Palo Alto to start collecting data on downtown parking

Counts will be performed in city's six public garages, 12 surface parking lots

In an effort to identify where people are parking and how Palo Alto's exiting parking supply is being used, the city has contracted a consultant team headed by Dixon Resources to conduct extensive data collection in downtown Palo Alto Thursday and on Saturday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Parking counts will be performed in the city's six public garages and 12 surface parking lots, according to the city. Dixon Resources will conduct the counts using the smartphone app, OccuApp, which captures license plate numbers and locations of cars parked within the study area. Information on individual license plates will not be stored in the system, according to the city, but rather "aggregated to have a better understanding of where people are parking and for how long."

The data collection effort will guide city officials on recommendations for the most efficient use of parking in downtown, including time restrictions, evaluating if paid parking is needed and the allocation of permit and public parking spaces.

Parking data collection will be captured again in September and October, according to the city. Because of the study's proposed scope and size of the study area, the survey will rely on "a sampling methodology to select a set of block faces and off-street facilities that are representative of downtown," according to the city.

A stakeholder group of residents, large and small businesses and property owners will serve as an advisory committee on the direction of the study. The group will also evaluate draft recommendations based on the data collected. Dixon Resources will also conduct a number of focus groups to solicit feedback. A recommendation is expected to return to the City Council by the end of the year or the beginning of 2017, according to the city.


Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

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


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 19, 2016 at 1:13 pm

Lots of questions here.

Are they looking at free parking v permit parking? Are they looking at all day occasional parking? Are they looking to see if the owners are workers, shoppers, visitors, diners, movie goers, volunteers, regular parkers or occasional parkers? Are they going to be looking at lunchtime parking or mid morning parking, or mid afternoon parking, or evening parking, or weekend parking, or what?

If my car happens to be parked on one of these days and my license number put into their system will they ever know why I was there? How long? How often? Did I find it easy to find a spot? How close I was to my destination? Was this a singular outing or was I multi destination parking for several errands?

Hmmm. No, I thought not.

I think this is a great beginning, but will it really let anyone know anything other than how many cars were parked in Palo Alto on any given day? This will only be a one time sampling albeit done at 3 different times. I wonder.

2 people like this
Posted by Marie
a resident of Midtown
on May 21, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Marie is a registered user.

I think you mean "existing"

In an effort to identify where people are parking and how Palo Alto's "exiting" parking

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

Be the first to know

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

Beer and brats: Ludwig's German Table coming to Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 4 comments | 3,039 views

The Other Greenhouse Gas
By Sherry Listgarten | 8 comments | 1,658 views

Who Pays for Palo Alto Schools
By Steve Levy | 25 comments | 1,464 views

Couples: Mirror, Mirror on the . . . Fight?!
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,348 views

Know Before You Buy: Understanding Senior Living Facility Agreements
By Max Greenberg | 0 comments | 835 views


Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

Contest Details