The report, developed by transportation consultant Wayne Tanda, recommends 35 actions for the council, city staff and the broader community to revamp the city's existing system of Residential Preferential Parking (RPP) programs, which create parking restrictions on neighborhood streets for cars without permits. The report also recommends moving ahead with a new parking program in a section of Old Palo Alto, near the California Avenue Caltrain station.
The report's recommendations include creating a comprehensive parking management system to consolidate the five existing RPP programs; adding staffing to the city's overburdened parking operation and adopting "parking availability standards" to help gauge the success of each program. Tanda also recommended creating a new website for all parking programs and raising permit prices for employees so that they would have an incentive to park in garages rather than on neighborhood streets.
The council unanimously accepted the report and directed staff to develop a work plan to implement Tanda's recommendations, which they hope will make the programs more user-friendly and easier to administer.
— Gennady Sheyner
Caltrain's proposed four-track station could disrupt rail redesign
For years, Palo Alto leaders have insisted that the city must come up with a plan to separate the railroad tracks from crossing streets to accommodate an expected surge in Caltrain riders.
But as Caltrain moves closer to adopting its own growth plan, the agency is considering two concepts that could require the construction of four tracks over a large section of Palo Alto — a project that could significantly disrupt local plans for what's known as "grade separation."
Caltrain's business plan, which aims to guide the rail system's evolution between now and 2040, projects a significant spike in ridership, fueled by the agency's pending electrification project (which will boost the number of trains) and its planned expansion to downtown San Francisco. The two projects are predicted to boost the ridership numbers from the current level of 62,000 daily riders, to 161,000 in the "baseline" scenario, 185,000 in the "moderate-growth" scenario and to 207,000 in the "high growth" scenario.
While the baseline scenario wouldn't require any major infrastructure upgrades in the Palo Alto area (aside from Caltrain's pending electrification project), the other two scenarios would each require additional tracks to be built either in Palo Alto or elsewhere in northern Santa Clara County, Caltrain's senior policy adviser Sebastian Petty told the City Council on Monday during a study session on the business plan.
— Gennady Sheyner
Palo Alto teachers, senior managers to get 2% raise
The Palo Alto school board unanimously approved 2% raises for its teachers union and senior managers on Tuesday night.
The three-year labor agreement with the Palo Alto Educators Association provides an ongoing 2% raise — though compensation will be renegotiated each year — and a 2% one-time bonus this year. This year's raise, effective retroactive to Jan. 7, 2019, will cost the district $1.2 million and $2.4 million in each of the following years. The off-schedule 2% bonus is based on employees' salaries after the raise is applied and will cost the district $2.4 million.
The new agreement replaces the expired collective bargaining agreement, which was thought to be the district's first-ever multiyear union contract and heralded at the time as a successful change for Palo Alto Unified and its bargaining units. Then, senior leadership's failure to formally notify the teachers and employee unions that the district planned to exercise its option to reopen negotiations, as required by the contracts, with the intent of canceling a 3% raise in the face of budget cuts, cost the district $4.4 million in unbudgeted raises.
By also approving a revised memorandum of understanding with the Palo Alto Management Association (PAMA) on Tuesday, the board has now tied salary increases for senior administrators to those negotiated with the teachers union for the next five years. (The memorandum does not apply to members of the district's executive cabinet: the superintendent, assistant superintendent, deputy superintendent and chief business officer.)
— Elena Kadvany
This story contains 681 words.
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