Community Notebook: 'Grand reopening' of downtown celebrates the end of construction

Palo Alto to acknowledge businesses, patrons affected by project launched last year

After a year of road closures and construction, Palo Alto plans to mark a "grand reopening" of its downtown with a Tuesday celebration.

The ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. in the heart of downtown at Lytton Plaza. Mayor Eric Filseth and City Manager Ed Shikada will partake in the celebration, which will also include music and refreshments.

Known as "Upgrade Downtown," the project began in the spring of 2018 and included the installation of traffic poles and directional signs, widened sidewalks, new space for bike parking and upgrade of gas pipes, water lines and fiber cables. The bulk of the construction was centered on University Avenue, according to Palo Alto Utilities Communications Manager Catherine Elvert, but some of the work also seeped into the adjacent streets.

The purpose of the celebration, Elvert said, is to acknowledge the businesses on University Avenue that were affected by construction as well as their patrons.

"We recognize that no construction project is ever convenient, so we wanted to show appreciation for the patience everyone has shown," Elvert said.

The event is scheduled from 3-5 p.m. at Lytton Plaza, at University Avenue and Emerson Street. For more information on the project, visit


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10 people like this
Posted by Not really welcome
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2019 at 6:58 pm

I hope Palantir will send a thank you note for the citizens of Palo Alto improving their office park for them. After seeing how retail was decimated on Cal Ave with the renovations, I just somehow can't get excited about this.

3 people like this
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2019 at 10:22 pm

when are the streets around downtown going to be repaved like Alma? try riding a bike around those streets and the potholes, cracks, etc. makes it a rough ride.

Like this comment
Posted by Doing It The Right Way
a resident of University South
on Jun 11, 2019 at 7:34 am

A parade and ribbon ceremony are in order.

University Avenue should also be closed off to accommodate the festivities and a temporary gazebo erected for speeches by our civic leaders.

6 people like this
Posted by Downfall
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 11, 2019 at 9:59 am

When are they going to hold a celebration for all driver's in PA that put up with all the ongoing construction projects in this city and cause traffic delays. On my regular commute to work I encounter 3 large construction projects that often cause roads to be reduced to single lane or have flagmen stopping traffic to allow trucks in/out of the site. These projects have all been going on for 1 year plus and none look near complete. It is irresponsible of the city that they permitted these projects to be running simultaneously and to have such an impact on traffic.

5 people like this
Posted by commonsense
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 11, 2019 at 11:39 am

Deal all previous commenters,
Are you really that miserable? If so, please move somewhere else. Thanks!

4 people like this
Posted by Tom from Midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2019 at 12:13 pm

Tom from Midtown is a registered user.

"You know, Mr. Mayor, we don't actually have that much in the way of refreshments. I don't know what we'll do if a large crowd shows up." " about we don't publicize it till late Monday afternoon, you know, when people will be watching the Warriors game?" "Great idea."

Sorry to rain on the parade, though in fact I think anyone out in the 95 degree heat wouldn't mind a little rain!

Anyway, I'm so glad to see the construction come to a close. I take folks' word that it was worth it.

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

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