RIDER'S LICENSE ... Many Palo Alto residents would surely be surprised to learn that when they ride their bikes through town, they are not only helping the City Council meet its traffic-reduction goals, they are also in many cases breaking the law. According to the city's zoning code, people are not allowed to ride a bicycle (defined as "any device which a person may ride, which is propelled by human power through a system of belts, chains, or gears and which has wheels at least 20 inches in diameter and a frame size of at least 14 inches) without a bike license. This requirement may be old news for Palo Alto's bike advocates and regular bike commuters (including thousands of schoolchildren), but it's not exactly common by most municipal standards. It's also, by and large, not enforced, according to city planners. Though the city issued 798 bike licenses in 2017 (for a fee of $3 each), planning staff had determined that the licensing requirement is a bit outdated and should be abolished. "With the current city goals to encourage and support more bike use, requiring bike licenses is considered a barrier to achieving this," the report states. The Planning and Transportation Commission agreed at its December meeting, when it unanimously recommended that the City Council scrap the bike-license requirement. The council will have a chance to do that on Monday night, when it considers approving a host of relatively minor zoning-code revisions, many of which pertain to removing redundancies, clarifying vague language and streamlining various approval processes.
NEW DEVELOPMENTS ... Palo Alto's busy development-services operation now has a void at the top. Peter Pirnejad, who joined the city in October 2012 and who was charged with taming the notoriously laborious "Palo Alto Process," last week began his new stint as assistant city manager for the city of Napa. The newly created position in Napa focuses on development services and was formed in response to the "unprecedented level of development activity," according to an announcement from the city. Napa City Manager Mike Parness said in a statement that Pirnejad will serve at an executive level to "ensure that processes and systems support the seamless completion of priority initiatives that are important to community vitality and advancement of City Council goals." Pirnejad said in a statement that he is "thrilled at the opportunity to join the Napa family and help the City Council and community reach their collective goals."
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