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PA creates 'environmental partnership' group

Original post made on Feb 20, 2008

Slashing Palo Alto's greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent by 2020 requires contributions from the community, not just the city government, city officials acknowledged last year. It has now created an "environmental partnership" group to help.

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Comments (9)

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Posted by Living-In-A-Loony-Bin
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2008 at 8:52 am

Just when you think that things can't get any nuttier .. you find out that you are wrong.

This town needs a recall of the City Council and a reset to "factory defaults".

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Posted by a
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 20, 2008 at 9:17 am

Will the Weekly please tell us what everyday homeowners can also do? Thanks!

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2008 at 9:38 am

And how much is this "Environmental Partnership" going to cost, again?

We need to spend money on infrastructure, and then maybe some of the environmental ideas will fall into place by themselves. If we improve bike lanes, we might find people using bikes more, the same could be said about public transport. If we improved the shopping choices in Palo Alto, maybe people would drive less.

Spend money where it is needed and it will help in the long run.

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Posted by AnotherResident
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 20, 2008 at 9:22 pm

Resident, is that really the case? Do people choose to driver rather than bike because of the condition of the bike lanes? I don't think so. Most give a bunch of other reasons first (most of which sound phoney to this biker). What exactly do you mean by "shopping choices"? I don't need much choice, since I do most of my shopping at the same stores over and over again. I actually shop in Mountain View a lot because it is closer to me than shopping in Palo Alto. Improving choices in Palo Alto would not cause me to drive any less. Perhaps your arguments make some kind of twisted sense to you, but they don't for others.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2008 at 11:37 am

I agree that I should have explained a little more.

Many people drive their kids to school because they feel it is safer than using the bike lanes on busy roads. To offset this, we have had the reducing of Charleston/Arastadero when really we should be getting the bikes onto safer routes altogether. Side streets are much safer for bikes and if there were more entrances into our schools from neighborhoods, it would make cycling more attractive. If we opened up the creek shoulder paths as bike/pedestrian routes, that could also help. When we have parents driving kids to school we create a problem of idling cars and traffic twice a day which could be reduced with better planning, after all driving a child to and from school each day generally generates four unnecessary journeys (there and back twice) which could be eliminated. Better planning on this and public transport to schools would help.

Secondly, if we didn't have to go to Mountain View, or Menlo Park for a decent sized supermarket, Target, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, fast food or family style restaurants (Fresh Choice, Sizzlers,) we would not have to drive as much and could possibly run errands in conjunction with other driving trips to cut down on driving.

It amazes me that I have to take a long detour to get on the highway if I first need to buy gas, a trip to the Post Office is not on my way anywhere, and buying basic school supplies necessitates a trip out of town. I would love my kids to be able to get on a bus to get to the movies rather than me drive them, but it isn't on and even riding their bikes there is dangerous when the bike tunnel under 101 is closed during winter.

In summer, they can't get to Great America, Raging Waters or even Laser Quest without some help from me driving them.

This is the sort of thing I had in mind when I ranted on the first time.

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Posted by AnotherResident
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 22, 2008 at 7:44 pm

Resident, what you say has nothing to do with bike lanes. If you feel you are safer on side streets, then ride on side streets. Many of them are too narrow for bike lanes unless on-street parking is prohibited (you can imagine the neighborhood reactions that would raise). The issues that you bring up are primarily related to driver behavior and parental fear (much of which is irrational). There is no way that building bike lanes or paths will solve this problem. We will never have separate bike paths from everyone's door to everyone's destination. Bicyclists must learn to bike safely in traffic eventually, and the longer they stay on separate paths the longer it takes them to learn. Drivers need to learn to drive safely in the presence of bicyclists, and the more the cyclists stay on separated paths the longer it will take them to learn. There are good educational programs available that are very inexpensive compared to building infrastructure, and we should be pushing those.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2008 at 8:15 pm


I feel that my post does have a lot to do with bike lanes. Why can't we open up the shoulders of the creeks to create bike/pedestrian lanes? Why must our kids ride bikes along Meadow outside Fairmeadow and JLS? Why must our kids ride bikes along Charleston to Hoover? Why must our kids ride bikes along Arastadero to Terman and Gunn and hoodwink the City into reducing this corridor to two lanes?

We have Bryant Blvd. and Park Blvd. which are designed for bike riding, but I can't think of any others. These are both N/S. If we could open up the closed off shoulders we could create 2 E/W designated bike lanes. We should encourage bikes to use Barron Park to get to Gunn and Terman. I would like to see a City wide bike map with routes which make sense distributed to schools, Stanford, local businesses (Facebook) and anywhere else that cyclists may congregate. These should be available on the Web site, at libraries and in publications like Enjoy.

I am not advocating major changes, just waking up to the fact that Palo Alto is an ideal place for cycling as a means of transport rather than a sport. We need to advertise safe routes in safe neighborhoods. I agree that certain neighborhoods are more difficult than others to ride in, but I would rather ride my bike in a 25 mph zone than a 35 mph zone, including places like Middlefield, Alma, El Camino, Embarcadero, Oregon, Charleston/Arastadero, and I am sure I am not alone.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2008 at 8:17 pm

I mean open up the Creek shoulders for E/W bike paths.

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Posted by Arnie
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 22, 2008 at 9:53 pm

The City doesn't own the creeks. They belong to the water district, and they don't want people using them for paths.

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