News

Palo Alto residents prepare for expansion of downtown parking program

With Residential Preferential Parking program heading into second phase on April 1, dozens attend community meeting on planned changes

Downtown Palo Alto's shifting parking landscape will undergo another tremor on April 1, when the new phase of the city's Residential Preferential Parking (RPP) program takes effect, bringing with it new parking restrictions for both residents and employees.

For residents, the biggest impacts will be felt in the newly annexed sections of Crescent Park and Professorville. A dozen blocks in these two neighborhoods will now face the same type of restrictions that kicked in last September in downtown's other residential areas: a two-hour limit on all cars that park on residential streets without permits.

Those blocks that are located in the annexed zones but that haven't requested to join the district will not see the restriction just yet. They will, however, be eligible to join by submitting a petition and receiving an approval from the director of Planning and Community Environment.

For employees, the second phase of the program will usher in the era of distribution. Unlike in the first phase, employee vehicles will now be assigned to one of 10 zones, with the goal of keeping cars from saturating those coveted blocks right next to downtown's commercial core.

The new phase also means that all existing permits expire on March 31. All cars parking on residential downtown streets for more than two hours after that date will need new permits to avoid citations. Permits for Phase 2 can now be purchased here.

To prepare for these changes, about 70 downtown residents attended a public hearing on the new parking program that the city hosted Tuesday night at the Downtown Library. Sue-Ellen Atkinson, the city's parking and transportation-demand management lead, went over the changes and answered questions about parking zones, decal sizes, enforcement tactics and the permit-purchasing process.

Another session, geared toward employees, is scheduled for 9 a.m. on March 16 at City Hall.

The goal of the RPP program is to solve a problem that has been frustrating residents and befuddling the City Council for the past decade: the daily transformation of residential streets into commuter parking lots. Last month, a short-handed City Council voted 5-0 (four members were recused because they own property within or near the permit zone) to support the proposed changes.

So far, the program has been seen as a limited success. Residents whose blocks had been fully congested for years suddenly started seeing open parking spots outside their homes. A few thanked the council for the "miracle."

Yet the relief has been uneven. Some downtown blocks remain saturated — a problem that the new zoning system is expected to solve. More troublingly, the creation of the permit district has pushed some commuters to simply park their cars just beyond the district's border, to a section of Crescent Park that up to that point didn't experience the spillover parking.

To address that problem, the permit program will now spread to the 12 new blocks that had recently petitioned to join: the 1100, 1200 and 1300 blocks of Waverley Street; the 800 block of Forest Avenue; the 800 and 900 blocks of Hamilton Avenue; the 300 block of Kingsley Avenue; the 500 block of Lincoln Avenue; the 800 block of Lytton Avenue; and the 400, 500 and 600 blocks of Seneca Street.

Next month, new signs will go up on these blocks, Atkinson said. This week, staff has been doing field work in Crescent Park and marking areas where the signs will be installed with white rectangles.

"Once the signs are up on the annexed streets, those are the places where people will be able to park with permits," Atkinson told the residents Tuesday.

In many respects, the second phase of the program will be much like the first. Each household will still be allowed to get one free permit, with an option of buying up to three more for $50 each. Each household will also be able to buy up to two hangtag permits, which could be transferred between vehicles and would thus be particularly suitable for caretakers, babysitters and other frequent household visitors. Residents will also be able to buy up to 50 daily permits annually for visitors for $5 each.

Employee rates will once again come in two tiers, with low-income workers charged $100 for the annual permit and other employees charged $466. Each employee permit will be limited to one of the 10 new zones. Employers would also be able to purchase hangtag permits, which would be transferable among employees (like the regular permits, these would be zone-specific).

Employees, meanwhile, would have the option of either buying daily-scratcher permits (with a maximum of four per months) or a five-day scratcher permits (one per month). These permits target those workers who typically carpool or take transit but occasionally need to drive.

The changes have already caused some tension between downtown employers and residents, who packed into the Council Chambers on Feb. 23 to offer contrasting viewpoints on the new parking program. Workers, property owners and Chamber of Commerce leaders protested the city's decision to limit the number of employee permits to 2,000 this year and to reduce this amount by about 10 percent every year. It's premature to limit permits, they argued, without providing workers other transportation alternatives.

Numerous Crescent Park residents maintained that their permit program should resemble the one in College Terrace, where only residents can buy permits. Others supported the proposed ordinance, for all of its perceived imperfections.

Phillip Salsbury, a resident of Crescent Park, told the council that when he moved to the neighborhood 38 years ago, no one anticipated that the area would be seen as a solution to downtown's parking problem. Having more non-residential parking in the neighborhood, he said, will bring more congestion and litter at the expense of safety and security. He called the plan a "compromise — a lot of us don't like it, but it's better than nothing."

"A key part of the compromise is phase-out reduction," Salsbury said. "I think it's critical. It keeps pressure on all of us to seek better solutions."

The Tuesday meeting focused less on the policy debate and more on the details of the ordinance. While one resident complained about the fact that he now has to pay to park his second car on the street, most people asked practical questions about permit policies and program timelines.

When asked whether the first phase of the program can be considered a success, Atkinson noted that the program had helped remove between 300 and 400 cars off the residential streets daily.

"This is still a pilot program. We're figuring out what works and we can make changes," Atkinson said. "We're looking at it as a success so far. But Phase 2 implements some changes that we hope will make it more successful."

Comments

9 people like this
Posted by Garden Gnome
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 9, 2016 at 10:52 am

If a household only wants/needs a single hangtag (in lieue of a decal), why should it have to pay $50?

That's assuming the point of all this is a reduction in street parking.


12 people like this
Posted by Marian
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 9, 2016 at 11:09 am

Please take Kingsley between Bryant and Ramona out of the parking permit problem. The only time parking is congested is once a year on Big Game day. Please save city expenditures on subcontractor and employee hours for some other street.


11 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2016 at 11:16 am

Still no help to find people places to park.

Not sure about the definition of a scratcher permit, can that be explained please.

What happens to anyone with a permit who needs to use a spouse's car occasionally? Can a resident sell these permits on the open market? Can a resident sell space on his empty driveway while he is at work? What about areas that have severe Sunday morning parking problems because they live near a church? Or what about those near schools? Or those near parks?

The parking situation needs to be looked at as something to help people park, not as something that is to generate an income or even to assume that all these cars will simply vanish. They won't.

We have no text parking abilities, or pay for hourly parking machines, or parking meters, or offhighway parking lots with dedicated shuttles, or signs outside parking garages to signify how many and where spaces are inside.

The parking situation in Palo Alto is ridiculous, particularly as we are in the heart of Silicon Valley and we do not use any type of technology to solve parking issues.


8 people like this
Posted by What's not clear???!!
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 9, 2016 at 11:36 am

Where is the balance?
Here's what I see:

* one (1) permit free of charge
* three (3) additional permits for $50 each
* two (2) long-term transferable visitor permits at a cost of $50 each

So residents, who should have garages and driveways to park in (if they follow the requirements as closely as they want the development community to do) are able to park 6 cars on the street, full time, for less than the cost of a single business permit. It's not the business community causing the problem - recent count shows over 70% of the cars in the downtown area are resident, not business.

Crazy...


16 people like this
Posted by L middle school parent
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 9, 2016 at 11:43 am

L middle school parent is a registered user.

What happened to each resident getting 2 permits? We do normally park our cars in our driveway, but when work is boing don on the house or something else is going on it is nice to have the option to park in the street if needed. One permit for free is not right.


9 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 9, 2016 at 12:15 pm

"Workers, property owners and Chamber of Commerce leaders protested the city's decision ... It's premature to limit permits, they argued, without providing workers other transportation alternatives.

Why can't property owners and Chamber of Commerce leaders provide their employees parking or alternatives to driving on their own nickel? They've enjoyed a lucrative subsidy at our expense for decades.

That experiment in Socialism is over. Time to pay your own way like the rest of us, boys and girls, or find another sucker town.


6 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 9, 2016 at 12:19 pm

"If a household only wants/needs a single hangtag (in lieue of a decal), why should it have to pay $50? That's assuming the point of all this is a reduction in street parking."

No, it's an added tax to park on the street that your'e already paying taxes for.


9 people like this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Mar 9, 2016 at 12:23 pm

The whining about paying for a second permit is incredible. Do you want a program or not?
How much entitlement can one person expect? Get real.

Kingsley does have a problem. Marian, you are definitely unaware.

Gnome, a hangtag allows transfer between multiple cars. As such, it is worth a lot more than a decal. Please get off the super-entitlement train. If you are benefiting from the RPP, suck it up. Without an RPP, ANYBODY can park on your street ALL DAY. Is that what you want? You are being asked to put just a little skin in the game. If you don't like it, maybe you should build a parking spot on your property.


21 people like this
Posted by Charles
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 9, 2016 at 12:59 pm

Amen to Chris!!!!

It doesn't matter when you bought your house in Palo Alto near downtown, you should have expected parking to be a problem. Go anywhere in the United States and ask people of downtown areas if they have a parking problem.. It comes with the territory. [Portion removed] Let the downtown workers park on the street. Parking a mile from work is preposterous. [Portion removed.]
Or here is an idea, how about the city taxes residents of the downtown area and that money will go to a parking structure that only employees can park in. Then nobody will park in front of your house... There is one for your city counsel meeting.


10 people like this
Posted by Charles
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 9, 2016 at 1:02 pm

@ Curmudgeon,
"That experiment in Socialism is over."
Maybe we should hire Trump to build a wall around downtown..


17 people like this
Posted by Cliff Huxtable
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 9, 2016 at 1:21 pm

[Portion removed.]

You're ruining what should be a wonderful moment for our city council members. They're about to take something that belongs to the public (parking) and give it to a selected few. In many places that would be called cronyism or corruption, but we're special in Palo Alto. It's called progress, and we're all Progressives.

Redistribution is something our council members have dreamed about since they took their first political science class in college. Now they get to do it for real!

And they get to create a permanent bureaucracy as well.

I will caution you not to laugh at the fact that they're giving these parking spaces to the most well-to-do people in town. Our city leaders, of course, care about the needy and working poor.

But [portion removed] wealthy people need a little help from city hall now and then. These were people who bought homes on streets where downtown workers had been parking for decades. [Portion removed.] But once they moved in, they realized they didn't "own" the parking spaces in front of their house.

And then there are those foolish souls in Professorville who expanded their homes by knocking down unattached garages. They also got rid of their driveways. Now they are demanding first priority to park on the street in front of their house. [Portion removed.]


13 people like this
Posted by Noel
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 9, 2016 at 1:26 pm

The problem is lack of parking, especially around DT Palo Alto. We need to build a lot more parking instead of screwing employees and ourselves by shuffling cars around. We need to stop fantasizing about winding back the clock and face up to the realities of our changing community. We live in the epicenter of global technology creation. Let's get ahead of the curve rather than fighting tooth and nail for a reality that no longer exists.


2 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 9, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Appreciated and helpful option: the 30-minute spaces in the commercial zone. Several times the availability of one of those spaces has made the difference between spending in downtown Palo Alto instead of shopping in where parking is not as vexing an issue.


5 people like this
Posted by Garden Gnome
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 9, 2016 at 1:56 pm

chris, re: "Gnome, a hangtag allows transfer between multiple cars. As such, it is worth a lot more than a decal. Please get off the super-entitlement train. If you are benefiting from the RPP, suck it up. Without an RPP, ANYBODY can park on your street ALL DAY. Is that what you want? You are being asked to put just a little skin in the game. If you don't like it, maybe you should build a parking spot on your property."

All I asked for was the ability to get a single hangtag INSTEAD of decal. I'm not sure where you're getting this super-entitlement train nonsense. I am not benefiting from RPP and didn't ask for it. Maybe I should just park on your property instead of building another parking spot on mine.


7 people like this
Posted by Garden Gnome
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 9, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Charles, re: "It doesn't matter when you bought your house in Palo Alto near downtown, you should have expected parking to be a problem. "

Um, I don't have a problem with parking. I've lived here for over 30 years and welcome our visitors, guests, workers. All I've seen, year after year, is efforts to discourage these people from coming.

Try rereading what I wrote. Perhaps you can try again.


10 people like this
Posted by Neilson Buchanan
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 9, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Question for What's Not Clear

I have seen almost every survey of neighborhood streets mid day. I have never seen a survey which showed that 70% of parked vehicles belonged to residents. Please provide your source of information so that everyone can be informed with facts.

Thanks in advance.


1 person likes this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Mar 9, 2016 at 2:52 pm

A scratcher is a 1-day permit you buy in advance for $5 and then when you use it you scratch off the current day on the permit so it is only used 1 day.

The RPP Phase 1 and Phase 2 were a reaction to a real-time crisis. There are studies beginning to look at all downtown parking and transportation issues. That is where you should chime in. They will be looking at replacing the color zones, elimination of free parking, new systems to make visible open parking spaces at garages and on-line, and possibly building a garage. Nobody is willing to pay for a garage when these other alternatives have not been explored.

Improved shuttles and subsidized transit are also being worked on. Take a look at how Stanford deals with its parking and transportation issues. It has been under orders over the last decade to allow no net new trips onto campus.

There were hundreds of unused spaces in downtown garages over recent years. The city is gradually selling permits to fill in those empty spaces, but there is still a way to go to reach optimal usage.


5 people like this
Posted by Donald T. Rump
a resident of University South
on Mar 9, 2016 at 3:29 pm

""That experiment in Socialism is over."
Maybe we should hire Trump to build a wall around downtown.."

And we'll make the employers pay for it!


9 people like this
Posted by Be Positive
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 9, 2016 at 3:56 pm

Be Positive is a registered user.

@Chris - one way that Stanford has dealt with parking is to push people into neighborhoods in Palo Alto where people park and ride their bikes on to campus.


3 people like this
Posted by Johnny
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 9, 2016 at 4:07 pm

[Post removed.]


12 people like this
Posted by Jeff
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 9, 2016 at 5:16 pm

"We need to build ..." No, the developments which bring the cars into downtown need to build the parking. Tax commercial buildings which provide inadequate parking. Residents shouldn't be paying for benefits to commercial developers.

Poor people coming to work in Palo Alto need to be able to work ... Maybe the city council should give them free meals. Developers could then advertise their offices provide free lunches. The city council subsidized developers for years, exempting them from already inadequate parking requirements.


4 people like this
Posted by Johnny
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 9, 2016 at 5:28 pm

[Post removed.]


7 people like this
Posted by Gimmee
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2016 at 7:02 pm

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Andrew
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 9, 2016 at 8:20 pm

As a resident on a street constantly saturated with commuter cars thank goodness for the permit program! Thank you for listening city council!


6 people like this
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 9, 2016 at 8:34 pm

The commercial businesses have thousands of parking space in the "downtown core", which are the color coded 2 hour parking zones; enforcement of the 2 hour parking is subsidized by the city. Instead of allocating some of those thousands of parking spaces for their employees, or building additional parking spaces, the commercial businesses pushed their employees to park in the residential areas. Building a parking space is around 300sf, and costs around $60,000; instead they get to build rentable office space, which at today's rents, amounts to $25,000 per year in rent income. The 1600 parking spaces that were permitted to employees amounts to $40,000,000 per year in additional rent income to those commercial landlords if that office space were instead parking spaces. In additional those 1600 permitted parking spaces in the neighborhoods would require $96.000,000 in capital to build the equivalent in parking garages.

Do you all understand the economics of the subsidies that the commercial businesses have been receiving?


10 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 9, 2016 at 8:54 pm

"Do you all understand the economics of the subsidies that the commercial businesses have been receiving?"

Thanks for quantifying them. It's an old simple formula: Privatize the profit and socialize the costs. Socialism for the wealthy at everyone else's expense.


4 people like this
Posted by Johnny
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 10, 2016 at 9:04 am

The banner of the hammer and sickle has been raised over the township of Palo Alto. They have now abolished freedom of speech. We must raise our voices in protest (or keep getting ripped off). I encourage you all to PROTEST do not remain silent if this bothers you.


36 people like this
Posted by What's not clear???!!
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 10, 2016 at 11:19 am

Neilson Buchanan -
I know you have worked hard at this - not a criticism of your effort, just the outcome.

In 2015 residents were sold 4812 passes and commercial users were sold 1570. I rounded a couple of hundredths but my more precise math says the distribution is 67% to 33%. I don't have real-time info of who is actually parking on the streets but would expect the commercial to still be less than resident - that is the clear case on my block every day where people are not using garages or driveways and instead are storing their cars on the street for days or even weeks without movement.

I just cannot understand why residents, who should have parking on their property for a minimum of 2 vehicles, need or deserve such a huge portion of the available, public, taxpayer funded parking. The argument you make all the time about underparked buildings goes both ways and the residents should be obligated to use the parking on their properties in the same manner the commercial users should be. History and zoning has perhaps allowed for buildings in the downtown to have less parking than some feel they should, but we are where we are. The current program, giving residents access to 6 passes is obscene. This town will change if we continue on this path and it won't be for the better. University Ave has been a vibrant, car-centric downtown since it was built. Much of the success of our city relies on commercial activity. We are not an Atherton or a Los Altos Hills with no commercial core - we are a blended town with rural areas and more dense development in the downtown core. You want parking in front of your house - move to south PA. Choose to live in the downtown - don't cry about not 'owning' the space in front of your home. People need to be responsible and mature about this and park where they should. We are all part of a community and need to be considerate about ALL the individuals, not just the residents.


5 people like this
Posted by What's not clear???!!
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 10, 2016 at 11:23 am

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Rezident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 10, 2016 at 3:07 pm

The lack of additional parking to correspond to additional downtown development was no accident. It is the plan: development near public transit corridors.

Now get on the bus or Caltrain, or pay-up during the 10 year meantime before employee permits go to zero.


10 people like this
Posted by Charles
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 10, 2016 at 4:47 pm

Garden gnome:
I wasn't talking about your comment. I was addressing everyone who has a problem with living near downtown who expects the street to be free of cars. It's not the reality we live in.

I'm with "What's not clear" all the way.

Have any of you that have a problem ever been to LA? New York? San Francisco? Those are places with real parking problems.

Also how many of you have to park a mile from your work and walk? Things would be a little different if you were in our shoes.


2 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 10, 2016 at 5:00 pm

[Portion removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]

"Name one city with vehicle traffic where there is NO public parking provided."

Show me that city, give me some time to get to know it, and I'll be glad to give it a name--if it does not already have one.


10 people like this
Posted by Charles
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 10, 2016 at 5:10 pm

You know what is really sad? I just watched this old gentleman I work with walk off to his car that is parked a mile away. He is in his 70's. He works his butt off and can barley walk.
If you can ignore the fact that he is probably not the only old person or a person who shouldn't be walking that far to their car just so they can make a living, then the problem isn't parking, it's you.


4 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 10, 2016 at 5:30 pm

"If you can ignore the fact that he is probably not the only old person or a person who shouldn't be walking that far to their car just so they can make a living, then the problem isn't parking, it's you."

I, for one, cannot ignore that fact. I ask why doesn't his employer provide employee parking at his job site? It is the simplest, most economical, and most humane solution.


14 people like this
Posted by Charles
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 10, 2016 at 5:59 pm

@ Curmudgeon,
You can't ignore the fact, but you still don't care that he is walking when he shouldn't. Where I work we have about 75 employees and we don't have a garage for us to park in. It's only a problem for people who work in the mornings as the rest of us can park on the street like everyone should be able to. Half of the garages in downtown never fill up. Those are spots that employees could park, but at $17 a day? That is more than 25% of what I make in a day. How is that fair?


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 10, 2016 at 7:14 pm

@Charles

Take.the.bus.

Take.the.Caltrain.

Or pay.

It's your choice.


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 10, 2016 at 8:25 pm

If I take the bus or train it will take me 4 hours to get to work. And then I would still be walking a mile to work...
So your options don't work for people like me. It's not that simple.


Like this comment
Posted by Charles
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 10, 2016 at 8:27 pm

@ Resident,
And I would have to pay more than $17 to get to work if I took the train and or bus. It's funny how all the rich people of downtown Palo Alto seem to think they have all the answers when in fact they are way off to finding a solution.


2 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 10, 2016 at 8:37 pm

"You can't ignore the fact, but you still don't care that he is walking when he shouldn't. Where I work we have about 75 employees and we don't have a garage for us to park in."

That is your employer's fault, not mine. Your employer elected of his/her free will to set up shop without providing for employee necessities such as parking. There are many, many business locations in Silicon Valley with generous onsite auto parking. So tomorrow morning you tell your employer to relocate to a more suitable place for you and your friend's needs, or else.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 10, 2016 at 8:53 pm

@Charles

It's your responsibility to find answers for your transport. No one else's.

Try complaining to SF about the cost of getting to work/parking in downtown SF. You'll find deaf ears. In PA, if you make less than $50,000/year or $22/hour, it's $100...A YEAR.

Ultimately, everyone assess the cost of generating income. If your job here doesn't pencil out anymore, then change job location. It's as simple as that.


4 people like this
Posted by Tim Buck II
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 10, 2016 at 9:48 pm

"I just cannot understand why residents, who should have parking on their property for a minimum of 2 vehicles, need or deserve such a huge portion of the available, public, taxpayer funded parking."

Simple:they are taxpayers.

Re off-street parking for a minimum of two vehicles: Everybody living in Downtown North knows that most houses here were built with only one or even zero off-street parking spots, depending on their construction date relative to the growth of the Automobile Age.

"The argument you make all the time about underparked buildings goes both ways and the residents should be obligated to use the parking on their properties in the same manner the commercial users should be."

Fair enough. For your part, when and how do you plan to compel business owners to provide adequate off-street parking on their premises for their employees?


4 people like this
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 10, 2016 at 10:02 pm

When posters quote statistics about the number of parking spaces, they never include the thousands of parking spaces in the "commercial core", which have been totally allocated to businesses. The businesses decided on the color coded 2 hour time limit and their own permit parking system for these thousands of parking spaces. It's the businesses who decided not to allocate some of these parking spaces to their employees. It's the businesses who are not willing to pay for permits for their employees.

So if one is looking for some equity in parking, since the businesses control the thousands of parking spaces in the commercial core, I think it's only equitable that the residents should be able to control the parking in their own neighborhood.

And if a business decides to locate in downtown Palo Alto, it should be their responsibility as an employer to provide parking for their employees, and not try to push those costs on the taxpayers by not building the parking, and instead use the square footage for more office space and make more profit in rent.


8 people like this
Posted by Johnny
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 10, 2016 at 10:20 pm

LoL Charles old people can walk. My grandpop walked to church and to get groceries well into his 80s, cane and all. Walking is not a big deal I don't understand why its so important to spend more time sitting in a car.

I am a lot more offended by the fact that they're selling permits, hiring meter maids, and creating a racket out of the whole thing while interfering with the flow of business downtown. On top of that, dictating to others what mode of transportation they should use is disrespectful. This RPPP is such a destructive solution. I never go downtown anymore.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2016 at 10:41 pm

A couple of things.

People who decide to live in a house without a driveway, garage or off road parking space, know that when they make the decision to live there. Any neighborhood near a downtown area, just like near a park, school, church, etc. is going to have parking impacts as a result. I don't get why people moving into a home without parking don't put in tarmac, gravel, or something and park in front of their home, or do they literally have their house right up to the sidewalk? It is just like new housing beside transit, the expectation is that a car may not be necessary for every member of the household. Saying that, I don't see any reason not to put in parking meters in these areas and allot each residence one exemption mirror hanger which they can use, lend to service people, or sell to a local worker.

I still don't know how streets get swept, or trash gets picked up, with all this street parking.

And just a thought, I expect a 70 year old getting a 2 mile walk every day is a lot healthier than a 70 year old who doesn't walk anywhere but drives all the time. I'm not saying he doesn't deserve to be able to park nearer where he works, just that the exercise is probably good for him. Too many people drive everywhere and never get enough exercise - obviously I have no idea if this is the case, but a 2 mile walk each day is good for anyone.


6 people like this
Posted by Ben
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 11, 2016 at 7:29 am

This problem falls squarely on decades of developer sponsored city councils and city managers who were eager to approve oversized developments and use permits with no consideration for parking, despite being warned repeatedly about the looming, and finally, in your face parking problem. Residents got screwed and this ever evolving bandaid solution keeps getting worse.


2 people like this
Posted by Anneke
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 11, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Pogo Possum: "We have met the enemy and he is us." Please remember that we, the citizens, elected and elect the City Council.

Again, rather than being negative, how can we work together in a complementary manner to bring about the results we all desire?

To Citizens of Palo Alto: Simplify your life and clean up your personal garage, so you can park your car in that space. Also, park in your driveway, whenever possible.

To City Staff: Make sure the present building/renovation development rules include the need for adequate parking. I realize that in the past, you encouraged developers to develop in Palo Alto and made necessary parking exceptions, and you were (too) successful. Now the pendulum is swinging back, so make sure the rules reflect that.

To City Staff: Take an example from the Menlo Park tipping system, which reduces the feeling of living in an oversaturated parking lot. It is not just the parking, it is also everything that comes with it: personal and property safety, noise, car alarms going off constantly, garbage left on the streets, pollution. Neighborhoods are not intended to be ten-hour parking lots.

To City Staff: Make the existing garages safe, secure and full. Reduce the fees, and work with the downtown businesses to ensure their employees feel comfortable with parking in the garages. Monitor the progress.

To Business Owners and Developers: Respect Palo Alto and its citizens, and honor the rules. Work closely with City Staff and City Council to ensure we all receive some benefit from living and working in this wonderful city.

To All: Please remember it is always a give-and-take. We cannot have it all our own personal way, but working together gives us a real opportunity to have it OUR team way.








1 person likes this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 11, 2016 at 4:15 pm

"I don't get why people moving into a home without parking don't put in tarmac, gravel, or something and park in front of their home,..."

One word: aesthetics.

Palo Alto residents prefer a living landscape over yet more pavement and metal. They tend to resist turning their town into Bubbaville West in order to boost the incomes of heedless business owners who put profit ahead of their employees' needs. Business owners who expect the residents to underwrite their overhead are most welcome to leave.


6 people like this
Posted by Charles
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 13, 2016 at 7:56 am

Complaining about Parking when you live near a downtown area is like someone who bought a house next to the train tracks complaining about the noise from the train.. LOL. Get real people.


5 people like this
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 13, 2016 at 9:01 am

I think it's appropriate for people to complain about parking - it's called freedom of speech, and the democratic process, especially since the city government has been a cause of the parking issues:

1) Stanford got more development rights in exchange for promising "net new car trips to campus will be zero" - so instead, Stanford employees have been using the residential neighborhoods as their parking lot, and walking/biking in. Once the permit program took effect, and Stanford employees could not use the residential neighborhood as their parking lot, hundreds of parking spaces in the neighborhood got freed up. This agreement was not there when many of the resident's purchased their home.

2) Project after project got variances and did not provide enough parking for the amount of office space they developed; the developers instead of providing parking spaces, used the square footage for office space - each parking space which instead gets built out as office space generates around $25,000 per year in rent. Those projects weren't there when many of the resident's purchased their home.

3) The city colluded with the businesses to color zone thousands of parking spaces limiting parking time to 2 hours, pushing employees to park into the residential neighborhoods. The businesses should allocate some of those thousands of spaces for employees. Many residents purchased their homes before the color coded system went into effect.


4 people like this
Posted by Charles
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 13, 2016 at 1:45 pm

What I know is that when residences purchased their home, they didn't expect the value to sky rocket because of the booming business Palo Alto has brought. Now they want to punish the workers of those same businesses that made them millionaires almost over night.


6 people like this
Posted by Charles
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 13, 2016 at 1:51 pm

Next weeks city counsel meeting will bring forth the problem that is plaguing Palo Alto residence's, "Palo Alto gets a little too much sun in the day." They are purposing to put a huge cover over the city at a certain time to block out that pesky sunlight.
Oh no wait, "Palo Alto's trees aren't green enough", so they are purposing to spray paint them.

Sarcasm isn't allowed either.


2 people like this
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 13, 2016 at 1:57 pm

Many of the booming businesses are not in Palo Alto; many of the fastest growing, biggest employers are in the surrounding communities, examples: Facebook - Menlo Park, Google - Mountain View, Linkedin - Sunnyvale.


5 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 13, 2016 at 5:43 pm

"Complaining about Parking when you live near a downtown area is like someone who bought a house next to the train tracks complaining about the noise from the train.. LOL. Get real people."

Trains are a given. Overflow parking from businesses freeloading on the public dime is not.


"Now they want to punish the workers of those same businesses that made them millionaires almost over night."

You are obviously quite new here. It was the free marketplace, not businesses riding the socialist gravy train, that built the local real estate market, which happened over several decades, not almost overnight.

But if you still want to believe that, consider the parallel real estate markets in Atherton, Woodside, Hillsborough, Portola Valley, and Los Altos Hills, which have no real businesses at all in their town limits. We await your rationalization.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2016 at 10:43 am

Get Ford and their Smart Mobility people working on how to do parking with efficient technology. We have nothing smart here and are way behind the times on using technology to park, find parking, and pay for parking.


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

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