News


Ticketing to start by Oct. 13 for downtown permit parking program

 

Scofflaws who have been parking in downtown Palo Alto neighborhoods without a permit have no more than 17 days to change their habits.

City officials announced this week that enforcement of the new Residential Preferential Program, in which drivers can park in the downtown residential district for only two hours without a permit, will start by Oct. 13. Parking tickets will cost $53 each.

Earlier this month, roughly 800 signs were unveiled along streets in Downtown North and parts of University South and Professorville announcing the restrictions. For the past two weeks, informational notices have been placed on car windshields with details about how to register for a permit online, and the availability of in-person assistance at City Hall.

To communicate the urgency of the impending enforcement, a warning period will begin next Tuesday, Sept. 29, city officials stated in a press release.

To date, 4,663 permits have been issued online, including 3,519 permits to residents, 479 permits for low-income workers and 665 standard worker permits. The city anticipates that number to increase as awareness of the permit requirements and online assistance continues, according to the press release.

Because of early problems with the online system for purchasing permits, a customer service contractor will be on-site at City Hall for the next several weeks to offer help. The representative will be stationed across from the Utilities window in the lobby of City Hall, 250 Hamilton from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the press release states.

Even pre-enforcement, residents in the parking district have indicated the program has made a significant difference in the availability of parking on their blocks, which for years have been jammed with the cars of downtown employees.

Ian Irwin to notice his block's transformation immediately. When he looks at his block now, there are unfilled spaces between cars.

"It seems like a miracle," said Irwin, who lives at Cowper Street and Homer Avenue, an area that he describes as "chaotic" in terms of traffic and parking. "Both in traffic calming and in parking, the street has changed since the signs went up. It's kind of amazing."

However, residents who live outside of the parking district have voiced concern that the commuters have simply started parking on other blocks -- theirs.

Maryanne Mueller, who lives on Kingsley Avenue in a section of Professorville that is not park of the permit program, said she and her neighbors have seen a very different kind of change.

"I heard it's working wonderful for some parts, but we're in a funny little un-permitted pocket, and we are under deluge," Mueller said at a meeting of the programs' stakeholders on Sept. 16.

The impact was not unexpected: The city already has a process in place for Mueller's neighborhood, and others, to petition to be included in the program.

The city plans to bring both an analysis of parking data collected during the first month of RPP implementation, as well as neighborhood petitions for opting into the current RPP district, to the City Council at its Dec. 7 meeting, the press release notes.

The data on where permit holders are parking and the distribution of types of permits are key elements as Phase 2 of the RPP program is developed.

More information about the new parking program is available at cityofpaloalto.org/parking.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

Comments

5 people like this
Posted by Johnny
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 25, 2015 at 5:56 pm

Since this is pretty much an "experiment" which does nothing to ameliorate the shortage of parking downtown, I don't see how it's justifiable for the government to make a killing now from all these parking tickets.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2015 at 6:31 pm

How many tickets and warnings have been given to people overstaying their parking times in the garages and lots? Have their been more people buying all day permits at City Hall? Have the garages and lots been more full and has it been harder to find a space in the garages and lots?

Has anybody got any answers to these questions?

Has anybody bothered to check? PA Weekly journalists? City Hall officials? Can you answer these questions please?


4 people like this
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 25, 2015 at 7:07 pm

>"I heard it's working wonderful for some parts, but we're in a funny little un-permitted pocket, and we are under deluge," Mueller said at a meeting of the programs' stakeholders on Sept. 16.

Better get your neighborhood signed up pronto!

> I don't see how it's justifiable for the government to make a killing now from all these parking tickets.

It's called enforcement. Duh!


14 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2015 at 7:51 pm

What really surprises me is the assumption that all these people who work in downtown, boosting our economy, working in our restaurants and retail, trying to earn a living in this expensive area are evil. If they only work a couple of days a week and at weekends, why should they buy a parking permit that they will only use occasionally.

Where are they expected to park for a couple of times a week. There is no reason why they shouldn't park and walk to their jobs.

Palo Alto should be helping them park affordably, not scourge them. $17 a day is just out of the question for some people.


6 people like this
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 25, 2015 at 8:03 pm

> $17 a day is just out of the question for some people.

Their employer will need to compensate them for their daily permits...cost of doing business. Much better yet, the employers/employees can get together and organize van/car pools.

It is way past time that Palo Alto citizens take back their neighborhoods!


3 people like this
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 25, 2015 at 11:53 pm

Resident@Another Palo Alto Neighborhood writes "If they only work a couple of days a week and at weekends, why should they buy a parking permit that they will only use occasionally. "

The permits are only needed Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. Permits are not needed for weekend parking. For workers who qualify, the cost is $50 for 6 months, or 39 cents a workday if the worker comes every workday.




7 people like this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Sep 26, 2015 at 1:21 am

The top deck of the Cowper-Webster garage was about 90% empty today.

Let's fill up the current garages before we talk about building more garages.

A transportation management program similar to Stanford's would put a further dent in parking requirements.


1 person likes this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Sep 26, 2015 at 1:23 am

You can buy an all day permit on the ground floor of the Cowper-Webster garage.


Like this comment
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Sep 26, 2015 at 1:32 am

There are some old-fashioned 2-hour parking signs in the same block as RPP signs on some streets near the core.

I have seen some tickets issued to people parking in these spots, thinking their RPP permit worked on the whole block without carefully looking for the small print (PERMITS EXEMPT)


12 people like this
Posted by 50yearlocalgirl
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 26, 2015 at 8:08 am

just more reasons to stay out of down town...the no turn streets and 2 hour RESIDENTIAL parking are ridiculous - so much for having friends over. what is palo alto trying to be? menlo park?


20 people like this
Posted by Less Than Living Wage Worker
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 26, 2015 at 8:14 am

This is just another way to tax the poorest and least paid workers. Good job Shallow Alto.


1 person likes this
Posted by Less than
a resident of University South
on Sep 26, 2015 at 10:31 am

The primary responsibility lies with the employers. Are you trying to shift blame to someone else?


6 people like this
Posted by Less than
a resident of University South
on Sep 26, 2015 at 10:39 am

50 year,

If you live in Midtown, you have no expertise on what the residents close to downtown deal with.

I do have to say that fewer people driving downtown is a positive. However, the new RPP will make more 2-hour parking available and the city has 3-hour parking available in garages. The next step is to provide options for hourly paid parking.


18 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 26, 2015 at 12:56 pm

"What really surprises me is the assumption that all these people who work in downtown, boosting our economy, working in our restaurants and retail, trying to earn a living in this expensive area are evil."

News to me too. They are in reality expendable pawns caught between crafty developers, gullible city councils, lackadasical city planning, and residents who need street parking themselves.


Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 28, 2015 at 12:39 pm

Crescent Park Mom is a registered user.

If you are in another neighborhood of Palo Alto that requires parking permits, and you travel downtown to shop, does the $100 permit you already bought work downtown?


3 people like this
Posted by Geezer
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 28, 2015 at 1:51 pm

I live in the "funny little un-permitted pocket" of Professorville mentioned in the article. It's great that the city has a petition we can sign to have our neighborhood included. But where is this petition? My block is under siege and if I could find it I'd sign up in a nanosecond.

What? It's not an online petition? So much for Palo Alto being part of Silicon Valley.


Like this comment
Posted by frisco
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 28, 2015 at 2:35 pm

have you been on linton ave east of midfield along the creek. all those horse an bugie st. with cars on both sides are now one way sts.if some one is on a bike you cannot pass them so you have move along at 10 mpr, an where its all scuvers you can not get out of the way or see some one coming at you.


2 people like this
Posted by opposed
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 28, 2015 at 6:56 pm

Please report on the cost of this program to the taxpayers. The City has the info.

Also, please report on how full the parking garages downtown are, and how much time one can park there.

Some municipalities have signs showing vacancies in parking garages. I've seen that in Europe.


2 people like this
Posted by downtownresident
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:31 am

It is my understanding that the city has stopped issuing parking permits for the downtown parking garages, so local businesses that want to buy a permit for their employees in the garage cannot get one. Is the city trying to push people onto the local streets? I would really like to see the numbers for the downtown garages and their utilization. I think they should be used first, and streets second.


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

Mountain View's Hangen Szechuan to close after 25 years
By Elena Kadvany | 1 comment | 2,127 views

Populism: A response to the failure of the elites: Palo Alto edition
By Douglas Moran | 12 comments | 1,932 views

Let's Talk Internships
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,467 views

Couples: Sex and Connection (Chicken or Egg?)
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,276 views

Zucchini Takeover
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 1,010 views