Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 12, 2010

City View

A round-up of Palo Alto government action this week

Public Art Commission (Feb. 4)

Palo Alto buses: The commission discussed a proposal by former Mayor Jim Burch to consider putting art on Palo Alto's shuttle buses. The commission had questions about the types of art that could be used on buses and agreed to discuss the subject further with Burch. Action: None

Social networks: The commission discussed increasing public awareness of the city's art collection through the city's website and social-networking tools. Action: None

City Council (Feb. 8)

Destination Palo Alto: The council voted to direct staff to end the city's current "Destination Palo Alto" contract with the San Mateo County/Silicon Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau and to pursue joining the San Mateo County Tourism Business Improvement District. Yes: Unanimous

El Camino Real: The council voted to support grant-funded improvements to the intersection of El Camino Real and Stanford Avenue, which include a wider pedestrian island, larger sidewalks and elimination of the pork-chop islands. Yes: Unanimous

Board of Education (Feb. 9)

2010-11 budget: The board discussed a list of 25 budget cuts proposed by the superintendent, including "incremental" increases to class size. The $3.7 million in cuts will help bridge a $7.6 million anticipated budget gap, with the rest made up by a general-fund surplus and a hoped-for parcel-tax increase. The board is expected to vote on some or all of the cuts Feb. 23. Action: None

City Council High-Speed Rail Committee (Feb. 9)

Alternatives analysis: The committee heard a presentation from High-Speed Rail Authority officials about the alternatives analysis for the San Francisco-to-San Jose segment of the high-speed-rail line. Rail-authority consultants said they are considering a stacked alignment for Caltrain and high-speed rail in Palo Alto, with two tracks on each level. Deep tunnels and elevated trains are also options still under consideration. The document is scheduled for a March 4 release. Action: None

City Council Policy and Services Committee (Feb. 9)

Committee work plan: The committee discussed the process for organizing the City Council's 2010 priorities, as stated at last month's council retreat. The committee also discussed its plans to work on rollover items from last year. Action: None

Planning and Transportation Commission (Feb. 10)

East Meadow Circle: The commission discussed the concept plan for the East Meadow Circle/Fabian Way area. The plan is part of the city's ongoing update to its Comprehensive Plan. Commissioners were generally in favor of greater intensity in commercial and retail uses in the concept-plan area. They also encouraged restrictions on new housing around East Meadow Circle. Action: None

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