Town Square

Parking Problems In Evergreen Park

Original post made by Resident on Aug 27, 2009

I have been dealing w/parking issues in Evergreen park for months. A new building went up at 1795 El Camino, and the employees park all over our neighborhood. They have the right to park in our area, but it has gotten out of control, as their are few spots for residents. Today I asked an employee's boyfriend of Mulcahy dental if they could please move. (I have four kids, and lots of groceries.) Later that afternoon , the employee from Mulcahy dental came to my home, to discuss the parking issue. She was quite rude about her rights and threatened to call the police on me. I approached Dr. Mulcahy, and he was not apologetic all all. It seems like businesses should have some respect for the neighborhoods they are in ! How have other neighborhoods dealt with uncooperative busineess owners ?


Posted by Dave, a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2009 at 11:10 pm

You should have asked her to just leave if she didn't call the police on HER

Posted by PJ, a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 28, 2009 at 7:43 am

Resident from Evergreen Park; I'm sorry to tell you but all public streets are public, they are not designated for the exclusive use of the homeowners who just happens to live on that section of the street. I would suggest to park in your driveway, garage or carport to unload your groceries.

Posted by resident, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 28, 2009 at 8:51 am

Yes, they are public streets. My issue was more with the lack of willingness to work together, and the fact that an employee of Dr. Mulcahy's office came to my home to threaten me. The Dr. basically told me we would never be able to get parking permits, and was condescending to say the least. I believe we will end up getting the parking permits. I am just hoping not to be harassed by his employees!

Posted by Public streets, a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2009 at 9:20 am

Resident, you say:

"They have the right to park in our area, but it has gotten out of control, as their are few spots for residents."

So what is it? If they have the right to park on those streets and the streets are public, how has it gotten "out of control"? The fact that there " are few spots for residents" is not an issue, since you say that they have the right to park there.

I am sure there are two sides to your encounter with Mulcahy Dentistry and they are just one business out of many.

Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 28, 2009 at 10:01 am

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Perhaps Mulcahy should find a non-neighborhood spot for their employees to park, just like most business do. And I do think we will end up with some kind of permit system because there are too many areas with parking problems. If one side of the street was permit and the other not, there would be both public and neighborhood parking.

Posted by EcoMama, a resident of Community Center
on Aug 28, 2009 at 10:04 am

When businesses build near residential neighborhoods, they usually have to make their parking plans clear. I would check their permitting/zoning, as they probably didn't list your residential street as part of their parking plan, in which case you'd have recourse through the City. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by palo alto resident, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 28, 2009 at 10:06 am

I have also had issues in this area. I think as a community, we need to have resident parking permits.

There was NO THOUGHT at all when these new building went up on how it would impact our community. Not only is it inconvenient, it is also causing addition garbage on our streets! These employees are sitting in their cars eating lunch - and NOW LITTERING on our streets and "hanging out" as meeting spot during and after work.

Please let us (as the homeowners) get resident parking permits - and please move parking for the employees and customers to a DIFFERENT area... this is a nuisance to our great neighborhood...

Posted by Permits Now, a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 28, 2009 at 10:28 am

Sounds like the best solution is parking permits and a look at current zoning regulations. There are issues all over Palo Alto, not just Evergreen Park with employees/ businesses not respecting the neighborhoods. The city needs to address this issue before it escalates.

Posted by Public streets, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 28, 2009 at 10:41 am

Why does everyone take Resident's description of her encounter with Mulcahy Dentistry as the gospel truth?. Has anyone, who is complaining now, contacted Mulcahy to hear their side of the story.
Resident parking permits are a bad idea. They will discourage business in town--if you want the tax revenue and have visitors coming to town (Destination Palo Alto) then you will have traffic and parking issues. You cannot have it both ways--complain about falling revenue while whining about too much traffic.
It may serve you well when you are on the city council ,but it is not a way to deal with problems

Posted by Resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 28, 2009 at 10:46 am

There are problems with "permit parking". Someone has to be hired to enforce and check the permits, that costs money. Permit parking is OK if the residents of the neighborhood in question are willing to pay a fee to hire a permit checker.

As a resident and taxpayer of PA I don't want to pay for additional hires for neighborhoods who request permit parking.

Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 28, 2009 at 10:48 am

No matter what happened with the Mulcahy dental, there is a real problem all through Evergreen Park that can no longer be ignored. Employers need to provide parking.

Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 28, 2009 at 10:50 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Resident, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 28, 2009 at 11:13 am

I wrote this post after yesterdays shocking incident. I do not want to cause an explosion here, just wanted to call attention to a problem that we face daily in our neighborhood. It is something our neighborhood association is working on, and sees permits as an option. I feel badly for the employees looking for parking, but also know it is a challenge to park in front of my own home. Clearly parking is a sensitive issue for many, and just by the comments here, I think the city may want to look at what they approve in residential areas. There are of course two sides two all stories, two perceptions, and hopefully a resolution. I think if the DDS would just have said "sorry", none of this would have happened or escalated. I was taken back when an employee came to my home. I did not think that was appropriate. This is a bigger issue than Mulcahy, it is city wide.

Posted by andrea, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm

I have been a resident of Evergreen park for almost 40 yrs. As a child we could ride our bikes and play football in the street without fear for our safety. There was plenty of parking for the California Ave businesses so it did not spill over into the side streets. Every other street was not blocked off so drivers didn't race around trying to find their way. Ahh..those were the days.
Now I can't park in front of my own home half the time. Even when I block the area in front of my house when I am expecting a delivery truck or something of the sort, these "chronic parkers" will go out of there way to move whatever I have put there and park. Many times they will try to fit into a spot that is too small and block my driveway so we cannot get out. What I find most annoying is when they leave their car in front of my house on a Friday and then walk to the train station with their luggage and leave their car there for days on end!! I understand it is public parking but we are homeowners and as homeowners I believe we have the right to be able to park in front of our own homes on a regular basis and not just after 5pm or weekends! I totally one hundred percent parking permits for our neighborhood. I know that many of my neighbors do not share my opinion but as a long time resident and tax payer I have had enough and want something done about it. These "chronic parkers" are often rude and they do very often leave litter behind. It is ruining the neighborhood.
I would like to see permits for residents and possibly 2 hr parking in the neighborhood. I am just upset about this issue because I did not choose to have my home on what often feels like a parking lot. I understand the parking issue for employees. It is sad that these builders do not consider the parking issue in their plans. I know our doctor who is in the area has on site parking for his patients and employees. Someone needs to figure out a parking solution for this area. Don't be so greedy and make it something all the employees can afford to do. Doesn't anyone else see that PA is over populated and about to burst!? The traffic, the parking, the schools.. stop building more housing. We don't need more people here! I prefer quality of life over quantity.
If I had some employee come to my home while I was home alone with my young children and start berating me I too would be upset. The owner or the dentist should of handled it in more of an adult manner. I am surprised by some of the responses posted. Live here for a while before you judge our actions and wishes. Or better yet I'll come park my car in front of your house EVERY day at 8am until 5 or 6pm and see how you like it.

Posted by Scofflaw, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 28, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Andrea-- blocking a public street in front of your home sounds illegal to me. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] As far as I am concerned you are welcome to park your car on any public street anytime you want-- as it should be for everyone. I am not sure why certain homeowners think they own the street in fromt of their homes.

Posted by Andrea, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 28, 2009 at 7:28 pm

I dont think putting your recycling bins out in front of your home and standing there while waiting for a delivery is considered illegal. And we feel this way because we own $1-2+ MILLION dollar homes that we have worked hard for and would like to at least just park in front and not a block away. Is that so much to ask.

Posted by Scofflaw, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 28, 2009 at 7:33 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Douglas Moran, a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 29, 2009 at 4:18 am

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

Allowing new buildings (office, housing development, whatever) to be under-parked is a hidden tax on the existing residents (and businesses) that benefits the owner/developer of that building. Public parking on the streets is supposed to be a _shared_ resource and all are expected to make provision for normal levels of parking on their own properties.

When a building is allowed to be under-parked (as Council routinely does) and its occupants have to park on nearby streets, that building's owner has essentially converted public parking spaces on the streets into his private parking lot. By denying neighbors their fair share of that public resource, has he not taken property rights from them?

Those who see nothing wrong with this typically have a predatory approach to "rights" (for example, that free speech rights protect false advertisements; that my right to swing my fist stops where your nose begins).

Posted by C's parent, a resident of Ohlone School
on Aug 29, 2009 at 10:01 am

I completely understand the resetnment of the residents about not getting parking when they need parking. We used to live in a new home developement complex where there was very limited street parking and it annoyed us how other residents would just use their garages for storage and instead parked on the streets exacerbating the parking shortage issue. We felt bad for our friends and families who'd need to park a block away everytime we have to host parties. Having said that, I think we all know deep down that legally, public street parking means just that.. it's for public use and everybody else has the same rights to that spot right in front of your house.

Posted by anon,, a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 29, 2009 at 12:27 pm

I cannot believe the comments about the right to park in someone's neighborhood. In my opinion neighborhood streets should be designed for a little bit of that, for people who occasionally have many visitors, but they are primary for the use of the residents.

The city is to blame if there was not enough parking designed into the new construction, and I have seen and heard this all over the city.

If the city is going to start making life difficult for those with cars as a policy then that policy should be explicit and put to a vote. If the cost of parking cars for a business is too much to bear for that business then there needs to be a solution to each case of this, not just dumping it in people's front yards.

I would be angry too. There is a economic loss here as well. Who wants to buy a house in a place where cars lines the streets all day? Drive through east Palo Alto, Redwood City and Menlo Park to see how ugly and problematic this is.

Have you ever seen a gang of thugs walking swaggering down the the street trying every car's door handle to find something to rip off? I have when I had to live in a bad neighborhood, and no one would choose that. The city has allowed this to happen and should be asked of forced to fix it and not do it in the future, or find and alternative.

Posted by anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 29, 2009 at 12:32 pm

And why has Google Maps either not photographed just this little area or pulled the photos of it for their street view function?

Posted by Scofflaw, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 29, 2009 at 1:58 pm

I am really surprised you deleted my response to Andrea's comments above. What does the value of a home have to do with the public street in front of it? I think Andrea is just trying to get a "rise" out of people with her comment--what is wrong with that. Meanwhile Doug Moran pigeon-holes everyone who disagrees with him into one neat group

Posted by Zoning violations, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 29, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Every time the city allows a new development to under-park, the neighborhood pays the price. It happens all around downtown, all around Charleston, in College Terrace, now in Evergreen Park, and lots of other places.
The council violates the zoning rules by giving developers permission to use a site for more private profitable purposes than parking. Then the neighbors pay the price.
This isn't rocket science.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 29, 2009 at 6:20 pm

While no one likes strangers to park outside their homes most of us understand that this is something over which we have no control. If we have our own driveway, garage or other offroad parking place, there should be no problem. If cars are there for more than 72 hours, call and report them as abandoned. If they are blocking your driveway, blocking a fire hydrant, or even parking on the sidewalk instead of the road, then report them also.

Otherwise, it is just one of the things that comes with modern living in a suburban environment.

Anyone living near a shopping district, park, school, or business zone, is particularly vulnerable. Expecting privileges from the city is unfair to the rest of us.

Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Aug 30, 2009 at 8:09 am

"Every time the city allows a new development to under-park, the neighborhood pays the price."

The Campus for Jewish Life will have what it calls "shared parking". The residents will leave for the day to go to work; members wishing to use the facilities will park in the empty stalls. The fact that the housing on the Campus is for Seniors only who will presumably not leave for work, seems to have been overlooked. Also, there is one stall for each apartment, even though some senior housing will have 3 bedrooms.

When I took a tour of the facilities I was amazed to learn they have built with an expectation of having 10,000 members!! The Environmental Impact Report said they expect 3,000 vehicles in and out of the facility daily. All this with one small postage stamp size parking lot, and supposedly "shared parking".

If you think the parking in the Evergreen neighborhood is bad just wait until the Campus for Jewish Life is opened!!

Posted by Concerned Citizen, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 30, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Times are changing. There are more people in Palo Alto working, living, driving and parking. The public parking spaces we use are a shared resource to be used by residents, neighbors and visitors. Ask yourself what kind of city you want to live in - one that welcomes visitors and allows them to park in your community? Do you want to have a city that provides restrictions to anyone who is not a home owner? I have personal experience with this issue. I parked on a residential street in Palo Alto only to have a home owner run out and tell me that I couldn't park in the spot as it was in front of his house and he wanted access to it at all times. The homeowner made a number of false accusations about me, really just to get me mad, and implied that he had been following me and knew where I lived. I reminded him that I was his neighbor. I may not live right next door, but I live close to him and we are neighbors, I am a member of the community too. We have to learn how to share our resources and realize that we are all neighbors in a community that work and live in the same area. The neighborhood associations can begin closing off all of the streets with permit parking and exclude all outsiders. Perhaps this is what the community wants.

Posted by Douglas Moran, a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 30, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

Re: "Concerned Citizen"
While purporting to be against permit parking, s/he argues passionately for it. S/he misrepresents the concerns of people about abusive use of public parking and about losing their fair use of public parking as being them being unwilling to share. This conveys the strong message that there is no middle ground between the current problem and permit parking, plus if residents try to find such a solution they will be ridiculed and slandered by people like this supposed "Concerned Citizen".

Posted by Voter, a resident of Professorville
on Aug 31, 2009 at 10:56 am

I live in Professorville and because of the 2 hour parking limits in downtown PA, the employee parking extends down all of the residential streets that don't have time limits. The streets are jammed to the point that you cannot see around stop signs. You have to inch out into the middle of all streets creating very dangerous situations. On top of that, many employees come back to their cars at lunch time to eat, take naps, smoke dope or have 'a rendezvous' (I am not kidding!). It really is outrageous. I have hesitated calling the police as I wonder what kind of retribution and property damage to my house might ensue. We definitely need permit parking and I will gladly pay for it to return our residential streets to safer, cleaner neighborhoods. Think about it employees, employers, and PA city council members - - what if this was happening in front of your home, what would you do?!

Posted by Rich, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 31, 2009 at 11:21 am

Just wait until Obama has a chance to finally take over parking spaces. Then there will be plenty of spaces for all, and no more problems for anyone. They will be taken from folks in 'rich' neighborhoods who have plenty and don't deserve them.

And it will be just in time because very soon now we have to add a lot of new housing units and corresponding new residents to meet our latest ABAG responsibilities.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 31, 2009 at 1:06 pm

There is a difference between people parking outside your home legally and then the consequential bad behavior. If someone is parking legally, without blocking entrances, stop signs, etc. then there is nothing that can be done. For all the other problems, littering, smoking dope, or whatever, take pictures and license numbers, and report to the employers or the police.

Posted by Reed, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 31, 2009 at 7:05 pm

I have a fire hydrant outside my home, I always let people park in front of it, and they do!!!

Posted by Goud narom, a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 31, 2009 at 7:37 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

Posted by quiet streets, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 1, 2009 at 12:23 pm

'Drive through east Palo Alto, Redwood City and Menlo Park to see how ugly and problematic this is."

Anna, You should investigate more before you post. Menlo Park doesn't allow any overnight parking on any street. This makes for much tidier streets and more pleasant community atmosphere than anything you get in Palo Alto. Maybe it's time we should consider introducing such an ordinance.

Posted by Scofflaw, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 1, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Check out where these quotations came from and then note his posts above:

Web Link

"If confrontational and/or verbally abusive behavior has the effect of intimidating others or driving them out of the forum, it is not a violation of free speech to discipline those engaging in such behavior."


"People who claim their free-speech rights are being violated are almost invariably arrogrant, self-righteous, self-absorbed, and/or abusive. It is pointless to try to reason with them: other people's rights are simply irrelevant to them. "

Posted by goud narom, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 1, 2009 at 1:59 pm

After 18 hours the editors removed my comments regarding Doug Moran and said that they were "disrespectful comment or offensive language]".
Really, just because I wrote that Doug Moran was continuing to do what he always does- denigrates and ridicules those that do not agree with is viewpoints. What is wrong with that? Read his comments above and see if I am not right

Posted by Douglas Moran, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 1, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

Notice that in his message of about 45 minutes ago, that
"goud narom, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood"
all but acknowledges that he is also
"Scofflaw, a resident of the Evergreen Park neighborhood"
and is probably also
"Concerned Citizen, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood"

While Town Square Forums (TSF) allows anonymity, it regards having multiple identities to be abusive, especially when the intent is to pretend to be multiple people, and has made this clear to known abusers.

To preempt a question: Yes, I am confident I know the real identify of Mr. Multiple Personalities (each of which lives in a different neighborhood), but am honoring TSFs policy that one shouldn't "out" people behind anonymous postings.

Aside: "Scoffaw" encourages you to read a web page of mine (repeating link in his most recent post: Web Link). It is a long-ish document with both quotes coming at the end. The first is under "Civility" and the other under "Parting Advice - Editorial"

Posted by Scofflaw, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 1, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Mr. Moran is clearly having issues with people disagreeing with his postings and the tone of said postings. He is now trying to claim that those that disagree with him are one and the same person. He also claims to know the identity of said poster(s)--trying to give further weight to his assertions.
I will add, regardless of whether Mr Moran believes it or not, that I am scofflaw and only scofflaw--I am not sure who "goud narom" or "concerned citizen" are and I do not post to the same thread under multiple identities.
In conclusion, Mr Moran, it may be hard for you to believe, but there probably are more than one person in PA who disagrees with your views and finds your treatment of those that disagree with you a bit disturbing

Posted by off topic, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Sep 1, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Maybe the City's effort to institute public 'rules of decorum' should apply to the Town Square: Web Link

Posted by jb, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 1, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Are they the same person—the one who will fight you for the space at the front door of the fitness club and the one who will park free in someone's neighborhood and walk two miles to work?

Besides, everyone who goes to work is supposed to use the bus or the train, right? Maybe employers should be required to show proof of purchasing public transit passes for two thirds of their work force. With scanner technology the transit system could even check to see how well the program is working to get people on the bus.

My husband's employer distributes transit passes to employees. Every time the program is renewed, news shows up two weeks later that the bus service needs to eliminate routes.

Posted by Another resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Off topic believes there is a
"City's effort to institute public 'rules of decorum'"
There is no such thing, there is no problem. People who speak to the city council are appropriate, with very rare exceptions. There is no need for such a rule.