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deplorable condition pavement on Waverley

Original post made by Joan on Mar 3, 2008

Every week day I drive from Lincoln Ave to Waverley Street to Oregon Expressway. The pavement on Waverley is terrible..uneven,and full of holes. It it enough to ruin tires and alignment. I was wondering if residents of this beautiful street don't notice or don't care.

Comments (26)

Posted by Fireman, a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2008 at 4:32 pm

Have someone fall and die.. Then maybe??? But just in case.. Keep those fingers crossed.


Posted by Jenny, a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 3, 2008 at 5:11 pm

Have you tried to drive along San Antonio Road recently? The tree roots are so bad that it's advisable to ignore the line which divides the lanes, and drive down the middle of the street.




Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 3, 2008 at 5:16 pm

But we'll have a great new sculpture on California Ave!!


Posted by Alyssa, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 3, 2008 at 5:27 pm

You should be using the bicycle tunnel!

We spent $7 million on that, which according to the City Auditor would have been enough to fix 1/4 of the backlog of street maintenance.

Or you could telecommute using the City's website. ($240,000).

Or you could revel in the smug satisfaction that the City has a global warming coordinator (around $200,000 including benefits).

Or you could have been smart enough to become an Enron Creditor ($20 million payout by city in bankruptcy).

Or you could have moved to Menlo Park and had Palo Alto Utility workers doing your plumbing work on city time using city equipment - likely giving you a bargain rate....

Or you could just shut up and pay up like the rest of us suckers.


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 3, 2008 at 7:31 pm

And where are the "infrastructure" campaigning council members? Fill potholes, then we'll talk about bond issues for major projects.


Posted by Kate, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 3, 2008 at 10:55 pm

If you think Waverley is bad, try Hamilton from Middlefield to Center. also Lytton from
Middlefield to Alma. (That's in "Destination Palo Alto" - not good publicity). And the list goes on.


Posted by Driver, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2008 at 11:39 pm

Tree roots and pothole on the roadbed slow the traffic down!!! Repair the road and make it smooth and vehicles travel faster. That's why they don't repair the roads!!


Posted by Big carbon footprint, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2008 at 8:04 am

Maybe this is part of Larry klein's climate change jihad. He called last night for a "low-carbon diet" --so keep the streets in disrepair so that people will drive less.
Until we get some solutions to our community problems, I encourage all residents to INCREASE their carbon footprint


Posted by k, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 4, 2008 at 9:56 am

I have an old car. I feel sorry for those of you with new cars!


Posted by Long Time Resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 4, 2008 at 4:31 pm


I believe that a lot of the damage that has been done to our neighborhood streets have been occurring from the numerous home demolitions and reconstructions throughout our city.
Many heavy trucks and equipment are now using our residential streets, and they have been damaging our streets and making a mess.

I hope that our city bills these residents accordingly, to fully repair the streets and sidewalks which they have damaged.
I imagine this would be costly, but they should be made to pay.


Posted by Tanya, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2008 at 10:26 pm

I wish more of those ugly tiny homes get demolished and replaced with nicer homes. It is an affluent Palo Alto suburb, but there are very few nice looking homes, all these pitiful eichlers have no character. Drive around north Berkeley hills and each house has a character, and here either ranch house look alikes, so boring!


Posted by Donald, a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 5, 2008 at 12:08 am

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] There are many pots of money that can be spent for one item or another, some of them from sources outside the City. We sometimes get federal funds for paving local roads, sometimes we get state and county funds for building bike projects. These are exclusive funds that must be spent on the targeted projects. [Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 5, 2008 at 12:37 am

Thanks for the primer on public finance, Donald. You are right about the bike tunnel, which I believe was paid for by federal and state funds. But if we wanted to spend general fund money on road repairs - instead of green coordinators, children's theaters, city web sites, Enron payouts, or just about any other discretionary budget item - we certainly could so.

And per the City Auditors 2006 review of street repairs, to quote the City's web site (audit link here: Web Link)

"Palo Alto has a $28.7 million backlog in street repair, and less than half of residents rate street maintenance good or excellent. The annual street maintenance budget is inadequate to both address the backlog and stay current with recommended preventive maintenance. The backlog is extensive."

Any City Councilors want to step up, take a break from saving the world, civic engagement, bond issues, etc., and take on pot holes? Please?


Posted by Alyssa, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 5, 2008 at 6:31 am

Donald shouldn't be so quick to label arguments he disagrees with stupid when his own posts exhibit a startling lack of nuance on the subject at hand.

While it is true that a significant portion of the widely criticized bike tunnel was paid for with state grants, it's also true that the city had one person working virtually full time to secure this funding, and that there was other significant staff effort used to round up the funding package. The city staff member responsible for the tunnel even bragged about this at the time when the criticism of the tunnel began.

If the same effort had been put into finding money to repair streets, libraries or other infrastructure among the myriad state and federal pork programs available, there is not much doubt that money could have been obtained that would help in these other areas. (Redwood Shores obtained significant state money to defray the cost of its recently completed library for example...which fact has been noted on this forum.)

It's really a matter of where one puts emphasis and effort. It wouldn't be surprising if we wake up someday to find that the city has found some state or federal money to fund a green energy or other environmental program - since that's what the know-nothings on the council seem to want. And when that happens, drivers will still be complaining about the condition of the streets...because repairing potholes isn't as sexy as "leading" on climate change for either the staff or the council.


Posted by fireman, a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Is it Ok to waste the states money. Or could it go some place it is needed?


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 5, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Alyssa: about the city personnel work required for Homer bike tunnel - "if the same effort had been put into finding money to repair streets, libraries or other infrastructure among the myriad state and federal pork programs available, there is not much doubt that money could have been obtained that would help in these other areas."

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

As for our roads: our roads are in no worse condition that the average roads in neighboring municipalities. We're about halfway down the list in terms of keeping road repairs up. No matter the city, one will ALWAYS find bad road conditions here and there. It's a tough thing to keep in perfect maintenance.







Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 5, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Our PA roads are in much worse condition than Sunnyvale roads.


Posted by Funny, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 5, 2008 at 1:27 pm

Mike, what is prominent in these threads is YOU, decrying other posters. Speak to the issues, stop putting down others. If we all did, this would be much more worthwhile.


Posted by Alyssa, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 5, 2008 at 2:11 pm

"As for our roads: our roads are in no worse condition that the average roads in neighboring municipalities. We're about halfway down the list in terms of keeping road repairs up."

The City Auditor compared the maintenance backlog of Palo Alto with several nearby cities: Palo Alto had the LARGEST backlog of any of these neighboring cities by far. See for yourself:Web Link (at p 79)

Palo Alto also had the worst policy (longest delay) for pothole filling. (Same citation at p 80).

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Alyssa, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 5, 2008 at 2:35 pm

In case anyone has any doubt about the status of our street maintenance, the City Auditor has just posted an infrastructure report card. (And as preemption to the predictable response coming to my last post).

Streets are in the "losing ground" (worst) category. Web Link at p 12.

Anyone contending street maintenance isn't a very big problem in town really isn't paying any attention at all to the facts.


Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 5, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Just to point out, the report Alyssa linked to is brand new and very useful for anyone interested in the real state of affairs of PA Infrastructure. It is dated Mar 4 '08, so is up to the minute, and seems to be the usual well-organized and lucid work we've come to expect from the City Auditor.

At 43 pages it is a read, but I've printed mine out for tonight. Here's the link again: Web Link


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 5, 2008 at 3:09 pm

Terry, I've read that report, twice. It shows Palo Alto either "making progress" on, or "holding its own" on 16 of 23 capital infrastructure areas.

And yes, relative to our own needs, we are losing ground on road repairs, but that's only ONE of the 7 areas that we're losing ground on. That's a serious matter, and it's something that is not taken lightly by policy makers.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Parent, a resident of Palo Verde School
on Mar 5, 2008 at 4:56 pm

I would like to go off on a tangent in this discussion,

The sidewalks around Palo Verde school are being redone, piecemeal. The first comment is that it really is a bit here and a bit there, not whole sections.

But, the problem is that sidewalk right where the kids walk to school is about to be dug up. Has anyone in the City informed the school? Has the school informed the parents? Has anyone informed the crossing guard who this morning was helping kids cross on to a sidewalk where there were no parking signs and two guys with a big machine working on the sidewalk. I had to leave the sidewalk and walk in the bike lane to pass them. The bike lanes have no parking signs stuck in them. The main work hasn't even started yet.

Wouldn't it be a good idea if the crossing guard told the kids to use the sidewalk on the other side of the street until the work was done? Wouldn't it be a good idea then for a crossing guard or someone to help the kids cross the street by the school and not at Louis/Loma Verde. Wouldn't it be a good idea if the school told the parents who just let their kids go to school by themselves, that it might be a good idea to discuss with their kids an alternative route to school?

I tried talking to the crossing guard, but he doesn't understand English. He will probably help the kids cross into the dug up sidewalk (when it is dug up) because his boss hasn't told him to do otherwise.

Wouldn't it be a good idea if the school, and various City departments actually talked to each other.


Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 5, 2008 at 7:27 pm

Parent, You bring up an interesting issue. There is virtually no *effective* coordination between the City and PAUSD, outside of the excellent efforts that have been created between the information services group with PAUSD and our public library. These two groups have created some wonderful programs that put our city tax dollars to work for the schools, and vice-versa. The same can be said for PAUSD and Parks and Recreation.

There is a City/PAUSD liaison committee, but it's not a prominent player - it should be.

When, for instance, have we seen our policy makers *publicly* and other city officials, as citizens, come out in favor of a PAUSD bond? The same goes for PAUSD officials. These are all good people - people that are victims of oa structural flaw in California government (Prop 13) that has created an unnatural bifurcation between schools and cities. It's a tragedy of major proportions. Many, many efficiencies have been lost because of this.

We have to work FAR BETTER, TOGETHER in order to create a truly sustainable city. I look forward to that becoming more the rule, than the exception.



Posted by Suzie, a resident of another community
on Mar 6, 2008 at 3:23 pm

I wrote the post about terrible pavement on Waverley Street. While driving on said street last afternoon I did notice a lot of construction going on....heavy trucks etc...and that in itself is a problem...the new home owners should foot part of the repair bills.
Sunnyvale streets are in great shape compared to Palo Alto streets...someone should find out how their city goverment solves infrastructure problems


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Suzie

I do hope you weren't literal. I hope that you weren't driving with your laptop on your lap and typing away.


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