Editorial: A muddled approach to downtown parking | September 16, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - September 16, 2011

Editorial: A muddled approach to downtown parking

Lacking consensus and hearing the concerns of some businesses, City Council puts off relief for downtown residents

Despite the clear evidence before them that 1,200 or so of the city's 3,000-plus downtown parking spaces are vacant much of the time, the City Council and some local business owners were all over the map this week during a discussion of the downtown parking issue.

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Posted by svatoid, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 16, 2011 at 6:31 am

Regarding the editorial:

Too bad the editor did not mention the ridiculous 2 hour parking limit and the lack of a pay parking option and the difficulty in obtaining an all day garage parking permit.

"Local merchants will have to wait a year for online giant to pay taxes"

It is amazing that the editors of the Weekly can still not get this issue right. Amazon does pay taxes--right now it does not collect taxes from California residents.
You would think that after so long someone on the editorial staff would understand the difference!!!
I also hope that NO online firm will be exempt from collecting tax from CA residents. There was a recent bill pending in the legislature that would have exempted businesses that do less than $1 Million in business from collecting taxes.
This would provide them with an unfair advantage and that is what Faith Bell, the bike shop and the other local merchants were whining about. Personally, I do not see people flocking to those stores next year after Amazon starts collecting the sales tax.

This editorial is poorly written and fails to address all the issues.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2011 at 8:20 am

just $2.25 a day for a 20-day month.

Fine for those who work five days a week, but what about those who work 3 days a week?

What about those that ride share or use a different vehicle some days?

What about those who only occasionally park for more than 2 hours?

Your editorial forgot to mention that pay per hour machines would make it much simpler for anyone who frequently or occasionally needs to park in downtown for more than a couple of hours to buy the parking they need without a trip to City Hall.

The present system is so pathetic and the answer is so obvious. We don't need more signs, but we do need an easier user friendly system.

Posted by Barista Mom, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 16, 2011 at 11:10 am

My daughter works at one of the chain coffee store on University. She receives minimum wage, works part time, and and often has four hour shifts. To her, the $45.00 parking charge is a lot, considering she has to pay for her car, gas, books, etc. The two hour limit for parking is also very hard for these employees who only have a 15 minute break to move their cars. Many of the downtown businesses only employ part timers to avoid paying benefits. I would like the out of touch editors and merchants to address this problem.

Posted by Ray, a resident of Professorville
on Sep 21, 2011 at 11:03 am

Quoting from the article: "Business leaders who suggest downtown neighborhoods have a duty of sorts to absorb the employee parking generated from businesses because it is essential to maintaining the downtown's vibrancy and viability are not going to win over public support.." As a Professorville resident, I don't feel that i have a duty to absorb employee parking any more than i expect a business to have a duty to absorb any of my costs of living. That's a ridiculous claim to make. It's not even my duty to support downtown business; it is the "duty" of business to produce usable goods and services at competitive price and there are many, many wonderful businesses that do just that. Further, as Professorville residents, my wife and I do support those businesses that do.. We are two of about 500 residents who are tiring of nearly three years of trying to get the city to provide relief by solving this challenging problem.

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