Town Square

Fix the News Rack Mess in the California Avenue District!

Original post made by Safe Sidewalks and Streets, College Terrace, on Sep 17, 2007

That the city has let this get out of control for so long is a disgrace.

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Posted by Messy
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 17, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Unfortunately, the trashy mess of old newspaper racks is not confined to just California Avenue it is all around the City especially on the streets near Midtown and Charleston Center. In my neighborhood we had an old rusty unused newspapers rack on the sidewalk for years. They sure make Palo Alto look tacky.

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Posted by A College Terrace Walker
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 18, 2007 at 12:12 am

It's about time something is done to clean up that newsrack disaster in the otherwise cute little California Avenue area. Without the freestanding racks, it will look much better. I had no idea wind could lift those racks. After this story was reported, I noticed forest green multiple container boxes are all over. In Los Altos, similar containers are used. But, most of the racks on California Ave are rusted, peeled and dented. Some look like a baseball bat was taken to the plastic covers. It's unsightly, pathetic and embarassing for Palo Alto. It's like no one has been watching the store. Council indicates that a goal for us is to have a "walkable community". That's an admirable idea. To accommodate that, benches along the streets in this district ought to be installed. With freestanding boxes removed, there will be room for some simple wooden benches, found in parks. That would benefit seniors out for stroll, particularly those residents at the newly built and nearby Sunrise complex, and their visiting families. If cost is a factor--here's an idea from other Bay Area communities: nearby residential neigborhoods have played a part in contributing to sprucing up closeby business districts, and in the process, have created a close-knit, synergetic environment. So how about several College Terrace, Evergreen Park and Southgate street blocks getting together and donating some benches? Plaques recognizing each residential street could be put on each bench. It would be fun for residents to use, seeing one's block identified on a street bench. There would be no upkeep, and it would serve to foster "community". Players of all ages used to play impromptu board games where Cafe La Dolce Vita used to be, bringing life to that corner of Birch Street and California Ave in the early evening. Opening up the sidewalk for impromptu uses such as that, or just chatting with other strollers on a street bench, would promote healthy community, making the district walkable and in keeping with what is described in current council administration. Addressing newsracks in the California Ave district needs to be put on the Fast Track ASAP. Sidewalk areas can be used more intelligently and for creative, community-building purposes.

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Posted by No Benches
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2007 at 4:56 am

College Terrace Walker I'm glad you're advocating benches for the homeless along California Avenue. To save money how about moving the benches and the homeless from University Avenue to California Avenue. It would be a great way to clean up Downtown.

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Posted by An avid reader
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 18, 2007 at 9:57 am

I love my newspapers, reading three daily. But most of the material in those free news racks looks like junk mail. The same issues sit there for months. Newsracks ought not be used as storage space. Move those magazines that are rarely taken into businesses that want them, and use valuable sidewalk space for NEWS racks.

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Posted by wonder
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 18, 2007 at 6:39 pm

Imagine if East Palo Alto's problems were limited to an abundance of newspaper racks on one street.