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City eyes overhaul of residential parking districts

Original post made on May 10, 2019

Despite the heavy demand, Palo Alto's residential parking programs have frustrated city workers, local employees and neighborhood residents. Now, a movement is afoot to change all that.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 10, 2019, 6:44 AM

Comments (9)

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 10, 2019 at 8:33 am

The complexity of parking permits for neighborhoods and also for permits in garages is overly complex as well as strict. When a car needs maintenance, a carpool is arranged, or someone only uses a car two or three times a week, the permit is not helpful.

Revamping our parking procedures is necessary and we are not using any technology. We have been promised electronic signs, still haven't appeared. We have had talk of parking meters, still not decided, and talk of paying and finding parking by phone. There are apps whereby residents can sell their empty driveways to all day parkers!

On top of this, it is interesting to note that San Francisco streets had lower levels of traffic on the day Uber and Lyft were striking. This should tell us something.

Posted by do the right thing
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 10, 2019 at 2:12 pm

"In the Crescent Park program, for example, each household can get two permits. In Southgate it's three, and in Evergreen Park it's four."

This should just be changed. Don't wait. Make them all 3 and be done with it.
It's ridiculous to have something as fundamental as the number of permits differ between programs. There's absolutely no reason for that difference.

Posted by Multiple Cars
a resident of Ventura
on May 10, 2019 at 8:15 pm

No big deal. I have five cars (mostly clunkers) and keep two in the driveway, two on the street and one on my front lawn. I don't care what the neighbors or real estate agent think.

They're my cars and it's my property. When one breaks down, I simply drive one that runs or has gas in it.

Posted by Needs Revamping
a resident of College Terrace
on May 12, 2019 at 2:02 pm

The standards are ridiculous. The city requires a certain percentage of residents on the streets of College Terrace to sign and agree to permitted parking before it's instituted. So College Terrace streets that didn't have that buy in of residents (i.e. homes that have rentals), the residents have to suffer with commuters coming in and parking on their neighborhood streets.

Those streets have Stanford students and commuters coming to park their cars long term, or even using it to permanently park for indefinite periods of time in certain College Terrace streets.

The city may not be able to make it all uniform policy between neighborhoods, but the city also doesn't even a uniform policy between STREETS within the same neighborhood. The system set up is archaic. They need to CHANGE this.

ALL College Terrace streets need to be permitted to prevent long term commuters and long term parking from our crowding specific College Terrace streets.

Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on May 13, 2019 at 10:28 am

Nayeli is a registered user.

Why doesn't the city restrict downtown parking to meters UNLESS individuals have "city resident" stickers on their windshields.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on May 13, 2019 at 10:39 am

Re: "In the Crescent Park program, for example, each household can get two permits. In Southgate it's three, and in Evergreen Park it's four."

"This should just be changed. Don't wait. Make them all 3 and be done with it.
It's ridiculous to have something as fundamental as the number of permits differ between programs. There's absolutely no reason for that difference."

** You forgot College Terrace. **
The way the city figures out which streets in College Terrace neighborhood require permits, while other streets are a free for all is random. Who made this archaic set of rules? Why have they not all be changed to be uniform and similar in all the streets of Palo Alto?

The reality is in College Terrace, you get:

1. Stanford students parking long term everywhere they can find free parking.

2. CalTrain commuters parking in College Terrace where there is free parking.

3. Long term parkers who don't have parking spots (thanks to the limited number of parking in new developments being created near College Terrace) so people actually STORE their cars ON COLLEGE TERRACE streets and bike in or uber in.

4. California Ave business customers come into College Terrace and park for extended periods of time (especially the free parking with no limit streets)

College Terrace is the worst of all the city streets yet Palo Alto city hall treats College Terrace residents the poorest.

Posted by Judith Wasserman
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 13, 2019 at 11:07 am

Judith Wasserman is a registered user.

It's time Palo Alto started charging for parking, at least downtown. Of course people will complain, but they are already complaining they can't find a space. There's always something to complain about, so let's ignore that and go on to create useful policy that will help diminish some of the traffic.

Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on May 13, 2019 at 11:58 am

Annette is a registered user.

The phrase "only in Palo Alto" is filtering through my mind. How can something as simple as this become such a complex problem that it impacts departmental staffing? For pity's sake, we are talking about parking permits. If this confounds the folks downtown, grade separation must look to them like the Mt. Everest of problems.

Maybe the City Manager should assign someone the task of reading Palo Alto Online every day and recording every reasonable suggestion that is made about the various problems that haunt this city. There are some crazy things that get written, but there are often smart suggestions that come from the people who live daily with the consequences of what is decided at 250 Hamilton.

Posted by Michael H
a resident of Professorville
on May 13, 2019 at 12:09 pm

Michael H is a registered user.

One unfortunate element of the current program that begs modification was overlooked in the list of the consultant's recommendations: Several of the blocks immediately adjacent to the Downtown area are generally fully parked Monday-Friday. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that non-resident permits in those zones have been routinely oversold since the RPP program rolled out.

While it's certainly understandable that all non-resident workers want to park in zones immediately adjacent to their place of employment, the simple fact is that cannot be an option for everyone who works in the downtown core.

One solution to this problem that has been suggested but so far ignored is to divide each of the current zones into sub-sections (e.g. A, B C, etc.) so that the non-resident parkers can be distributed more equitably in residential areas.

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