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It is time for residential parking permits in Palo Alto

Original post made on Apr 22, 2012

Fellow Palo Altans, it's time we take this issue of residential permit parking and settle it once and for all.

Read the full guest opinion here Web Link posted Sunday, April 22, 2012, 10:49 AM

Comments (84)

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Posted by robit noops
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 22, 2012 at 11:55 am

I live on Birch street near campus. We now have a problem with Stanford people who are parking on our street and riding bikes or shuttles to campus to avoid having to buy parking permits. The same 4 cars are in front of my house almost every day.


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Posted by The streets are public
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 22, 2012 at 11:57 am

I am trying to find out where it states that a homeowner is guaranteed a parking spot on a PUBLIC street.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2012 at 1:04 pm

The reason there is a problem is because there is nowhere to park in Palo Alto for more than a couple of hours and pay for those hours.

We need to get pay per hour machines in every lot, or parking meters akin to Redwood City.

I occasionally need to visit downtown for several hours and for various reasons it does not suit me to ride a bike or use public transportation. Trying to find out how or where to pay for this is a big problem, not only for me, but for many who want to park downtown. It is not workers who are reluctant to buy monthly permits that is the problem, it is that daily parking is much too difficult for the many people who only need to park a couple of times a week.

I also need to go to Redwood City and the parking there is a breeze compared to Palo Alto. I can always find a meter where I need to go and with 25c per hour parking, I tend to overpay my time just to be safe.

Palo Alto parking would be greatly improved if those in authority realised that it is not free parking that is required, but the ability to pay per hour.


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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 22, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Sally-Ann - VERY well said! I'm unaffected by the parking issues in my neighborhood, but having lived in places with resident parking permits (Boston, for example) it makes total sense. To resident from Charleston Gardens - the street are public, but that does not mean rules can't apply. We already have parking restrictions such as parking on certain streets, 2 hour parking, 3 hour parking, commercial parking only, etc. There is no reason not to add Residential parking also. If residential only parking was permitted on one side of the street, people would be able to park near their homes and some overflow parking could still occur.

The problem in Downtown North is NOT people parking for a few extra hours to go downtown and shop. It is with employees using the streets as parking lots because their employers do not have to supply parking. The same thing happens with Stanford employees and students. Business on El Camino (a certain Dentist comes to mind) tell their employees NOT to park in the parking lot, but to park in the neighborhood instead.

A Residential Parking program would be fair.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm

"I am trying to find out where it states that a homeowner is guaranteed a parking spot on a PUBLIC street".

RPPPs don't gurantee that. RPPPs simply limit parking time (typically, 2 hours, weekdays), unless there is a paid permit puchased by residents. Even then, there is no guarantee. Metered parking performs the same basic function, particularly in business zones.

Impacted neighborhoods have every right to craft an RPPP, and many communities have done so, across the nation. College Terrace did, and I am hopeful that other Palo Alto residential neighborhoods will also succeed in doing so, where there is a major impact from institutions and business interests. Those who violate the parking rules should be fined at a level to cover the enforcement costs.


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Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm

No, palo alto mom, they don't use the streets as parking lots, they use the streets to park on, as on street parking is legal.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm

SallyAnn, PA Mom and Craig

I read what you have to say with respect and understanding. However, a residential parking permit will not solve the parking problem in downtown.

The problem is that people want to park for several hours and they are not just shoppers or workers reluctant to pay. I for one have need to visit downtown infrequently and biking or the shuttle won't meet my needs. Many people, like me, would be happy to pay for 4 hours parking in the parking lot nearest my destination. Why can't we have pay per hour parking machines in each lot?

We want people to come to downtown so we must help them to park. Some of these people may be shoppers, business visitors, part time workers, workers who usually bike or use public transport but occasionally need to use their car, etc. and we need to be able to facilitate their parking needs without expecting them to have permits.

Residents' parking needs are important. But so are many others' parking needs. Residential parking permits will help local residents but it won't help the many people like me who want to park for several hours or even a whole day occasionally. Residential parking permits will only mean that others will have to park and walk further to our destination. Is this the way we want to welcome visitors to our town? Our needs are just as important as local residents.

I also frequently need to park in Redwood City and I can always find a meter near my destination and with 25c per hour metered parking, I usually overpay just to be safe. Why can't we have a similar system here?

Parking is a problem in downtown and not just for local residents. Solving the parking problem with pay per hour machines and meters would help everyone to park, not just local residents.


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Posted by frustrated
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Downtown and Stanford are not the only parking problems in our fair city. There are other places where there are condo owners and apartment renters who feel it necessary to park in residentual areas close their homes. They will park their vehicles for days at a time without moving them in the residentual areas. There is supposed to be ample parking for apartment dwellers but it is "easier" or 'more convenient" to park in front of a residentual house. They have been known to park in front of driveways and can't understand why a few minutes can't turn into a few hours. Permit parking for home owners is the answer because the apartment dwellers are selfish and unreasonable and bring their own parking problems to adjacent residentual areas who in turn don't then have enough parking of their own.


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Posted by Sally
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 22, 2012 at 10:26 pm

yes, I think downtown should have residential permits. my friend who lives in Sacramento has that and it works well. otherwise he would not be able to park. His house and most on his street share a driveway with the next-door neighbor house and they alternate weeks as to who has to park on the street.


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Posted by Watch City Council and Staff
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:24 am

As long as the city considers new projects that don't have enough parking for their occupants, it gets worse and worse.
Unbelievable but true, the city may approve a HUGE office building on the corner of Alma and Lytton without the required parking. The project is up for approval early in May.
If we don't object to such favoritism for certain developers that is against the interests of the people who live here, we won't have cause to complain.


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Posted by Frank
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2012 at 4:11 am

Living in downtown pa is a choice. This would affect the downtown economy if imposed. The number one reason why more people don't visit, especially families, is parking.

I live in midtown and there is ample parking here. Please move before imposing a change to suit your personal needs that might be detrimental to a community.


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Posted by Ann
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 23, 2012 at 5:58 am

Thanks for your article. Everyday I have to drive around for a long time to find parking near my home. Sometimes I have to park very distant. I also only have one parking slot and no drive way. We need residential permits now!


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Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2012 at 7:34 am

@Frank - Living near downtown is a choice, but so is building to the zoning, and the project being proposed for 355 Lytton exceeds current zoning both in square feet density (meaning more workers) and undersizing the amount of parking (80 car spaces). The city council should not grant variance, but tell the developer that to build something which conforms to existing zoning.

The developer seeks to support a residential parking permit program by "donating" $250,000 towards such a program. But what happens when that money is all spent? and how does that solve the parking problem?


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Posted by Jonnie
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 23, 2012 at 9:35 am

The top 2 levels of the Bryant parking structure are under utilized. The city needs to open these 2 levels up for all day parking for city employees. College Terrace spoke up and got permit parking for their streets and it's about time for the downtown area to receive the same.

Web Link


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:07 am

There is an unmet need for all day parking on an irregular basis in downtown.

Put in more pay per hour machines and metered parking like Redwood City.



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Posted by roni
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:08 am

thats just part of living in downtown...you might have to just get over it


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Posted by Sue
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:18 am

I respect what you are saying, but the people who work downtown are bringing in tax dollars to our city. We have problems parking in front of our home. Whenever there is a major soccer event at Greer park you can kiss parking in front of your house good-bye. Having permits is not the answer and again we are paying the City for something we don't need.


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Posted by Arch Conservative
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:24 am

No question about it.
Got to be Bush's fault.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:27 am

Dear Sally-Ann,

You write "If you introduce permit parking, you have a real tool you can use to encourage people to get out of their cars and find other ways to get around. They can use public transit, they can bike, they can start rideshare and car share programs."

If you are the person in the family who is transporting your young children, getting the groceries, etc. throughout the day, perhaps your husband could let you park in the garage? If he works at home, then he doesn't need to move his car or perhaps HE could bike to his job or walk a little further if he comes home early?

Your article sounds like you are suggesting a policy solution for other people for your own convenience. My husband and I used to live in downtown North and limited parking was one of the issues that went with the neighborhood.


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Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:32 am

I have lived in various houses around Stanford for over 25 years and yes they DO use our streets as parking lots. Many students only use their cars on weekends, and leave them sitting all week long. The City, when called, has to mark the vehicle giving a warning, and the students watch out for that. I have seen students ride their bikes up to the car at all hours of the day and night, take the car for a quick 1.5 mile spin, then re-park in the exact same place. I have watched them return home from a weekend trip, take their bikes out of the vehicle, and see them disappear for yet another week or two. I have written down the mileage, and I know for a fact those cars didn't move. A typical Stanford student response is to snot off if you even try to attempt to speak to one of them about the parking situation. They think big brains equal total entitlement, and I guess under the current state of things in this City, their feeling of entitlement is backed up by law. I have seen their cars crusted in leaves and debris from having been sitting for so long. Flat tires too. I have seen them even washing marks off their tires hoping that parking patrol doesn't remember who they tagged. On one particular street, there were several people renting to students, and even if the homeowner didn't own a car, the students were still mandated to park on the street by their landlord. On streets like Churchill Avenue, where part of the street is parking on only one side, this is a major hassle. Try crossing that busy street with children and groceries. Then you also have the issue of the families with many cars. As long as they park outside their own house, it's fine, but when they have nannies and workmen, those people all park in front of everyone else's house. There are also the self centered narcissistic 'piggy' parkers, who will park right in the middle of a length of street that could accommodate TWO cars, instead of only Mr. or Ms. Special's ONE car. All they had to do was pull up, or back up, leaving room for another car. With the exorbitant rents and mortgages we pay in Palo Alto, the least we should be able to expect is parking outside our own home.


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Posted by all for me
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:33 am

"...lot (5,500 sq. ft.). It was built in 1907 and has a single-car garage and no driveway. "

There's your problem.

Also, 5,500 isn't a small lot size. You have plenty of room for parking on your lot. Since you choose to have a very large yard instead of parking space, you feel justified in annexing public roads? Seriously?


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Posted by radar
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:37 am

What Sally-Ann wants is for others to take public transit so she can drive - classic Palo Alto (it's all about me)


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Posted by Stepheny
a resident of Southgate
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:40 am

Palo Alto parking garage spaces cost the City $50,000 each to build. Why has the City never been proactive in getting available parking garage spaces filled 24/7? Why permit all-day parking in residential neighborhoods?

You think downtown north and south are tough, try the California Avenue area. The City has permitted developer Harold Hohbach to jam dense developments into that area, making street parking impossible.

Many San Francisco garages have a 'Spaces Available" sign telling you how many spaces are available, floor by floor. With smart devices now in everyone's pocket and parking apps galore, how is it that Palo Alto can't get its act together on parking?


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Posted by Marian
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:42 am

I hope that permit parking doesn't come to our block in Professorville near Embarcadero. We have plenty of parking.


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Posted by Cyclist
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:43 am

Many of my friends and neighbors have overbuilt their lots, eschewing driveways in favor of maximum square footage for their homes. We are permitted to do this if we have garages, yet garages are converted into cottages, offices or storage and not used for parking. Additionally, many families have more cars than drivers. I am not in favor of neighborhood parking permits.


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Posted by Midtown resident with similar issues
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:49 am

The parking problem is not limited to downtown. Midtown has its share of similar issues on residential streets. My neighborhood has several people that run businesses out of their home and have utility/commercial vehicles, "parts" trailers and such parked up and down the street. Additionally, with the larger homes going in, there are often three, four or more cars per household. This adds additional stress on the limited parking. We often have cars overhang our driveway that limits access into our own driveway and garage! Residential permits would help with the commercial vehicles and possibly the too-many-cars-per-household issue as well.


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Posted by Nick
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:51 am

Marian, what are you talking about? Have you tried to park on Ramona, Emerson or Lincoln during the working week?


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Posted by long time resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 23, 2012 at 11:17 am

If the City of Palo Alto would lower their monthly parking garage permits by $10-20 many more people would bite the bullet and get a permit and park in the garage all day. MaThey are retail workers AND office workers. Even the owners of small retail stores have a hard time of it. Also, the smaller parking lots need to be expanded a few levels.


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Posted by Neilson Buchanan
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 23, 2012 at 11:35 am

At one point the 100 block of Bryant Street (north of University) was minimally impacted by parking overflow from downtown and the train station. Now Bryant street is jammed full of parking from 830 to 430. A older woman with her bridge club had to stop her monthly bridge group because her friends could not park in reasonable walking distance to her home. Not only is has the street parking been jammed full with all day worker and commuter vehicles for the past 2-3 years but now new buildings such as Lytton Gateway will compound the problem. Unless the City Council stops its permissive and seemingly irrational policy towards powerful developers, downtown parking will spread further and further spilling over Middlefield into other neighborhoods.


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Posted by EcoMama
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 23, 2012 at 11:50 am

I can see both sides of the issue and wonder if there isn't middle ground: resident permits for one side of the street, and open parking on the other, for example (which is done in Boston, New York, and other larger cities). I live near downtown, too, and also am frustrated by our parking situation -- but I knew it'd be a problem when I moved here four years ago. It's always been a problem, and new development alone isn't to blame -- nor are the many retail workers who have to park on faraway residential streets because their employers don't offer parking, and they can't afford to buy permits on minimum wage. How would someone from EPA, for example, rely on commuting here via bus? The lines are limited, as is the timing; I'd drive, too, and park wherever was closest and free. In the back of my mind, though, I'm remembering that part of the reason I chose to live downtown was to drive less and walk/bike more -- something city residents might want to consider before expecting the workers staffing our stores to act differently. We over-drive here, and that's more of a problem than parking, IMHO!


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Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of University South
on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I live in University South and I absolutely do not want permit parking in my neighborhood. Let's limit it to places that are actually problematic--extending it to areas out of the downtown range for fear of spillover will cause hassles for residents who really don't need the protection--or the hassles.


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Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm

At least paint parking space lines, that would help with space hogging. Some people on some streets have done that themselves. I noticed it on two streets, called in to see how that can happen on my street, and found out that the City didn't do the painting. More, be vigilant. If a car sits for more than 72 hours, call it in to the PAPD hotline. Do it enough, and maybe they'll find other arrangements. I second more reasonable parking fees downtown.


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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Lots of good suggestions. My favorites:

Residential parking on one side of the street only
Hourly pay parking in City garages with machines to pay in the garage
Require all new office buildings to have realistic parking for employees (no in-lieu fees)


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Posted by Tread-Softly-Here
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Any parking restrictions should be based on evidence that there is a problem, rather than the "I'm a victim" rants that all too often drive public decisions these days.

Owning a house with a garage that has no street access is a little odd. This sort of situation does explain the need for zoning--that would demand a driveway at least, for off-street parking. It might be interesting to know how many homes there are in Palo Alto that do not have off-street parking.

Palo Alto does not need a one-size fits all Parking Restriction Program. Maybe its OK on a street-by-street basis, but even whole sections of town are too large geographically to be good candidates for this sort of heavy-handed approach to parking management.


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Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:25 pm

I'm with Frank...

>Living in downtown pa is a choice. This would affect the downtown economy if imposed. >The number one reason why more people don't visit, especially families, is parking.

>I live in midtown and there is ample parking here. Please move before imposing a change >to suit your personal needs that might be detrimental to a community.

I live south of Midtown and deal with Mitchell Park overflow parking...Like I said...DEAL WITH IT OR MOVE ON! I don't want to have to pay to go downtown just because people can't deal with parking. So you park a little further than your destination and walk - if you're going to brunch/lunch/dinner, the walk'll do ya good! And yes, I have had a hard time finding parking down there, but it's there, you just have to find your spot - :-)


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Posted by been there done that
a resident of University South
on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm

As someone who has spent much of my adult life living in locations with Residential Permit Parking (Boston, Chicago, San Francisco) I cringe at the idea of having to wrestle with that again! In my experience RPPs do *not* make it easier to park near your residence -- when you live in an area dense with housing, businesses and retail, parking is always difficult regardless of whether or not there are RPPs. What governs the availability of parking is really just how many people have need to park in the area and how much parking (of all types) is available. One thing RPPs do accomplish is that they increase the administrative overhead to park in your own neighborhood! (In order to prevent non-residents from scoring permits, the process is inevitably slow and painful.) In addition it makes it impossible to have friends and family over for a visit for more than 2 hours at a time. (Even work arounds where residents can buy temporary passes for visitors are, in my experience, laborious, painful and error prone.)

Moving to a downtown area, I don't expect parking to be easy peasy. Parking a block or so from home is a small price to pay for being within walking distance of vibrant retail and restaurants. That vibrancy can't be fully supported by residents in the walkable neighborhood -- folks who work and want to visit the area are a necessary ingredient for that vibrancy. I entirely support the goal of having more parking available for both workers and visitors to the University area -- but strongly believe (based on past experience) that RPPs are a false solution.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I live in University South and I absolutely want permit parking in my neighborhood. The parking problem is probably more acute in University South then it is in either Downtown North or Professorville.


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Posted by Beware of spillover
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm

When College Terrace started resident permits "robit noops" on Birch street noticed Stanford employees parking on his or her street. Professorville and Crescent Park would be impacted if Downtown North were granted resident permits. Where does it all end?


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Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I would be happy to buy a quarterly downtown parking permit, but the city does not sell them to downtown residents. They only sell them to downtown workers, why? I'd like to be able to pop home at my lunch hour, but I spend all of my time hunting for parking. Since I see a bunch of empty permit spots, I'd like to use them.


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Posted by Ray
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm

It is clear that MOST of the contributors who object to permit parking don't live near downtown. To those who feel that "they are public streets" I suggest something about fairness. If I were able to guarantee a 100% convenient shuttle service to everyone who works downtown at no cost to them, but they have to park in "your" neighborhood and you suddenly found yourself having to drive around to find a parking space, you would find yourself feeling differently about the negative impact on you because of the actions of others over which you had no control.

Further, fairness aside, for the legality and obligation for providing preferential parking for residents, go on line and look up Arlington v Richards, a United States Supreme Court case. Then Look up the City of Palo Alto Comprehensive Plan, page 1-3 (That's Chapter 1, page 3), Meeting Commercial and Residential Needs, in particular, the fourth sentence. There are times when government has the responsibility to act. Residents have no control over setting parking limits.

As Sally-Ann said, you can't park real cars in virtual spaces. If the "in lieu" fees were used to fund metered spaces so people could pay for time used, changed policies to utilize parking lots and garages efficiently, and business and the city worked more cooperatively and creatively to help employees park downtown near their work, the problem would be mitigated considerably. If the "in lieu fees" didn't disappear into the General Fund, they would go a long way to help solve the issue.


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Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

With FREEDOM comes the RESPONSIBILITY to use it PROPERLY. Who has more of a reason to need that residential street space?

This is not a NIMBY issue, nor an " entitlement " issue. This is a real problem that resident have. Who is being more arrogant in this issue?

Boulder has the CU campus, Denver has the DU campus. Boulder and Denver have STRICT PARKING PERMITS and TIME LIMITED PARKING that discourage students and business employees that take advantage of resident parking places!

Boulder has PARKING PERMIT KIOSKS that allow people to purchase a TIME LIMITED " parking space ". When your time is up, ( no meter feeding ), YOU GET A TICKET AND A TOW! That means no more " moving the car or erasing a chalk mark "...

Boulder HAD several unused parking garages....they are no longer unused now...

A similar situation WAS at DU. Underutilized parking garages ( no one wants to pay more, employee or student ) until resident parking signs and permits were put into place around DU. THEN the empty parking garages started filling up the way they were supposed to.

When I went to SJSU, I used the parking structures; why be late for class looking for a free parking spot? Some times PARKING PERMITS WERE PART OF THE TUITION FEES! That gave you a " license to hunt " for a parking spot...if you arrived late at Foothill College, you had to hike up " Cardiac Hill " rather than get one of the coveted close in parking spots...

Palo Alto, your solutions are right in front of you, you just need the guts to enforce them.

For the employees & students: The free ride is over, no more complaining about your " rights ". You don't pay PA taxes ( the majority can't afford to live in PA ), so stop with the " entitlement " attitude.....


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Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm

from Web Link

Where can I buy a Long-Term Parking Permit for Downtown or California Avenue?
For one day or longer, go to Revenue Collections desk at City Hall Lobby, 250 Hamilton Avenue.


Where can I park all day in downtown Palo Alto?
1. City Lot S is a Pay Lot in the 400 block of Bryant Street, between University and Lytton.

2. Private pay garage, 525 University (parking garage accessible from 400 block of Cowper).

3. One-day permits are sold at Revenue Collections desk in City Hall lobby, 250 Hamilton Avenue.


Where can I park in downtown Palo Alto?
You may park free for two or three hours in several lots and streets. You must read signs to avoid parking in "permit only" areas. Parking Maps are available in City Hall Lobby and in many stores and businesses.

Whom do I call for an abandoned vehicle on the street?
Call the Abandoned Vehicle Hotline (650-329-2258) 24-hours, or the traffic office (650-329-2687), Monday thru Friday, excluding holidays, between the hours of 8am-5pm. Have available a description of the vehicle, location, license number and how long it has been parked.


Whom do I call if a car is blocking my driveway?
Communications 650-329-2413.


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Posted by PayByHourForAll
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Seems it needs a pay-by-the-hour on Palo Alto Streets from 7a-5p, especially in downtown areas.


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Posted by all for me
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm

And who's going to subsidize the downtown RPP? CT RPPP still manages a loss each year it's been in force and continues to siphon off funds from Stanford to cover it. Is DTN going to start charging downtown businesses to fund their program?


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm

"And who's going to subsidize the downtown RPP? CT RPPP still manages a loss each year it's been in force and continues to siphon off funds from Stanford to cover it. Is DTN going to start charging downtown businesses to fund their program? "

IMO, there is a very strightforward answer: The licensing process should be paid for by those who buy the permits; the enforcement costs should be borne by those who violate the rules.

RPPPs are very successful, as long as there is adequate enforcement. For a model of business/residential/university issues, travel over to Davis, CA (UC Davis). Residential parking scofflaws are fined at a high enough level to sting, and to deter; the university has a cash-cow paid metering system. I have never had a problem with parking over there, as long as I obey the rules.


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Posted by Jim
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I used to live in a small house near Lytton and Bryant with a one car garage and a driveway. It was near the (then) hdgtrs of the PA Police and the street was usually nearly full with our loyal first responders. It was then, and should be again, illegal to park on residential streets unless you had a permit. Since every little family has at least 2 cars these days and wants to be able to claim their rights to part of the public street, I can imagine a time when each little spot has stenciled on it "reserved for ______". Car Wars; will it stop at residential rights to 2 places, 3, 4; and meanwhile real problems seem to just command our time!


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Posted by Jim
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Whoops...I mean't to say it was illegal to park on residential streets at NIGHT. Sorry


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Posted by PA Neighbor
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm

If the City extends permit parking to Downtown residents - how much will it cost to regulate? Like many rich residents of North Palo Alto Sally-Ann Rudd fails to address the costs involved in Policing Permit Parking.

Also, the City is smart enough to recognize that if permit parking is extended to the Downtown neighbors, other neighborhoods throughout Palo Alto will demand similar permit parking.

I live in Charleston Gardens where the overflow from the Cubberley Community Center regularly parks on our residential streets. We need permit parking just as much as the residents of Professorville.


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Posted by Sandi
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Apr 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Then it would be fair for homeowners also to pay for permits on PUBLIC streets...


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Posted by all for me
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm

"If the City extends permit parking to Downtown residents - how much will it cost to regulate?"

The last time the weekly reported on this in 2001 the cost was: Web Link
"The program's estimated startup cost is $1.08 million. Annual operating costs are estimated at$893,000. In order for the program to pay for itself, more than 1,300 parking citations would have to be issued per year. Should parking citations fall off because offenders park elsewhere, the program will no longer pay its own way. The sale of parking permits alone will not bring in enough money to cover the costs."
I expect the cost has gone up since 2001.


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Posted by PVille Residents
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Just to set the record straight with regard to several issues that have been raised in this dialogue:

We've been residents of Professorville for nearly 40 years. When we moved here in the late '70s and for ~20 years thereafter there were no parking problems . . . even with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation occupying an entire block of what is now a condominium complex, several homes and Heritage Park.

The intrusive parking of our neighborhood began to manifest itself in the early '90s when the City implemented the 2-hour color zones that restricted parking in the downtown area. That color zone schema was created in response to requests from the downtown businesses based on a well-founded concern that their downtown employees were preventing potential customers from finding convenient places to park downtown.

The intention was that the color zones would encourage the downtown employees to purchase permits to park in the city lots and the newly constructed city parking garages.

Unfortunately, permits sales only occurred on a relatively small scale for the several reasons:
The permits at $420 per year are relatively expensive for many of the hourly workers.
The administrative process for purchasing the permits is relatively awkward (e.g. they can be purchased only at City Hall.)
The sale of permits have not been especially well-managed resulting in a significant amount of underutilized space in the parking garages.
Free parking was readily available in the adjacent residential neighborhoods.

The intrusive parking situation has been exacerbated in the past few years by a couple of new, related phenomena:
The "re-purposing" of small retail spaces that used to have 5-10 employees into office space that now has 50+ employees . . . without addressing the additional parking required.
The explosive growth of startup businesses south of Forest Avenue.

So the short version of all this is simply please don't fault the residents, many of whom have lived in Professorville for decades, have lovingly restored and continued to care for their historic homes and simply wish to reclaim the quiet residential neighborhood into which they moved years ago.

Please do remember that it is the decisions of past city staffs and past city councils that allowed the number of employees in the downtown business community to grow without bound and without making allowances for adequate parking for their employees.

Please also remember that the City's Comprehensive Plan explicitly states:
"Meeting the demands of each community is a major theme of the Plan. The Plan establishes the physical boundaries of residential and commercial areas and sets limits where necessary to ensure that businesses and housing remain compatible. It encourages commercial enterprises, but not at the expense of the City's residential neighborhoods."


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 23, 2012 at 3:04 pm

"In order for the program to pay for itself, more than 1,300 parking citations would have to be issued per year."

That means less than four (4) citations per day. Surely, this cannot be a burden to enforcement! Is it a misprint? Did he mean per month? Per week?

The essential balance for enforcemnt is the level of the fine that is imposed. As it is adjutsed to cover enforement costs, there will be fewer scofflaws, thus the enforcemnt costs can decline, until the scofflaws kick up their game and start to violate the rules, again...then increase the fines even more, and add more enforcement. It is an equilibrium that will find its level, with time. It should be a zero-sum approach.

BTW, I think Downtown parking meters are a good idea (similar to RWC). Why not? I would be more tempted to shop Downtown, if I knew I could find a parking spot that I am willing to pay for.

Understanding of the various parking issues is not complex. There is no need to make them so.


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Posted by all for me
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm

" The permits at $420 per year are relatively expensive for many of the hourly workers."

That's probably what it will cost the RPPP per car to make sure it's cost neutral. Seems ironic but only fair.


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Posted by Choice
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm

The real problem is.... city planners

They are not making choices that keep everybody happy.

Shopping areas should provide enough parking lots or stacked parking to for shoppers and employees so they don't go parking in front of neighboring homes.

Enough Said!!!!


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Posted by Michael Vilain
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 23, 2012 at 9:44 pm

This article needs another perspective.

April 17th's POST had a lengthy article on the growing neighbourhood parking issue around the down town area. There was even a guest opinion by Ray Dempsey, a resident spearheading the push for parking permits and outlining the city's legal rights to implement such permits. The College Terrace permit program has been referenced as an excellent example of why such a program is needed and would be a good thing for the neighbourhood. That neighbourhood didn't house businesses, so it wasn't a fair comparison.

Businesses near down town that use low and medium wage workers would most likely loose those workers if they were not able to park somewhere. Big employers like Palo Alto Medical lease space in the city parking structures for their employees. If forced to, I'm sure companies like Apple would do the same for their 100+ people staffing the local Apple Store. What about the wait staff of The Cheesecake Factory or Starbucks or Peets or the 200 employees of the Palo Alto Whole Foods? Those people would either have to pay for parking themselves, use the bus to commute from places like Walnut Creek or Fremont or rely on subsidized parking. Or work somewhere else. That would cost a company and the City money. There may be a way to apportion subsidized spaces, based on revenue or square-footage. High employee-density businesses like The Apple Store or The Cheesecake Factory or Whole Foods don't fit that model. If a business has a staff of 20 and only 5 subsidized spaces, how are they to them allot them? The other 15 people have to pay or work only evening shifts or quit and work somewhere else.

What about the cost to implement a permit program? How many city employees would be needed to track and maintain the ever-changing monthly permits of high-turnover business like restaurants? How many additional parking enforcement officers would be needed to patrol the additional streets covered by the permits? It's not just the southern down town area, but the entire area from the San Franciscito Creek to Embarcadero Road that would need to be covered by parking enforcement. How many additional city employees (with pensions) would that be?

All these businesses--the Apple Store, the Cheesecake Factory, Starbucks, Peets, and all the restaurants--pay city sales taxes. The residents are asking for permits so they can have empty streets in front of their houses. They only pay for garbage collection and utilities. Yet these home owners owners expect the streets to be fixed, and their cracking side walks to be repaired, and the trees in front of their houses to be trimmed--all at city expense. Other cities are charging home owners for such services. Why not charge the permit owners the same fee per month for parking in the city garages? If they want empty streets, why not pay for the privilege by the month? It would be an all-or-nothing deal. It's not really fair if a home owner opts-out of the program when their neighbour pays $400/month for the permit.

What message does this program send to local businesses? Remember when Palo Alto tried to pass a business tax? This is a regressive form of a business tax because the people who have to pay it are people like me who can't afford to pay it.

While I don't live in the downtown area, I do work there part-time during the week. I truly cannot afford the high monthly fee to park in the parking structures. I would have to move my business elsewhere. I share space with 4 others and we would all have to leave rather than pay the current monthly parking fee for one of the garages. The streets are the only place we can park.

I already pay a Palo Alto business license. Don't make me pay for another fee just to work in Palo Alto just so people can park their cars on the street in front of their house.


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Posted by PA resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:24 pm

I recently got a parking ticket on a CA Ave side street because my first appointment with a doctor ran over the 2 hours. I wasn't expecting it, and there would have been no way to easily move my car, I had to simply eat the ticket. Given how fast I was ticketed, I expect I'm not the first, and I must have parked on a 'cash cow" street.

I accept that the ticket is legitimate and paid it (so please don't yammer at me about that after what I say next - though, the cost really hit our budget and it absolutely meant we skipped a dinner out at CA Ave that night). However, when I called the number on the ticket to ask where I could park nearby, I was told if I wanted to park more than 2 hours, I needed to get an all-day permit, which I could only get downtown at City Hall, not online, and it would cost me $6.

So, if I go to the doctor again, I have to spend $6 for parking on the CHANCE that it will be longer than 2 hours. But if I don't have time to go down to city hall, I will have no choice but to travel a little ways into the neighborhood....


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 24, 2012 at 10:52 am

Certainly metered parking would help. I would favor the dispensers that print tickets to place on your dash --- typically these machines are solar powered and allow credit card or debit card usage.

However, I suspect that there will still be a significant number of people who will still park in DT and P'ville as they will refuse to pay to park at any cost.


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Posted by Annette
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 24, 2012 at 10:56 am

The city should get realistic and build more parking structures. Employers should require (and enable) their employees to use them. Shoppers and beauty parlor and dentist clients should have a place to park.


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Posted by been there done that
a resident of University South
on Apr 24, 2012 at 11:32 am

To Ray:

I think you need to re-read the comments and re-set your expectations. A lot of the folks opposed to residential permit parking *do* live near downtown.

This is also demonstrated by the fact that a lot of my neighbors took down the signs in their yards advocating RPPs. (I would estimate that 80% of folks who received signs, removed them within 24 hours.)


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Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 24, 2012 at 11:33 am

How about parking meters in downtown, and all other areas with parking issues like College Terrace? Overnight parking on residential streets should be permitted only to residents, which would solve some of the parking problems of College Terrace.
Personally, I deal with the downtown parking problem by not going there. CAlifornia Ave is much more pleasant and has better restaurants.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on Apr 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm

To "been there done that, a resident of the University South neighborhood:,

When did the signs advocating RPPs go up? I've lived in the University South neighborhood for 6 years and I never got nor seen a sign.


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Posted by ggl
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Too many cars only come from too many people. Palo Alto city council and staff apparently have visions of turning Palo Alto into a high tech Tokyo and padding their resumes along the way with references to all the massive developments that they helped develop. They say they care about the environment and sustainability but not enough to have a comprehensive plan that supports a life style that is sustainable and also ENJOYABLE by the people who live here. The tighter you stack residences and the more limitations you impose the more sustainable things can be, but not very enjoyable. Palo Alto is well on its way to crowding out the very things that make it a good place to live. Too bad the developers don't have to live here, then they might stop burying the rest of us with their concrete.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I'm w/Crescent Park Dad. While in my heart of hearts, I believe downtown PA should pay ME to park there ;-) I could pay to park when I go there. I'm not a big fan of downtown - I'm w/Daniel as far as preferring Calif. Ave.

But how would parking meters help the residents living downtown who can't find parking near their own homes? Parking meters in those neighborhoods, unless one has a parking permit?


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm


Michael Vilain,

"The College Terrace permit program has been referenced as an excellent example of why such a program is needed and would be a good thing for the neighbourhood. That neighbourhood didn't house businesses, so it wasn't a fair comparison."


It is true that the CT parking pressures are of a somewhat different nature than Downtown, however the end result is the same: A tsunami of parked cars in residential neighborhoods. Each neighborhood needs a plan of action that is appropriate to the situation at hand. An RPPP is a very appropriate response for neighborhoods that are forced to face the big wave. Our RPPP in CT seems about right to me (2hrs per weekday, during working hours).

Downtown businesses should simply be required to pay for their own employee parking, in public parking structures (or park and ride lots), since it is a cost of doing business in PA. The current practice of dumping employee parking on the local neighborhoods should, justifiably, be ended. An RPPP can accomplish this.

I wish the Downtown neighborhoods the best of luck, before you get swept out to sea.


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Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm

CT should have some metered parking space along the streets and the rest should be reserved for residents through residential parking permits. It's totally unfair for CT residents to be pushed out of their neighborhood parking-wise by Stanford students and employees.


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Posted by Beware of Spillover
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm

@Choice:
Right you are! Everyone just accepts the increased density goals of the city planners, who think they will get people to take public transportation. It doesn't work. This is all part of Palo Alto's long term development plan. It's only going to get worse until we make them stop!


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Posted by ABH
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm

The people that park in our neighborhoods are hourly workers that have no other place to park. Why don't you pick on someone else. When I have to drive to my job in the Cal Ave
area, I park in the surrounding neighborhoods. There are much bigger problems out there,
PLEASE pick something more important to complain about.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Someone asked how parking meters would help in residential areas and the answer is that I am not sure and I am not advocating meters in residential streets, although I could be pursuaded.

I am thinking that we should be putting parking meters at say 25c an hour (like RWC) in commercial/business zones for street parking with a 3 hour maximum. If there were 3 hours free parking and then pay per hour machines in all city lots it would encourage more use of the lots and enable shoppers and diners a choice of free or paid parking and those who want to park more than a few hours an opportunity to park at the lot nearest their destination.

On the other hand, if there was to be meters in residential areas, residents could apply for exemptions (a token or sticker perhaps) and their guests could either use their driveways or pay like everyone else.

I feel sure that if we could make parking in the lots more attractive and also a realistic fee, it would encourage people to park there rather than on residential streets.

What we need to do is not to distract people away from either visiting or working in downtown, but give them incentives to park in the underutilized lots. The best way to do this is to make it more economical for them to park there through choice, rather than the attempt at making downtown a forbidden ground for all day parking.

At present the empty garage lots are not making any money for the city. Getting cars to park there at an affordable daily rate must be a better option that when they are empty and not earning anything.


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Posted by keenplanner
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 24, 2012 at 8:27 pm

25 cents an hour? Really? Why not up the rate to at least a buck an hour. It's not like poor people frequent PA.


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Posted by Michael Vilain
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 25, 2012 at 12:11 am

Craig Laughton,

"Downtown businesses should simply be required to pay for their own employee parking, in public parking structures (or park and ride lots), since it is a cost of doing business in PA. The current practice of dumping employee parking on the local neighborhoods should, justifiably, be ended. An RPPP can accomplish this."

I'm saying that these two neighbourhoods aren't the same. And my point of businesses paying for employee parking may happen for some (e.g. PAMF has two floors on the Alma structure) but that probably won't happen for the restaurants or the smaller startups (one near me has over 100 people in two buildings) or Whole Foods. What's left if they can't hire staff because it costs to much to park? Move from Palo Alto's Downtown to some other location. Downtown looses all the lunchtime traffic and revenue they generate. The CT parking people don't generate revenue for the city, so it was easy to deal with them. I asked a bunch of hourly wage workers like me what would they do if they had to pay to park. Most said "Quit and work elsewhere." Another said "Wait until they open the store near me and work there."

Is there sufficient capacity in the structures to handle all the people that park in the neighbourhoods now? I would think not (1000 spaces easy). So there's no other place for these people (and me) to go other than somewhere else. Some may be able to carpool or bike or take Caltrain or a bus, but most will just go work somewhere else.

And don't think that having a sticker on your car will stop you from getting a ticket. A fellow worker is disabled and she's had to fight a ticket 3 times (all from the same person) who claims she wasn't displaying her sticker. It's extra work to check. If they do implement stickers and checking, it will have to be from Webster to Alma and the creek to Embarcadero. That's a lot of new city employees just so you can park on the street in front of your house.


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Posted by Bob Wenzlau
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 25, 2012 at 7:47 am

Being a cyclist who has just endured the experience of being "doored", I offer that there is a bicycle / pedestrian safety component to the parking permit. Being "doored" is when a car door rapidly enters the path of the cyclist, and in my cause causing flight to the street with bruised ribs and contusions.

The error of my ways is that a cyclist should ride 5 feet from the cars, but in the residential streets this is tough. Drivers are reasonably impatient as they have places to be, and not to be slowed. The residential streets are narrow.

While the trajectory of my note appears to be keeping cars from parking on the street, in my case it is car doors, and not cars. The door that hit me was pushed by a worker - a construction worker - and was opened as school was starting. If not me, why not a student being hit?

If a residential parking permit were in place there would be fewer doors being swung into the street especially when we have commuters and students going to school. The streets would be safer as fewer cars are roaming looking for a parking space and not what is in front of them. I would support having a "place" for these cars other than the street, and allow are streets to be a bit safer.

Obviously my lens is through my recent injury, but in the aftermath one looks for the "lessons learned".


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Posted by SallyAnnRudd
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 25, 2012 at 8:52 am

Businesses will not be leaving downtown PA because of the cost of parking. Palo Alto rents are already many, many times higher than elsewhere in the Bay Area and yet not only do businesses stay, but property developers fight to increase the density of their buildings so they can pack in even more people - and that is exactly what has happened and why we are in the situation we are in.
Clearly because of the growth of office vs retail in downtown PA, more longer-term parking is required. The business district needs to give up some 2hr spaces and reallocate to long term. The top 2 floors of the Bryant garage are under-utilized, the Lime zone is under-utilized (that's off Florence/ Lytton) - empty spaces even at lunchtime. People buy monthly parking permits and don't use them, so that system should be reviewed too.
Whole Foods operates in Oakland, Berkeley and SF - all dense urban areas with resident parking restrictions and they have no difficulties finding employees.
I'm always amazed that people get excited about the cost of parking yet accept the rising cost of their commute due to gas prices with never a second thought.
Resident Permit Parking is an environmental issue - there are about 1200 cars coming into Downtown North to park every day - thats 1200 in, 1200 out - 2400 extra car trips through an area 3 blocks deep and 8 wide. There's no political will to find or fund alternative transportation solutions that actually work for the people who need them while the neighborhoods offer free unlimited parking.
It's not a wealth issue, this affects everyone who lives in a geographical area, and 45% of the people who live in DTN are rental tenants.
No one expects clear streets; but in a residential area the needs of residents should be paramount and the residential/ walkable nature of the area should be maintained.
There's a project coming up May 7 at City Council - 355 Alma - which could potentially add another 100 cars to DTN because the building is huge and the developer cannot build enough spaces to park it. They're calling it "Transit Oriented Development" because they will be giving employees Caltrain passes. But there's no enforcement that the employees will use those passes. Since there's a neighborhood adjacent with unlimited free parking there's no incentive for employees to use Caltrain.
If 355 Alma goes ahead, there will be more "transit oriented development" around transit hubs - and that means Calif Ave. Without parking disincentives, these deliberately underparked developments will increase strain on neighborhoods until there is literally nowhere left to park - for employees, residents or visitors.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm

If I can believe the numbers mentioned in this thread, a permit in a city parking space is about $1.15 per day, across the full year. Call it $1.62, if only weekddays are considered.

It also seems that some parking structures are not being filled out with cars. This is a lost revenue opportunity for PA, worse, those businesses that do not subisdize their employee parking are dissing the neighborhoods near them. Any business that refuses to subsidize employee parking should not be doing business in PA. The (minimal) increased costs should be shifted to the customers, via higher prices. It is the cost of doing business.

RPPPs are a very reasonable solution for impacted neighborhoods. This is not even a close call.

I wish good luck to the Downtown neighborhoods, in their quest to keep their neighborhoods liveable. College Terrace is much better off with our RPPP.


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Posted by hmmm
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 26, 2012 at 10:57 am

RPPPs are a great way to re-claim your streets from all those strangers coming into your neighborhood. Barriers also help as do high fences, security lights, video surveillance and locked gates.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 26, 2012 at 12:43 pm

"RPPPs are a great way to re-claim your streets from all those strangers coming into your neighborhood. Barriers also help as do high fences, security lights, video surveillance and locked gates."

@ hmmm from Crescent Park: RPPPs don't stop strangers from parking on our streets, they just limit the time that anybody, without a permit, can park on neighborhood streets for more than a set period of time.

Coming from Crescent Park, perhaps you know a lot more than I about security systems(videos, alarms, lights, locked gates, etc.). RPPPs are what they are, but they are not meant to exclude stangers, unless they break the reasonable rules of a neighborhood's parking regs. Strangers park on my street all the time, but they are ticketed, if they violate the parking rules. RPPPs do have the effect of inhibiting car camping in our neighborhoods, which is a good thing, IMO, but it is not the focus of RPPPs.



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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 26, 2012 at 12:57 pm

@ ABH: Not buying your argument. $420 covers parking for the entire year. As stated above $1.15/day. Or $1.62 if only weekdays/5-days per week. No limits on # of hours either.

That's less than a cup of coffee from Peet's or Starbucks...

Can't afford the $420 upfront? Go to quarterly payment instead.

It will cost a lot more if they go to residential permits and meters downtown.


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Posted by hmmm
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm

@Craig: I had college terrace in mind when I came up with that list! Walk along your street, you'll see 'em.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm

" I had college terrace in mind when I came up with that list! Walk along your street, you'll see 'em.


@ hmmm: I don't see them, as I walk/drive my street. We are pretty open over here. Care to give a few examples, with specific addreses?

We have an effective RPPP, and I am happy that we do. However we are nowhere near a fortress neighborhood. Do you really live in Crescent Park (CP), or are you just using it as cover plot? If you do live in CP, you need to take a walk in your own neighborhood! College Terrace is rarely visited by PA police, but CP has special attention from the police patrols. Gimme a break!

RPPPs are a good thing for neighborhoods that are impacted by parking from nearby instituions and businesses. It is time that we support them.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Residential permits may help the residents, but it won't make the parking problem downtown go away. Those cars are going to come so unless a system can be invoked to help people like me who need to park more than 3 hours on an irregular basis, then an even bigger problem will arise.

There is a downtown parking problem and the present system is no good. Pretending there isn't a problem or that everyone will magically go somewhere else is not realistic. Unless we do something to help those who presently park on residential streets, then the parking problem will just move to outside the permit zone and others will be unhappy. Solving the parking problem needs more than one action.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 26, 2012 at 6:00 pm

"Residential permits may help the residents, but it won't make the parking problem downtown go away. Those cars are going to come so unless a system can be invoked to help people like me who need to park more than 3 hours on an irregular basis, then an even bigger problem will arise."

@ Resident: Are you saying that there are no parking spots in Downtown parking structures? Or are you complaining that you have to pay for them? When I go Downtown, I never have a problem with parking in the structures. Of course, I pay for them, if required.

In general, I fail to see what the problem is for Downtown employees. Park in the public structures for less than $2 per day...then demand that your employers pay for it, directly or indirectly.

This is pretty obvious breakfast cereal, even with non-fat milk.

Downtown neighborhoods: Go for your RPPPs...you need it, and you deserve it. Fight for it!


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Craig


It took me quite a few trips to downtown Palo Alto, driving into various lots, to find a space to park for more than 3 hours. Every garage has funny colored zones and no instructions on what to do if you want to park for more than 3 hours. There are no machines, meters or signs telling someone like me what to do. The first thing I discovered was to park and then go to City Hall to pay for my one day parking. Very inconvenient. I later discovered that there were a couple of garages that had pay and display machines on a couple of the floors.

I am a local resident and find it difficult. How do you expect someone coming here with a business appointment to find a space within a 20 minute window of their deadline? They don't know the city and their GPS only show parking not how to pay for it.

Yes, there is a big problem on parking downtown. Most people with business meetings or occasional parking habits and probably others are willing to pay but the present system is not user friendly.

Downtown employees are only part of the parking need. Visitors of all types and those who occasionally want to bring their car to work for afterwork activities have parking needs also. I can't see why you think it is so easy. It is not an easy thing to do to find a place to park where you can pay for more than 3 hours in Palo Alto unless you have ESP. Believe me.


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Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on May 1, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Wow. I cannot say I've read every word here but I applaud Ms. Rudd for taking the initiative to write something and, as I understand it, organize a meeting on these topics for tonight May 1, at Avenidas on Bryant. I count 81 posters so far here.

I think we residents should have the right to hold landlords and business owners more accountable for how their businesses impact us. We should make that more clear to Council, staff and commissioners.


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Posted by hmmm
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 1, 2012 at 3:29 pm

@Craig: How about:
here: Web Link
here: Web Link

here: Web Link

here: Web Link
here:... oh why bother.

Such a welcoming community!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on May 1, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Don't follow leaders (organize, write letters, staple info to bulletin boards, mention it to friends and even strangers you pass on street), watch the "pawking metaws" (which is an ambiguous lyric, I am referencing the old Bob Dylan song and video, from the 1960s, I think it is warning us about too mechanistic and Orwellian an enforcement -- for free-thinking artists and activists of that day it might seem square to put coins into machines, not sure we should merely order up better and smarter devices -- machines to compensate for machines seems a losing battle -- plus the app that tells you where the Meter Maid is -- )

Please join me in this 2 minute circling the block for ideas:
Web Link


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