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Blight on Park Ave

Original post made by Another Resident, Ventura, on May 23, 2008


Have you seen the obese fellow with the purple Mercedes who hangs around the downtown Whole Foods in the daytime.

Ever wonder where he goes at night?

He drives his Mercedes to Park Ave, sets up his barbecue on the street, and sits in his car and watches DVDs on a portable DVD player.

I live in the Ventura neighborhood and frequently walk to California Avenue to shop. When I pass by his encampment, the smell of urine and feces is strong. Cars don't come with indoor plumbing, folks,
and weren't meant as permament housing.

There are at least six others who have chosen to live out of automobiles, just in the stretch of Park Ave between the old Agilent building and Fry's.

Palo Alto Police treat car residents purely as a parking matter, posting 72-hour tow notices only when they receive complaints, and the ignoring the requirement to park at least 1/2-mile away from the original spot (he and most ofthe others shuttle between spots that are only a couple of hundred yards apart),

I can imagine some of the knee-jerk responses I'm going to get. I don't lack compassion for the truly needy. But I don't have patience for what I see as a totally elective lifestyle choice that has strong negative effects on the surrounding community. He can afford a car, car maintenance, car registration, electronic toys, etc. So I don't see people like him as being in the same category as people who have made an effort, but encountered some financial catastrophe.

I read an interview of him in one of the local papers recently.
He said his goal in life is to sue the city of Palo Alto
and get a bunch of money to guy a goat ranch in Northern California.

Menlo Park doesn't even allow bona fide residents to park cars on the street overnight. Why does Palo Alto allow long-term car residents?

Comments (6)

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Posted by C me around
a resident of Ventura
on May 24, 2008 at 1:09 am

Maybe the city could set up a car encampment out at the bayland area and charge the people ($5?) who use it by the night in their cars to pay for the portable toilet that they can use....and make it so they can not arrive before 8pm and have to leave by 8am daily, something along the same program that the churches had for the (walking) homeless people ("Rolling Estates" I think it was called.)
Just a thought. Don't know of any other solution right now...But think that would clean up the neighborhoods and also aleviate the police of handing out worthless tickets, etc.

By the way, the area street is called Park Blvd. I know exactly where you are referring to...I also see motorhomes parked there a lot of the time. It is an empty area which is now being built up again, not far from the courthouse.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by A Neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 24, 2008 at 6:22 am

The Ventura neighborhood has always been neglected by our city. If that purple car and his vehicle living friends ended up on some street in North Palo Alto at night they would be removed ASAP permanently!! It is time our staff and council treated the Ventura neighborhood as though it was North Palo Alto and cleaned it up.

On the other hand I hate to protest too much because the same vehicle living community has attempted to camp out in my neighborhood in the past. As a neighborhood group we protested and got the police to harass them enough so they moved on.




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Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on May 24, 2008 at 6:42 am

Isn't the proposed new Public Safety Building being built right there? If that ever happens, that will move the vehicle living community off Park!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 24, 2008 at 12:07 pm

As for using the Baylands Nature Preserve for a homeless encampment: NO.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kate
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 27, 2008 at 2:28 pm

The Palo Alto Police Department are supporting something called "Restorative Policing". It is suppose to get the homeless off the streets and into some programs to put them on the right track again. Unfortunately, many of the "homeless" choose this lifestyle and don't want anyone to interject themselves into their business. They see it as their right to live on the public benches and streets or anywhere they choose. I do have compassion for anyone who finds himself or herself in a bad situation because of unforeseen circumstances. I do not have the same compassion for the repeat offenders who find it amusing to harass the police and the public in general. The police really need to get tough with these guys.

I can assure you that in North Palo Alto the police are also turning a blind eye to the "homeless". We have some of the most aggressive homeless right here in downtown Palo Alto. They will follow you and scream at you as you try to use the downtown streets and businesses. The police don't care. I think they think they are being politically correct by going along with this restorative policing policy. They don't care if it injures the lives of the rest of the community, including the kids that live around this nonsense.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 27, 2008 at 5:11 pm

I was at a photocopy shop this morning and for the first time ever inside a business I smelled an incredible smell of urine etc. I assure you this was extreme and permeated just about the entire place. I thought that the carpet must have been damaged by some incredible accident?! Then I saw Mr. Frost going by and I am fairly sure he was the source, though I rushed to exit the business because I thought I might get ill. Contrary to what some might rush to write, I AM sympathetic to the homeless, but PLEASE avail yourselves of the extensive social services available.


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