News

Plans for California Avenue continue to evolve

City Council advocates widening sidewalks, retaining parking spaces, exploring central plaza

Palo Alto's plan to redesign the commercial stretch of California Avenue -- a plan that has galvanized a small community of area merchants -- is becoming more ambitious by the moment, with some City Council members directing staff this week to explore creating a new central plaza and a new parking configuration for the commercial strip.

The council debated on Monday night (Oct. 17) several options for widening sidewalks on California. These include a design that would feature parallel parking on both sides of the street and would eliminate 37 parking spaces; an option that includes angled parking all along California and nets no loss in parking; and a "modified hybrid" alternative that includes both parallel and angle parking and results in 10 new parking spaces. The alternative also includes raised crosswalks and the widening of sidewalks by 7 feet at select locations.

After a lengthy discussion, the council voted to support the third option and specified that staff should pay particular attention to pedestrian safety in the northeast end of the project. Councilman Pat Burt, who made the proposal to select the hybrid alternative described in the initial plan, which included reducing lanes from four to two and adding a host of streetscaping improvement, as "dynamite." But he said the new modifications make the project "even better than what we were looking at a few months ago."

"I think this would be a great winner and would still net out additional parking for the merchants there," Burt said.

The rest of the council agreed and voted unanimously to direct staff to explore the hybrid alternative. But members split over an alternative proposal, championed by Councilman Greg Schmid, that the city also explore creating a new central plaza between Ash and Birch streets to accommodate community activities. This option would eliminate parking all along this stretch of California -- a loss of 32 spaces.

The city's effort to redesign California Avenue, a project supported by a grant from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, drew heavy support from the community at the Feb. 14 council meeting and earned a unanimous vote from the council. Several merchants have criticized the plan, particularly the proposal to reduce lanes from four to two. In April, Terry Shuchat of the camera business Keeble & Shuchat, and resident Joy Ogawa filed a lawsuit arguing that the city failed to conduct the necessary environmental analysis before approving the project.

City Attorney Molly Stump said the two sides in the lawsuit made their cases in the Santa Clara County Superior Court earlier this month and are now awaiting a ruling.

The litigation did not stop the council, however, from proceeding with the major project. The city's planning staff has recently held two community meetings with business owners and residents around California Avenue to solicit input. According to a report from city Traffic Engineer Shahla Yazdy, some attendees continued to advocate keeping all four lanes. Others identified the western portion of the project, between El Camino Real and Birch Street, as their preferred widening areas.

Jessica Roth, of the California Avenue business European Cobblery, attended the meeting and proposed a three-lane alternative, with two lanes flowing into California Avenue from El Camino Real and one lane flowing out. The design, she said, would reduce the congestion at the intersection of California and El Camino.

But Monday's council discussion focused not on traffic lanes but on parking and sidewalk widening. Several council members, including Burt, stressed the need to retain parking spots on California.

"I think we can expand bicycle use and expand pedestrian access to this area so we won't have as many car trips as we would otherwise," Burt said. "But I don't think we can cut back on parking."

Taking away 32 parking spaces, he said, is "really the opposite direction of what the need is going to be."

"If I'm a merchant, I'll be livid about taking away almost half of on-street parking on this thing," Burt said.

Schmid and Scharff both said they support exploring the potential for a new plaza and parallel parking all along California. Schmid cited the prominent nature of the neighborhood and advocated larger sidewalks that create more opportunities for green spaces and benches.

"Let's not lose the potential," he said.

Scharff agreed and said that if the city doesn't at least consider these alternatives, it is "short changing the citizens of Palo Alto."

The proposal to explore the plaza and parallel parking alternatives passed 5-4, with Mayor Sid Espinosa, Vice Mayor Yiaway Yeh and Gail Price joining Schmid and Scharff.

Everyone agreed, however, that the "modified hybrid" alternative should be the focus, even if it will require additional investment by the city.

"This is a project that wile be in place for a very, very long time," Councilwoman Karen Holman said. "It's a large project and it very likely merits some additional investment if it really makes it a much better project."

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 21, 2011 at 10:30 am

Here's an idea. Let's not spend the money here at all (I don't think it's "broke" and therefore it doesn't need fixing), and spend the money to resurface roads around town that are an embarrassment in an affluent community.

So sick of bouncing down patched roads all over town. It seems the only smooth roads in town are blocks where the really rich folks live. (but of course there's no special treatment in our fair city is there.)


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Posted by Judith
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2011 at 11:10 am

I remember you made this comment about smooth streets in the "rich areas" before. Clearly, you have not been down Seale or Santa Rita lately. The really smooth roads are the bike boulevards, as they should be, since bike riders can really get their teeth rattled on bad roads.


Like this comment
Posted by A. Mayor
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 21, 2011 at 11:17 am

Widening the sidewalk, angled parking--what about some TREES? doesn't this mean ripping up the pathetic new trees that were planted to replace the lost ones last year? I see no mention of shade trees on this wider sidewalk.


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Posted by Ronna Devincenzi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2011 at 11:43 am

Elizabeth- Please will you go to California Avenue at 7AM on any given Saturday morning, and seriously look at the condition of the street?

The Farmer's Market is held year-round on Sundays. Market-goers walk in the street, careful to negotiate around the huge holes and cracks that line California Ave. In 2009, there was a serious fall that drew blood.

The whole Streetscape, including lane reductions, was to have been finished by Thanksgiving of 2009, had the project not been halted due to the city's lack of informing the public of the project that included new trees.

Since such focus has been placed on Calif. Ave, and all sighted people know what the street is like, as I see it, taking a fall in the street now would partially be the fault of the pedestrian. It's like knowing there are land mines in a field, and going for a casual stroll, without paying attention.

Market-goers cannot do that on Cal Ave. We must always be on guard for hazards caused by deferred maintenance of the street. Please, just go and look, when few cars are in the street. I gave photos of the street for council to see in their Sept. 9 packet, and it was sent to their emails too.

Sidewalks are another story. Council and staff would be wise to consider that the newspaper industry is changing (newspapers are stopping press, and consolidating) and the coin-op racks are not as desirable as being able to sell newspapers in stores, because thieves break locks to get the money inside, and regularly. One may not think they'd get much, but taking money from newsracks up and down the Peninsula can be lucrative. One thief is notorious for it.

Of the 300 newspaper racks in the California Ave district, most are not newspapers - the PA Weekly, the PA Daily News, the Post, the San Mateo Daily Journal and the Stanford Daily News, are real local newspapers, necessary to have plentiful access to them, because people read them DAILY.

But do we really need school catalogs and magazines with 4 month shelf lives, smack dab in the sidewalk, competing with pedestrian walkways? I don't think so. Please just look at what's there.

Palo Alto at one time, encouraged community engagement. I've been trying to share with everyone that the sidewalks would be opened up immediately, for no cost, when the city first places a limit on the number of racks in the district (other areas similar in size to Cal Ave have 80 racks, not 300) and insists the racks be pedestal mount, and consistent in style, no more freestanding racks that are often abandoned on the sidewalks.

Using the alley ways (as does Mountain View) will open up the sidewalk to pedestrians. It's very easy to get to the racks, and there's plenty of room to ensure all newspapers have a presence.

I'm a news junkie, and a defender of the First Amendment. But junkie looking racks containing school schedules should NOT compete with pedestrians for sidewalk space. Other communities agree, because only in Palo Alto are the newsracks so bad.

As for the Rolls Royce of Streetscape designs: merchants should have come to the CAADA meetings from 2005-2009, when I was begging them for their input. Reduction of 4 lanes to 2 came from the "CAADA Streetscape Committee", chaired by Terry Shuchat, with Elizabeth "Feeta" Bishop as a member. They worked with the city on the concept plan, and they did their homework prior to recommending it to the other CAADA Board members.

When I was on the Board, I voted FOR their lane reduction proposal. It was wise then, and it's wise now, especially with a 7 year old boy having been it in a crosswalk by a car over the summer, adding his name to the list of those hit on Cal Ave.

Whatever happens with the Streetscape, the lane reduction is a good and sound idea for keeping pedestrians (customers) safe in the crosswalks. That and street resurfacing is needed NOW.

The time to contemplate fun and new ideas has really past. It was done in 2005 and the plan, done with Civic Engagement up the wazoo, was finished in 2007. It was only waiting to be completed in 2009. The city BLEW the tree issue, but it has done a great job since 2009, with the street resurface plan. PLEASE JUST DO IT!


Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 21, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Are there images of the proposals?

BTW, I think that California Ave. is the best kept secret in the area! It is less-traveled than University Ave., but the food, shops and feel of the street invokes nostalgic memories of Main Street, USA (right out of a Norman Rockwell painting). I don't have a problem with making it better.

As for roads: Elizabeth is right. Some of the roads in Palo Alto are embarrassingly bad. I worry about how our vehicle holds up under the stress of cracks and potholes.

And who had the "bright idea" to place a raised metal sheet down on Alma Street (going north between El Dorado and Colorado Ave)?

That metal sheet is raised about 4-6 inches and I have seen a few drivers hit it at 45 mph (10 mph over the speed limit) and look like they were going to lose control.

We live nearby and, even inside of our apartment, we can hear the sounds of cars hitting it all day and even throughout the night.

I hope that this sheet isn't permanent, but PG&E has been working at that location for a couple of months now.


Like this comment
Posted by nat
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I'm concerned about the parallel parking replacing some of the angled parking. After so many decades of only parking in angled parking spaces, I think it would be very difficult to have to start parallel parking, and traffic would slow down, even stop, if people are parallel parking in a 2 lane street.


Like this comment
Posted by Crabby
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Why are we wasting money and hurting merchants in such tough times??

At least listen to the woman from CA Cobblery and at least make it 3 lanes. Are they so stupid that they LIKE traffic backups and exhaust fumes? Dumb question. Just look at the backups all around town.

It sounds like the BACK IN diagonal parking is missing. Maybe one of our genius city employees finally called Fremont and learned what a disaster it was, even on a quiet street.


Like this comment
Posted by Shopper
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm

I for one would not knowingly shop from a merchant who promotes car traffic over pedestrian safety.


Like this comment
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm

> and seriously look at the condition of the street?

Don’t need to make the trip, a short video is up on Youtube that shows the condition--

View of Deterioration of California Avenue:
Web Link

What is distressing is that with California Ave. being a revenue generating business zone for the City, it would stand to reason that the street surface, at least, would be resurfaced whenever it was needed, and that the crosswalks would be restriped every year, so that it looked like the business zone was well-kept. That clearly has not happened.

One can only wonder why the merchants have not been more persuasive in getting the City to do the job that they are paid to do. Maybe it’s a bit much to expect the merchants to be political advocates for themselves, but they are expecting these streets to bring in vehicular traffic, customers and money. So, it would seem that they have a vested interest in seeing the this maintenance is performed every year. (Of course, when businesses leave, or cease to exist, there isn’t a lot of motivation to advocate for the guy who is going to take over your business location.)

This issue of increasing the sidewalks seems to be not all that well understood by most people. The two videos look at the problem of sidewalk encroachment--

Bicycle Rack Encroaches On Half Of Sidewalk On California Avenue (Palo Alto, CA).:
Web Link

Restaurants Encroach On Public Sidewalks :
Web Link

The City has given the restaurants the right to encroach, but there does not seem to be anyone in the Planning Department that can answer questions about the cost of a permit, or how much money is being collected from California Avenue restaurants who are clearly utilizing the public right-of-way, sometimes to excess.

If the sidewalks are enlarged, won’t that be a green light for the restaurants to simply take over all of the new space—pushing the pedestrians out into the street, if necessary?

The City owes the taxpayers some explanations about what is going on here.


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Posted by Ronna Devincenzi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Wayne -

In 2004, the city met with CAADA and a rep from Canopy to inform us of their utility work schedule - there was work done up and down Cal Ave and Cambridge and even on some side streets, like Birch, most of it from Feb. 2009-July 2009.

They'd just patch the street when I told them of the huge holes that were most dangerous. But the BIG finish was to be Nov. 2009, with the street being resurfaced, and the lanes reduced from 4 to 2. The whole project was halted, when the city did not do proper notifications about the trees being replaced. Thanks for your web link. It's even worse now - from 2008, 2009. It needs help.


Like this comment
Posted by Kim S.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm

If parking and traffic become a hassle California Avenue businesses will suffer. I would hope that the city conducts a test before permanently taking away lanes.


Like this comment
Posted by Ronna Devincenzi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm

The City conducted tests, years prior to 2009. The most recent test was done in 2010. Each expert opinion concluded there would be no drawback to traffic or parking, if the Concept Plan presented by the Streetscape Committee to CAADA and accepted by the City was done. This was the plan that was to have been *finished* by Nov. 2009.

Note that *every* business district along the Peninsula has one lane in each direction, including University Ave., Santa Cruz Ave (Menlo Park), and Castro Street in Mountain View, all at least 3 times as long as Cal Ave, or longer.

Downtown Los Altos and downtown Saratoga, similar in size to Cal Ave, each have one lane in each direction. Cal Ave has side streets. There is *no* reason to believe cars would be backed up, due to traffic. Just look at the other districts. It works.

And frankly, if it were a case of a huge back-up of cars, all the way from El Camino Real to Park Blvd, which is the *whole* three-block long district, a 100% jam, 24/7, which is the fear, compared to the PROTECTION and SAFETY of even one more little child, or one more vulnerable person (like the one also hit in the crosswalk when he was in his wheelchair, I would STILL vote for 2 lanes instead of four, if I were still on the CAADA Board. Priority Number One is *safety*.

Putting pedestrians at risk is *not* a selling point. If it were your child, your mother, father or loved one hit, perhaps you would then agree with the experts that 1 lane in each direction is safer.

A little boy was put in the hospital over the summer. This is a KNOWN problem, and for YEARS. The only surprise is not MORE pedestrians are hit in Cal Ave area crosswalks. The street condition looks blighted. It is past needing "repair". It's like a Third World Country in this district. It needed resurfacing in 2009, and was almost beyond patching then.

Nothing will be done now until what, 2012? The planning, new studies has put everyone back to the year 2004, when the Streetscape began. There needs to be a "Failure Analysis" done. How many businesses thrive with backpeddaling 7 years on each product they make? In the meantime, pedestrians remain at risk, and in crosswalks.

Lastly, this must be said:
The whole project was going to cost $335K in 2009, including the lane reduction. But from what I understand, @ $350K is now just the consultants fee. It's absurd.

Will some impartial business men/residents that care about this district, please show some interest in this issue? Ask questions.
Please don't be passive. In the planning stage, we are literally back in year 2004 again, but the condition of the streets are much worse now; worse than in 2009.

Wayne's web cast is terrific, but it needs to be updated, with the photos taken on a Saturday morning, sometime prior to 7AM, so one can really see the condition of the street, when no cars are covering up the crater-sized holes. His video from 2008 taken in one little area, actually makes the street look pretty good. But I'm thankful that his web cast was made and placed on this blog! It helps.


Like this comment
Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm

On Thursday, 10/20, the Daily Post reported that Palo Alto's unfunded liability for retiree’s health care jumped 28% (since 2009) to $134M. Yet Council members Schmid, Price, Yeh, Scharff and Mayor Espinosa want to spend our tax dollars on a central plaza.

What a great way to destroy a thriving business district -- blocking off the middle of the main street!

The city has been thrashing for years on how best to destroy this wonderful little business community: Fountaingate, deforestation, narrowing the main street from 4 lanes to 2.

(It should be noted that the lane reduction plan completely ignores city plans to build more housing, shops and offices in the area!)

AFTER Council "approved" the plan, they asked staff to look into wider sidewalks and bike lanes. And now they want a central plaza. What next?

Where will all the "upgrade" funding come from? The VTA grant (which is also our tax money) won't cover it. I've heard that the grant won't even cover street resurfacing--which is the major problem that should have been fixed years ago.

I don't understand why all the California Avenue merchants aren't storming City Hall with torches and pitchforks. They're the ones who will suffer from construction and traffic congestion when shoppers decide it's just not worth the hassle to shop there.

And aren't they concerned that the city might assess them for all these elaborate "improvements"?




Like this comment
Posted by Kim S.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 21, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Did the testing entail actual lane closings as they've done on Arastradero?


Like this comment
Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm

“The most recent test was done in 2010. Each expert opinion concluded there would be no drawback to traffic or parking…”

The city’s planning regulations only allow for CURRENT data on traffic flow to be taken into account. Yet, high density housing and office space for the California Avenue area is the stated goal of the Planning Department. They are actively working on changing the area's zoning to encourage high density housing and office space. This has been in the works for more than a year.

A new development on Birch Street (just off California Ave.) has already been approved. On November 22, 2010, the City Council approved a mixed use project on a ½ acre lot, currently addressed as 2640 and 2650 Birch Street, 305 Grant, and 306 and 320 Sheridan Avenue. The project comprises first floor office space with 8 residential units above on the second and third levels."

Also, “Cupertino-based developer Sobrato Organization has purchased a 15-acre property in Palo Alto that includes Fry's Electronics -- a site that city officials eye as a potential location for major land-use changes. …the site is one of several that city officials say could support new housing because of its proximity to the transit-oriented district on California Avenue….” Web Link

If and when this 15-acre parcel is built out—along with several other parcels under development near California Ave.—the traffic situation will doubtlessly be very different from what it is today.

“*every* business district along the Peninsula has one lane in each direction, including University Ave., Santa Cruz Ave (Menlo Park), and Castro Street in Mountain View…”

Yes, and every one of those areas districts has major congestion problems!

“Did the testing entail actual lane closings as they've done on Arastradero?”

No. It was done by data analysis.

Couple of conclusions from the report:

-“At El Camino Real and California Avenue, the lane reductions during peak traffic times could cause traffic to back up 200 feet, which could block parking spaces.”

-“… reduced lanes would reduce the street capacity from 1,360 vehicles per hour to 560 per hour, with traffic delays of about two to three seconds per vehicle.” This seems hard to believe.

-“…no major projects are expected in the area in the near future, so the volume of traffic should not change.”

This is clearly not true.

The full report can be found at: www.cityofpaloalto.org/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=25743


Like this comment
Posted by Not-A-Fan-Of-Lane-Reduction
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2011 at 7:38 am

> Putting pedestrians at risk is *not* a selling point. If it were
> your child, your mother, father or loved one hit, perhaps you
> would then
> agree with the experts that 1 lane in each direction is safer.

Uhh .. what are you talking about? There is very little traffic on California avenue, compared to El Camino Real. Aren't pedestrians at great risk when they walk across the street to California Avenue now? What makes you think that narrowing the street to two lanes will make this street totally safe? If safety is an issue, shouldn't the City be closing off any pedestrian access to the California Business District that requires people to walk across El Camino Real?

> A little boy was put in the hospital over the summer.
> This is a KNOWN problem

Perhaps you might answer a couple questions:

1) In the last five years, how many vehicular collisions have occurred on California Avenue?

2) In the last five years, how many people have been injured by vehicles on California Avenue.

3) In the last five years, how many people have been killed by vehicles on California Avenue?

4) In the last five years, how many tickets has the Palo Alto Police issued for speeding on California Avenue?

5) How do these numbers compare to, say, Middlefield Road, or University Avenue?

It seems that this basic information ought to be on the table before we succumb to hysteria about "safety". Keep in mind that closing the street to all vehicular, including bicycles, would make the street even safer. So, if you are not willing to make the street "totally" safe by closing it off to all traffic, just how much "safer" are you making it by reducing the number of lanes by 50%?


Like this comment
Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 22, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Re plazas:
1. Isn't there already a public plaza at the end of CA Ave. near the RR station?

2. "When Palo Alto's leading developers and city officials unveiled the new Lytton Plaza in downtown Palo Alto two years ago, they envisioned a bustling neighborhood hub with farmers markets, concerts and community events. Not everything, however, has panned out as planned."
Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Jacob
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 22, 2011 at 6:41 pm

hamilton near center was a pot hole breeding ground and still is even though they have recently paved parts of it.


Like this comment
Posted by long-time resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2011 at 9:24 am

I think it's about time we renovated California Avenue! I was wondering how long it would take us to wake up to how the Castro Street rejuvenation also rejuvenated that whole part of Mountain View.

I think the counsel is being very thoughtful about this, for which I am grateful. Thanks for the hard work, there are always curmudgeons on this list, who criticize first and learn all the background later (if at all).

i realize this has probably already been discussed, but is there any way to squeeze that extra parking out of side street redesigns? The lots have already squeezed the spaces as tiny as can be, but I'm just wondering what other alternatives exist. The possibility of community open space there helps attract people so that the street becomes a destination, not just a place to pick up and drive away.


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2011 at 9:32 am

Not-fan-of-land-reduction,
Do you remember what Castro Street was like before Mtn Vw reduced the lanes, and, most importantly, redid the streetscape to make it more strollable and enjoyable for people to hang out? Go there on a warm weekend night sometime and see all the bustle. You know how much of that was there before? I still remember what a ghost town it was after dark, and how women wouldn't walk to their cars alone. A lot of the businesses there now weren't there then, either.

Point is, lane reduction didn't hurt Castro, it helped because the purpose of the lane reduction was to improve the street so it was an enjoyable place to BE. Even though Castro, unlike California, is a street that people use to drive through from El Camino to Alma, the lane reduction didn't seem to hurt the drivability of it either, because the changes were carefully thought through. I would say it's easier and safer to get onto Castro from Alma than it was before.


Like this comment
Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 24, 2011 at 8:19 pm

NFOLR: As you mention, the Castro St. changes were not just about streetscape, but about new businesses coming in. Chicken and egg?

IMHO, it wasn't lane reduction that made Castro come to life, but all the new restaurants. I don't see the point of the "stairs" between the street and sidewalks. Lots of wasted space.

Does CA Ave. have to be narrowed to be updated? I don't think so.


Like this comment
Posted by long-time resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2011 at 10:14 pm

pat,
There's no chicken egg question, the restaurants didn't move in in a vacuum, Castro somehow even resisted benefitting from the boom in the 80s, because the way the streetscape discouraged BEING there. The new streetscape made it a much more strollable, attractive space, and because of that, people came and stayed -- and new businesses moved in, and the whole thing took off. The new streetscape made it possible for restaurants to have the outdoor dining out front, etc. If you've been here any amount of time, there's no question of what changed Castro, virtually overnight.

California is SO much like Castro was, except not even nearly as bad as Castro was, and with so much potential to be even better, I can't believe it's taken this long to take the same steps. And Palo Alto is so in need of a strollable neighborhood-commercial center like Castro.

CA Avenue does have to be narrowed to get the same updates, just as Castro was, it's the only way to widen the sidewalks and get the outdoor dining, etc. That is far more valuable than the parking ON California, so long as the spaces can be found somehow on side streets (but only IF). It's not like California is a throughway like Castro anyway. It's also not as long.

If Castro hadn't made the streetscape improvements, it would still be a ghost town today. Your opinion is pretty divorced from what happened. Exactly what is your opinion based on?


Like this comment
Posted by maggie
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 26, 2011 at 10:50 am

To Shopper, I think to say you would not shop at businesses who are not in support of the lane reduction may only ring true because you don't frequent businesses on California Ave. People who frequent businesses on California Ave. understand why the four lanes work. They come to the area because it is easy to get in and out without cars been backed up. If the streets were paved and painted, I think we wouldn't have problems with people saying it is outdated. Just like a house, a new paint job brightens an old house. People in this community are constantly conned by interest groups like the bicyclists, restaurateurs and even City staff and council members, etc... Why would you - the "shopper" say you would not support any business on California Ave that are against the lane reduction and hurt our own city? Unless it based on facts or religious values, why would you hurt your own city's growth and support the local businesses. Unless you are a City Staff who doesn't live Palo Alto????


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2011 at 10:55 am

One of the restaurants on Cal Ave now has 2 Michelin stars. Is this going to bring more traffic to Cal Ave as a destination?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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