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Downtown residents split over parking-permit program

Survey suggests lack of consensus on new requirements for street parking

As Palo Alto prepares to launch its long-awaited Residential Parking Permit Program, people who live in the congested downtown neighborhoods are almost evenly split about the ambitious effort, which would require drivers to buy permits to park on residential streets.

The results of a survey that the city conducted in recent months in the affected downtown area shows that the permit program remains a controversial and polarizing topic.

Of the 1,417 survey responders (about 32 percent of those who received it), 708 said they favor the program and 709 said they are opposed. Much of the opposition comes from the southern tip of the downtown area, a section south of Lincoln Avenue and east of Bryant Street.

Because these residents live farthest from the commercial core and are thus less affected by commuters' vehicles parking in front of their homes, they were unsurprisingly less keen on paying for permits to park in front of their own homes. When this section of downtown is omitted from the permit program, as staff is now proposing to do, support for the parking program enjoys a slight edge over opposition, with 643 responders saying they are in favor (53 percent) and 571 responders saying they are against it (47 percent).

The survey results suggest that approving the new program will be a politically thorny endeavor for the City Council, which has been fielding requests for such a program from Downtown North and Professorville residents for more than three years. Residents from both neighborhoods have complained about the streets near their homes getting completely taken over by employees' vehicles every day. A prior proposal, which considered only a section of Professorville for a pilot permit program, fizzled in 2012 after a section of the neighborhood came out in opposition and the council agreed that the program should be broader and more comprehensive.

The new program is far more ambitious in scope. Even with the recently revised boundaries, it would still encompass most of downtown, from Alma Street in the west to Guinda in the east and from Palo Alto Avenue in the north to Lincoln Avenue in the south (initially, the program was to extend all the way to Embarcadero). A product of about a year of work between planning staff and a committee of stakeholders from downtown businesses and neighborhoods, it would operate in two phases.

In the first phase, which would last six months, the city would provide permits to any downtown employee and resident who wants one. The goal is to collect data about who actually parks in the downtown neighborhoods. By restricting parking permits to downtown employees and residents, the city would seek to prohibit others from taking up downtown parking spots, including Caltrain riders who don't wish to pay the Caltrain parking lot fee; Stanford University students and faculty who park for free in the neighborhoods and then bike to the university; and employees of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Town and Country Village.

Currently, many employees choose not to pay for parking-garage permits by leaving their cars in residential neighborhoods. Unlike the streets in the commercial core, the residential blocks in Professorville and Downtown North don't have time restrictions, allowing employees and train commuters to park for the entire day for free.

Residents in the first phase would get parking permits for free. Downtown employees would have to pay $233 for permits. Low-income service employees would pay a lower fee of $50.

In the second phase of the permit program, which would last a year, the city would set a cap on the number of permits issued and modify the permits so that each would be dedicated to a specific block. Residents would be able to buy up to four permits per address, with the first one free and additional ones for $50 each. Rates would remain the same for employees: $466 annually for standard permits and $100 for low-income employees. The standard rate is equivalent to what it costs to buy a permit for downtown garages, according to staff.

Jessica Sullivan, the city's parking manager, said staff will present the program to the City Council for approval on Dec. 1. If things go as planned, the city will begin setting up a system for selling permits online and enforcing the parking restrictions early next year. Enforcement under the tentative timeline will begin in early April, Sullivan said.

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4 people like this
Posted by Jared Bernstein
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 24, 2014 at 10:22 am

Well, Associate Professorville, really.

I am just very happy that our little southeastern triangle has been excluded from the plan.
Thank you. We in SOLI (South of Lincoln) are not really bothered by Stanford Football parking or downtown worker parking. We do get some parking from the churches and from Lucy Stern events, but the people who attend the opera and plays are so nice.

4 people like this
Posted by Hold on Here
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 24, 2014 at 11:09 am

The POST has an article today saying the majority appose the program.

What's up with the numbers.

Either way slightly for or slightly against doesn't warrant moving forward on this massive expansion of government intrusion.

5 people like this
Posted by Business as usual
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2014 at 11:12 am

Let me make sure I understand this. The city conducts a survey. the survey does not turn out the way either the city or the vocal minority in favor of parking permits want, so the city removes an area from the survey. And then you still get results that do not match the seemingly overwhelming outcry for permit parking.
Sounds like business as usual for the city. Appease the vocal minority. Make sure the squeaky wheel gets greased.

4 people like this
Posted by Silly
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 24, 2014 at 11:56 am

Read the RFP for the parking permit website that someone posted this week. You can forget all plans to have weekend guests, dinner parties, etc.

You get to buy one guest permit for one day only all year. You have to buy separate guest permits for EACH area so don't plan on visiting friends in other neighborhoods.

No provisions for weekend parking, senior discounts or anything that would help residents. Remember residents? The taxpayers?

Guess the realtors need to work those ads to eliminate all references like "Great house suitable for entertaining."

How about requiring the WORKERS to park in the under-utilized garages? How about stopping the densification and office building until this problem is solved?

5 people like this
Posted by commonsense
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 24, 2014 at 11:59 am

"seemingly overwhelming outcry" is right - SEEMINGLY. The outcry is really a small minority that like to post on this blog. They are also supported by attractive headlines. In reality this is a "problem" for the few that chose to live near a vibrant downtown. This parking permit would just push the cars over a few more blocks resulting in a whole new subset of any people. The difference is this second subset chose to live further from downtown and therefore should not have to endure the cars that will certainly start parking in their neighborhood. This solution to the car burden is a poorly thought out one.

My advice - don't vote for the residentialists who are really representing the angry few. I love Palo Alto - the way it was, the way it is and the way it will be. It will be different and busier in another decade - hoping growth will go away is a waste of energy. Let's figure out how to deal with it best and plan for it, not ignore it.

1 person likes this
Posted by Quercus
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 24, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Never got a survey.
Was it mailed to all residences in the area?

Will we get another chance for input?


1 person likes this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 24, 2014 at 12:15 pm

College Terrace has had a parking permit program for 5 years. It is cost neutral to the city. We pay $40 a year for one permit (up to 4 permits per household). Why the city would choose to give it out for free in another neighborhood is shocking. It totally underpins the system that works in CT. It means that in the future it will be impossible to get people to sign up for $40 when other neighborhoods don't pay a cent. Does the City plan to make all permits for all neighborhood free? A free permit also means that if you don't need it just get it anyway and sell it on CriagsList.

1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 24, 2014 at 12:29 pm

The POST newspaper offices are on Forest Ave in the Downtown parking district.

They may be inconvenienced by the program so they cannot be considered an independent voice. They should make that clear in their stories.

1 person likes this
Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Got to wonder where the money collected for these permits is going? Two hundred dollars is a lot of money for a piece of paper to post on your vehicle's windshield. Why so much?

Why is it that the City can not create a web-site that costs virtually nothing to operate to dispense these permits? Even if it turns out that some effort needs to be expended that amounts up to a some amount of money--the cost of the web-based permitting system will be less, in the long run, than any other system.

The Phase 2 costs of 500/year (and presumably subject to increase every time the City wants to increase the salaries and benefits for its employees) is really outlandish!

Has anyone put together a revenue projection for this plan? Certainly such a revenue plan would include increased revenue for parking violations, as well as increased costs to enforce this permits.

Got to wonder how many companies/employees really want to fork out $600 a year to park on-street in Palo Alto?

2 people like this
Posted by Silly
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 24, 2014 at 12:56 pm

$600 is a bargain vs the $17.50 a day permit for the under-utilized but expensive garages we've already paid for.

$17.50 a day x 5 days a week x 52 weeks a year = $4,550.

Can anyone see where there might be a little problem?

3 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2014 at 1:04 pm

> $17.50 a day x 5 days a week x 52 weeks a year = $4,550.

well, let's do the calculation on a 50 week year, OK??

But the main point of this posting is that this is a $$%&%^ lot of money for parking. Where does it go? Certainly it is not going for maintenance and cleaning that reflects paying $4K a year for a place to park!

This whole parking situation continues out-of-control. Hiring a parking "manager" has certainly done little for increased transparency into the City's management, and financial stake in these parking structures.

Got to wonder if the City will ever tell us the truth about where the money is going that is sucked in from parking-related fees/fines?

2 people like this
Posted by They have already made up their mind
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 24, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Well since the city and the council have already made up their mind it's unlikely the survey or the doctored survey will get in the way.

everyone better start writing the council to reverse its decision because this is close to a done deal

1 person likes this
Posted by Anneke
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 24, 2014 at 2:18 pm

May I understand when this survey was mailed us, as I also do not recall receiving any survey, and we live in a fully parked parking lot? I wonder who received these surveys and when.

1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Please let us know where and how the cars that park on residential streets are going to park? Where and how can cars park all day on an occasional basis? How does a visitor to Palo Alto know where to park all day?

This is so backwards.

Get the occasional all day parking sorted first. Get pay per hour machines in all lots and garages. Get some signage and some technology so that people can park and know where to park.

And it has to cost the same as Caltrain lots, or else that's where they will go to park. If it costs $5 to park at Caltrain and the cheapest ticket is $2.75 then people will not want to pay for more than $7.75 to park all day since that is what it would cost to buy parking in the Caltrain lot even if they don't get on a train.

Nobody will seriously pay $17 plus when they can use Caltrain lots.

2 people like this
Posted by Puzzled
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 24, 2014 at 2:58 pm

I must admit that I am puzzled by some of the comments that attribute the issue of the growth of intrusive parking into our neighborhood as somehow being trivial. Having seen our streets turn into a circus of cars cruising, u-turning at intersections, 3-point turning in driveways, doing anything to grab any open space, often partially (or worse) completely blocking driveways,leaving lunch trash in the streets, and having been a victim of an accident on the "safe" bike boulevard and a guest of Stanford Emergency Room, I assure the critics that it is far more than a trivial problem. The critics are usually from another neighborhood indicating a self-centered attitude, "it isn't my problem, I don't want it to be, and I don't care that it's your problem." This isn't "big government" intruding into our lives. Government has a legitimate obligation to step in where individuals cannot legislate making a neighborhood safer. I DO understand that someone on the fringe of a controlled parking area is concerned about the parking spreading into their area; however, it is a self-correcting problem. They would then feel the pain we have been feeling for years and would have government step in to give them relief.

2 people like this
Posted by margita
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 24, 2014 at 3:06 pm

The College Terrace parking permit addresses WEEKDAY on street parking only, and does not apply after 5 pm or weekends. Those who park in their garage or in their driveway are not impacted. Those that commute to work M-F, 8-5 in their cars are not impacted. Daytime guests can park for two hours. The program has been very successful for College Terrace.

The City proposals for downtown describes the impacted blocks but I was unable to determine the hours and days of enforcement. That information should be made clear to allow downtown residents to evaluate the pros and cons of the current proposals.

2 people like this
Posted by 6Djockey
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 24, 2014 at 3:57 pm

in response to Common Sense

". . . don't vote for the residentialists who are really representing the angry few"

The residentialists you refer to are not a vocal minority or they could not have brought about a defeat of Measure D last year by a vote of 57% to 43%. We are in the midst of a ground swell change where some of the candidates are actually concerned about the neighborhoods and the residents. I am, of course, referring to the real residentialists--Kou, Filseth, and DuBois—and not the newly minted residentialists Scharf and Sheppard under whose leadership there was more office development in the last four years than in the last 20 years.

2 people like this
Posted by commonsense
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 24, 2014 at 4:51 pm


I give the Baron Park neighbors a lot of credit for organizing their constituency and getting it to vote to kill Measure D. It was a terrible mistake and took a lot of misinformation spreading to achieve but they were "successful". Comparing the Palo Alto Housing Corp, a non-profit dedicated to developing affordable housing, to "billionaire developers" was brilliant!

The three candidates you mention are ONLY against development. They are otherwise totally unqualified for the tasks at hand. Development, traffic and parking on only three issues among hundreds.

I repeat, the angry minority's voice will have far reaching, long term, negative consequences if the majority does not stand up and be heard.

2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 24, 2014 at 5:46 pm

The Palo Alto Housing Corp has become so similar to other developers that I can't tell them apart. Their Board has influential developers on it.
The PAHC was one of the two developers that offered to build a parking garage with housing above, last week, and the Council turned it down.

Like this comment
Posted by Neilson Buchanan
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 24, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Permit Parking Facts for Univ Ave neighborhoods(Downtown North, University South, Professorville and Crescent Park
1. Eleven stakeholders (property owners, business persons and residents) have collaborated with city staff since March to develop a solution for residential neighborhoods currently providing daily parking for over 1000-1500 downtown workers. Two other neighborhoods already have permit parking to improve the quality of their neighborhoods.
2. Get the permit parking facts directly from the city website
Web Link
3. The goal of this third permit parking program is to study the workers’ parking patterns through September 2015 and then reduce the worker parking impact by full utilization of existing downtown garages/parking lots and other measures. It is impossible to eliminate all worker parking on these residential streets any time in the foreseeable future.

Like this comment
Posted by Neilson Buchanan
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 24, 2014 at 7:05 pm

4. I live in Downtown which has 32 residential blocks with 1513 residential parking spaces. Midday about 400 of these spaces are taken by residents’ or their service worker vehicles. Slightly over 800 residential parking spaces are taken by non-resident vehicles.
5. On a typical day nine (9) blocks are over 100% saturated with parking. Thirteen(13) blocks average 93% saturation! Six(6) blocks are saturated between 50-79%. Four(4) blocks are less than 50% saturated. This is very compacted, unevenly distributed parked vehicles for most of each working day on residential not commercial streets.
6. The permit parking proposal covers only 8-5pm on workdays for residential streets currently heavily impacted by non-resident parking. If there is a website that states other hours, please contact me.
7. See city website and this PA Weekly article for the proposed permit district. It is roughly the area between Alma, Palo Alto Avenue, Guinda and Lincoln.

Like this comment
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Oct 24, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Silly is being COMPLETELY Silly. This plan has nothing to do with dinner parties or weekends. The parking permit is free for residents. The cost for employees is the same as for parking in the garages.

SILLY could not be more intentionally misleading. What is his purpose in posting here?

It will be interesting to see how much employee parking spills over into the excluded triangle.

1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2014 at 11:41 pm

I will ask my question again since none of the parking permit devotees have answered.

Where will these cars park. Where will occasional all day parkers, some of whom are visitors to Palo Alto, park their cars all day. Most of the garages and lots do not have pay per hour machines. Where will they park.

Occasional parkers and those who are visitors to Palo Alto do not want to buy parking permits.

I ask again, where will occasional all day parkers who visit Palo Alto park?

Where will these cars go?

Where will they park?

The answer is nobody knows, and nobody cares.

Pathetic situation.

4 people like this
Posted by Agenda
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2014 at 10:13 am

As far as I can see the vote is against permit parking. That should be the end of the story. However it looks like the staff is playing dirty politics by gerrymandering the voting area. Looks like appeasing a vocal minority is more important than democracy.

2 people like this
Posted by InFavor
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 25, 2014 at 11:25 am

Anyone that is not sitting in the thick of it can't really understand. For those that are bombarded everyday with increased traffic around their home, fast unsafe driving around their home, wall to wall parked cars surrounding their home, no place for service people or friends to park to get to their home, it's not pleasant. Downtown employees line my street starting at 5am in the morning. Some sit in their cars smoke cigarettes and crank their music right in front of my bedroom window. Not a pleasant way to wake up. I personally can't wait for the parking permit program to roll out and I think it will really help with the issue of Traffic Calming and Safe Routes to School. There are too many employees circling around our neighborhoods looking for parking when they could be driving into a parking garage which is intended for commercial use. Let's not forget that our neighborhood streets are for residential parking not commercial parking.

2 people like this
Posted by FreeParkingDoNotPay$200
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 26, 2014 at 12:03 am

> Of the 1,417 survey responders (about 32 percent of those who received it), 708 said they favor the program and 709 said they are opposed.

Typical BS City decisions - fire them all, we have the chance.

Everytime I read about the City doing something it is some stupid idea like this that no one wants.

2 people like this
Posted by Ask Mayor Bloomberg
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 26, 2014 at 11:47 pm


Why do you think people are smoking in their cars? Because PA unilaterally banned public smoking without putting it to a vote.

Sure, the regulation was aimed at the homeless but what you're seeing is the law of unintended consequences.

New York City residents can tell you what happened when Mayor Bloomberg banned smoking in bars and restaurants, even those with special smoking sections, expensive air filters, etc.: The smokers took their smoke breaks outside the bars and restaurants and smoked and chatted under people's windows.

Guess which was more bothersome? Consenting adults smoking inside in previously legal smoking sections or noisy people smoking under their windows?

[Portion removed.]

2 people like this
Posted by Ask Mayor Bloomberg
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 27, 2014 at 10:42 am

[Portion removed due to misstatement of fact.]

Don't we as citizens and taxpayers have the right to question priorities like this, especially since we never voted on the cigarette ban?

2 people like this
Posted by Ask Mayor Bloomerg
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 27, 2014 at 11:31 am

Please correct the misstatement of facts since it was reported on Thursday in a front-page PA Post article what resources the police had devoted to their anti-smoking anti-shopping-cart-theft campaign.

My point is that police resources might be better spent ticketing the cars blocking our driveways.

I contributed to your "Excellent in Journalism" fund and would hope you'd correct and clarify misstatements. Thanks.

Like this comment
Posted by Town Square Moderator
online staff of Palo Alto Online
on Oct 27, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Town Square Moderator is a registered user.

@Ask Mayor Bloomberg

The police are not devoting these resources to anti-smoking enforcement and returning shopping carts. They have increased their downtown police patrols in general and their focus is not on these matters, even though another newspaper may have made it appear that way by focusing only on those citations.

2 people like this
Posted by Ask Mayor Bloomberg
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 27, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Thanks for your response.

You're right; the police aren't returning shopping carts, just allegedly arresting those who steal them.

The lengthy front page PA Post article begs to differ and cited statistics about last year's arrests for shopping cart thefts and cigarette smoking and their increased quotas for this year.

Do you have stats on parking violations about which residents are so concerned? Can you respond to the person above who complained about people smoking in their cars and what can you conclude from that about the law of unintended consequences?

2 people like this
Posted by Squeeky wheels don't always get greased!
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 27, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Wow. This thread is amazing. Finally some people standing up to "residentialists", who don't actually represent residents. They are just NIMBYs who don't want anyone parking in "their" street.

They now want the area in front of their houses, which is paid for by everyone in Palo Alto, free for their exclusive use. When the city actually surveys a broad sample of the population, it turns out that the idea isn't very popular. And, we have to assume that the people who actually return a mail-in survey are the people who are outraged about parking. If anything, the results are skewed in favor of the "we need to take back our parking places!" crowd.

I hope that the PTC and the Council will pay attention to the survey results and not gift a portion of our city to NIMBYs who just complain a lot at their meetings and in online forums.

Like this comment
Posted by tired of offices hogging parking
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2014 at 5:07 pm


"Taking back" some streets in this parking situation is not just for the people affected. It will create some overdue boundaries for the offices.

Free parking has been given to everyone for many years until you had offices pop up here and the growth is on overdrive.

I don't know enough about this issue but there should be a distinction between retail that residents need, small unique stores and true amenities, chain retail, and offices.

Offices should pay 100% + for their office space OR go where they can afford to do business.

Unique retail, bookstores, small shops, free parking,

Hybrid - depends. Whole Foods could afford some of the parking costs given the business they get.

1 person likes this
Posted by Squeeky wheels don't always get greased!
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 27, 2014 at 5:22 pm

@ tired

You are repeating a line I often hear: "I am tired of rich office workers parking in my neighborhood. All of this traffic is caused by those Amazon, Palantir and SurveyMonkey Workers."

I don't buy it. All of the big offices have huge parking lots associated with them. The parking on my street also doesn't get really full until mid-morning. This tells me that the parking are people from people working in shops that don't open until 10am-- not offices. This measure just "gives" parking to me and others that can afford to live in Professorville while making it harder for all of the businesses that you claim to like ("unique retail", bookstores (population = 0), small shops).

2 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2014 at 5:23 pm

@tired of offices hogging parking

So basically, free parking for you, and the places you want to go or that you feel are important?

Like this comment
Posted by tired of offices hogging parking
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2014 at 5:29 pm


It's one half dozen of the other then. You don't buy whatever I appear to be selling, and I'm not sure what you are proposing other than not what the "residentialists" want.

Trying something new won't hurt, if nothing else to free you from the shop people you seem to not be worried about but are.

1 person likes this
Posted by Squeeky wheels don't always get greased!
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 27, 2014 at 6:18 pm


I'm proposing something pretty simple: don't implement a RPP program. We don't need it. It is expensive and makes it harder for the restaurants, cafes, cleaners and other small businesses to stay in business (because now they will have to pay for their employees to park).

I think that it's a bit rich for my neighbors to inconvenience everyone else so that we don't have to put our car(s) in our driveway on occasion.

3 people like this
Posted by palo alto
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 28, 2014 at 7:30 am

Squeeky is right. It is the hourly workers that park in my Downtown North neighborhood. Also, a lot of street parking is used by my neighbors that are building their brand new big houses. The neighbor behind me that
built a great big grand new house had between 10 & 15 cars/trucks parked everyday for 2 years! This is just
more war on the poor. Leave the workers alone, park in your driveway.

4 people like this
Posted by all that glitters
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 28, 2014 at 8:45 am

>College Terrace has had a parking permit program for 5 years. It is cost neutral to the city.

Actually, it's not. The Stanford University General Use Permit fund has been subsidizing the cost of the CT RPPP since it was instigated. The most recent report in 2011 showed it was being subsidized to the tune of 50%. Nothing has been reported since then. They don't want you to know how much is being now spent by the city to cover the RPPP.

4 people like this
Posted by Downtown worker
a resident of Terman Middle School
on Dec 29, 2014 at 11:49 am

I live in South Palo Alto and work downtown. I HATE working mornings during the weekday as I have to already park 3 -4 blocks from work. This stupid parking permit thing is going to make it worse for me and many other underpayed employees. I already get up at 6am to make it to work after gettting off my 2nd job at 11pm the night before. Yes I have 2 full time jobs or else I wouldn't be able to afford to live in Palo Alto. I am a college graduate. I am also a 5th generation Palo Altan. My family was here when it was Mayfield and they helped build this city. Now I am the only one left out of my whole family that is still in Palo Alto. I am now realizing why eveyone left. Palo Alto needs to stop the growth and let new companies start their businesses in other cities that can benifit from more employers. This building to the curb and not having parking needs to stop. We have reached our limits. Palo Alto doesn't need the money. How about we keep some of it's original history and stop selling all of our houses to Foriegn Investors? But that's a whole different subject. :(

2 people like this
Posted by Jordan
a resident of University South
on Dec 29, 2014 at 3:11 pm

@Downtown worker wrote:
"I am now realizing why eveyone left. Palo Alto needs to stop the growth and let new companies start their businesses in other cities that can benifit from more employers."

Everyone left because Palo Alto limited growth. The severe limits on building height were enacted decades ago, much to the city's detriment. The result is sky-high commercial rents and housing costs. Many longtime businesses closed or moved out because they could no longer afford the rent. Many residents, some who had lived in Palo Alto for decades, also moved out because they could no longer afford the rent.

Palo Alto also failed to require new office and housing developments to provide adequate parking, and also failed to build enough parking garages.

The developers are our friends, not our enemies. The City Council just needs to make sure new developments provide enough parking.

Like this comment
Posted by Downtown Worker
a resident of Terman Middle School
on Dec 31, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Palo Alto is becoming the new LA. Too many people in one area. I am happy that the city put a limit on how high buildings are. Think of how bad the parking situation would be if they allowed tall buildings all over the city.. This discussion would have happened a long time ago and with no good outcome. There is no room for any more parking garages. Palo Alto is like a hoarding Aunt that keeps bringing crap in and not throwing anything out. Palo Alto's new name is going to be clutterville if they don't stop building.

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

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