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Citizen analysis shows parking woes deepening

Original post made on Jul 31, 2013

In three years, the parking shortage in downtown Palo Alto will be nearly three times as bad as it is today as the problem spreads to Crescent Park and sections of Old Palo Alto, according to an analysis conducted by a group of downtown residents and unveiled this week.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 8:22 AM

Comments (60)

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Posted by city wide rpps
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 8:37 am

Well, the maps truly show why no RPP should be instigated in DTN or PV. That would just make the spread go that much faster. This has to be across the city if they want to do it at all.


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Posted by Eric F
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 31, 2013 at 8:42 am

The model is posted at

Web Link

if anybody wants to try it.


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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 31, 2013 at 8:45 am

Great work, guys!!

This is the sort of work that one would expect from a highly paid City Transportation/Engineering Department.

Sadly, we residents have to do what they should be doing.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2013 at 8:53 am

We need to get change the permit only system in city lots as it presently exists and add pay per hour machines in all lots and garages.

Additionally we need to get free parking lots in the Baylands and have 30 minute shuttles to downtown.

People are willing to pay to park and/or to spend time walking, so these solutions are out of the box thinking that need to be tried.


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Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:19 am

"This is the sort of work that one would expect from a highly paid City Transportation/Engineering Department."

There is a very good reason they haven't done it: don't ask the question if you don't want the answer.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:25 am

The real problem is the idea that these cars are going to disappear if there is a ban put in place.

Trouble is, they won't.

These cars need to be parked and the real problem is that this is not understood. Instead of making it harder for people to park, there should be a system to help them park in the right places. At present bans and permits are not helping people who occasionally want to park all day or who find the cost of the permits too high. Most of the street parkers are probably those who park occasionally all day or who are in the lowest paid jobs.

Increasing parking involves thinking outside the box. Aiding people to park should be the aim rather than ignoring their needs.

All day parking with pay per hour machines at all lots and garages, meters on downtown streets and free parking lots outside downtown with frequent shuttles have never been discussed by the City. It is time for them to do so now.

Doesn't anyone at the City have any common sense?


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:28 am

>This has to be across the city if they want to do it at all.

Correct. That is what the city of Davis, Ca. finally determined, based on its 'push out' experience. The citizens of Palo Alto have a reasonable expectation that their neighborhoods will be livable. A city-wide RPPP is a major step in that direction. IMO, it has worked well in College Terrace (CT). CT has been an incubator for the concept, and details matter. Politically, it might better to allow each neighborhood to opt in, as they begin to feel the parking pressures. However, the most efficient way is to do it by fiat (probably won't happen).

The fundamental issue is too many cars downtown, especially for employees. The obvious answer is to develop satellite parking shuttle lots, as has been mentioned by several posters on this blog. Cal Train lots are one obvious example, which begs the question: Why not just take Cal Train to PA? BART should circle the Bay and head down to Salinas, period. The Baylands could provide a satellite lot (including multi-deck parking structure), too, with shuttle buses (note: I strongly recommend the undedicated ten acres that is proposed for the anaerobic digestion industrial plant foolishness).

Don't forget parking meters in retail/institutional areas, like Redwood City and UC Davis have.

Also, I don't understand why Crescent Park (CP) can't have it own RPPP, if it wants it. The current issue there is EPA overflow parking, but CP will soon face Downtown parking expansion. If they want it, why not?

The era of free parking in PA, on demand, is over.


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Posted by towers?
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:41 am

This is important work, and I agree the City should be doing this. Publicly.

The changes that have already occurred these past few years are huge, and those estimated up until 2015 appear to double the parking problem, but the deficit for 2015-2016 blip only a few hundred parking spaces when the assumptions list an estimate that the City will raise the dealt Cap by 100,000 sq feet. Also listed is "27 University Towers" and Theater.

Are towers already assumed for 27 University? I really dislike seeing this as an assumption.

Seems to me we need to be talking 2016. What is the purpose of a development Cap if the City plans to raise it. And certainly the "towers" must be stopped for many other reasons besides parking.

It looks like a path to destruction, and it may end up as a messed up town with parking, but that is no consolation.


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:09 am

Actually I'm surprised that Palo Alto and CalTrain have not worked together to build garages where the existing CalTrain lots exist today.


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Posted by not accurate
a resident of Barron Park School
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:49 am

This model is not even close to correct. An additional 1600 cars means in three and a half years there would be an additional 400,000 sf developed downtown with no parking being provided for all that space. Even if you include the Arriallaga project, which would be fully or mostly parked, it would not even close to these numbers. If you going to make an argument, at least be honest.


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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:54 am

Why do people think they are entitled to a parking space anywhere and everywhere they go? One one hand, the posters here rail about preserving Palo Alto's "unique" character, but on the other hand, if they actually had their way the city would end up being built like Fresno.


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Posted by liberty
a resident of University South
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:13 am

Can someone post a link to whatever study came up with the 901 parking space deficit?
I remember seeing a report not too long ago that showed the parking garages downtown were only 50% utilized.
Under utilized parking garages matches with what i see. The downtown permit system is inflexible and useless to all of our employees. I think that a more flexible downtown parking permit system that is aimed at utilizing all the downtown parking spots should be the first step.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:14 am

I fail to see how allowing more employee parking in Downtown is supportive of our neighborhoods. We need to discourage car commute traffic/parking. However I do support dynamic growth, including projects like the Arriallaga project (next to the Cal Train station). I would like to see Palo Alto remain a vibrant city for those who can afford to live here. This is not a paradox, IMO.

Employees working Downtown (office or retail) should be strongly mandated to take public transportation or to park in satellite shuttle lots; bus pools by the employers are also a real answer, too...they work!

There are solutions, short of economic paralysis and neighborhood decay.

Parking and traffic are no longer a free commodity in PA, and we need to face that fact.


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Posted by city wide rpps
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:56 am

Web Link
"the total cumulative parking deficit has
been "reduced" from 1,601 in 1986 to 901 in 2012."


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Posted by Charlie
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I clicked into the Buchanan model and found I need a more thorough and understandable explanation of each assumption line (maybe a mouse-over balloon with an explanation). The are a number of assumption lines I don't understand at all.

So far, I'm not confident what a reasonable square foot per employee assumption might be. I think the employee density per square foot is going up, but I also suspect more square feet are now allocated to employee perks.

For a Palo Alto community loaded with analytics, this is a brilliant community-driven step to shed more light on this issue.


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Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 31, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Has this model been validated? How?


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Posted by jerry99
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Put a moratorium on all new building in ALL of Palo Alto. No more retail, no more condominiums and no more apartments. El Camino is already a parkin lot from 3:00PM to 7:00PM and there is almost no lunchtime parking in downtown Palo Alto. I could not find a place two of the last three times I went to I just went to Mountain View instead. If it happens once or twice more I will stop going to downtown Palo Alto altogether.


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Posted by Nope
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 31, 2013 at 12:37 pm

The developer of this model _wanted_ to show a parking problem to motivate change. This is a biased model, not to be taken seriously at all. Lots of assumptions were needed to get the results he wanted.


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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 31, 2013 at 12:53 pm

> to show a parking problem to motivate change

Yes.

> This is a biased model, not to be taken seriously at all.
> Lots of assumptions were needed to get the results he wanted.

Folks should take the model seriously. The authors should be open to documenting their assumptions, and to attempting to integrate other possible "parking distribution functions" into their model. Certainly the car/office-occupant assumption is one that should be investigated.


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Posted by Pat
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 31, 2013 at 1:23 pm

The answer seems obvious to me: build more parking garages! There is space in various spots and the city has enough money to build them. Why are we spending so much time, money and energy considering options that will only move the problem to other parts of our city?


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Posted by Free parking
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 31, 2013 at 1:33 pm

"The era of free parking in PA, on demand, is over."
I assume, Craig, that you mean that for everyone--residents and workers and visitors. So no free parking for residents? Does that mean we can get rid of the RPPP in CT???

Looking at the pictures on the website for the study
one states" No parking management, heavy commercial parking intrusion".
I do not see "heavy commercial parking". And how do know that this commercial parking is not people doing work at the residents. Wny use loaded terms like "intrusion"? The streets are public and available to all at this point--so no intrusion. Also two of the pictures look like they were taken at the same spot but of different views (check the grey covered pick up truck with the white label on the door).
This makes me think that this study is biased and not reflective of the issue.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 31, 2013 at 1:56 pm

>I assume, Craig, that you mean that for everyone--residents and workers and visitors. So no free parking for residents?

Yes, within RPPP rules, which allow a brief period of time for workers, visitors, like CT currently has. Residents have paid for their permits.

>Does that mean we can get rid of the RPPP in CT???

No. What is the koolaid logic of that?...for such a successful program...and a model for the rest of PA neighborhoods?


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Posted by Parsnip
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 31, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Classic Palo Alto over-think on an easily fixed issue. They should get around to doing something in 3 years after they pay for a study or 12.


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Posted by PA
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 31, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Much of the street parking in my downtown neighborhood is from all of the construction
projects that the homeowners are doing. I counted 8 construction cars parked for the one
project behind my house. How much you wanna bet that the people carrying out the
construction projects are the very people complaining about people parking in the neighborhood?


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Posted by Nevermore
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 2:58 pm

We have stopped going downtown altogether simply because the parking situation is so miserable. We now go put to dinner and shop in Mtn View or Sunnyvale.

I wonder how many other Palo Altans are dropping their tax dollars outside of Palo Alto!


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 3:11 pm

I disagree. Instead of wasting your time circling blocks, all you need to do is pick one of the garages, go up or down a couple of floors and there's plenty of spaces.


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Posted by PA resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2013 at 3:32 pm

In Cambridge, MA, residents are allowed one street parking permit/unit. Maybe Palo Alto should have something similar and institute permit parking on only one side of the street. (The other side would be for general use.) This would give residents the opportunity to find more parking near their homes but would also encourage them to use their garages/driveways and not own an excessive number of cars.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 31, 2013 at 5:57 pm

We will need a new parking garage in the downtown area soon, so get on it City of Palo Alto.

I agree with Crescent Park Dad, the existing parking structures are fantastic. I look for a spot on the street while I am heading somewhere, but if I cannot find one I have only encountered a full parking garage one time in many years on the Alma-High garage.

These things are great, you drive up until you find a space, hop out and take the elevator or stairs down and simply walk a little to your destination.

Parking permits are a pain in the neck. They require more money, more police or ticketers, more court time - just a pain in the neck.

One problem is the way the developers are building things in Palo Alto we are going to have to put parking structures in neighborhood because they do not create enough parking places, or people refuse to use their garages for their cars. Our city is going to be really miserable if we do not plan this and get it right.


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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Jul 31, 2013 at 6:19 pm

@Nevermore

You do realize how goofy that sounds, downtown Palo Alto is going to lose business because all the parking is taken? That reminds me of something...
"Nobody goes there anymore, its too crowded"


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Posted by Pat
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 31, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Downtown Palo Alto is turning into an office park. The downtown is quickly being ruined....forever. The downtown streets will soon become dark due to the highrise buildings blocking the sun and blocking the views of the Stanford Hills. And of course there will be fewer and fewer shops and absolutely no parking. The architecture of the new buildings is abominable. Where is the leadership in this town? The city manager should be given his walking papers. He's allowing the city to be destroyed. Eventually he'll retire to another town or state, leaving his incompetence for Palo Altans to have to live with.


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Posted by Ergo
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 31, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Maybe the parking problem will solve itself. The traffic and parking problems in Palo Alto appear to be well-known throughout the Peninsula. As people get sick of it, they will stop coming to Palo Alto to shop or dine. Problem solved, for a few years, anyway.


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Posted by pa resident
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:11 pm

ergo - the parking problem is not "people coming to shop and dine", the parking problem is totally caused by businesses and office not providing parking for their workers.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:55 pm

@Pat
Yes. Roxy Rapp's new building at Bryant/University is too big, too
dark, too sterile, out of place- it looks like it was transplanted from an office park and together with the Jos Bank bldg creates a huge monolith which completely changes the character of University
Ave. The roof extension at the Epiphany Hotel from a distance looks very top heavy and unnatural and has a huge impact on the Hamilton Ave streetscape all the way down Hamilton past Waverley.The historic resoures at the Gatehouse project on Lytton, the historic building and small plaza, have been ruined by overdevelopment in a mishmash. Similarly the beautiful historic facade at the old Medallion Gallery on Univ next to La Strada has been ruined by the over-development.It now looks out of place, cheap and new in an attempt at emulating the Vegas lower strip. We need to outsource design review in Palo Alto to promote compatibilty, proper scale,design and aesthetics. Developers are driving the process here and density and sq/footage rule. The rest is a sidelight and the results show it. Palo Alto is being downgraded, before we even talk
about the rest of the mess the City created- the traffic, parking
issues, destruction of neighborhoods,etc.


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Posted by Jenny
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:54 pm

I was told "on good authority" that MOST of the City of Palo Alto staff dealing with building issues do not even live here. They have NO STAKE in how the city looks....just how big their paycheck and the pension and other perks are. But the people who DO live here have been cut out of the process. Now the people are 'rising up' - and things are getting verrrry interesting. There is a snowball effect after 27 University and Maybell. Time for prospective city council candidates to start their campaigns NOW. Time to clean house in the Planning Commission and Architectural Review Board for starters.


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Posted by boscoli
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 1, 2013 at 6:11 am

Look anywhere in the world and you will find out that parking woes are a direct result of over development. Palo Alto exists in an area that is geographically and environmentally totally unsuited to be a big city and a megalopolis, but the developers have taken over and are turning it into exactly that.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2013 at 6:13 am

To clarify what I'm saying in the previous post, the Birge Clark facade at 323 University (previously a Medallion Rug gallery)which
was maintained as a historic site in the office development of the property has lost much of its character and is overwhelmed by the high density surrounding office construction. This facade is one of the most outstanding architectural features in Downtown Palo Alto with its Spanish and classical aspects. The entry area on the ground
floor has been successfully preserved.


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Posted by SR
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 1, 2013 at 7:06 am

There was no extra parking provided for change of use of building at 323 University because its within the Parking Assessment District. That's part of the problem, changes to more dense use without extra parking. So where do all the cars go?
Why are property owners allowed to do this time and again? Walgreens building and Varsity cinema same issue - changes of use without adding one extra parking space.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2013 at 7:50 am

@SR
524 Hamilton I believe is not in the Parking Assessment District and
still with TDR's, exemptions, has only 8 parking spaces on site including two for the luxury condo on top floor. If there is a handicap space then that would reduce further the available parking. This office project, 7400 sq ft office in addition to condo, was a complete redevelopment of a low intensity use.


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Posted by Ray
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 1, 2013 at 8:26 am

I notice that comments against a resident permit parking system are often made by people who live just outside the problem area. NIMBY. I also notice that many people who were against it initially are now for it as the blight has spread into their areas. I advance this idea, that "parking" really isn't the problem. It is a symptom of a problem that lies with the decision makers within City Hall. When they demand that developers build structures that include enough parking for employees and customers, buildings that are in a scale that fits the essential character of Palo Alto, not Manhattan, the problem will go away.


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Posted by High Cost of Free Parking
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 1, 2013 at 10:09 am

If anyone is interested in a good read on the topic of parking check out Donald Shoup's book "The High Cost of Free Parking" published in 2011. It even references Palo Alto. Book Description below:

One of APA's most popular and influential books is finally in PAPE, with a new preface from the author on how thinking about parking has changed since this book was first published. In this no-holds-barred treatise, Shoup argues that free parking has contributed to auto dependence, rapid urban sprawl, extravagant energy use, and a host of other problems.

Planners mandate free parking to alleviate congestion but end up distorting transportation choices, debasing urban design, damaging the economy, and degrading the environment. Ubiquitous free parking helps explain why our cities sprawl on a scale fit more for cars than for people, and why American motor vehicles now consume one-eighth of the world's total oil production. But it doesn't have to be this way.

Shoup proposes new ways for cities to regulate parking - namely, charge fair market prices for curb parking, use the resulting revenue to pay for services in the neighborhoods that generate it, and remove zoning requirements for off-street parking. Such measures, according to the Yale-trained economist and UCLA planning professor, will make parking easier and driving less necessary. Join the swelling ranks of Shoupistas by picking up this book today. You'll never look at a parking spot the same way again.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 1, 2013 at 10:14 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Shoup proposes new ways for cities to regulate parking - namely, charge fair market prices for curb parking, use the resulting revenue to pay for services in the neighborhoods that generate it,"

Nothing new about these ideas - Stanford has been doing this with great success since 1976.
Palo Alto would be wise to follow the Stanford model where ALL of the costs of parking, like new parking structures, plus the costs of alternatives, such as the Stanford shuttle system, are paid for by parking fees.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2013 at 11:01 am

@High Cost
Theoretically correct but we have no viable integrated alternative
transportation system here. When I travel in France I never rent
a car. This is not France.Caltrain is not the Paris Metro.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 1, 2013 at 11:07 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Theoretically correct but we have no viable integrated alternative
transportation system here"

Wrong - look at what Stanford has created RIGHT NEXT DOOR:

Web Link

Palo Alto simply lacks the will to deal with this issue.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2013 at 11:13 am

resident is right, this is not Europe.

However, it could be if the systems were set up to enable European lifestyle to thrive.

Transit hubs that work where first and last mile transit meets the trains and waits to collect passengers. A comprehensive ticketing system which enables a 40 minute commute with a train and a couple of buses to be one fare, one ticket rather than 3 separate rides. Signage and scheduling on Caltrain and other transit stops must be improved. Parking must be more comprehensive with pay per hour on streets, garages and lots with outside town parking and frequent shuttle services. Those that live near transit hubs to be given reduced transit fares, at least for the first 6 months of residence.
Family styled tickets where an adult taking two children only pays an extra dollar or so for the ride. Cheaper fares for rides that start after 10.00 am to encourage off peak travel. Free parking in Caltrain and other transit lots after 3.00 pm to encourage evening and recreational use.

All these things work and are common place in Europe. There is no reason why they should not work here but it needs to be done comprehensively all around the Bay Area, not city by city or transit authority by transit authority.

A little common sense here, please.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 1, 2013 at 11:28 am

Parking in Palo Alto is good for all of us, and having others able to park here is also good for all of us. The problem target are those who abuse the privilege. Why make all Palo Alto suffer because of a few jerks who park badly?

Making everyone pay fees, and get the occasional ticket is just a way to suck more money from us and make life more full of friction.

Stanford is not a real city, it is a University, and I don't give a darn what they do there. I think Redwood City, and I often go there for movies, and their Century Theaters have their own free parking, but if I had to park on the street and go through that irritating pay for parking system I'd never do it ... first on principle, but second, who want to much about with paying for parking in the rain or when you are in a hurry.

There are certain infrastructure things that is the government's responsibility to provide, if reasonable, and the Palo Alto Parking Model has always worked, and still does for the most port. For growth we might need another parking structure ... build it and quit this talk of picking my pocket for more money while causing me more inconvenience!

Parking Permits just mean more full time employees, more to do that accomplishes nothing, more inconvenience, a ticket or over the years when you don't realize your permit is out of date or your new car does not have a permit.

City Government, this is one thing you can do - do it, do it so we do not need to worry about it and just get it done.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 1, 2013 at 11:36 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" Century Theaters have their own free parking,"

No, the parking is not free - it is a pay lot in which movie customers are given validated parking.

No one has yet devised a free parking system, or a free anything, that equitably distributes a scarce resource.


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Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside
on Aug 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm

It is good that humanity has known a method of efficiently and fairly allocating scarce resources for thousands of years. It is called the price system, and it works by raising the price until there is some parking available.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Humanity has an even older method: bribe the City to let you build anything you want, no matter who it hurts.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 1, 2013 at 5:14 pm

> Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton ...
> No, the parking is not free - it is a pay lot in which movie customers are given validated parking.
> No one has yet devised a free parking system

Quick, better alert Parker Brothers, makers of the Monopoly board game, ... I don't think they know this yet, Peter.

You are certainly welcome to pay for as much parking as you want at the Century Redwood City, I prefer not to pay for parking ... and in order not to get too dull and pedantic about it, I call that free parking.


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Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Aug 1, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Resident,

Are you aware of the Clipper Card?

To others,

Please explain your objection to the Stanford parking permit system,
other than you JUST DON'T LIKE IT.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 1, 2013 at 5:17 pm

> It is good that humanity has known a method of efficiently and fairly allocating scarce resources for thousands of years.

-artificially scarce-

Joseph E. Davis ... does that mean the less you post the more valuable your comments are ... cause it seems like that might be the case! ;-)


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"You are certainly welcome to pay for as much parking as you want at the Century Redwood City, "

Your parking is included in the price of your ticket - just in case you were not aware that the movie theatre is charged for every validation they give. Just consider it a hidden tax that you have to be reasonably bright to understand.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Chris, yes the clipper card means that if you take a bus to the train and then a bus at the far end that you clip your card 3 times.

I think a better system would be to clip a card once for 40 minutes of travel time regardless of how many means of travel.

The clipper card is not the same thing at all. It is this type of thinking that is wrong with our myriad transport systems.


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Posted by j Wren
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 2, 2013 at 7:22 am

Those who live anywhere near the area of Lytton to Hamilton and Alma to Webster need to realize that if you make parking too difficult, the people you will chase out are shoppers, customers of our downtown businesses.
Some are young enough to schlep their purchases on a bicycle or a bus, others are not.
A parking permit system for residents only is a bad idea. I saw the results of one in San Jose in the area around SJSU. Before the permits shoppers, students, faculty were able to park either in the garage or on the street. Yes, available areas for parking were full, but most of us left by the time residents came home from work. Once the permits were instituted, the streets were empty and the garages were overfull. Students and faculty may have paid to park in the garages, but shoppers probably were driven out.
In Palo Alto there are very few lots that are too small for a driveway or parking on site. Most residents of downtown could park in their own garages or driveways.
Permits will drive away patrons of downtown businesses.


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Posted by AR
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 2, 2013 at 8:48 am

A study that concludes that we will need more parking strikes me as much more logical than what proponents of PTOD would like people to believe. People are clearly not giving up cars. Traffic and parking should be given a realistic review - with a focus on cumulative impact - when projects are being considered for approval. I read the environmental reports for the two projects out by the Baylands and marveled at the conclusion that the ramp onto 101 is more than sufficient. Every weekday that is proven wrong. Resistance to development would go down if there was greater confidence that key factors were being properly addressed.


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Posted by ken
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 2, 2013 at 11:38 am

Failure to require parking for new development is the reason. More amazing are the multimillion dollars subsidyes the City gives to downtown developers, often in excess of $5 million dollars. Do Chop and the others need it with some of highest rents in the Nation? With the number of employes in each space doubling the subsidy probably exceeds $10 million dollars. Who pays? Chop? No, the entire residential community who, if I recall, actually voted for the Council to represent them. Hmm wonder who they listen to????


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 4, 2013 at 3:18 am

Peter Carpenter quipped snippily:
> Your parking is included in the price of your ticket - just in case you were not aware that the movie theatre is charged for every validation they give. Just consider it a hidden tax that you have to be reasonably bright to understand.

Odd that the Century Theater in Mtn. View doesn't charge any less for the tickets and their land and plant has all been paid for a long time ago and they do not have a parking lot they have to reimburse for parking. You can make that theoretical comment and snidely call others names, but the fact is you're incorrect.

If I pay the same to see a movie anywhere, and I do not have to pay extra for parking at the Century Redwood City, for all intents and purposes my parking is free.

Those movie goers who do not park in the "free" lot would then be partially paying for my parking, so even according to your peculiar calculus I would be getting part of my parking for free thanks to other moviegoers. Or, if I never buy any popcorn or other refreshments, the people who do are subsidizing my parking ... thus giving me partially free parking too. [Portion removed.]


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 4, 2013 at 7:07 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Your parking is included in the price of your ticket - just in case you were not aware that the movie theatre is charged for every validation they give. The parking facility AND all of the surrounding street parking charge for parking - whether you pay directly at a meter or via your theatre ticket is irrelevant. The parking garage construction and other costs are borne by the users and not simply charged to the taxpayers of Redwood City.

The fundamental concept is that the users pay rather than the charging the general public for something that only a few people use. When parking becomes a scarce resource then pricing is the most effective way to allocate that resource - our you can spend years debating 9the Palo Alto Process) a parking sticker and other non-pricing systems only to realize that the "price' you are then placing on parking is inconvenience and loss of time looking for a parking space (i.e. waiting in a queue for a scarce resource is a non- monetary rationing system).



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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 4, 2013 at 11:37 pm

The point is that you can travel up your own alimentary canal trying to find the micro-cents expended on something, but the to consumer going to the movies, it doesn't matter a bit. The parking is free from my point of view, and that enters into my decision as to where to go see movies, and the theater's decision how to charge and market. Century Redwood City has free parking to me. It is not a ....

... TAX - a compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers' income and business profits or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions.

When parking is transparent and easy people will go and a business relationship is created - trust and loyalty to an entity is formed. Part of the reason I go to downtown Palo Alto and not downtown Redwood City is that the parking is easy and I don't have to be an economist and tire my rational consumer's brain about such issues. I also don't worry about the relativistic effects of driving fast to see a movie.

It's nice when having a conversation also to not have to sidetrack into insignificant tributaries.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 5, 2013 at 7:04 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Back on topic:Citizen analysis shows parking woes deepening

Making rational decision does require time and thought - some people have neither the time or the ability to do so.

Free access to a scarce resource guarantees that the resource will remain scarce and it will be first come, first serve with late comers spending their time waiting as a cost of using the resource. Evidently some people solve this problem by alwaus getting there early:" Part of the reason I go to downtown Palo Alto and not downtown Redwood City is that the parking is easy"


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