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California Avenue and Castro Street Design and Use

Original post made by Joe Kott, another community, on Nov 6, 2007

Dear Town Square Readers,

I am conducting research for a doctoral dissertation on the topic of urban street design and the use of streets through the Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy at Murdoch University(Web Link) in Perth, Western Australia under the supervision of Professor Jeff Kenworthy. My study includes evaluation and comparison of five to six block segments on each of six Bay Area streets: Castro Street in Mountain View, California Avenue in Palo Alto, San Carlos Avenue in San Carlos, The Alameda in San Jose, King Street in San Francisco, and Lombard Street in San Francisco. The section of California Avenue I am studying is the commercial area from El Camino Real to Park (near Caltrain) and the section of Castro Street in my study is from W. Evelyn (near Caltrain) to Church in downtown Mountain View

I have collected considerable field data, but will also be collecting information from those who use California Ave. or Castro St. on a daily basis. I have drafted California Avenue Street Users Survey and a Castro Street Users Survey through the Surveymonkey web site. The surveys can be viewed, filled in and sent back by clicking the following urls:

For California Avenue:
Web Link

For Castro Street:

Web Link

In case either or both urls truncate in this post, please e-mail me at the following address and I will send you the full Surveymonkey link(s) for the street or streets in which you indicate an interest:

Many thanks in advance for your assistance.

Best regards,

Joe Kott

Comments (5)

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Posted by ceo
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2007 at 8:35 am

We deliberately chose the location of our small high tech company office to be close to Castro Street. We are two blocks away from Castro Street and two blocks away from the Caltrain and San Jose light rail stations. This makes it very easy for us for many reasons. Some of our employees (we have 20) are able to use public transport to get to work and do not need to drive. Some of our customers are able to get to our meetings in our office without having to drive. Since we often have overseas customers staying in local hotels, this makes it easy for them to get a shuttle from their hotel to the local station and then of course they can walk to our office. Lastly, it is very easy for us to take customers on to lunch as we can walk to a choice of many restaurants. We can wine and dine them then bring them back to our office for more dealing so that they do not have to drive straight after a boozy lunch. Also, when interviewing candidates, etc. it is always good to be able to take them out to lunch without it being a big stretch.

Everyone wins.

Hope that this is the sort of information you need.

Like this comment
Posted by Jerry
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 6, 2007 at 10:56 am

Mt. View takes a tough stand on street bums. Palo Alto does not. Castro St. does not have a big problem. University Ave. does, and it is highly aggravated by the new Opportunity Center (big magnet effect). California Ave. has, in recent years, been relatively (to University) less burdened, but now it is picking up as the bums spread out from Downtown. San Francisco decided to get tough, so Palo Alto is getting them, too. Palo Alto needs to get tough, otherwise, our business districts will suffer, while other cities get our business.

Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2007 at 2:51 pm

Thanks, CEO, for your thoughtful post about Castro Street. I hope that you might find the time to participate in the Castro Street Users focus group session when it is arranged.

Like this comment
Posted by eric
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 9, 2007 at 11:17 am

What Castro Street lacks in volume (there are clearly many more dining options in downtown PA), it makes up for in atmosphere and amenities. Useful public spaces are very high on the list-- the plaza in front of city hall and the adjacent park buzz with life all summer! Connecting City Hall, the arts Center and the library with a very user-friendly park/plaza was genius. I wish that the rest of the Castro renovation that happened at the same time was as well implemented (the outdoor dining carve-outs could be better, but its something), but overall, what a success!

Like this comment
Posted by Joe Kott
a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2007 at 2:28 pm

Great post, Eric - many thanks! Hope that you were able to take the time to fill out the online Castro Street users Survey.

Best regards,


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

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