Two Palo Alto neighborhoods seek parking restrictions

Following downtown's lead, Southgate and Evergreen Park want to adopt Residential Parking Program

As downtown Palo Alto prepares for new parking restrictions on its residential streets, two other sections of the city have applied for their own programs aimed at keeping non-residents from leaving cars on their blocks.

The neighborhoods of Southgate, which is next to Palo Alto High School, and Evergreen Park, which is between Southgate and the California Avenue Business District, are each seeking a Residential Parking Program (RPP) that would limit parking for non-residents to two hours. These efforts are being initiated just as the city is preparing to expand the boundary of the nascent downtown program farther south and east to include the western section of the Crescent Park neighborhood.

Southgate residents say Palo Alto High School students -- and, to a lesser extent, Stanford University students and faculty -- are parking on residential blocks and then walking, biking or skateboarding to their destinations, according to the application filed by Christine Shambora and Jim McFall, co-chairs of the Southgate Parking Steering Committee. Increasing enrollment and ongoing construction at Palo Alto High School has created a parking shortage, one that is only expected to get worse, the application states. School administrators have not responded to requests for help, Shambora and McFall wrote.

With cars filling both sides of the neighborhood's narrow streets, fire trucks and ambulances are being impeded and street sweepers have difficulty cleaning the streets.

"Several blocks are completely parked up during the day," McFall told the City Council Monday night. "With cars parking on both sides of the street, the road becomes a one-way street."

In the case of one medical emergency, first responders "literally had to run down the street to get to the victim," he said.

Southgate, which lies between El Camino and Alma Street, consists of about 250 homes and includes Castilleja Avenue, Mariposa Avenue, Manzanita Avenue, Madrono Avenue, Escobita Avenue, Portola Avenue, Miramonte Avenue and Churchill Avenue.

Neighbors have been discussing with city staff the creation of a new parking program since January 2015, according to a letter signed by Shambora and McFall. At a recent meeting there was "consensus to submit the application, with 95 percent resident support for entering the RPP process."

"We understand that other neighborhoods are also experiencing parking and traffic problems impacting residential quality of life but, based on our research, work with staff, on-going safety issues and extremely high level of neighborhood support, we believe there are compelling reasons to support Southgate as the next neighborhood identified by the city to qualify for the RPP process," the letter states.

The two new applications were made possible by the council's decision in December 2014 to adopt a citywide ordinance spelling out a process for neighborhoods wishing to request parking restrictions. At the time, the only major parking-permit program in place was in College Terrace (a smaller program, barring overnight parking for non-residents, had been recently established in a section of Crescent Park).

The process begins with an application and a petition from interested neighborhoods. Planning staff then make a recommendation to the Planning and Transportation Commission on which district should get the priority for that calendar year. Once that happens, staff conduct outreach to area residents and non-residents and perform studies to make sure the neighborhood meets the threshold for parking congestion, which may vary from one neighborhood to another.

Districts should accommodate non-residential parking when possible while also meeting a standard for retaining enough available parking spaces, as determined by the city, according to a staff report that accompanied the ordinance.

Parking programs can also be phased in "to give non-residential parkers time to find other modes of transportation or parking locations," according to staff.

That is the approach being taken downtown, where the Residential Preferential Program will cap the number of employee permits sold at 2,000 in the next year and then reduce the number by 10 percent every year thereafter.

Evergreen Park, meanwhile, is looking for something different a program that would allow only residents to purchase permits and that, as a result, would effectively ban all-day parking for non-residents. In that sense, the neighborhood has requested a program similar to that of College Terrace, which was launched in 2009 after Facebook's arrival into Stanford Research Park exacerbated the area's parking situation.

While Southgate is primarily concerned about Paly students, Evergreen Park's frustrations center on employees in the California Avenue area. Much like in downtown, employees in the growing commercial area often park in the neighborhood to avoid both the two-hour limit along California Avenue and surrounding streets and the need to buy business-district parking permits. (This group of employees includes those of the Palo Alto Weekly, which is located on Cambridge Avenue.)

In addition to employees, the neighborhood streets are used by Caltrain commuters, individuals going to the airport and Stanford University faculty, staff, students and visitors, according to the application from Evergreen Park, which is generally bounded by El Camino Real, Cambridge Avenue, Park Avenue and Park Boulevard.

"Removing these all-day -- and sometimes multi-day -- parkers ... would allow for neighborhood residents to park in their own neighborhood, near their homes," the application states. "This will increase our safety, security and freedom of movement (especially for the disabled and seniors) and improve our quality of life. It would also enhance bike safety as we have multiple bike boulevards through the neighborhood."

Neighborhood residents signaled their intent to apply for a residents-only permit program on Feb. 1, when dozens attended a council meeting and presented a petition with 225 signatures. Christian Pease, speaking on behalf of the group, said that the neighborhood "is now at risk of becoming the Evergreen Park Commuter Parking Zone."

David Schrom, who also lives in the neighborhood, called the gradual deterioration of the parking situation "really just nothing short of shameful."

"This is really something you guys can solve just by granting this request," Schrom told the council.

It didn't take long for the group to get a response. On Feb. 10, four council members -- Tom DuBois, Eric Filseth, Karen Holman and Greg Schmid -- co-signed a colleagues memo that supported moving swiftly ahead with a parking program in Evergreen Park along the lines of the one in College Terrace, with no permits for employees.

Evergreen Park and College Terrace, which sit across El Camino from one another, are afflicted by the same groups of commuters, the memo states.

In addition, major new developments are about to go up in or near Evergreen Park, including 2865 Park Blvd., 2650 Birch St., 2100 El Camino Real, 1501 California Ave. and 385 Sherman Ave. Surveys conducted by residents show Evergreen Park's streets were 70 percent full of parked cars on weekdays in 2015.

"Yet unlike College Terrace, Evergreen Park has not been granted relief," the draft of the colleagues memo states. "Annexing Evergreen Park to the existing College Terrace RPP is the simplest, least costly, and most expeditious solution since the College Terrace RPP has been in place for over five years and efficient procedures and policies have already been established that could easily expand to Evergreen Park."

DuBois told the Weekly that the new citywide ordinance for parking programs has a provision that allows council members to nominate neighborhoods for new RPP programs. That's what he and his three colleagues were seeking to do. The full council has not yet scheduled a hearing on the memo.

"The intent of the memo was just to stress there was some urgency to address the situation," DuBois said.

Meanwhile, the city is moving ahead this week with the second phase in the downtown program, which now includes a section of Crescent Park. While some residents in Crescent Park also clamored for residents-only permits, the council voted 5-0 to include employee permits and gradually phase them out.

When asked why the council rejected Crescent Park's request for a stricter program but several members support Evergreen Park's request, DuBois pointed to the differences between the two areas. Crescent Park, he said, is close to downtown and "We're trying not to abruptly change the rules on the business community."

In that case, he said, it seemed best to protect the neighborhood by restricting employee parking gradually. As for Southgate, he said, he would support their proposal as well.

"Ideally, both Evergreen Park and Southgate will get an RPP," DuBois said. "It's just that the Evergreen Park residents came to us, and they've got a real issue all day long, not just from California Avenue but from around Stanford Avenue at the other end of the neighborhood. They're concerned there's a whole bunch of new buildings that haven't come online yet."

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


7 people like this
Posted by Midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 31, 2016 at 8:21 am

If you whack all the moles all the time does the problem go away?

18 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 31, 2016 at 9:23 am

The big error of Paly was to build the new theatre, which has cut the number of parking spaces immensely. There will not be enough parking for theatre patrons and it's going to impact T&C. Why didn't they just remodel their Haymarket Theatre?

16 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Mar 31, 2016 at 10:03 am

If the colleagues memo was submitted in early February why hasn't the full Council considered it yet?
What s the hold up???

25 people like this
Posted by Musicman
a resident of Ventura
on Mar 31, 2016 at 10:06 am

We should be building additional parking garages for the Cal Ave business area. The workers are parking in residential areas because there's not enough spaces on Cal Ave itself. Having the permit parking program without alleviate the parking issue will just move the problem someplace else.

4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2016 at 10:31 am

Parking near all schools parks churches and retail is impacted at some times. We should have meters in these areas with exemption stickers for residents rather than more complicated rules that confuse everyone.

6 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 31, 2016 at 10:54 am

@resident: Parking meters in front of homes?! Not quite.

3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2016 at 11:05 am

Not sure why not. It would enable occasional parkers the ability to park for reasonable amounts of time at a reasonable cost and local residents the ability to keep their driveways free for guests and service providers.

22 people like this
Posted by Zalltime
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 31, 2016 at 11:17 am

Zalltime is a registered user.

I have to think twice before ordering food from California Avenue businesses now. Every time I go there from 12:20 to 1:30, it is literally impossible to find a parking spot with convenience. And I'm not alone in saying this, since many other cars are out there with me in the parking lots searching.

[Portion removed.]

27 people like this
Posted by minnow
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 31, 2016 at 11:45 am

@Zailtime: tear down low-income housing to make it easier for you to get your lunch? Wow, that's the most Palo Alto-y thing I've heard this week.

35 people like this
Posted by Carol Gilbert
a resident of University South
on Mar 31, 2016 at 11:47 am

The fundamental problem is that the city has not dealt with parking issues in the areas that are impacted. They have merely pushed parking out into the residential areas. It was not an answer only a way of dodging the issue.

52 people like this
Posted by Quality of LIfe
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Mar 31, 2016 at 11:50 am

The City of Palo Alto created these problems, and it needs to take action to provide relief to the residents who are impacted. The City continues to move forward with the fiction that no one drives, just to accommodate developers wish to make as much money as they possibly can from their real estate projects. Maybe they won't in 50 years, but they definitely are driving now and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future because there really is no good alternative. If you can't park in Palo Alto, then people can just shop in Los Altos (which has a lovely, parkable downtown area, by the way) or other places where they can.

The City has refused to own up to the problems they are creating. I understand that there is a plan even to replace one of the surface parking lots behind California Ave with another building project. Then, others want to build even more dense housing in the area because 'it is transportation rich'. What? There is a train station which causes more parking problems already because its lot is full and people don't want to pay the price anyway.

Just the number of construction vehicles and related street closures around California Ave. and El Camino Real will be enough to choke the area completely.

I don't understand what the long term vision is here. Neither do I see a coherent plan for how to take care of residents -- who vote -- during the transition. If you want construction of new projects, you have to be honest about the traffic, the parking, the recreation services, etc. that are going to be impacted. You have to think ahead -- witness the outcry now about too many office buildings (as if residents weren't screaming about this when it occurred). Of course we will continue to evolve and change, but that doesn't mean selling out to every developer and project there is.

Compare the new horrendous building behemoth on Park Blvd. It is the ugliest building I have seen in a while, and it is built right to the curb. Contrast that with the building across the street from it. Set back from the street, with trees and landscaping, it doesn't overpower the street and block out sunlight. It is right in front of one of the worst blockages in the City where bicyclers try to ride down Park Blvd., and drivers try to go under the overpass to get onto Oregon Expressway. What were people thinking when they approved that???

I don't know when it was that the City planners -- and to a large extent, the City Council -- decided that developers and people who don't live here are the primary constituency that needs to be considered. Of

Let's be as good as the folks who came before us, and plan sensibly for our community -- before it is too late.

42 people like this
Posted by Quality of Life
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Mar 31, 2016 at 11:57 am

I should also add . . . our city manager said quite clearly what his strategy is at last year's community meeting on Palo Alto's future. He stated that most Palo Altans had no need to worry -- 85% would be unaffected by the city's plans. It was clear what he meant -- it was divide and conquer. I happen to be among the 15% most directly affected by his vision. If he is going to sacrifice my neighborhood to the developers, I'd like a little thought to be put into how to offset the cost for residents. Trust me, the rest of the city will be impacted as well by all of the traffic on El Camino -- just not as quickly or as directly.

The way the plans look to me, there will be two Palo Altos. One will be North Palo Alto where extremely expensive homes are. The second will be South Palo Alto where another expensive community will be left in peace. Then, there will be the dense, urban ghetto that is being created around California Ave. So sad. California Ave used to be 'alternative' with small businesses and neighborhood services. Tearing down reasonable-scaled buidings and replacing them with high rise class A office buildings destroyed all that.

I predict more of us will move out, renting our places to others who don't mind such traffic and density when they do not have to own it. Then, Evergreen Park and California will become a neighborhood of renters who have no pride of ownership. Congratulation to the City administration that is fixed on accomplishing that.

18 people like this
Posted by Just don't get it
a resident of Southgate
on Mar 31, 2016 at 12:21 pm

The streets in Southgate are narrower than any other area in PÃ…. Today's kids drive big, expensive vehicles and park wherever they want. This makes ingress/egress from ones driveway extremely difficult...and at times impossible. We also have parking from Stanford. We get the same problem when there are athletic programs going on. Paly keeps adding big new buildings in the existing parking lots.....How about building a parking garage there instead. I know it is Stanford land but I'm pretty sure they would go along with it. Just build a two story building or underground one of the fields like Stanford has done!!!! But PAUSD wouldn't work with Southgate to try to mitigate the problem.

4 people like this
Posted by palytheatremom
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 31, 2016 at 12:23 pm

@huh? Before construction on the new Performing Arts Center began, an audit of empty parking spaces showed an average of 100 per day. Once construction is completed, fewer than 50 spaces will have been removed.
Haymarket Theatre is almost 100 years old, and it is in the wrong shape (long and narrow) for a performing arts facility. Remodeling it was not an option. The Haymarket is historical and will be restored and refurbished when funds become available to the District. The new Performing Arts Center will be a state of the art facility that will showcase the talents of the over 450 students who currently engage in the performing arts at Paly annually. It will also serve the entire Paly community by hosting lectures, assemblies, parent meetings, etc. For more information, go to

17 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 31, 2016 at 12:27 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Let me offer a partial solution, but first a little background information going back to the early 80's. When Cubberley closed, after our twin boys' freshman year there, they opted to go to Paly. They had many friends there. We live closer to Gunn and some of our neighbor kids went there. Our kids didn't own cars until they were out of high school and for several years after that. And not being rich people we didn't buy them each a BMW convertible. They rode their bikes to school or got rides and I think we, actually just my wife because I was working, might have taken them a few times. One son bought a moped and that got him to school his senior year. Bear in mind we live in SPA near Charleston Rd. Anyway, my partial solution is: for rich parents, buy them cars if you want but just don't let them drive them to school. They can can walk, bike, or skateboard. And Stanford should take care of their own parking needs.

I have a hunch about many of your thoughts. Oh, that's just old Gale telling us about the good old days he likes to talk about all the time. Well, yes I am, and they were.

11 people like this
Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 31, 2016 at 1:21 pm

The City Council screwed up when they couldn't figure out how to handle downtown parking and went for the stupid parking permits.
How hard would it have been to take each parking structure and make the top floor employee parking only, with a scan badge to go through a gate? Simple. Employee parking is the biggest problem with most parking anywhere! They need more than 2 or 3 hours. Customer spend only two or 3 hours.
I guess that was too easy for the council members to think of and handle. They needed to make it a bigger problem so they look busy.
So irritated. I wonder if have any room in their heads for thinking about the over crowding they have created as well?

16 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2016 at 1:53 pm

One of the issues this proposal addresses but not solves is the need for a decent shuttle service to Paly and probably Gunn also. For those who live on the southern most boundary of the Paly boundary, specifically south of Oregon, there is no bus service or shuttle service to get kids to school. Either the kids bike, or get rides from parents. The numbers of biking students crossing Alma at Churchill causes traffic patterns to be altered and on top of the bikes there are a large number of parents who drop kids off on Churchill or nearby who also walk with the bikes on to campus.

On top of that, there is very little parking for parents on campus. The last time I had to attend a meeting the 10 minute parking and also the visitor parking spaces were all filled. There is not enough parking on campus for visitors so I can't imagine what it must be like for teachers and faculty parking. As the school gets bigger, the number of parking spaces ought to increase but of course that will probably not happen. This is again impacting parking in residential areas near school.

A shuttle service from south Palo Alto could really help both the traffic and the parking problem.

5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 31, 2016 at 2:21 pm

[Post removed.]

28 people like this
Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 31, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Yes, buses for our students would be wonderful. We have school buses for EPA students but none for our Palo Alto residents.

The Embarcadero shuttle doesn't start until 3:30 and Paly ends at 2:50 and 1:50 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, resulting in more cars.

24 people like this
Posted by Roger Overnaut
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Mar 31, 2016 at 4:12 pm

"Compare the new horrendous building behemoth on Park Blvd. It is the ugliest building I have seen in a while, and it is built right to the curb."

Mayor Burt mentioned that problem with that design when the project was up for Council review, but he dutifully voted to approve the building at the appointed time. Go figure.

I agree with all your points in both your posts. Palo Alto is out of control. [Portion removed.]

13 people like this
Posted by daniel
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 31, 2016 at 5:55 pm

Quality of Life:

Agree with all you are saying with one exception: it is already too late. Greed has turned a lovely university town into an artificially created business center, the downtown for ... something, the Silicon Valley, perhaps.

Fewer and fewer people want to live here, or can afford to live here.

7 people like this
Posted by Bike commuter
a resident of Ventura
on Mar 31, 2016 at 7:01 pm

Bike commuter is a registered user.

Given that both of these neighborhoods have bike boulevards, the parking needs to be managed to accommodate bikes on Park and Castilleja.

Castilleja is too narrow when cars are parked on both sides of the street to allow one car and one bike to pass each other!

Please limit permit parking to a single side of the street for the safety of the cyclists heading to/from the bike path behind Paly at Churchill.

7 people like this
Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 31, 2016 at 9:52 pm

@daniel When was Palo Alto ever "...a lovely university town..."?

Ann Arbor is a lovely university town. Amherst, Champaign, Boulder, San Luis Obispo, even Berkeley are college towns.

Palo Alto has never, ever been a university town. I have never seen any part of Palo Alto ever warmly embrace any part of Stanford. All I've ever heard is people complaining how much they are inconvenienced by the University.


19 people like this
Posted by The chameleon
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 31, 2016 at 10:16 pm

Roger Overnaut recalls re Park Blvd building:

>Mayor Burt mentioned that problem with that design when the project was up for Council review, but he dutifully voted to approve the building at the appointed time. Go figure.

That's the Pat Burt secret of success. He talks as though he cares about residents and then votes with the developers. Again and again and again.
He fools alot of people, even people who should know better.

He's been referred to as a chameleon. Are you just noticing this now?

14 people like this
Posted by Roger Overnaut
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Mar 31, 2016 at 11:44 pm

"He's been referred to as a chameleon. Are you just noticing this now?"

Nope. But it's good to keep the topic current. I didn't know about the nickname. It's apt.

5 people like this
Posted by bellesdottir
a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2016 at 8:23 am

Marc: Yes, Palo Alto was a university town, before the underpass at Alma and University was built. Citizens would gather in the park there for all sorts of events. People knew each other. I didn't move to PA until 1965, and the town was divided by Oregon Expressway by that time, and the town/gown atmosphere was long gone for most.

23 people like this
Posted by Had It
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Apr 1, 2016 at 12:04 pm

If you want to see affordable bousing that blends in with the neighborhood and provides decent quality of life for its residents and neighbors, look no farther than the subsidized housing on Park Blvd behind Molly Stone. When I first moved to Palo Alto, i had no idea it was subsidized housing - it was so attractive. Families live there, single people live there, etc. it has a playground for smaller kids. It provides for economic diversity that we appreciate.

There are so many creative ways to accomplish a balanced and high quality of life here, but our Planning Commission seems to be stuck on taking the first developer idea proposed.

If Burt, Wohlbach, Kniss and Scharf want high rise towers, then by all means build them next to your house.i notice their neighborhoods are not targeted .

The problem is that these folks are career politicians who must find the money for their next re-election. And the developers- who are not ruining their own neighborhoods - are all too happy to accommodate. I am looking forward to seeing which developer Burt goes to work for after his term. Joe Simitian is another former good guy who has sold out to stay in some office. In the last election we managed to get a few 'residentialists' elected. Sadly, not enough although they have been trying to fight the good fight.

I would love to see the PA Weekly so a story on who is financing the campaigns of our council members. How many had large dinations from developers ornothers who stand to profit from turning Palo Alto to just another dense, urban city?

4 people like this
Posted by PAmom
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Apr 2, 2016 at 7:28 pm

More parking garages=more crime. That's where it always happens...unless with new parking garages they have surveillance.

3 people like this
Posted by Michael
a resident of University South
on Apr 2, 2016 at 8:23 pm

"If Burt, Wohlbach, Kniss and Scharf want high rise towers, then by all means build them next to your house.i notice their neighborhoods are not targeted ."

How unselfish of them.

I nominate Oak Court in my own 'hood as another exemplary low rent housing development. On Channing between Ramona and Bryant.

8 people like this
Posted by Please come visit
a resident of Southgate
on Apr 4, 2016 at 10:54 am

@palytheatremom - The audit that showed 100 open spaces was done in 2009 when enrollment at Paly was lower by over 200 students. With enrollment expected to increase an additional 20% to 2400, Paly can not support itÅ› parking needs. PalyÅ› permit program is pushing cars off campus and into our neighborhood.
If there are empty spots on campus, then there shouldn´t be student cars in our neighborhood. However, that´ś not the case. The school is too crowded. Read the EMAC report and you will see many students, teachers and admin stating that there are too many students and not enough space. Too many new buildings are being crammed onto the campus which has all but eliminated any open space.
Web Link

If you don´t think it´s an issue, please come through Southgate on a school day.

Like this comment
Posted by Be Positive
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 4, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Be Positive is a registered user.

@please come visit - I read through the EMAC report, which recommended opening a new school(s) of some sort. In contrast with their recommendation, the students did NOT think their school was too crowded (64% of HS and 63% of Middle school kids thought the school size was fine). What they DID want is smaller class sizes.

57% of High School English classes and 76% of HS math classes have more than 24 students
71% of the high school students would like classes of 24 or less for math and english

53% of middle School English classes and 55% of middle school math classes have more than 24 students
73% of the middle school students would like classes of 24 or less for math and english

Like this comment
Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Apr 6, 2016 at 3:43 pm

@Be Positive,
So, 64% of students thinks the school size is fine, which means that 36% do not think it is fine. Are those numbers acceptable to you? That's a D in my book.

Also, 66% of 7th, 9th and 11th graders reported a lower feeling of connectedness and only 39% of 9th and 11th graders rated the school environment as "high". (I'm assuming this doesn't have to do with smoking pot, or that number would be much higher)

Getting away from numbers, let's see what teachers, admin and students have to say:

“The passing periods generate a climate of bustle that is hectic, not healthy… you should see the network of how kids move through...there are pressure points, like congested freeways… our common spaces are
small, the cafeteria is cramped, there are other cluster points around campus. The climate is better when kids are distributed more than they are today.”

• “Gunn is over 50 yrs old, it was designed for 1200… common spaces are small, the cafeteria is cramped.”

• “The sweet spot was at 1400 students. That way you can have a range of electives. And you can get the advantages of pathways and electives. Once HS grows past 1600 you’re managing clusters of kids… the optimum size is 1200-1400 for High School.”

• “We feel very impacted… space is at a premium. There is too little parking, office space, meeting space is impacted. Teachers do not have enough collaboration space.. was 1,600 in 2007… now… the school feels
too big.” - Gunn & Paly HS administrations

• “Terman is busting at seams… don’t assume that because Terman [has fewer students] than JLS and Jordan
that all is ok… the physical plant at Terman is smaller than the others. No teacher can be in a classroom during their prep period… they have no room to collaborate, no place to prep. They cannot offer office hours to meet with students. They ran out of lockers... the bathrooms are taxed.”
- Terman MS administration

• “I’m terrified about size of the middle schools, they are going to be overwhelming… I can’t imagine…schools seem to be bursting at seams. I think they are too large to really be a good learning environment.”- Parent of elementary student

• “Gunn High School is too big [now]. I remember when the gym was the end of campus, all the portables didn’t exist. Now freshman have their own quad… lack of connection… doesn’t integrate them… you have
to create opportunities… to get to know each other… you don’t have to do all that when it’s smaller.” - Gunn HS Teacher

• “I transferred [to Gunn HS] from a smaller school… we knew everyone… I miss the small community. I learned better in a smaller group.” - Gunn HS student

• It’s so big that I only know the part that I know, there’s a lot of things and people here that I don’t know. I’m a junior, and I only know like one third of the juniors… there’s no way to get to know the others." - Paly HS student

Also, did you read the EMAC's findings on the size of the schools which state, "Said another way, there seems to be a fundamental disconnect between the perceived capacity of the school and the actual situation on
the ground at each school. The potential result is a false sense of precision and a false confidence in the District’s stated capacity figures
for each school."

Basically, the numbers the district gives and what is realistic for the schools, don't match. They are trying to cram too many students into too small of a space.

4 people like this
Posted by Sea Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 8, 2016 at 6:14 am

Palo Alto is a beautiful town.

We can not put more multi-storied buildings without impacting quality of life.

We need to stop growth or only allow replacement and modernize.

Enough is enough.

Qualify of life is very important. That is why we are here and not in Slidell,Louisiana. Our city fathers/mothers worked hard 80 years to develop into a nice city. Let us not destroy it.

- no more airplanes creating noise and pollution
- no more traffic that creates noise and pollution
- no high speed rail that wakes us up every twenty minutes and no digging


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 8, 2016 at 7:50 am

Sea Reddy: dream on! If you want peace and quiet, an abandoned barn in Louisiana might be a better option.

This is the result of an imbalance between altruism (left) and realism (right). Quality of life is based on space and abundant resources. Have you been to Piazza's lately? Overpopulation can only be stopped by limiting immigration and birthrates -- barbaric measures to some. Palo Alto as we know it is history.

Best to just accept it and crawl deeper into your shell(while the bureaucrats get rich and draw little bicycle maps).

2 people like this
Posted by CalAve Employee
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 21, 2016 at 10:56 am

I would just like to point out that public streets are just that: public. We all pay taxes to keep up the streets. The streets in front of our homes are not private property. Your private property is your driveway and garage and should be used to park your private vehicles. Residents have no more right to park on the street than anyone else. If streets are too narrow for parking on both sides, one side should be made no parking all the time. Fire trucks and emergency vehicles need to get through in the middle of the night, too. (I bike along Castilleja and Mariposa all the time and I can't believe parking is currently allowed on both sides.)

I bike to Cal Ave for work as long as the weather is good. When it rains, I want to park nearby, not in the neighborhoods. But I don't want to buy a long-term parking permit - it would only encourage me to drive more often. My personal preference would be to buy a one-day all-day parking permit for a nearby garage, but since this isn't currently available, I either have to remember to move my car around during the day, or park in the neighborhood (and walk through the rain.)

4 people like this
Posted by @CalAve Employee
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 21, 2016 at 11:17 am

Why don't you park in the parking provided by your employer?

Like this comment
Posted by CalAve Employee
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 22, 2016 at 9:25 am

Because my employer rents in a building that does not have private parking, which is the norm on both Cal Ave and downtown.

2 people like this
Posted by @CalAve Employee
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 22, 2016 at 10:36 am

Why doesn't the building have private parking? Have you spoken to your employer or the building owner about that?

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

Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

If you do nothing else, do These Three Things
By Sherry Listgarten | 43 comments | 2,216 views

Lentil Brownies
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 615 views

Finding Balance
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 335 views


Vote now!

It's time once again to cast your vote for the best places to eat, drink, shop and spend time in Palo Alto. Voting is open now through May 27. Watch for the results of our 2019 Best Of contest on Friday, July 19.