Community Notebook: Embarcadero Road underpass to close overnight for eight nights

Public Works to clean up accumulated bird feces

Palo Alto police are advising drivers to build extra time into any nighttime travel that would take them on the Embarcadero Road underpass at Alma Street in Palo Alto. The road will be closed from Emerson Street to El Camino Real overnight for eight nights starting Monday, Nov. 28, for road maintenance and cleaning.

The road and pedestrian walkways will be closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. from Monday, Nov. 28, to Thursday, Dec. 1, and again on the nights of Dec. 5-8. Detours will be in place.

The closure will allow the city's Public Works Department to address a "dirty and unsightly problem" — accumulated bird feces from the hundreds of pigeons who live in the I-beams underneath the Caltrain stacks, according to a city press release.

"Due to the continual maintenance cleanup costs associated with this, the Public Works Department will be installing bird netting during the closure period to deter the birds from roosting in the structure," the release states.

The underpass must be closed so that crews can safely work in and around the roadway. Workers are "striving to keep the noise impact as minimal as possible," the city said.

Police advise those who typically use that route at night to allow extra time to detour down University Avenue or Churchill Avenue, or to take an alternate route.

Anyone with questions or concerns about the project can contact city project manager Todd Seeley at 650-496-5945 or at


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6 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 28, 2016 at 5:31 pm

What happens to the birds in the Embarcadero Underpass? Will they have to find somewhere else to live?

3 people like this
Posted by Nancy
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 28, 2016 at 6:07 pm

Will the taxpayers of Palo Alto have to pay to relocate the... birds?

2 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 29, 2016 at 4:07 pm

@John (Professorville) & @Nancy (Old Palo Alto):

By installing bird netting the City is basically telling the birds that they can't live *THERE*. It's not like the City of Palo Alto can tell the birds where they must go. They're wild animals.

And yes, the costs of the netting (installation, labor, maintenance) comes out of the city funds, so Palo Alto taxpayers are paying for this. It's a public works project, these things aren't free.

Like this comment
Posted by Cur Mudgeon
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 29, 2016 at 5:07 pm

I had a pet pigeon, a foundling, when I was a kid. I took it back the the bridge I found it under when it was grown. I know why they are referred to as winged rats, and what a mess they can make, despite its obvious fondness for hanging at our house and defecating under all its roosting places.

Like this comment
Posted by Noel
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 29, 2016 at 11:04 pm

take them all. don't come over to my soffit.

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

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