Town Square

Time to refurbish Lytton Plaza, with or without the Egg

Original post made by Sunny Dykwel, Downtown North, on May 30, 2007

I have worked in downtown Palo Alto since 1992 and have witnessed many changes in the shops and services that have ebbed and flowed and altered the business atmosphere.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 30, 2007 at 11:30 am

Read the thread about University Avenue being weekend pedestrian/bicycle precinct and make Lytton Plaza part of this type of pedistrian scene.

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Posted by Palo alto mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 30, 2007 at 2:57 pm

I love downtown PA and would frequent it more often both with and without my children if:

1 - there were more child friendly destinations (we miss Kiki's)
2 - There were no panhandlers
3 - There were no drunk people (at least noisy rowdy ones)

I love the idea of closing University on weekends
I'd love to utilze the City Hall plaza too!

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Posted by k
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 30, 2007 at 4:03 pm

Thank you for your thoughtful comments. You are knowledgeable about the area and have reasonable ideas. Good suggestions and thoughts in all respects. My immediate suggestion is to get rid of the dreadful, sterile-looking egg and making sure the downtown region is family-friendly by enforcing existing laws and keeping things clean. Anything threatening is not going to draw people in to downtown. Personal safety and a pleasant environment draw patrons. Personally, I find downtown Mountain View to be a good example for Palo Alto nowadays.

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Posted by once was one
a resident of Midtown
on May 30, 2007 at 5:09 pm

Does the "risk-free" place include the teens NOT smoking in the plaza any more?

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Posted by Carol Brouillet
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 1, 2007 at 9:08 am

Lytton Plaza-

I have been holding a Listening Project at Lytton Plaza every Wednesday from 11 am to 1 pm. We put up banners, signs, tables, give away free cookies, bread rolls, literature, ask people questions, right down their responses, engage in dialogue on issues important to us. Lytton Plaza is conveniently close to Congresswoman Eshoo's office and is also the site of rallies, we have held many, many rallies, then marched to Eshoo's office to deliver our message. Most recently we have held monthly impeachment rallies from 1- 2pm on the second Wednesdays of each month (following the Listening Project). We have had great musicians, singers, as well as speakers, and with all the activity, I have never felt the need to "get a permit" or go through bureaucracy to get permission to exercise our First Amendment Rights.

I am concerned that a "gentrification effort" would stifle future use of Lytton Plaza for those who consider one of the few "visible" free speech areas left. I was almost arrested at a local park recently because I was collecting signatures on an impeachment petition and told that I was in violation of the municipal code- I was outraged that the municipal code could trump the First Amendment in my local park- the one I take walks through regularly.

The insidious attacks upon peaceful dissent and freedom of speech are what concern me about a joint business/government venture to transform Lytton Plaza. Will that destroy or curb my ability to reach the public and press visibly, as I have been doing on a regular basis since October 2001, when the government passed the PATRIOT Act, invaded Afghanistan and ramped up a War of Terrorism against freedom and democracy worldwide.