News


Avenidas plan excludes more parking

Number of visitors who drive could double, according to a consultant's study

Read Major renovation planned for Avenidas senior center

Avenidas Senior Center expects its building renovations will double the number of daily visitors, but it would not add parking spaces, officials told the public during a meeting on Wednesday night.

The nonprofit Avenidas currently has an allotment of 27 spaces from the city, and all staff members have parking permits for the Bryant Street garage. But the growing facility expects to double the number of daily visitors from 350 to 700 in the years after expanded facility opens. The city has not offered to provide any additional dedicated spaces in the existing parking lot behind the building, and Avenidas does not have any land of its own. The senior center is housed on city-owned property, Capital Project Manager Lisa Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson acknowledged that parking would be a top concern for downtown residents. A parking study by consultants Fehr and Peers determined the larger center would generate 210 additional car trips that would require parking, spread across the workday, Hendrickson said. However, that would entail only five net new trips during the morning commute and 14 new trips during the evening commute.

The study found that 58 percent of current participants drive to Avenidas; 18 percent walk; 13 percent carpool; 7 percent take public transportation; 3 percent are dropped off by auto; and 3 percent bike.

Lacking property, Avenidas is proposing to pay $2 million to the city's parking-assessment-district fund, which would allow the city to build additional parking facilities as it chooses.

Avenidas has asked the City of Palo Alto for $5 million towards the cost of the project. Senior center officials told City Manager Jim Keene the parking fee, cost of the seismic upgrade and replacement of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems in the building would be included in the request.

"Avenidas will pay the fee with the money that we raise for the project, which hopefully will include $5 million from the city," Hendrickson said in a follow-up email.

Avenidas is also exploring ways to prevent problems with shuttles as well as bike and scooter accommodations, Hendrickson said.

A public hearing is expected to take place before the City Council by the end of the year.

Sue Dremann

Comments

2 people like this
Posted by Midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 17, 2015 at 10:13 am

Time to implement the Copenhagen plan. Take out parking and add bike lanes, pretty soon every one bikes to where they are going. Or make driving so painful no does it any more. Kind of like in 5 years from now.


11 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 17, 2015 at 11:26 am

Brilliant and compassionate decision not to give seniors parking spaces near their senior center. It's so much fun to watch them slowly and painfully trudge blocks and blocks after their knee and/or hip replacements.

ZipCars and all the new office workers obviously need the spaces more.

(obvious sarcasm.)

Tell us again what a great retirement location PA is.


6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2015 at 11:30 am

I love the idea of having a vibrant senior center in the community.

However, and it is a big however, has anybody actually looked into how the seniors use it, how their visitors use it, and how non-residents may want to use it.

I see the Avenidas van at supermarkets and events such as the Creche exhibit during the holidays. But does this van meet all the needs of the Avenidas seniors.

I can't see that increasing the center without increasing the parking facilities is a good idea.


6 people like this
Posted by Developers again
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 17, 2015 at 11:41 am

Developers rule no matter where you turn.
There's real money to be made here by developers.
The present Avenidas is fine, a few improvements would be adequate.
Are we heading to another Mitchell Park library disaster here?


1 person likes this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 17, 2015 at 3:58 pm

"Brilliant and compassionate decision not to give seniors parking spaces near their senior center. It's so much fun to watch them slowly and painfully trudge blocks and blocks after their knee and/or hip replacements."

If you're familiar with the location, then you would know that there is a multi-story city-owned garage directly across the street from Avenidas. Probably the same place where senior users park their cars today.


8 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 17, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Crescent Park Dad, you're right; I forgot about the garage.

For what it's worth, many single women and the elderly avoid the parking garages because they run more of a risk of being robbed in enclosed spaces like garages than on the street.


Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2015 at 4:10 pm

I've attended events at Avenidas. There's space to park four bikes in front and they're usually taken.


2 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2015 at 9:36 pm

Having attended the meeting where they discussed the plans last Wednesday evening, the point was made that they wanted to put additional bicycle parking on Bryant St.The plan would increase the bike parking from the 4 spaces. One would only hope that it could be made secure as theft of bicycles in the downtown area in not uncommon.
Additionally there is currently more bike parking on the patio at Avenidas that is infrequently used. If only 3% of the people are riding bikes to the senior center more bike parking space will not address the real parking issues around the senior center. It would make more sense for the city to address some the the parking issues for the senior center by allocating more the the Ramona parking lot next to the senior center to the permitted use of the senior center for mid-day midweek use when the center is open.


5 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 18, 2015 at 4:35 pm

Right! those 80 and 90-ear-olds need to get on bikes! Why can't those 90 year olds be more like 25 year olds?
And they should keep earbuds in their ears to keep out traffic noise. And cross the street looking at the dumb phone.
Get with the program!


4 people like this
Posted by Downtown Worker
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 18, 2015 at 7:52 pm

As nice as it would be to have extra parking at Avenidas, each new garage space costs $60k. If they added 20 extra spaces, they'd need to come up with $1.2m!

Where is Avenidas supposed to get that money? (Though I'm sure donations are welcome...). For that matter, would $1.2m pay for the city shuttle to run every 15 minutes? Some of those 90 year olds can't drive anymore...

I'm also very confused as to how "developers" are going to make tons of money from the expansion of a city-owned space.


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 20, 2015 at 2:03 pm

Downtown Worker: developers make money because they submit plans for big $$ and the Avenidas board approves. And the city Planning staff will approve.

AND The Board has any number of real estate lawyers and real estate agents etc.on it.

AND some developers have make substantial donations to Avenidas, those are investments in future benefits, not simply donations.
Avenidas has plenty of money or they wouldn't propose these plans. AND they use the plans to solicit more donations.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 20, 2015 at 11:24 pm

Dear downtown worker Avenidas does plan to pay over a million into the parking fund fore City.


Like this comment
Posted by Downtown Worker
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 21, 2015 at 8:07 am

@Resident (Downtown North): thanks for the note. I'd wondered how they could renovate without it. It's odd that the story did not report that.


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

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