manned and anyone can park there.


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Posted by Jim Hols
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 4, 2014 at 9:11 pm

I like the solution proposed by @Tom
What's wrong with his idea?

As for the Coyote parking?
Here's a map from age Mill Rd & Coyote Hill Rd to Stanford gate.
Web Link

If you drive, the distance is .7 miles
But walking directions are 1.7 miles, 34 MINUTES each way. I guess this is because Google won't map walking on Junipero Serra.

How do people come up with .5 miles and 10-20 minutes?

The round trip to the parking lot would be about the same as the roundtrip on the Dish trail!


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2014 at 9:22 pm

> Yes, and Stanford should be for Stanford because they paid for it!!!

Well, it's true that Stanford is private property, it has managed to not pay any property taxes since 1900, and also has been the recipient of hundreds of millions of dollars in Federal funding--including money to rebuild some of the damage of the Quake of '89.

Perhaps the billions that it has avoided paying in property taxes over the years, and the hundreds and hundreds of millions it has received for various reasons from the Federal government are not enough to claim the public has the right to access to the Dish .. but it might seem to be a fairly insignificant gesture of thanks for all of that money funneled to it by the public.


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Posted by Dish Walker
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2014 at 9:23 pm

I walk the dish often and am opposed to moving parking farther away.

The entire reason that I go to the Dish is because I do not have a lot of time and need to get a quick workout in. Walking an extra 3/4 of a mile (or even half mile) there and back is a waste of time. To me it makes it pointless then to even go to the dish. And it really is a waste of time. I walk all the time on flat ground and it is boring.

I also see extra walking as a potential safety issue, especially when it is getting dark. One of the reasons that I love the dish is because I feel safe there. You park right next to the trail. If it starts getting dark I know that my car is just a few moments away.

I often go to the dish alone too because I feel so safe, I know my car is easily accessible and if it starts to rain, gets dark, etc. I can get to my car fairly quickly.

Parking right now is not ideal but if they moved it 1/2 a mile away then I would probably avoid the dish.


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Posted by Michael O
a resident of Nixon School
on Feb 4, 2014 at 9:28 pm

To Joe: While Stanford University may not pay property taxes, the homeowners on campus do -- and it's they who want the parking moved, not so much the university itself. They pay real estate taxes to Santa Clara County just like everyone in Palo Alto does.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 4, 2014 at 9:46 pm

@Marie, are you depriving non-residents of their righteous indignation?


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Posted by Alphonso
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Feb 4, 2014 at 10:00 pm

So, according to Marie anyone can use Foothills Park as long as you are willing to walk a little to get there - that is reasonable. Stanford is saying anyone can use the Dish Trail as long as you are willing to walk a little to get there - that also sounds reasonable. BTW I never make a practice of driving to a place to walk - no need, not environmentally friendly and my dog likes going along.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 4, 2014 at 10:05 pm

As mentioned in the previous article about this issue, I feel that TPTB should look into slanted parking. This could potentially allow for many more parking in the existing parking area. This way, everyone wins.

Web Link


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Posted by ODB
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 4, 2014 at 10:56 pm

In the mid '60s at the ripe old age of 10, my buddy and I were convinced "they" were using the dish to communicate with martians. I was wondering if "they" have heard from any martians yet.


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Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 4, 2014 at 11:06 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

Thank you Hmmm, I try to stay jiggy wit' it!


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Posted by is it that time?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2014 at 11:59 pm

Joe

"Well, it's true that Stanford is private property, it has managed to not pay any property taxes since 1900, and also has been the recipient of hundreds of millions of dollars in Federal funding--including money to rebuild some of the damage of the Quake of '89.

Perhaps the billions that it has avoided paying in property taxes over the years, and the hundreds and hundreds of millions it has received for various reasons from the Federal government are not enough to claim the public has the right to access to the Dish .. but it might seem to be a fairly insignificant gesture of thanks for all of that money funneled to it by the public."

Thank you Joe.

As a resident who has never sought an internship from any Stanford resident for my child, or peed on anyone's yard at Stanford or anywhere, I can only say the issues surrounding Stanford need perspective. By the way @Hmmm, the school bond also serves the children of Stanford residents.

Anyway, is this about the time we make 1 objective and comprehensive list of the give and takes between Stanford and Palo Alto?

Is there such a record?

There are major infrastructure needs which include needs related Stanford interests and liasons, isn't it time to have a public tally?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 5, 2014 at 6:36 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Anyway, is this about the time we make 1 objective and comprehensive list of the give and takes between Stanford and Palo Alto? "

Careful what you ask for - any such list would be overwhelmingly in Stanford's favor starting with the fact that without Stanford Palo Alto would be another Gilroy, but without the garlic.

Just imagine if the Stanford land was built up to the same density as Palo Alto and had as little percentage of open space as Palo Alto.

No Stanford Shopping Center, no Stanford Research Park, no hospital and ER - the lists goes on.

How much money or land has PA ever given Stanford vs how much land and money Stanford has been forced to give PA?


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Posted by PA Hiker
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 5, 2014 at 8:35 am

I am a Palo Alto resident and I also enjoy walking the dish. For years I have noticed a growing sense of entitlement among people who hike the dish. As always, there is a core group of people who are considerate, but where ever they come from, there is often terrible and unsafe driving, selfish holding up of traffic for the best parking spots, loud blabbing even while near homes, urination any and everywhere along the way - particularly in the nice private spots right next to a back yard fence - yuck. I have often cringed at the growing tension this must cause among people who live in the area or have students in the elementary school. I knew the day would come when they had enough, and here it is. I do not blame neighborhood dwellers for wanting us all to go away. As always, a significant number of obnoxious, selfish, rude individuals have ruined it for the rest. Hiking on somebody else's land is a privilege, and it looks like that privilege is going to get harder to come by. I certainly hope this weeds out the rude hikers, whether they come from Palo Alto or anywhere else.


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Posted by PA Hiker
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 5, 2014 at 8:49 am

A fine illustration of my point is the post above from Dish Walker, who uses the word 'I' no less than thirteen times while not once mentioning how his or her 'quick workout' might affect anyone else. I'm still cringing from that one.


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Posted by is it that time?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 9:28 am

P. Carpenter

"Careful what you ask for - any such list would be overwhelmingly in Stanford's favor starting with the fact that without Stanford Palo Alto would be another Gilroy, but without the garlic."

For someone who can live without Bloomingdales, or the traffic caused by the businesses from Stanford, Gilroy is looking good, especially if I will be asked to pay for infrastructure that will continue to support Stanford as well, including schools.

You assume that quality of a life is measured by retail. It's not. To the contrary, the advantages you name have as many costs or more.

But my point is precisely to not leave it at guessing. Lots of tales out there, and we can be objective.

PA Hiker,

I have not been at the Dish in over a year, and the obnoxious, rude behavior of a few sounds pretty gross. Is there anything you would suggest that can be done about that.

Could there also be time constraints - for example no parking during school hours, and schools have to be in session to use the parking?


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Posted by PA Hiker
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 5, 2014 at 9:48 am

Is it that time? I've been thinking about that. What I regret is that I didn't organize a group of dish walkers long ago to facilitate good behavior and consideration for the neighborhood, while working with Stanford to problem solve on these issues. It looks really bad for us that nobody really organized around dish access until it got more difficult for us. Now the strident, demanding tone is not winning walkers any friends on the Stanford side, while the discussion above reveals hard feelings that simmer between Palo Altans and Stanford folks over all kinds of issues. We all share so many values and mutually beneficial things, we would be better off working proactively and for the good of us all rather than issuing demands and proclamations after the fact.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 5, 2014 at 9:48 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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Posted by is it that time?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 9:50 am

Peter Carpenter,

Or not, and learn to accept living with all the joys of living in a busy community which welcomes all, and we can't be too choosy.


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Posted by is it that time?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 9:53 am


PA Hiker,

"I've been thinking about that. What I regret is that I didn't organize a group of dish walkers long ago to facilitate good behavior and consideration for the neighborhood, while working with Stanford to problem solve on these issues. It looks really bad for us that nobody really organized around dish access until it got more difficult for us. Now the strident, demanding tone is not winning walkers any friends on the Stanford side, while the discussion above reveals hard feelings that simmer between Palo Altans and Stanford folks over all kinds of issues. We all share so many values and mutually beneficial things, we would be better off working proactively and for the good of us all rather than issuing demands and proclamations after the fact."

I think we're in this Stanford - Palo Alto thing for the long haul, so it can't be too late to work something out.

I hope this can happen.




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Posted by Nearby
a resident of Southgate
on Feb 5, 2014 at 10:12 am

I looked through the (wonderful) proposal to build a continuous walking trail (which goes all the way from Old Page Mill Road, along JSB, down Stanford Ave, and north along El Camino to Quarry, BTW) but don't see the proposal for the parking lot. Where exactly is that supposed to go? And is there any agreement on exactly how far away from the Dish it is?

I can see why folks want to avoid crossing Page Mill at the Foothill/JSB junction, which really is a busy intersection. Couldn't the parking be situated either in a corner of the Stanford open space (on the Dish side of Page Mill), or (as has been suggested) along JSB? Either of those solutions would reduce the number of people having to cross any major road to get to the Dish. Or maybe we need a couple of different parking options, given the number of people who walk there. In any case, at least to my mind, there's no question that something better than the current situation is desperately needed.

I think some sort of bathroom facility in a parking lot, and even along the trail, would be great. It's appalling to hear that people are relieving themselves along residents' back fences, but there are no good alternatives. And when you gotta go, you gotta go.

Does anyone know if there is any possibility of community input into the planning? Also it would be nice to understand the constraints a little better before we all sound off.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 5, 2014 at 10:18 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" Couldn't the parking be situated either in a corner of the Stanford open space (on the Dish side of Page Mill)," and "I think some sort of bathroom facility in a parking lot, and even along the trail, would be great."

Just how much more land and expense is Stanford expected to contribute to this non-academic activity for non-Stanford people? How about free coffee and donuts for all the visitors?


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Posted by PA Hiker
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 5, 2014 at 10:27 am

I do like the idea of spreading the parking around in order to lessen the impact on any one area. For one thing, if you put a lot of grumpy, resentful dish walkers in a spot where they have to cross Page Mill, you can be sure they will make driving on Page Mill as problematic as possible in order to prove their point. Although fewer hikers would not be a bad thing for the wildlife in the dish area, I'm afraid they will keep on coming until Stanford closes the place to everyone not from Stanford. Our best option is to encourage better options while urging all dish walkers to be polite, considerate, and grateful.

Everybody who has ever walked the dish has learned that there is no toilet there. It is basic etiquette that you find a bathroom rather than relieve yourself in public. If you can't hike the dish without needing relief, perhaps you should shorten your hike or exercise somewhere else. I'm afraid Stanford does not owe you a toilet, although it would be really nice to have one.

I urge dish walkers to please be considerate of other drivers, residents, hikers, bicyclists, coyotes, raptors, and elementary school students as you use the dish from now on. We are all pressed for time. We all need exercise. Let's spread some goodwill around the dish while we are allowed to use it.


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Posted by PA Hiker
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 5, 2014 at 10:40 am

Peter Carpenter, Thank you for the offer of coffee and donuts! I've never met a donut I didn't appreciate after a nice dish walk!


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Posted by Time limited
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 5, 2014 at 10:54 am

HI, I have half an hour to do my excercise, and I dont want to waist 20 minutes going to and from the park, to walk in the park only 10 minutes. It will not work for me anymore.
Also, what about the elderly and not so fit people who walk up the dish, who also will have to use 20 min of their time to get to and from there, whose energy will not be well spend this way either.
I support opening the other gate in Junipero and making parking available there. And really, there are no houses in Stanford ave close to the current gate!!


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Posted by Donald
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 5, 2014 at 11:18 am

One of the goals of this project is to increase safety. Parking on JSB will decrease safety because you would then have all the bad driver behavior (pulling in and out unpredictably, illegal U-turns, etc.) on a much faster and busier street. That is a non-starter.


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Posted by Bressler Property
a resident of another community
on Feb 5, 2014 at 11:34 am

The subject of this dispute is parking for the Dish trails. Any public official who uses the Dish parking issue as an excuse to attempt to make a deal about Foothills Park is just being deceitful.

Stanford could have agreed to a direct route through the Dish area to the Arastradero Preserve and its trail connection to Foothills Park, but instead insisted upon the current S1 trail alignment. The environmental groups involved in the decisions about Stanford's General Use Permit originally advocated for the S1 trail alignment that would connect directly to the Arastradero Preserve, but eventually agreed to Stanford's S1 trail while focusing the environmental group's efforts for a trail along Stanford's border with Menlo Park and Portola Valley. That other trail was rejected and the County got money from Stanford instead. Now half of that money has gone back to Stanford for its Perimeter Trail and the disputed parking lot.


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Posted by I hike it. I like the plan.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 11:58 am

I am a Palo Alto resident who hikes the dish. Sometimes, when I have time and energy, I bike there. Usually, I drive there. I have been appalled at the behavior of many dish walkers who drive. They jockey for parking most carelessly without consideration for bicyclists and walkers in the area. I have often observed that and thought the safety problems needed to be fixed with a better design to control this behavior.

This looks like a good plan to me. I am willing to walk the extra distance. I checked it out the other day. Once the new perimeter trail is built it will be a nice walk to the trailhead.

I support the plan. This will be an improvement.


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Posted by Bad Idea
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Feb 5, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Stanford is continuing to expand the Industrial Park--VMWARE building is not complete, Stanford Hospital Expansion, etc., putting more cars on Page Mill. With Palo Alto's plans for increased office space, crossing Page Mill not be safe for pedestrians, let alone recreational hikers who come in all ages, shapes and sizes (children). There is no light at Coyote Hill and entering or leaving it from Page Mill will be dangerous as cars go through there at 50 mph. Crossing signals at Page Mill/Foothill have to give priority to cars/bikes because pedestrian priority will cause backups for Page Mill in all directions and will affect traffic from 280 to El Camino.

Parking on Coyote Hill is just a really bad idea. Stanford should put a parking further north west of the dish entrance. They claim they don't want to develop that area but, not so long ago, they were considering that area to hold the Reagan Presidential Library. So it was good for a former President but not for their community?


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Posted by scam
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm

This "perimeter trail" is a complete scam to distract citizens from Stanford's original promise to build a trail from the Dish to the Arastradero Preserve. There are already sidewalks along Stanford Ave from El Camino all the way to the Dish entrance. The "perimeter trail" adds no value to anyone. It is entirely a scam to avoid building the originally planned Arastradero trail.

Yes, people walking on the Stanford Ave sidewalk may have to cross a couple of 25mph residential streets, but that is 1000 times safer than trying to cross the deadly intersection of Page Mill EXPRESSWAY & Foothill EXPRESSWAY. Whose bright idea is it to have a family-friendly recreational trail cross two busy EXPRESSWAYs? I see cars running reds lights in all 4 directions at that intersection every day. I will not let my kids walk there without at least 1 adult supervisor for each kid in the group.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 3:39 pm

> it's they who want the parking moved,
> not so much the university itself.

Thanks for the information. Would you say that the media reporting this matter have made it patently clear that Stanford's administrative actions are wholly in support of the residents living on its lands, with no agenda of its own?


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2014 at 3:41 pm

> How much money or land has PA ever given Stanford vs
> how much land and money Stanford has been forced to give PA?

This is not an easy question to answer—but not an impossible one to research.

Since Stanford predates Palo Alto as a legal entity, and Stanford has always been privately owned—it makes no sense to think that Palo Alto would have given Stanford any land—particularly since early Palo Alto was comprised of only about 800 acres and Stanford thousands of acres in size. However, in the early days of Palo Alto's municipal life, there was quite a bit of interchange between the University and the City. For instance, Palo Alto bought a private hospital in the early 1920s, and contracted with Stanford to run the hospital. While paying someone to do work for you is not quite the same thing as giving them money—one can see money flowing from Palo Alto to Stanford in various ways, including municipal support for the University where transportation and infrastructure was concerned.

At some point, the California State Constitution was updated to make it illegal for a public agency to give money, or anything of material value, to a private entity—which would further make it clear why Palo Alto never gave Stanford money. (BTW—how much money and land has Atherton given to Menlo College?)

The schools did sue Stanford for the land where Palo Alto High School sits back in the 1950s—paying for it as a part of the settlement. For the most part, it's hard to find much record of Stanford's ever giving money to the City or schools. Stanford has leased some land (like the parcel across from the shopping center used for a public park, and the site of the large soccer field at El Camino and Page Mill--but that doesn't mean that indirect support for the City/schools has not occurred. Unfortunately, these kinds of costs are difficult to track—since they rarely show up in public records.



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Posted by Really
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 5, 2014 at 3:54 pm

The claims about the danger of crossing Page Mill are exaggerated. People already have to cross Junipero Serra.


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Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside
on Feb 5, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Stanford's recent habit of constructing 'trails' along busy streets is a pretty horrible one for anyone who likes hiking in peace. It's unfortunate that they were able to wriggle out of their construction mitigation agreement with such ghastly 'trails'.


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 5, 2014 at 5:52 pm

@ Really - Any "danger" argument here is pretty much BS. Whether it is u-turns, "the children", or crossing the street.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 5, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Is there a reason that the existing parallel parking spots along Stanford Avenue cannot be converted into angled parking? That can add nearly twice as many parking spaces in the existing space allotted. It would also be safer.

Thoughts?


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Posted by Donald
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 5, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Nayeli, there is not enough width. Angled parking takes more width than parallel parking, so that would only make the situation worse. As it is the cars are not parking all the way off the pavement as the rules require, forcing pedestrians and bicyclists into the middle of the road. Angled parking is not safer because drivers back out blind until they clear the vehicle next to them. It is illegal to build a bike lane next to angled parking for that reason. Back-in angled parking might solve the visibility problem but not the width problem.


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Posted by distorted reality
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 5, 2014 at 10:16 pm


Wow, reading these comments is amazing. People's time is limited so Stanford is responsible to add better parking for people who have decided that walking on Stanford land is the only way for them to get their exercise they need in the constraints of their busy lives. Because clearly Stanford is responsible for this?

Stanford made a commitment to add trails as a part of the General Use Permit. They need to be held accountable to do this. But above this is being used as a reason why Stanford needs to provide parking for people to use Stanford land?

And the comments about all of the things that Stanford takes from Palo Alto.....what would Palo Alto be without Stanford? No need for a professorville if there isn't a university. How do you have a city with such a highly educated population without a top research institution next door?

All of this reminds me of a time when I was a grad student living in a house in college terrace, two doors down from Stanford Ave. A neighbor had the nerve to complain about all of the students who lived in the neighborhood. If you live in a neighborhood called "College Terrace" less than 100yds from Stanford Ave what should you expect?

Oh, and by the way, I happily ran a mile up Stanford Ave from my house to get to run the dish. And I was able to remember to use the facilities before I left home so that I didn't need to relieve myself along the trail. Now I've moved so I've found other places to exercise instead of expecting to be able to use the same trail I used then I lived near by.


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Posted by stanford resident
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 5, 2014 at 11:05 pm

I like the idea of making an actual parking area for the Dish users. The Stanford Ave. stretch really isn't made for that much parking activity, in my opinion. And as each of my four children learned to drive around where we live on campus, we would always use the Stanford stretch where the dish people park as our example of "anything can happen here, so be ready" - cars suddenly stopping, parking, turning around mid-street, pedestrians walking/running out in front of the car with/without strollers and young children. Danger-driving ed training!
... but my safety concern with the suggested plan to set up an unpopulated parking area is the increase of vandalism and car break-ins. This is already a problem at the Stanford entrance and the Alpine Rd entrance.
Would the new area be monitored with cameras or would it be "park at your own risk"?


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Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 6, 2014 at 1:35 am

I don't like walking the Dish. I do, however, drive Page Mill to get to I-280. The idea of putting a parking lot on one side of Page Mill that would require a bunch of pedestrians to cross Page Mill at Foothill Expressway is insane. There are already a ton of speeding drivers trying to get to and from the freeway at the intersection. An influx of pedestrian traffic will further slow down what is already a heavily trafficked intersection.

There are other, better options--this one should be a no go.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 6, 2014 at 8:59 am

Hi Donald,

Thanks for the info. From my experience parking at the Dish along Stanford, I suspected that there was enough room for the angled parking. I guess that I would have to look and measure, but would it be possible to use any of the land on both sides of the street? If there isn't enough, I don't suspect it would be too much more that would be needed.

Web Link

It just seems that this would be the easiest solution to a problem that I don't see as too much of a problem in the first place.

Perhaps you could help me. What are the specific issues with the existing parking that requires such drastic measures?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2014 at 9:53 am

I suppose it is a bit obvious to say to readers that if you are somebody who uses the Dish you are part of the problem.

Stanford Avenue is a crazy school commute to start with. I don't know if people intending to walk the Dish use Stanford or Page Mill to get there, but I would never choose to use Stanford Avenue during the school year.

Driving to somewhere nice to walk or hike is what a lot of people do, but if it takes 10 minutes to find a parking place and then another 10 minutes walk to get to the gate and another 10 to walk back from the gate to your car, then that is already another 30 minutes. In 15 minutes you could drive to Arastradero or Foothill parks, find plenty of parking and restrooms and a quieter walk or hike. Someone said it is not about nature but about exercise, but if it is about time as well then drive that little bit further and start your exercise straight from the car, you might be surprised how much time you save.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 6, 2014 at 10:06 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"but would it be possible to use any of the land on both sides of the street? If there isn't enough, I don't suspect it would be too much more that would be needed. "

Sure, just take Stanford's private property and convert it to public use.

How about doing the same to create more parking space in front of your house?


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Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Feb 6, 2014 at 10:19 am

As usual a lot of Stanford versus Palo alto residents, mostly resident bashing. It should be stated quite clearly that the dish is very heavily used by Stanford folks as well. That includes visitors, residents, faculty and staff many of them who have to drive there as well.

Stanford could allow parking on Peter Coutts close to Stanford ave.
Parking on Peter Coutts was available until the Facebook parking debacle when the prohibited it. Since Facebook is no longer there Stanford could reinstate parking there, where there are no residents to bother.

Maybe this is already possible, but could Nixon school allow dish parkers on weekends?

BTW iI've walked the trail on the south side of Page Mill just west of JSB (often referred to as the trail to nowhere). It is actually a great walk, very underused, and you can join up with a bike path loop around the back of VMware, cross JSB at Arrestradero continue on trails behind Gunn through Bol park, and come out on page mill. About seven miles. great Views from the top of the hill on new trail!
BTW, I do agree that there are to many u-turns and "hovering" on Stanford, but getting rid of that and thereby increasing the speed along Stanford ave does NOT make it safer for school kids.
Stanford should ask the county to continue the speed bumps along Stanford ave. up to the light at Raimundo.


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Posted by Are you serious?
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 6, 2014 at 10:25 am

Nayeli, the county rejected the idea of angled parking for unclear reasons. However, there are reports that angle parking results in more accidents compared to parallel parking. See for example: Web Link

Mr. Recycle, your attitude about safety on Stanford Ave. is scary and I don't want you anywhere near my neighborhood. Are you serious? Illegal U turns on Stanford Ave. and on Ryan Ct. occur directly in the path of children walking and bicycling to and from Nixon Elementary in the morning and for several hours in the afternoon. Many of the same kids are bicycling in the area on the weekends. The density of children on the Stanford campus will only continue to increase over time given turnover of ownership of campus homes and new construction that will substantially increase enrollment at Nixon. Many adults on bikes and on their feet have also had close calls. This danger is so intuitive that you don't even need a study....but maybe this site will convince you Web Link


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 6, 2014 at 10:58 am

@Are you serious? - A video of Stanford Ave would actually be more compelling than a video of Pennsylvania Ave, in Washington DC, with a center bike line. So pretty much has nothing to do with the discussion.

By your logic, all parking on all streets should be banned because potentially any car could make an illegal u-turn and hit a bike. There is nothing special about Stanford Ave.

Like I have already said, go ahead an put a median in if it makes you feel better. And get rid of parking north of Raimundo. Anything more than that is just excuse making.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 6, 2014 at 11:19 am

Thanks again for the info. However, I don't expect that angle parking is THAT unsafe. There are ways to make it safer -- such as longer angled parking spaces -- that could make safety even less of a concern.

Besides, is there really a "safety problem" on Stanford Avenue with the existing parking? How many accidents have there been?


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 6, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

It's pretty funny reading the comments from people who want to insist on having a right to something that is actually a privilege, then squirm and stretch and try to justify their position. No wonder there are problems with the Dish users who drive and park on Stanford Ave - they likely think that driving is also a right, instead of a privilege. Why should these people be allowed to use Nixon School's parking lot? Who'll keep it clean and safe? And, finally, why can't people find a better place to walk? I did, a long time ago, once the Dish became overwhelmed w/jerks.


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Posted by Jim Hols
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 6, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Why so much resentment between Palo Altans and Stanford residents.

How about solutions to make ALL parties happy.
Resident near Stanford Ave complain mostly about crowded conditions, illegal U turns and cars going too fast.

For SAFETY
1. Put in a divider to stop illegal U turns
2. Add speed bumps

To prevent stopping waiting for a parking space:
1. Provide a legal U turn at Junipero Serra x Stanford. There is room and it would be safe as the U turn would be on the same light sequence as the left turn. This allows people to drive back down the other direction of Stanford to go home or park on the other side. Most U turns are BECAUSE the nearest place to turn around is over a half mile away.
2. Reduce demand for Stanford Ave parking
Stanford could a parking permit at $25 or whatever. Then if you don't want to pay, you can park elsewhere. The residents would be happy with less cars and crowding. Stanford would get some funding to support the trail.

Alternatives to further ease the Stanford Ave parking?
Open up a small area at one of the gates for provide parking as Tom suggested. Such a parking lot could dramatically reduce the demand for Stanford Ave.

I live in Palo Alto but love Stanford and really appreciate all that they offer this community.


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Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 7, 2014 at 12:44 am

Perhaps people who want to walk the Dish can park in Crescent Park and a special shuttle will take them to the Dish.


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Posted by Sunshine
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 7, 2014 at 6:44 pm

I haven't seen any private homes along Stanford ave in the area where people park.
If someone pees in the area it is because there are no restrooms associated with the dish. If you have to go, you have to go. Expect it if there are no restrooms at the dish. Even the people who work there don't have a restroom. If the paring is moved over half a mile away it will result in more people peeing along the way.

The parking along Foothill Expwy should be reinstated, the second gate opened, and parking allowed on some streets near the dish.

The one plus to walking the dish is that it has hills, which are important in enhancing the exercise benefits of the walk. It's also a good place to walk for singles or those alone as it is relatively safe.

To answer those who think palo alto would be nothing without Stanford:that might be an improvement over the current hyper-development climate in palo alto.

Stanford has long acted as though it has a special place in the world and should be able to get away with anything. Palo alto is now forced to build low income housing to accommodate some workers at Stanford.

If Stanford doesn't want others to use the dish they should just lock the gate. ,


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 7, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"If Stanford doesn't want others to use the dish they should just lock the gate. "

And if they were any other private landowner that is exactly what they would do.

Instead all you want to do is pee on them - SHAME


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Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 7, 2014 at 7:17 pm

"The parking along Foothill Expwy should be reinstated, the second gate opened, and parking allowed on some streets near the dish"
Any other orders for Stanford. Will Palo Alto stop complaining then about people parking in their neighborhoods?

"To answer those who think palo alto would be nothing without Stanford:that might be an improvement over the current hyper-development climate in palo alto. "
Palo,alto,is nothing without Stanford. The fact that Palo Alto has issues with development I town has nothing to do with Stanford. Note how Stanford builds nice looking buildings and gets them done in time.

"Stanford has long acted as though it has a special place in the world and should be able to get away with anything. Palo alto is now forced to build low income housing to accommodate some workers at Stanford. "
Where exactly is Palo Alto building low incme housing for Stanford workers?

Can I come to your house and piss on your land?


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Posted by Philip
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Feb 7, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Philip is a registered user.

Many people seem to write like all the parking close to the gate will be eliminated. I believe there will still be nearly 30 parking place along Stanford Ave. People who like a flat warm up walk before tackling the hills can park in the new parking lot (or use it before walking the newer trail over the hills between Page Mill and Arastradero). There will still be some closer spaces for those with limited time, but without so many parked cars there everyone should be a bit safer. This fits with the idea of spreading the parking around (you can also park in the non residential areas on the campus after 4 p.m. and walk from there).


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