News

Parking restrictions to roll out next month in downtown Palo Alto

City invites residents, employees to meeting to discuss new rules

With new parking restrictions set to kick in in downtown Palo Alto next month, the city will host a community meeting tonight to update residents and visitors about the long-awaited changes.

The meeting will focus on downtown's new Residential Preferential Parking program, which will impose time restrictions for parking in residential neighborhoods outside the district's commercial core. Downtown residents and employees will be able to purchase parking permits that will allow them to park throughout the day.

The program was approved by the City Council last December after years of complaints from downtown residents about their neighborhoods getting inundated by commuters' vehicles on the weekdays. The city worked with a stakeholder group of employers and residents to hash out the details of the new parking-permit program, which is set to launch on Sept. 15.

In the first phase of the program, which is focused on gathering data and is set to stretch for six months, residents will be able to get up to four permits for free, with an option of purchasing additional visitor permits for $25 each. For employees, the permit costs will be either $233 or $50, depending on their income level. Cars that don't have permits will be subject to two-hour time limits.

In the second phase, the city will limit the number of permits sold to employees and will begin charging residents $50 each for the permits. Employees in the second phase will also have their permits restricted to particular areas within the downtown district with the aim of dispersing vehicles.

Residents outside the downtown area now also have the option of signing a petition to establish a similar parking program in their area.

The meeting on the new program will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight, Aug. 4, in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave.

Comments

3 people like this
Posted by Stacy
a resident of University South
on Aug 4, 2015 at 11:13 am

What are the exact boundaries for the RPP program?


17 people like this
Posted by another tax
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 4, 2015 at 11:17 am

another tax by our liberal greedy city council. why can't the residents get these permits for free? afterall, they pay a ton of property tax--many without garages or driveways and they need a place to park. Residents should be able to park in their own neighborhood without charge of any sort. we understand that they need a permit to identify their car--but, without charge. another liberal tax to redistribute the wealth. we are NOT a third world country but are fast becoming one.


6 people like this
Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 4, 2015 at 11:44 am

@another tax. Closer reading of the article will show you that residents get free permits.


1 person likes this
Posted by Unable to attend
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 4, 2015 at 11:51 am

Our family would love to attend but are unable. Will the City make their presentation available online (power point?)? Video? Or through Media Center?


7 people like this
Posted by Garden Gnome
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 4, 2015 at 11:52 am

Dear Midtowner, re, "@another tax. Closer reading of the article will show you that residents get free permits."

I read the following, "In the second phase, the city will ... begin charging residents $50 each for the permits."

Kind regards.


1 person likes this
Posted by Chris
a resident of University South
on Aug 4, 2015 at 1:37 pm

Garden Gnome,

It costs money to enforce the program. The workers will be paying much more than the residents.


8 people like this
Posted by Wen
a resident of University South
on Aug 4, 2015 at 1:39 pm

100% agreed with the comments made by another tax. How can someone vote to limit our ability to park our car in front of our own house! City should ask the business owner or the corporate to pay for parking and using the fund collected from them to build more parking structure. We should find out which city councilors vote yes on this proposal and we should unity together to vote against them

Now it is downtown, it will expand to California Ave area soon.

Today is parking, tomorrow will high density apartment, the other day will more other thing. We need to stand and say "no" to them.

If possible, we should all attend the meeting and let them know we do not agree. We should find out more statistic about the survey results. All people I know in the neighborhood all indicated no in the survey and so surprised to learn our city councilor vote against to our opinion.


3 people like this
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 4, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

@Wen - This is going to make it easier to park in front of your house, not harder. A parking permit will cost you 13 cents a day, don't sweat it.


2 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on Aug 4, 2015 at 3:54 pm

@Wen The debate on whether this trial is going to take place is over. It's going to happen.

As @Slow down explains, the intention is to make it easier for you to park near your house. Either it will or will not. This trial should determine that.

Does anyone know whether the permits will allow residents and employees to park all day in the downtown color zones?


1 person likes this
Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on Aug 4, 2015 at 3:57 pm

@Stacy More info here: Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on Aug 4, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Map Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 4, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Does anyone know where these cars are going to go to park all day?

Why haven't they got pay per hour machines at all lots and garages to enable people to park all day on an occasional basis.

Not everybody parking all day wants to buy a monthly permit. Not everyone wants to go to City Hall to buy an all day parking permit. Not everyone knows which garages have pay per hour machines. When are they going to get rid of the color zones? When are they going to get parking meters? When are they going to get 30 minute parking spots for retail?

Where are the signs telling where the pay per hour parking garages are? Where are the signs telling which garages have spaces before entering? Where are the sensible parking spots for people who want to park for more than 3 hours?

Where is there any sense in Palo Alto parking enforcement?


2 people like this
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 4, 2015 at 8:56 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

@Resident - If you need to park all day downtown, you can buy a permit for the day and park in any downtown lot or garage. You don't need a monthly permit. You are raising a bunch of non-issues. Where are signs? All over downtown there are signs with directions to lots.

From the city website:

All Day Visitor Parking

Visitors may purchase a one-day permit. Permits are valid in all off-street parking lots and garages. All-day permits are not valid for on-street parking spaces.

All day permits may be purchased at Palo Alto Civic Center, 250 Hamilton Avenue on the first floor at Revenue Collections, or the first level of the Bryant Street and Cowper/Webster garages.

The cost is $17.50/day for downtown area and $7.00/day for California Avenue business district. Day permits for the California Business District may only be purchased at the Civic Center, Revenue Collections at this time.

Web Link


11 people like this
Posted by WilliamR
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 4, 2015 at 9:14 pm

@ Slow Down--

I've never had to deal with the all-day parking permits, but that process is flat-out ridiculous. Let's say that I'm a first-time visitor driving into downtown, and I will be spending the entire day here on business. So I find a parking garage, then I discover that I have to find the City Hall and go over there to get a parking permit, then back to the original garage. And after I pay $17.50 for the permit, I discover that I could have parked in the Caltrain lot for $5.00. Not happy.

I second other people's comments that the city should have permit machines or pay slots at the garages.


2 people like this
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 4, 2015 at 9:22 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

@WilliamR - uhm read it again. You don't have to go to city hall, you can buy day permits at the garages, "or the first level of the Bryant Street and Cowper/Webster garages." This is a non issue created by people looking for something to complain about.


2 people like this
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 4, 2015 at 9:32 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

@WilliamR - I should have added that the occasional all day downtown parking non-issue is a distraction from the real issue, which the large number of people who have to park downtown everyday because they work there, and the the city has allowed development without sufficient parking. So focus the outrage there.


1 person likes this
Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on Aug 5, 2015 at 5:56 am

@WilliamR - During the trial program that starts Sept 15th you will be able to buy an all-day parking permit for $5. The process can be done online.

And to answer my previous question, "No", resident parking permits will not allow residents to park all day in the downtown color zones. So, if you happen to live on a street that's in a color zone, and many do, there is no relief for you.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2015 at 8:22 am

Anybody want to sell their parking space during the day? Park on my driveway dot com Web Link This is the airbnb for parking.


6 people like this
Posted by Merry
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Aug 5, 2015 at 9:48 am

Why not free parking In empty parking garages


10 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2015 at 10:00 am

Slow down,

Non issue???? Have you ever been to say San Bruno, or Milpitas, or even Berkeley for a meeting and looked up their city website beforehand to find parking?

Bet you haven't.

Most people going to a meeting somewhere new put the address in the GPS or phone app and start driving. When they get there, they start looking for the nearest parking garage or lot. They enter expecting to find a space fairly easily. If there are no signs saying "lot full", they expect to find a space and then a machine to pay for parking.

They don't expect the hassle that they get in Palo Alto. They don't expect it to cost $17 a day (unless it is SF or SJ) and if they are parking for a meeting then lunch they don't expect to be there a full day.

Many people only drive to work in Palo Alto on occasions. Maybe it's because they need their car after work. Maybe it's because they are at a meeting - training seminar - interview - limb in cast - who knows?

Some people work late shift and arrive for work at 3.00 pm.

Some people work weekends and one weekday.

Some people want to pay for several hours parking on occasional basis and don't expect the hassle.

Non issue, ask all those people who park on the street because it is easier than the complicated color zones in the garages.

Non issue, ask all the people who park at Caltrain pay for the cheapest ticket and $5, and it is still cheaper than parking in a garage for all day.


1 person likes this
Posted by Garden Gnome
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 5, 2015 at 11:19 am

Dear Chris, re: "It costs money to enforce the program. The workers will be paying much more than the residents."

I don't dispute that it costs money to enforce the program. If the program didn't exist, there would be no cost to enforce it.

And yes, "workers will be paying much more than the residents".

Maybe I wasn't clear enough. Midtowner wrote that, "Closer reading of the article will show you that residents get free permits." In contrast, I cited the article which says, "In the second phase, the city will ... begin charging residents $50 each for the permits."

By this I'm saying that the city will begin charging residents $50 permits, rather than offering them for free.

I said nothing about the cost of running this (or any other) program.

I said nothing about the cost of others purchasing permits.

I hope this clears things up.

Kind regards.


Like this comment
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 5, 2015 at 1:12 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

@Resident - If you are coming to downtown Palo Alto for an all day meeting, you can afford $17 to park. If you can't, take the bus.


4 people like this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Aug 5, 2015 at 2:26 pm

It's pretty clear that Garden Gnome and Resident don't live in an area affected by this problem. If they did, they would be singing a different tune.

The first phase is a 6-month pilot. There will need to be changes before the plan is implemented. Charging residents is $50 to park on the street is minor cost. If they can't afford that, why do they own a car?


4 people like this
Posted by Agenda
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2015 at 3:30 pm

Let's remember that the vote for the permit program was very very close and the city had to resort to see gerrymandering, by excluding a region, in order to get a very slim majority.
A perfect example of a squeaky wheel getting greased by an out of touch city council


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2015 at 3:52 pm

There are many reasons why a meeting in downtown Palo Alto may last several hours and has nothing to do with a career business meeting. There are many non-profits downtown and any meeting with those may cause an attendee more than a little wince at having to pay $17. There are also many reasons why somebody may need to attend a meeting at City Hall or the planning office also.

Why should somebody pay $17 to park for 4 hours when they can pay half of that to park in Caltrain plus buying the cheapest train ticket which they won't use.

I ask you again. $5 Caltrain parking v $17 in a City lot.

I ask again, where are the cars that park at present on the residential streets going to park? Nobody knows. It certainly hasn't been made any easier for them

Come September, we will find out.


4 people like this
Posted by Garden Gnome
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 6, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Dear Chris, re: "It's pretty clear that Garden Gnome and Resident don't live in an area affected by this problem. If they did, they would be singing a different tune."

On what basis do you make this assertion? (hint: none)

Re: "If they can't afford that, why do they own a car?"

Again, you make an assertion based on what, exactly? (hint: none)

All I originally pointed out was that, contrary to what Midtowner wrote, residents will have to pay for permits.

In response, you wrote, "It costs money to enforce the program. The workers will be paying much more than the residents."

When I pointed out that I said nothing about the cost to enforce the program or that workers will pay more than residents, you decided that (1) I don't live in the affected area and (2) that if I can't afford the parking fee, I can't afford a car.

Your level of reading comprehension is amazingly poor.

You are unable to grasp pretty basic statements.

I will refrain from making any inferences why.


9 people like this
Posted by Too Much $$
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 6, 2015 at 4:35 pm

Fifty dollars a year per resident? If there are four residents in a household with four cars, that is $200 per year, WAY too much money!

Twenty dollars a year would be more like it! We shouldn't have to pay for the fact that our big house has a one-car garage, but we have four cars. We already paid for our house, we pay property tax twice a year-- now we have to PAY to park on our own street?

What BS!


Like this comment
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 6, 2015 at 7:27 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

@Too Much $$ - think of it as paying for stealing the space in front of your neighbors house, because I have a feeling not all of your four cars are always in front of your own house.


4 people like this
Posted by Too Much $$
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 6, 2015 at 8:08 pm

No, one car is in the garage, one in the driveway, two on the street--only occasionally in front of or even near our house.

The. Are in front of our house are usually those of downtown workers, visitors, or other neighbors, in that order.


Like this comment
Posted by Kazu
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 7, 2015 at 12:09 am

@Slow Down wrote:

"@Wen - This is going to make it easier to park in front of your house, not harder. A parking permit will cost you 13 cents a day, don't sweat it."

No, it won't make it any easier. The parking permit program doesn't limit the number of cars parked on the street, it just makes people pay for parking. Think of it as parking meters without the meter. In other words, another tax.

Do you seriously think that resident parking fees are going to remain at their current level? Menlo Park's overnight resident permits are at $150 per year, and you can bet that has not gone unnoticed by the Palo Alto City Council.


3 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 7, 2015 at 12:35 am

Maybe we can collect enough to fix all the pot-holes.


2 people like this
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 7, 2015 at 12:36 am

Slow Down is a registered user.

@Kazu - When the price goes up, the usage will go down. At $466 for a full priced employee permit, there will be a lot more parking available. But even if it doesn't, the city can limit employee permits in Phase 2. So either immediately, or in 6 months in phase 2, it will be easier to park.


3 people like this
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 7, 2015 at 12:40 am

Slow Down is a registered user.

@Gennady Sheyner - A lot of people are up in arms because the article says residents will have to pay $50 for a permit. But the Palo Alto RPP FAQ says that residents will get the first permit free, even in Phase 2. It is only for additional permits that there will be a $50 charge. Which is accurate.

"Phase 2 Cost - First permit free, remaining $50 each (up to 4 total)"

Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 7, 2015 at 1:02 am

Slow Down is a registered user.

@Gennady Sheyner - I found the text of the RPP that was passed by the city council. In section 6.A.b it does state that residents get one free parking pass in Phase 2. I think it is worth update the article to clarify.

"For Phase 2, the prices are as follows: First permit $0/year; second permit $50/year; third permit $50/year; fourth permit $50/year."

Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on Aug 7, 2015 at 4:50 pm

@Kasu says, "The parking permit program doesn't limit the number of cars parked on the street, ..."

But it limits the number of people who are allowed to buy permits. Those who live outside of the district and either are 1.) getting free Caltrian parking, or 2.) getting free Stanford parking are excluded.


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

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