News

Council endorses parking restrictions for Evergreen Park, Southgate

Palo Alto City Council agrees to pursue new residential parking permit programs for two neighborhoods struggling with parking congestion

Evergreen Park and Southgate will soon join the growing ranks of Palo Alto neighborhoods where residents and visitors will need parking permits to leave their cars on the street for longer than two hours.

The two adjacent neighborhoods -- one near the California Avenue Business District and the other next to Palo Alto High School -- were selected by the City Council on Monday night to be the next two areas where the city will develop a Residential Preferential Parking (RPP) Program akin to the one that premiered in downtown last fall. Following in the footsteps of its Planning and Transportation Commission, the council voted 8 to 0, with Councilwoman Liz Kniss recusing, not to prioritize either neighborhood but to pursue programs for both concurrently.

Once the programs are in place, parking will become restricted for cars that don't have permits. If they end up like the downtown one, permits would be sold only to residents and employees. In the coming months, it will be up to stakeholders, planning staff and, ultimately, the council to decide what proportion of the permits (if any) should be allocated to drivers who don't reside in these neighborhoods.

Despite their geographical proximity and shared misery over parking, Evergreen Park and Southgate took different routes to their respective parking crises. In Evergreen Park, which is bounded by El Camino Real, Cambridge Avenue and Park Boulevard, the parking congestion is caused in large part by area employees, including office professionals, merchants and restaurant workers around California Avenue (Full disclosure: The Weekly's office is located a block away from California Avenue). In Southgate, it is mostly Paly students and faculty that are filling up the parking spots.

In both cases, residents organized, signed a petition and applied for a "residential preferential parking program." Another proposal came from a three-block section of Crescent Park, which is next to the existing downtown parking-permit district and which, as a result, has no parking restrictions. Residents of the three blocks (1000 and 1100 blocks of Hamilton Avenue and 500 block of Chaucer Street) now find their spaces filled with cars belonging to commuters seeking to avoid time restrictions and parking costs.

Also applying is the small area near Edgewood Plaza, by Greer Road, Channing Avenue and St. Francis Drive. According to planning staff, residents in this area have been complaining about a "parking intrusion" from East Palo Alto residents and from the newly renovated plaza.

The council agreed that the Crescent Park and Edgewood Plaza proposals should be studied and accommodated in due time. It also agreed that staff should start with the two larger proposals and to try to form both programs concurrently, even if it means adding more resources to the effort. Establishing a parking program in just one of these neighborhoods would be ill-advised, the council reasoned, because it would merely exacerbate the problem in the other, a game of whack-a-mole that downtown areas are all too familiar with.

It was also an easy decision politically. Dozens of residents from each of the two neighborhoods packed into the Council Chambers, many waving signs calling for annexation (most left by the time the council made a decision, well after midnight).

Evergreen Park residents were particularly adamant, with one resident arguing that commuters are "stealing" street parking from residents and another complaining about cars that block driveways and the noise impacts of late-shift workers retrieving their cars from the residential streets in the wee hours of the night.

David Schrom claimed that the neighborhood has seen increased crime, lower property values and more strangers in his neighborhood. Residents, he said, "have a reasonable expectation as homeowners that we'll be able to park in front of our homes and our guests will be able to park in front of our homes."

"That's being taken away from us and it will be taken away from us more," Schrom said.

Unlike the other neighborhoods, Evergreen Park was requesting a program like the one in College Terrace, just across El Camino Real. Under that program, only residents are allowed to buy permits that allow all-day parking. Everyone else is subject to a two-hour limit (in downtown, by contrast, the city alloted 2,000 permits for area employees). The request initially won favor with four City Council members, who penned a colleagues memo in February supporting a College Terrace-style program for Evergreen Park. The memo also suggested, as another option, a program in which merchants and personal-service employees would get a "small number" of permits in the residential area.

On Monday, however, the council agreed to pursue a more inclusive process and directed staff to move ahead with a "stakeholder process" that will determine how many permits would be sold to California Avenue employees.

Southgate, which has famously narrow streets, will also get a stakeholder process. In addition to evaluating permit sales, the process would also evaluate traffic-calming alternatives (including red curbs to improve sight lines for bicyclists) and transportation-demand-management strategies aimed at shifting students and faculty from cars to other modes of transportation.

In addressing the council, residents from both neighborhoods made a case for new parking restrictions, while also urging the council not to force them to compete against one anther.

Christine Shambora, one of the leaders of the Southgate effort, asked the council to visit her neighborhood so that members can see just how badly a solution is needed.

"The situation has reached a crisis, both in terms of safety and quality of life," Shambora said.

The council agreed that each neighborhood made a compelling case and directed its Finance Committee to consider a funding allocation that would make both parking permits possible. The council also agreed that California Avenue employees -- particularly those in the retail and personal service industries -- should be considered in designing the program.

"I want this to be expedited and happen quickly," said Vice Mayor Greg Scharff, who made the motion to proceed with both parking programs. "But at the same time I do think we need it to go through the stakeholder process, and we need to include the merchants in the stakeholder process."

Councilman Marc Berman concurred. The council can't say "we want a parking plan that allows no workers," Berman said, and then talk about how it wants to protect area merchants. Many retail workers live so far away, he noted, that public transit isn't an option for them.

"I'm not saying you should have free parking in the neighborhood," Berman said. "I think we have to implement RPP but we have to be realistic about the fact that (employees) exist."

Though the council generally agreed that Evergreen Park needs and deserves help, not all arguments from residents were equally persuasive.

Mayor Pat Burt took issue with the Schrom's notion that employees who park on public streets are committing "theft," though he agreed that it's reasonable for residents to expect parking somewhere close to their homes. He also said that the notion that California Avenue workers are "criminals" is a "disservice."

"It just reminds me of the kinds of arguments Donald Trump would make and I find that really inappropriate," he said.

Burt was more receptive to the argument that the city's Comprehensive Plan (its land-use bible) supports protecting residents from the impacts of commercial development. For that reason, Burt said, he supports creating new parking programs for Southgate and Evergreen Park.

In addition to directing staff to initiate the two parking programs, the council also took a step toward addressing Crescent Park's new parking issue.

Following the advice of Chief Transportation Officer Joshuah Mello, the council agreed to add the three blocks to the "eligibility area" of the downtown parking district. Blocks that are in the area can petition to join the parking-program district through an administrative process, without the need for additional council reviews or public hearings. The Edgewood Plaza application, meanwhile, was placed in the fourth spot on the priority list.

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Comments

14 people like this
Posted by Sea Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on May 10, 2016 at 4:52 am

I notice the passion among the residents on this subject. I live in College Terrace and the resident parking permit program is managed well by the city and residents.

Let us extend this method to these two neighborhoods we love. What are we waiting for?

Respectfully


33 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 10, 2016 at 7:20 am

And where will people park?

This is getting so ridiculous. There will soon be nowhere for people to park all day on an occasional basis.

Paly has parking permits for those who park every day but there is no system for a student to park for one day if their bike is out of action or they need to take a project to school. Have you ever thought how a cooking final project can be taken to school on a bicycle?

There are no buses, shuttles that get Paly students to school. We have lousy public transportation. Unless we get some serious parking opening up with shuttles taking people to where they need to go we will be in big trouble. Cal Ave garages are full. Permits required further and further afield. Stupid color codes that are complicated for visitors to read. Visitors arriving don't have a clue what to do. Nobody cares, just stick up more no parking signs and expect the cars to vanish.

Terrible unfriendly user parking situation.


16 people like this
Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 10, 2016 at 7:54 am

Samuel L. is a registered user.

@Resident: Plenty of other ways to get to school w/o a car. Carpool, parent drop off, arrangement with the teacher to drop the project off early/late.

Maybe PAHS should have thought about all of this before they decided to put buildings on top of parking lots and then increase enrollment over the amount the school can truly hold. Instead of all of the new buildings they approved they could have built a third high school and there wouldn't be an issue.


11 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 10, 2016 at 8:00 am

Perhaps we should just tell PAUSD to stop overcrowding the schools!


12 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 10, 2016 at 8:05 am

Totally agree with Samuel above.

And bring back the school buses. Do a cost analysis of how much they cost vs the cost of all the "transportation" and parking programs and outreach the city has and/or has planned.


As for the program being well managed, a friend who paid for a parking permit in front of his house that has no driveway got food poisoning and rushed into his house to the bathroom before putting his permit on the dash.

He's now fighting a $53 parking ticket on the grounds that the city should have a record of the fact that he has a permit and has paid for it and that that info should be accessible to those handing out the tickets.


7 people like this
Posted by Really
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 10, 2016 at 8:41 am

Really. People parkinget on public streets in Palo alto are now thieves and criminals? And only Burt objected to those comments? Says plenty about our council and the residents.

Online name- your friend was in the bathroom for more than two hours?


10 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 10, 2016 at 8:47 am

Really, yes he was. He was there for most of the night. Thanks for asking.

He got ticketed at 9AM, the morning after he got home from dinner the previous night with food poisoning. Thinking about moving his permit wasn't exactly his top priority.

The point remains that the city has a record of where people live and who has paid for permits and who hasn't.


20 people like this
Posted by Yes Really
a resident of Downtown North
on May 10, 2016 at 8:51 am

According to some members of city council; if you drive a car in Palo Alto, you are considered a criminal and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!


10 people like this
Posted by Really
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 10, 2016 at 8:54 am

Well first of all he was in violation of the law. No permit. You get s ticket. That is what the residents want. The permit is sold to the home, not the vehicle. The city has no access to dmv records. The permits are for a specific area, not for a specific spot. Hours of enforcement are from 8 to 5,so he could not have been ticketed at 9am. But the story sounds nice


8 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 10, 2016 at 9:08 am

Really, the city has a record of the address of his HOUSE and of the permit sold for him to park in the neighborhood where the house is located. I never said the permit was sold to the vehicle.

When he told the story, everyone was surprised that the ticketing started so early, presumably to catch and deter commuters.


8 people like this
Posted by Really
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 10, 2016 at 9:15 am

And they were suppoded to know it was his vehicle how? I am sure they are instructed to check for a permit and if the car had berm parked for more than 2 hours without a permit. They do not have the time to check to set of a car without a permit belongs to a homeowner who forgot to display his permit
He was in violation of the law, but if they are ticketing before the initial 2 hour window then they are in violation of the rules.


8 people like this
Posted by old pA
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 10, 2016 at 10:17 am

Get ready Old PA - all Cal Ave employees will soon be filling up your streets and walking through the tunnel to work.


9 people like this
Posted by Sick of NIMBY
a resident of Barron Park
on May 10, 2016 at 10:37 am

obviously we need donald trump to build a wall around palo alto so no cars are allowed. we can ban every car and then allow those in who are PA residents and only have one car that MUST be parked on the street rather than their driveway. and maybe they should only be Tesla's with personalized number plates. That fits this stuffy town.


15 people like this
Posted by Ellen
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 10, 2016 at 10:49 am

Why did Greg Scharff not recuse himself from this matter given his office is right there in the subject area and therefore has a big conflict of interest? And why did the City Attorney who surely knows this, not say something? He seems to get away with voting on stuff he should recuse himself on. He did this before with a building he owns when the Council discussed the office cap.

No wonder he was so enthusiastic last night and wants to rush the plan here in Greenmeadow - it directly effects his business. I am glad the council decided the way they did, but Scharff should have not participated.


10 people like this
Posted by Jeff
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 10, 2016 at 10:51 am

Wasn't about $8M spent recently to improve the California Ave business district? Two traffic lanes were removed but the change in the number of parking spaces was about 2?

But is has sparkly sidewalks ... sort of. Perhaps a few businesses got to put tables out on the publicly paid for sidewalks. Marvelous improvement to address the area needs!


10 people like this
Posted by MadamPresident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 10, 2016 at 10:54 am

Walk to school.


3 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on May 10, 2016 at 10:56 am

Who are the primary users of the PALY lots? Seems to me the kids are pretty good about walking and biking. Some probably have jobs or sports that require access to a vehicle. So that leaves teachers and other staff. Is the PALY lot not big enough for all legit PALY users or are others parking in the PALY lot? If the answer is the latter, that should be easily fixed.


20 people like this
Posted by SF and Berkeley
a resident of Downtown North
on May 10, 2016 at 11:00 am

SF and Berkeley deliberately limit free, all-day on street parking to deter cars. As a consequence, residents tend to walk, bike, or take public transportation. Palo Alto should do likewise.


23 people like this
Posted by we need more shuttles too!
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 10, 2016 at 11:09 am

If the parking restrictions go into effect (which they should), Palo Alto should invest in more shuttle runs that coordinate with the actual start and end times of Paly. It would be great if Gunn (and JLS, and Terman) and Arastadero had the same service.

I have several friends that live in Southgate, you can literally not get cars much less emergency vehicles down many of the streets. Not only should they have permit parking, some streets should only have parking on one side.

Many of the people that park in the Evergreen Park area are Stanford students and employees. Stanford has strict parking rules and alternative commuting incentives. People park in Evergreen Park, get their bikes off the back of their car and "commute" by bike on to campus.

@oldPA - you are right about people parking in Old Palo Alto - all the spots by the park on Alma are already filled for the whole day - Caltrain commuters and people working on Cal Ave.

Sh


11 people like this
Posted by Deborah
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 10, 2016 at 11:36 am

I'm disappointed that Gennady Sheyner chose to quote David Schrom saying we have increased crime, lower property values and more strangers. I've lived in Evergreen Park for three decades. My 900sqf house on a 5,000 sqf lot is worth 2M. I don't call this a degraded property value. Crime has decreased because there are so many people walking around the neighborhood during the day, all of them law abiding and, if David would ever come out of his hidey hole and talk to the people who commute to Cal Ave, they wouldn't be strangers. I know a lot of them because I talk to them. Almost all of them are regular. David is part of Magic, a commune style non-profit that owns three houses, in a row. None of them have off street parking. There are fifteen to twenty people living there at any given time, many of whom own cars, all of whom park on the street. Pat Burt is right about the Donald Trump style tactics.

About a third of the people who park in our neighborhood could easily bike, walk or use the bus. I know because I've spent the past decade pestering people about how far they drove from. Evergreen Park does have a parking problem. There is no reason that our neighborhood should have to make sacrifices in our quality of life because someone was too lazy to do anything other than drive. And they are right that about development not providing adequate parking. I've reading the development plans. Some of them do have adequate parking, but a lot don't even come close. That's why we need permit parking. Personally, I don't like any of plans, but some plan is needed.

As for Paly being crowded? Give me a break! When I attended Paly, there were 2100 students. It hasn't changed all that much. They just feel entitled to drive. When I attended the only students who drove were those who lived in East Palo Alto or Los Altos Hills, a few who really did need to and the drug dealers. There was plenty of room in the parking lots.


7 people like this
Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 10, 2016 at 12:26 pm

Samuel L. is a registered user.

@Deborah - With regards to Paly, while I agree that there are many students that don't need to drive, but still do, the size of Paly is currently larger than it has ever been. According to the PAUSD study done this year, the largest size of Paly, prior to this year, was approx. 1930 which occurred in 1980 after Cubberley closed. In addition to the increasing number of students and the higher proportion of students driving, Paly has been decreasing the number of parking spaces. So, while there might have been plenty of parking available in 1980, if you go to campus and try to look for those parking spaces, most of them will be under another building today.

Paly does need to find more ways to get students out of their cars. As an added benefit, it will decrease traffic through Old Palo Alto, making the school routes safer for those on their bikes.


23 people like this
Posted by Techie
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 10, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Techie is a registered user.

Kids who live more than two miles from their schools should have school bus service-- not moms and dads driving them.

Kids who live less than two miles from their schools should walk or ride bicycles, once old enough to do so safely!


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 10, 2016 at 12:53 pm

Paly students are great at biking to school. I don't know how many parking permits for students are available or how many are bought, but getting students out of cars is not the big problem it may sound as very few drive compared to the numbers who bike or walk.

The big problem is that Paly boundaries are large enough that many kids live over 3 miles away from school and some more than 5 miles plus. That plus the fact that crossing Oregon, crossing Alma and even the Embarcardero entrance are not easy for bikes. On top of that, there are a lot of bike thefts and bikes getting damaged at school which means that students often need to get to school another way than biking or walking for a short time and these kids do not have parking permits. There is no bus shuttle or VTA that gets students from the southern Paly boundary to school. The traffic on Alma and Churchill is a nightmare in the school commute time. Why should parents drop the kids off at school anyway, they need to be independent.

If you want less parking at Southgate, complain to the school district about the size of the school student body and the fact that they are doing nothing to help kids get to school. If they can't even stop bike thefts on campus then they are doing absolutely nothing to help the situation.

Can't PAUSD advocate to the city about the shuttles serving the schools better? Can't PAUSD advocate to VTA to serve the high schools better?


15 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 10, 2016 at 1:08 pm

Take the $20,000,000 the city wants to spend on bike "education" and put it into school buses and you'll cut the much of gridlock and parking problems.


5 people like this
Posted by Lois
a resident of Midtown
on May 10, 2016 at 1:26 pm

I think Palo Alto residents are going to have to do what many Brits have done. Because it's now illegal to park on many of Britain's narrow residential streets; residents have simply paved over their front lawns and beautiful rose beds and created parking lots out of their front gardens. Maybe that's what we should do!!!!


4 people like this
Posted by biker mom
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 10, 2016 at 1:42 pm

I love riding my bike around town...and I think a lot of people do too..however if city council expects more people to bike into town they desperately need to fix the roads. They are a big fat mess. My chain popped off the other day as I went over a big bump on Park BLVD between Cal Ave and Peers.


13 people like this
Posted by What Roads
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 10, 2016 at 2:23 pm

@biker mom,
There's no money to fix the roads. It has to be spent on raises, benefits, retiree programs, new hires and bonuses. It also has to be spent it on art programs like determining the Color of Palo Alto (hint: beige).

Why can't you stop complaining about these pesky road problems and just understand that?!


5 people like this
Posted by Who are the real criminals?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 10, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Deborah- thanks for the Information about David schrom. What is also telling is that the PASZ faction on the council were quiet when people were being called thieves and criminals.
As for why gennady put it in the article, that is quite obvious-- to generate controversy and generate traffic on this forum.


6 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 10, 2016 at 4:11 pm

This problem is not specific to the locations noted. We are seeing an increase of parking in South Palo Alto for the employees of high volume work locations so that the "guests" can have parking for large events. We don't mind the occasional parking for the large events but the daily parking of employees who are told to park in the residential areas is an irritant, especially on street cleaner day. We pay for the street cleaner and need it due to the high amount of leaf residue in the street which will go down the drains at the end of the street. The resident pay for this service and need it during periods of the year when we have high leaf droppings.

All businesses clear the parking requirements for employees during the planning and approval stages for the facilities. The residents participate in the process of vetting the construction plans with an eye to overflow of employees parking. When employees start parking in the residential areas that is an indication that the facility is increasing it's business base beyond what was approved in the beginning.

Note that the Courtyard planned for San Antonio will have residents parking in the streets. Saw that in LA.


11 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on May 10, 2016 at 5:13 pm

Why not make the entire city one big RPPP with the same rules everywhere?


9 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 10, 2016 at 5:24 pm

Lois is onto something when she says "I think Palo Alto residents are going to have to do what many Brits have done. Because it's now illegal to park on many of Britain's narrow residential streets; residents have simply paved over their front lawns and beautiful rose beds and created parking lots out of their front gardens. Maybe that's what we should do!!!!"

I've been sarcastically saying something similar for years: We should pave over our yards and WE -- NOT the CITY -- should charge for parking. That way the residents can finally make some money off the destruction of our city.

Think of the money we'll save in taxes on programs and surveys re parking, water conservation, transit, etc.


6 people like this
Posted by Just don''t get it
a resident of Southgate
on May 10, 2016 at 5:25 pm

As a Southgate homeowner and former Paly student (plus 2 subsequent generations) I'm very familiar with Paly parking. There are no where near enough parking spaces on campus for staff and students....just big new buildings. I notice that several of the cars parked in front of my house have the Permit stickers for Crescent Park or Downtown affixed to their windshields or cars. Stanford owns the land that Paly is on.....why can't Paly add a parking garage under the playing fields like they have done at Stanford??? Would that be to logical?? One other thought.....todays students are to spoiled and lazy to ride bikes or take public transportation! They expect to be able to drive very fancy cars daily!!


6 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 10, 2016 at 5:35 pm

I thought the "theft" implication was directed at business owners and real estate developers, not the unfortunate employees stuck with the bad planning. Ok, just call it externalizing the costs. Now many residents want to externalize it right back.

Point of order which I'd like the mayor to answer: if audience clapping is forbidden, then why is the waving of big signs allowed? (See e.g. photo above.) Isn't that just as intimidating to differences of opinion?

Not to point fingers, but the Weekly's "full disclosure" did make me curious whether they have their own parking or have employee vehicles in front of residences all day. There was some quibbling over who would qualify for parking permits, just retail employees or service employees or low income employees, but not office workers.


4 people like this
Posted by American
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 10, 2016 at 6:17 pm

The elite left is obsessed with bike lanes in PA. Let all the Palo Alto liberals ride bikes! But no, bikes are for everyone else, and not for them. They will continue driving in their Teslas and BMW's.


4 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on May 10, 2016 at 7:49 pm

When an office deliberately doesn't provide enough parking that's "externalizing the costs" and passing them onto the neighborhood...so what is it when a homeowner uses a perfectly functional garage for storage, and chooses to park in the street?


5 people like this
Posted by Paly66
a resident of Downtown North
on May 10, 2016 at 8:46 pm

I am a Palo Alto homeowner and pay my fair share of taxes to support the city and the schools. I do not understand why I am only alotted one Free parking permit. I paid $50 for an additional permit for my daughter. What is the city planning on doing with the extra funds?
Why should homeowners be required to pay to park in his neighborhood? I think the City Council should revisit the Parking Program. The congestion is related to the companies and its employees, not residents of the city.


5 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 10, 2016 at 9:03 pm

@Robert, parking in front of your own residence is your pro rata share of the public resources. Unfortunately we have entered an overcrowded era of "use it or lose it." We see that with water conservation. The less you have used, the less you are allocated in the future.


1 person likes this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on May 10, 2016 at 9:38 pm

@musical

Despite what seems to be a common misbelief about ones own curb, your "share" of the public resource means you have the same claim to it as everyone else. People have spaces allotted to themselves already, usually in their garages or driveways.


4 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 10, 2016 at 11:02 pm

[Portion removed.] Guess what happens on trash pick-up day - people are required to put their trash cans in the street - not their garage. So the street is full of trash cans. So that is one day that parking by "other people" is not doable. And guess what - those "other people" have trash cans also at their homes which are on the street all day long because they are not there to put them away. That problem is universal no matter where you live.
And street cleaner day is marked in north PA but not south PA - that needs to change - we need signs throughout the city for street cleaner day.
Palo Alto is a city of trees which make a big mess - and that mess goes down the drain if the street is not cleaned up. The city tells us that is a giant no-no.
People on my street park on the street because if they park in the driveway the trees dump resin and seeds on the cars, as well as bird droppings. In my case blood from squirrel nests - what is happening up there? I ask the city to come out and clear the street tree branches in strategic places but they refuse to do it. I think a tree branch going over the street is going to break off on a car.
The bottom line is that each homeowner needs to manage their area for whatever conditions are there. The "other people" are not responsible for that - the homeowner is. And the business owner is responsible for providing parking for the employees instead of farming them out to the neighborhoods.
Side note for Gunn location - I was told that the homeowners requested and got signs that prohibit parking during certain hours of the day - that cuts down on the students who park off campus.


Like this comment
Posted by Debortah
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 11, 2016 at 12:17 pm

Samuel L. - I haven't been watching closely how many spots were eliminated. It didn't seem like a lot to me, but then again I don't ever drive to Paly and try to park there. Still not sympathetic with students who drive.

Mike - there is a long answer to your short question. Eric Filseth feels like you do, but he's the only one. Council spent an hour deliberating this point. In fact, deciding just that was one of the purposes of this meeting.

Good point about Grennady. Ha! Create controversy, it did.

For the record, I have a great deal of respect for David and for Magic. They are good neighbors and do good work. I disagree with them on annexation to the CT plan and they know that.


1 person likes this
Posted by Me
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 11, 2016 at 1:09 pm

Like I said in another thread, if you want to buy your right to take a public resource (the curb in your neighborhood), I fully support them buying it at the right price.

$400/car/month.


8 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 11, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Ever seen a barrier against cut-through traffic in Palo Alto? Yes, local residents do have the right to restrict a public resource that was meant for them, not for interlopers.


1 person likes this
Posted by SEA_SEELAM REDDY
a resident of College Terrace
on May 11, 2016 at 2:04 pm

SEA_SEELAM REDDY is a registered user.

Where will they (non-residents) park?

- Let's work with Stanford to have parking spaces on the farm; and city could bus the employees to various locations. Is it possible? Yes we do it on big game days for football games.

- Car share car share car share
- bike
- walk

respectfully


3 people like this
Posted by Jim H.
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 11, 2016 at 2:48 pm

@Me - No one is taking away the right to park on a public street. They're simply restricting how long someone can park. Cities all over the country do the same thing. There are no overnight parking signs, loading/unloading only, no parking, restricted parking by day of the week, etc...

If the city government wants to use their power to retain the quality of life for residents, they're allowed to do that. In the same way, the federal government does not allow us to park on I-5, which we pay for with our taxes, as well.


6 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 11, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Well, if we don't "own" the spots in front of our house, maybe the city can rescind the requirement that homeowners PAY for the maintenance of street trees at the curb, repairing cracked sidewalks between the curb and our yards and a few other types of repairs for which we're now "responsible".

Anyone else remember the $5,000 bills each homeowner got a years ago to pay for undergrounding utility wiring?


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Posted by Me
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 11, 2016 at 3:45 pm

"Yes, local residents do have the right to restrict a public resource that was meant for them, not for interlopers"

Interlopers that help pay taxes to fund your services, mind you. Like your fellow residents from different parts of Palo Alto that don't have access to a sticker for your neighborhood. Or office workers buying lunch downtown.


"No one is taking away the right to park on a public street. "

After the second hour, yes they are.

It's nice that some people want to turn Palo Alto into a gated community. If you want that, pay up for it. It was and still a mistake to have all Palo Alto residents pay for the benefit of a small group here -- and the ones who want it are probably paying Prop 13 taxes at low rates too.

If you want *more* - pay your fair share. At $400/car/month.

Let me guess - the people in favor of this are all part of the Boomer "Me" Generation?


4 people like this
Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 11, 2016 at 8:36 pm

Samuel L. is a registered user.

@Me - After 2 hours, they can still park on a public street, it just has to be a different one. Parking is restricted in front of homes on Embarcadero and many other streets in Palo Alto, 24/7. California Ave has no parking during school commute hours, Churchill and El Camino have no parking during Stanford Football games, and the list goes on for a variety of different reasons.

City needs to provide parking garages for those working, eating and shopping in business districts.

Non-residents don't have the same "investment" in the community where they park, and are, for the most part, not as respectful when they are here.

Not a Boomer...


Posted by Me
a resident of Old Palo Alto

on May 11, 2016 at 8:49 pm


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5 people like this
Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 11, 2016 at 9:04 pm

Samuel L. is a registered user.

@Me Take the train/bus/bike/scooter. Or, get to work earlier and park in a public garage/lot. Problem solved.


3 people like this
Posted by Sunshine
a resident of Barron Park
on May 11, 2016 at 10:01 pm

I object to all these permit parking areas and road diets. Both create more problems foralo Alto residents who live outside of the areas involved.
First, parking permits, when I shop I like to park in one space for the entire time I am downtown or at California Ave so that I can combine trips. With the new policy there is no way that I will be able to go to my hairdresser, check out other shops in the area, and have lunch without moving my car. I do not live close enough to not drive. Also my neighborhood is not served by busses.
Second, road diets are bad. They create more problems than they solve. Sure traffic moves more slowly its gridlocked. Sometimes it is possible to take an alternate route that cuts out part of the traffic engineer caused problem, but this is not always possible. Those who live in nearby streets should expect to see more traffic when the road diet is in place.
The narrowing of Arastradero (road diet called traffic calming) causes more problems than it can solve. It is now impossible to get from El Camino to the west side of town during the hours of commute.
We need to put a halt to all road diets and special neighborhood permit zones. The parking restrictions make it very difficult to shop in Palo Alto. However, that may be what you want. When people stop shopping in small local stores only the chain stores in the shopping centers will remain. Say goodbye to locally owned shops and restaurants.


3 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 12, 2016 at 1:46 am

Middlefield north of downtown is next for a well-earned diet.


23 people like this
Posted by Paly Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 12, 2016 at 9:55 am

Paly made a poor decision in allowing the new theater to be built, which erased 50 parking spots. They should have just renovated the Haymarket Theatre. When they have events there, people will overflow to T&C, which will affect businesses. The Embarcadero parking lot has such narrow pathways for driving through it. I love the trees surrounding the lot but Paly would be wise to plow them down to provide more parking, which would allow many more parking spots.

According to Paly, of the 2000 students, half of them ride their bikes. There are so many commuters now that riding a bike to Paly is not safe. Churchill is always backed up in the mornings from cars cutting through. It's no wonder students drive cars instead of riding their bikes. Biking is faster, but driving is safer.

Riding a bike to Gunn is even worse for safety.

It's time for PAUSD to consider buses for our children. They have buses for the EPA residents to commute to our schools but no buses for the Palo Alto students. I would even pay for the service. This would free up the streets of Southgate. The only city shuttle available is on Embarcadero Rd. and it's not even available immediately after Paly ends on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In the 1980s, I rode my bike all the way from Loma Verde to Paly but back then there was very little traffic - I could cross Oregon Expressway without a traffic signal. There's too much traffic now to safely ride around the city. I see commuters driving through blatant red lights on Oregon Expressway and Embarcadero Road every day, many times per day.


15 people like this
Posted by Stanford football parking lots could be used year round
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2016 at 10:07 am

The lots at the corner of embarcadero and El Camino could easily be turned into a permanent parking lot for Stanford employees, freeing up a lot of street spots used currently. The Stanford shuttle could pick up there, keeping cars off campus.Tf8


3 people like this
Posted by No sign of caring for Paly students
a resident of Downtown North
on May 12, 2016 at 10:15 am

I am sure the Southgaters are celebrating. They managed after much vigilance of our Paly students to get their permits. This is so hypocritical. The School Board and the City Council talk about helping our students decrease their stress. This has been a major issue the past several years. And taking parking spots away from them will increase their stress. So the way this looks - if advocating for less student stress harms no one else they are all for it. BUT if advocating for less student stress inconveniences residents well then they are against it. You cannot have it both ways. Next year if the students who need to drive for one reason or another cannot afford the parking permits at Paly, or cannot get one due to limits - they will be very stressed to find parking. And with a 2 hour limit in the closest neighborhood of Southgate of course they will not be able to park there, unless they leave their classes early. Our students have a lot on their minds- the neighbors could show more support, compassion and empathy to the future adults of Palo Alto and be welcoming not punitive as they are right now.


10 people like this
Posted by Paly Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 12, 2016 at 10:40 am

No sign of caring . . . It's not Southgate's responsibility, it's Paly's responsibility to offer parking to their students and staff.


5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2016 at 10:53 am

PAUSD is really the problem here. They won't listen that they are making the schools too big. It isn't just for students, but too big for many schools don't have enough offstreet parking for teachers, let alone visitors to school. If you have a meeting at school, the visitors spots are more than likely full. If you have taken time off work and have to return, of course you are more than likely to drive to school to have a meeting. There are no shuttles from Gunn to Caltrain stations to get staff to school. There are no shuttles to get south Palo Alto students to Paly.

If Cubberley were reopened as a high school, it would alleviate traffic to Gunn and Paly.

PAUSD must be made to see that they have to do something about the traffic problems they have created. They do not even have a traffic spokesman. If you ask Churchill or any of the schools about traffic issues, they can't answer questions about commutes other than safe routes to school for bikes.

If the VTA decides to stop the route 88 to Gunn, it will make things even more difficult, but asking PAUSD what they are doing to reach out to VTA is a non-issue.

I strongly suggest that the local residents of the high schools as well as other schools start lobbying PAUSD about the traffic mess they are creating. They are not listening to parents, they just might listen to neighbors.


10 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 12, 2016 at 11:56 am

Bring back the school buses.


1 person likes this
Posted by Me
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2016 at 12:26 pm

I'm too new to know - what happened in past? Did PAUSD ever have school buses?


4 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 12, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Yes they did but they were reportedly too expensive.

I'd really love to see a comparison with all the other money we spend on transportation "planning" and $20,000,000 in bike programs and parking studies and programs and near-empty city shuttles that don't go to the schools when needed.

Yes, the school budget and the city budget are separate but just perhaps they could have some "outreach" to each other rather than thinking that spending more money is the answer to everything.


1 person likes this
Posted by Palo Altan
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2016 at 1:28 pm

Online Name: When did they have school buses? They had none from 1973-1983 when I was in school. Was it before or after? There was no reason to have school buses because the city was safe and and there was no traffic. We all biked and skateboarded around town.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Southgate
on May 14, 2016 at 2:25 pm

I've been trapped by the high schoolers. The streets are narrow and hugging the driveways is just poor form.

I am a resident and I don't want permits but I work from home and often schedule medical and dental during school hours.

I don't want to call and have cars towed so I'd ask school administrators to fix things first.


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