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?