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Parking at Arastradero Park

Original post made by hiker, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 17, 2013

Today we pulled into Arastradero Park and had to wait in line for a parking spot. We were lucky, it took about five minutes, but after we parked there were five cars lined up to the street waiting for parking.

There is an overflow parking lot ready for use but it had a chain across it with a sign for event parking only. Why? All that needs to be done is remove that chain and allow for extra parking there.

A very spiffy nature station and good restrooms along with good sidewalks were put in not too long ago -- but no extra parking spaces even though it is desperately needed there. And the extra overflow dirt parking lot is chained off.

Anyone know why?

Comments (8)

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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2013 at 7:35 pm


Cars = evil
Bicycles = superior and entitled

It's the Palo Alto way!

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Posted by Marlen
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2013 at 3:20 pm

How dare other people take the spots which I am righteously entitled to!

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Posted by parent
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 18, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Did you try asking a park ranger about the dirt lot [portion removed]? I don't have any inside information, but I bet the dirt lot is in too poor condition for regular use and the city doesn't want to spend the money to fix it.

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Posted by hiken
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2013 at 6:27 pm

@Parent -- yes, you are probably right. I did look for a ranger but it's not staffed. I don't think, though, that is a good enough excuse for the city parks department to say they lacked funds and couldn't fix it because a lot of money was poured into fixing up the brand new learning center/restrooms/sidewalks/other upgrades there.

What good is it to have a beautiful park nearby but people avoid it on the weekends because parking is so tight there?

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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Nov 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm


You're right, nobody goes there anymore, its too crowded.

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Posted by parent
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm

This is a pretty small preserve with only a few trails. When the parking lot is full, the trails are full, too. My advice is to go somewhere else like nearby Windy Hill or Foothill Park.

Stanford has promised to build new trails to make it safer to walk or bike to Arastradero Preserve from campus, so that will eventually reduce parking lot problems.

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Posted by Midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm

We go there all the time to walk our greyhounds. Until last week they were using the overflow lot for storage of a large pile of rock/dirt. That disappeared last week. The overflow lot is crushed rock in good condition, no reason it could not be used.

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Posted by hiker
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm

@Parent -- When we were there Sunday, the parking lot was full with cars backed up waiting for a space, but the trails were empty! I agree with Midtown that the overflow lot could easily be made ready for use for weekend parking.

Many of the people who use that parking lot are cyclists and they are not on the trails.

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