http://paloaltoonline.com/square/print/index.php?i=3&d=1&t=21641


Town Square

East Palo Alto mayor wants answers on Newell parking

Original post made on Sep 4, 2013

East Palo Alto Mayor Ruben Abrica wants to know why spillover parking from apartments along Woodland Avenue is affecting residents in Palo Alto's Crescent Park neighborhood, and he wants to put an end to theories and speculation, he told East Palo Alto city staff on Tuesday night.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 4, 2013, 9:59 AM

Comments

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Posted by Newell Resident - SMH
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Parking if definitely a problem...
THERE SHOULD BE PARKING LINES ON NEWELL [ - - - - ]
There are so many cars that leave tons of space between themselves and the next and waste tons of usable parking space!

The street sweepers don't help any either. Two days out of the week half the parking is unavailable because of it. Obviously we need the street cleaned though so I don't have any quick fix suggestions in that department.


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Posted by Raymond
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 4, 2013 at 12:25 pm

I have renewed respect for our Mayor. Since Equity took control, they have instituted a 'Tow Away'policy for vehicles which do not display their sticker. May have something to do with it.

I cross the Newell Bridge everyday on my bicycle, sometimes in my car. I never park there, I have my own parking space.

Some people have too many cars. maybe it's time to limit the number to 2 per 4 person household; for EVERYONE including Palo Alto residents.

That should shut up all the crying on both sides.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 4, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Excellent, great to see some engagement from East Palo Alto.

Both our government's are incompetent and light-years away from being proactive about anything, but this is at least a start.

>> The City Council also instituted a $5 per day parking-permit fee for residents and their guests.

This is really such a poor solution to this problem, pretty much bad and irritating for everyone ... maximum incompetence.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm

As I said months ago, EPA didn't restrict parking on Woodland. In fact, it created more parking along one stretch of Woodland. No matter how often I mentioned this in comments, the lies about less parking were repeated time & again.

"I have never seen (the Palo Alto City Council) act in what felt to me so precipitously with so little information," Trish Mulvey said.
And of course so much of the parking ban is based on rumor & innuendo. Palo Alto can be a nasty, elitist conclave that inflames & exaggerates in order to obtain a desired outcome.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 4, 2013 at 1:19 pm

CPA [portion removed] "Both our government's are incompetent and light-years away from being proactive about anything, but this is at least a start."

YOUR city's gov't is incompetent a good part of the time, mine isn't. EPA city council gets a lot done w/the resources they have. They grapple w/exhaustingly stressful issues ongoingly. They're generally pretty tolerant, open & mindful. I've observed them at numerous meetings, & base my opinion on these observations. [Portion removed.]


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Posted by Town Square Moderator
online staff of Palo Alto Online
on Sep 4, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Town Square Moderator is a registered user.

The following comment was moved from a duplicate thread:

The EPA mayor appears to make some solid fact-based points. I hope they are addressed. Residents in south Palo Alto recently received such flak - including from residents of Crescent Park - for trying to end Cubberley's status as a "de facto" homeless shelter for 20-30 chronically homeless "squatters". Was it at the same meeting Crescent Park was able to ban parking on a public street for hard working, rent-paying residents who just happen to live on the other side of a city limit?
by south PA resident Sep 4, 2013 at 12:07 pm


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Posted by Town Square Moderator
online staff of Palo Alto Online
on Sep 4, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Town Square Moderator is a registered user.

The following comment was moved from a duplicate thread:

Ban parking on a public street for hard working, rent-paying residents who just happen to live on the other side of a city limit? You appear to think it's fine that the overflow parking from EPA should be able to cross a bridge and park in Palo Alto in front of residential homes, filling up the streets and creating a nuisance, trash and an eyesore? Is that right? I do agree with you that Palo Alto jams all these issues up at the same time when they finally get to crisis proportions instead of initiating public discussion and analyzing problems with some data. The problem with Cubberly had little to do with car camping, yet that was the discussion all over PA Online, nasty comments about problems that were all over the map and not specific to Cubberly. I think the simplest fastest answer to this parking problem would be to barricade the bridge, put up a cyclone fence that cuts off pedestrians, and await the demolition of the bridge, whenever that is going to happen. Just but it off temporarily. That will solve immediately the parking problem, and if over time there are other problems with the bridge being gone that are now unforeseen, the bridge could be re-opened if needed. If not, we know we do not need to spend the money and time to rebuild a bridge that is no longer needed.
by CrescentParkAnon. Sep 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 4, 2013 at 1:35 pm

> Town Square Moderator

Hey Town Square Moderator,

Why don't you get someone to help your program your forum modules so they do not do this all the time? The idea of manually consolidating comments into one thread because they do not get classified by default is a bug.

Also ... I've mentioned time and time again across many boards and years that the current forum page is too wide to be comfortably read at a decent font size on many monitors and especially on tablet and phone devices. Why not set this center section at say 80 characters like a standard sheet of paper to make things easier to read for all? It is much easier to scroll up and down as you read than to constantly have to go back and forth at the same time.

Just a thought.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 4, 2013 at 1:47 pm

[Portion removed.]

When it takes 4-5 years for the East Palo Alto city government to look into this problem, that is something I define as incompetence, and not being proactive.

[Portion removed.]

I'd appreciate it if you keep disagreeing with me but stop calling me names of characterizing me as wrong with simply disagreeing with you.


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Posted by TV Repair
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 4, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Part of the problem is that driving adults come from outside the area to work here during the week because our wages are higher than they can get in their home towns. Too many people with cars are shacking up in an apartment. I use to go in to service the TVs in those apartments. Mattresses would cover the floor.

The other thing that is strange...if you drive around and look at the vehicle parking bays under some of the buildings after 10pm, they are almost empty. Yet, there isn't a single parking space on the street and some folks are parked illegally. If you had a parking space, wouldn't you use it?


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 4, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 4, 2013 at 3:26 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Town Square Moderator
online staff of Palo Alto Online
on Sep 4, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Town Square Moderator is a registered user.

The bridge is a gating factor to these problems, so yes, if the bridge is not there, no one would park in Palo Alto across the creek. But a temporary solution would be to temporarily block the bike, car and pedestrian traffic across the bridge with some kind of barricade to see if there are other issues with congestion that developed before the bridge is demolished. If not, then we do not need to rebuild the bridge, if not, then we can fix the creek's flow by demolishing the bridge and not have to rebuild a new bridge at what is going to be huge cost and construction annoyances.
by CrescentParkAnon. Sep 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm


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Posted by Town Square Moderator
online staff of Palo Alto Online
on Sep 4, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Town Square Moderator is a registered user.

The following comment was moved from a duplicate post:

Channel 2 had a reporter there doing a live report this morning. She said she had seen dozens of people walking across the bridge to their cars, some of whom were walking about 3/4 mile. The one I saw being interviewed said he was doing it because he had been ticketed a couple of times for parking in EPA.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 4, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

[Portion removed.]

It's quite simple - once again, your politicians put paid to something very quickly w/out having adequate facts. That's why our mayor, who has a long fuse, is upset about your city's handling of the situation.


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Posted by JA3+
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 4, 2013 at 4:06 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Rolland
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 4, 2013 at 5:39 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Edgwood Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 4, 2013 at 6:05 pm

I hope Mayor Abrica asks EPA staff to answer a few of the following questions:
1. the equity partner's property manager claims they don't charge tenants to park in their garages but tenants parking on Edgewood Dr. every night assert that Equity Partners charges $100/month per car for a second, third and fourth car. who is telling the truth?
2. EPA rent control doesn't allow Equity Partners to raise rents when an apartment turns over but it doesn't preclude Equity Partners from raising fees on parked cars when apartments turn over? Isn't raisning parking fees merely a loophole around rent control?
3. IF EPA staff has been working on this issue why haven't they proposed any permanent solutions to this parking problem? It's been 10 months since PA staff and PA city manager raised this issue with their counterparts in EPA.
4. If the proposed parking lots are offered as permanent solutions, why does Mayor Abrica believe that two lots over three quarters of a mile away from the apartments in question will do anything to solve the problem when Edgewood Dr. is only 200 yards away?
5. If the proposed parking lots are offered as permanent solutions what guarentees has Equity Partners provided to ensure that these lots will be free for overnight parking for their tenants and that these proposed parking lots will remain parking lots forever?
6. Will you reprimand Police Chief Davis for stating that the OPB will create a safety issue in EPA? Isn't his comment full of the same innuendo and misinformation that you claim came from PA staff? From my perspective, Equity Partners is at the root cause of any safety issues in EPA NOT the OPB approved by the PA city council.

The press loves to pit residents of PA against EPA but i believe we are perfectly aligned in our joint desire to find better free parking in EPA for the tenants of Equtiy Partners owned apartments.


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Posted by Localized
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 4, 2013 at 6:31 pm

As the population increases, so do the NIMBYs. People don't want anyone parking on "their" streets.

If it's not possible to charge for a sticker or otherwise prohibit non-locals, then the usual reaction from cities is to prohibit parking between specific hours. This generates revenue too from fines and towing.

This is what they have always done...it's just expanding from downtown areas.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 4, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Edgewood Dad says: 2. EPA rent control doesn't allow Equity Partners to raise rents when an apartment turns over but it doesn't preclude Equity Partners from raising fees on parked cars when apartments turn over? Isn't raisning parking fees merely a loophole around rent control?

I say: You're wrong. Of course they raise the rent when the tenant leaves.

You say: 6. Will you reprimand Police Chief Davis for stating that the OPB will create a safety issue in EPA? Isn't his comment full of the same innuendo and misinformation that you claim came from PA staff? From my perspective, Equity Partners is at the root cause of any safety issues in EPA NOT the OPB approved by the PA city council.

I say: Wrong again. The parking issues aren't comparable in both neighborhoods, which is why Chief Davis is concerned about even more crowding.

I say: You're right! The monolithic & crappy EQR ARE largely responsible for this problem. BUT both EQR & your town are both responsible for problems which may ensue. And if units are overcrowded, they're responsible for that, too, for not checking to ensure that the tenants are in compliance. Please, direct your ire toward EQR!


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 4, 2013 at 8:55 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 4, 2013 at 9:07 pm

I live in Crescent Park, I've seen cars parking in that area
for a long time before it reached crisis proportions, and a
long long time before your mayor ever said or did anything.

[Portion removed.]


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 4, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Newell Resident- you get your street cleaned two days out of the week? Interesting. In South Palo Alto we're getting it done once a month. Sounds like some money saving opportunity there for the city of palo alto.


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Posted by street cleaning explained
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm

The major purposes of street cleaning are: 1) prevent long-term parking and 2) raise revenue for the city. Removing debris is a minor benefit as well.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 4, 2013 at 10:36 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 5, 2013 at 4:17 am

I don't understand...seriously. Why should anyone outside of the CP residents who live in the impacted parking area be upset? Why should the EPA mayor care if PA restricts overnight parking in CP?

The EPA mayor can care all he wants in terms of what is said by officials is true or not. Fine. But if PA wants to impose overnight restrictions within its own city limits, that's none of his business or concern.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 5, 2013 at 7:19 am

I think the parking deficits of EPA are the business of the EPA mayor, no?
He might be able to find out something, or do something or bring some agreement about that might help or illuminate the situation. The question is, can he. The idea that cities have no interests or nothing to say about what border cities do is what I find interesting. Most boundaries between cities are as artificial as the boundaries between counties, states or countries. CPD, why do you seem to be hostile to the idea that the EPA mayor wants to see if he can help?

It seems though that EPA wants to stall or kill the idea of a parking ban inside Palo Alto, and I do wonder why? The problem is not only the amount of cars, but what the cars that do park there do or provoke.

Again, it just seems to me there is no real need for that bridge to be there, so as a test it would be a good idea to block it off for cars and pedestrians and see what the effect is over 6 months to a year. Then, since the bridge needs to go anyway for flood control to decide based on that finding if a new bridge really needs to be built or not. Leaving pedestrian access in that location is going to encourage parking in Palo Alto though, so it would be better if the bridge was gone completely.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by I am confused
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2013 at 8:32 am

What facts is the EPA mayor disputing/fact gathering? There are some details that might be inaccurate or exaggerated, but the basic fact is true, large numbers of cars (100+) belonging to EPA residents are being parked in front of homes in Cresent Park at night.


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Posted by SJL
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 6, 2013 at 9:28 am

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Nimby
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 6, 2013 at 11:17 am

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 6, 2013 at 12:56 pm

[Portion removed.] Get it, PA residents - the EPA mayor has the right & responsibility to check this issue out. The PA politicians haven't shown the level of cooperation that most cities show between each other. [Portion removed.]


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Posted by Phil
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 6, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Here's your answer Mr. Abrica. Residents from your city, located in a separate county from our own, are using Palo Alto streets for overflow parking. That creates not only parking issues, but an increase in noise and litter. The parking problems along the Woodland Avenue corridor in EPA have been well publicized. That should not be a mystery to you. I'm sure that you and your fellow city officials were quite content with continuing this arrangement. I get it, easy for all of you. Your residents get additional parking and you don't have to deal with as many complaints. Well, time's up on that set-up.

Your failure to cope with the parking issues in your city and county are having a negative impact on our city. Our city took measures to cope with that by instituting a parking prohibition. That should solve the parking problem in our city. Done deal. As far as parking goes, what happens in your city is your own business. Besides, with the gang violence, shootings, and a few homicides I think you have much bigger things to be taking exception with other than a parking issue.


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Posted by PAmom
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 6, 2013 at 1:26 pm

How about just closing the bridge?


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Posted by SpeakTruth
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Just tear down the bridge -- Problem solved!!


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Posted by Ben Dare
a resident of another community
on Sep 6, 2013 at 8:02 pm

More people want to live in the West Bayshore-Newell area these days because there are more jobs, which allows them to do so. In many cases, this requires sharing or competing for a limited number of residences and parking places.

If passage across Newell bridge is impeded, its traffic will impact that at the West Bayshore's intersections with University and Embarcadero.

Some logical solutions to the problem are:

* Limit the number of residents in the West Bayshore-Newell area.

* Provide 'round-the-clock frequent transit service dedicated to enabling West Bayshore-Newell are residents to easily, safely, and conveniently leave their neighborhood for work, shopping, appointments, recreation, etc.


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Posted by bru
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 7, 2013 at 2:12 am

bru is a registered user.

>> If passage across Newell bridge is impeded, its traffic will impact that at the West Bayshore's intersections with University and Embarcadero.

The question is will that impact be significant ... and I doubt it. It was said that there was some 3000 cars that go across that bridge daily ... which I think is a bit high, but not all of them are during times when they would significantly impact traffic on Embarcadero and University.

So, if you look at the fraction of that 3000 cars, divide them in two and compare them to the number of cars that move in and out of Palo Alto during rush hour is that increase going to be significant ... I doubt it.

It's more likely it is just background noise.


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Posted by Inspector Gadget
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 8, 2013 at 8:19 am

Doesn't the Mayor of EPA have a significant conflict of interest on this issue? After all, he lives in the very neighborhood referred to in the story! Does he pay for a parking space or is he upset because he can't park for free anymore in Palo Alto? Maybe the reporters covering this story should dig a little deeper rather than criticizing PA staff for allegedly not providing information. It is the EPA Mayor who is not being forthcoming.


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Posted by Duveneck Resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 9, 2013 at 10:33 am

The bottom line is the following: 1- There is overflow parking in the Cresent Park neighborhood due to no spaces in East Palo Alto. 2- A portion of those cars parking overnight in CP neighborhood are blocking driveways. 3- Problem has been an issue for a the past two years. 4- Issue has been highlighted in Palo Alto Weekly, Post & Daily numerious times. 5- Palo Alto City Council is only now taking steps to implement no overnight parking to help the Palo Alto residents that are being impacted. 6- East Palo Alto City Council has not addressed the issue for over 2 years. Only now with press coverage of overnight parking restriction is East Palo Alto Mayor Ruben Abrica is asking questions and wants resolution. 7- Mayor Abrica however was aware of the parking issues from the Community Meeting on Newell Street bridge on January 8, 2013 which he was in attendance. 8- THIS ISSUE NEEDS TO RESOLVED FOR BOTH THE RESIDENCES IN EAST PALO ALTO WOODLAND PARK AND PALO ALTO CRESCENT PARK NEIBORHOODS. 9- I ask that both PA & EPA City Council & Mayors work together to solve this issue for their residents in a collaborative and transparent manner. This is not a new issue but one that has been a KNOWN issue for th past 2 years! The residents of Cresent Park & Woodland Park are asking for their city officials help, that is why you have been elected!


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Posted by PA Native
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 10, 2013 at 2:03 am

Remove the bridge and we solve many, many problems. I think those 3000 cars passing over the bridge are non-Palo Alto residents who can drive to our city via Embarcadero or University. There are many children riding their bikes on Newell in the mornings so it's safer to have less cars.


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Posted by Duveneck Resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 10, 2013 at 1:35 pm

East Palo Alto Police Chief Ronald Davis worried that the overnight parking ban would create a public safety hazard in East Palo Alto. People will block driveways, red zones and drive up on curbs, he said.


Police Chief Davis is correct.... due to the parking overflow issue in Palo Alto, it has created an issue in Palo Alto.... driveways are being blocked, cars parking on the corners and up on curbs resulting in public saftety hazard especially for our childern in the morning as they are going to school.

I encourage that the cities of EPA & PA work together to serve the residents of Woodland Park & Crescent Park and not cast stones which is not in the best interest of anyone.... Serve the residents of your cities!


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Posted by Mary
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2013 at 8:44 am

As a person who has live in east palo alto for 17 years and lived in the properties that woodland park know owns, I can say that the parking problem has to do with several factors. The first one is that residents cannot rent another parking lot because its to expensive. We are talking about $100 dollars each month. Before the monopololy of this ownerships of apartments where able to rent a parking for $30 or even $50 dollars per month. Many residents who know lived in the "Westpark complex" rent a second parking lot.

Another factor for the parking problem is that the woodland park company do not allow residents to park a second car in the residents own parking. This is a huge problem that damages the relationship of the company with its residents because it becomes an issue where the majority of the residents express anger. I can say this because I have relatives living in this properties and many friends who lived here for years too. And it's not a one two three families that I know. If your car does not work and you are force to use a second car the likely hood of your car to be tow are very high. I have seen and witness people who are unloading thier belongings and then the securities of the woodland park call the tow truck to tow those cars. You can even have someone who visits you to park in your parking lot and securities take the freedom to tow the car. Sometimes securities give parking warning but not all the time. And if you decide to change the car that currently parks in the residents parking you have to have a parking permit. That's resinable but what it's not is to charge $50 dollars for a simple sticker that is consider a parking permit and not let the community formally know with a written letter that permits will be charge from now on.

The second factor is that a lot of parking spaces that residents used to park are now mark with red as a no parking zone. This happened a lot the San Fransisquito creek along woodland ave. others red mark zone include w. bayshore rd, and Newell rd just to give examples.

A couple of years this parking problem existed but not to the extreme that is now. What can east palo alto residents do when given this circumstances that are face daily. Well the answer is clear. To park in palo alto. This problem can probably decrease if woodland park would rent parking lots to residents at a reasonable price not ridiculously like the sticker parking permits $50. Or not letting residents freely decide what car to park without worrying that your car be tow. The city should also explore the relationship that the company has with its residents. Because many times it is unjust. Rent increases, parking permits, and towing cars just to give examples.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 8, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Mary, your story sounds distressing. Sorry you have to face that. I would balk at having to pay $100 to park my car in the place where I live, considering that most households have 2 cars - that should be some kind of norm. What I am not hearing in your story is how many open spaces there are at that price. Are you saying that the cost for another parking place is so high that there are many people who do not park there and their are open parking spaces that no one uses?

If there are no parking places left, i.e. all are taken at the $100 price, the management is probably going to say they are just charging what the market will bear. I hope things get better or get resolved over there.