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Residents frustrated by repeated traffic violations in north Palo Alto

Original post made on Jul 4, 2017

Residents of the Downtown North and Crescent Park neighborhoods in Palo Alto are calling on the city to better enforce 24/7 no-left-turn restrictions that went into effect in June.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, July 4, 2017, 8:35 AM

Comments (64)

73 people like this
Posted by Cynthia
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 4, 2017 at 9:18 am

I am a resident of Downtown North and I hate the new barriers, and the no left turn signs that preceded them. It makes it so much harder for us to come and go from our own neighborhood. What makes the squeaky wheel residents who asked for these barriers think it's only "commuters"? Guess what--residents also commute! We also have to drop kids off to sporting events, playdates, do errands and so on. And doing so requires coming in and out of our own homes and neighborhood. So why would we want to block up all entrances and exits? I think the squeaky wheel neighbors must not have jobs or kids at home anymore? (And they probably pay a tiny fraction of the property tax that young families like mine pay--nonwomder we can't keep the police dept fully staffed.) They're making life miserable for the rest of us.


34 people like this
Posted by Get Real
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 4, 2017 at 9:43 am

So we have the resources to ticket the RV parkers on El Camino, but not to ticket dangerous drivers over here? This is a great threat to public safety with the potential for moving vehicle accidents. Seems like we are picking on poor people at the margins while letting everyone else just flout the law.


39 people like this
Posted by member
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 4, 2017 at 10:03 am

Why can't traffic enforcement simply monitor speeding on Middlefield, and ticket violators? If the limit is 25, why is it not enforced? God, I hope that the attempt to increase the speed limit to 35 will never be successful, because guess what. People will go 45 and faster (as some drivers already do).
PAPD, give us our traffic cops back!!


23 people like this
Posted by R. Winslow
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 4, 2017 at 10:15 am

In such a high-tech community as Palo Alto, couldn't the city simply install some camera/monitors at the intersection? Violators would then be cited via mail based on the recorded pics. Geeze, you don't need a specialized traffic police corps to physically monitor and disperse tickets. The police should be contacted only in the event of an emergency (i.e. an accident).

C'mon PA. For every step forward, the city takes two back.


22 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on Jul 4, 2017 at 10:23 am

"For now, anywhere in town, there isn't a single traffic complaint that we receive that we don't do something about."

This is a joke, right?

When I "complained" about the T-bone accidents at Forest and Middlefield the response I got was, "Tough luck."

Is that, "Do[ing] something?"


13 people like this
Posted by Everett Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 4, 2017 at 10:30 am

I'm in support of any measures to prevent drivers using Everett and Hawthorne Avenues as through roads. There's a constant stream of cars driving through Everett Ave to avoid the traffic lights on Lytton. Often these drivers are impatient and dangerously maneuver around my car when I'm trying to parallel park in front of my house.


39 people like this
Posted by Abitarian
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 4, 2017 at 10:36 am

Something is seriously wrong when one of the wealthiest cities, in the midst of a booming economy, can't manage to acquire the tools and staff for traffic enforcement.

Surely, ensuring some level of safety is among the most basic government responsibilities.


53 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 4, 2017 at 11:02 am

Self-entitled car drivers are a bigger safety hazard in this city than burglars. If the police don't have enough staff to catch both, then shame on the city government for mismanaging the city budget. I would rather have safer streets than a fancy new golf course or library or school auditoriums.


14 people like this
Posted by oh, the irony
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 4, 2017 at 11:08 am

The drivers ignoring the bans are downtown north residents not commuters. It's certainly ironic that people the change most inconvenience are the residents the changes were supposed to alleviate.


Like this comment
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 4, 2017 at 11:18 am

#resist


40 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 4, 2017 at 11:42 am

Something is seriously wrong when one of the wealthiest cities thinks adding more and more commuters and high-density housing to already gridlocked roads and then putting us on traffic "diets" is going to do anything but create more gridlock, roadrage, accidents. cut-through traffic and bring already jammed roads to a total halt.

Adding more police and a new police spokesman to claim they react to every complaint is expensive AND laughable when people have complained in writing, via phone, here and on Next Door for 2 years about regularly occurring problems during rush hours and school hours at the very same locations. (Insert Jordan Bike Lane rant as a recurrent police report M/F)


18 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 4, 2017 at 11:58 am

As many have said, the traffic isn't going away it is just going elsewhere.

I have found that simple errands take twice as long as they used to and I am one of those people who walk a lot but do use my car for errands which I try to do several at the same time or else on my way back from somewhere else.

I would use the shuttle but it doesn't help if you have a long wait for the return trip and yes these shuttles do get full of students on school days and often pass full.

However, the biggest trend which I read about in San Francisco and similar places are Uber and Lyft drivers circling the area until they get their next ride. If they can find street parking they might sit and wait for a while, but they are more likely to circle downtown areas in the hopes that someone nearby will want to use them and they need to be able to get to the pick up point asap.

I wish some of these Uber and Lyft drivers would comment on this type of behavior. I have nothing against what they are doing (my family do use them) but unless we see exactly what their practices are and why they behave like that, then we can't discount them from the traffic gridlocks.


16 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 4, 2017 at 12:05 pm

SF’s traffic planners weren’t expecting rise of Uber, Lyft (Yesterday's SF Chronicle)

Web Link

"Hard to believe, but San Francisco’s transit wonks were caught completely off guard by the ride-hailing revolution that now floods the city with thousands of cars daily.....

In fact, Uber and Lyft now carry 283,000 people per workday in San Francisco and make up 9 percent of all vehicle trips in the city, according to a recent survey by the city Transportation Authority."


32 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 4, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Too many jobs here. It's that simple.


8 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 4, 2017 at 12:51 pm

"I hope that the attempt to increase the speed limit to 35 will never be successful, because guess what. People will go 45 and faster ..."

I would bet the traffic speed would not change even if all speed limit signs were removed. Few drivers read them, and those who do get tailgated by those who don't.


9 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 4, 2017 at 12:57 pm

Aww. Poor Palo Altans


6 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 4, 2017 at 12:58 pm

There must be some grant money involved in raising the speed limits if X% violate those limits. Fairly recently Mr. Mello proposed raising the Middlefield speed limits to 35 on a BLOCK-BY-Block basis. As if Middlefield wasn't bad enough.

I think sanity prevailed and the idea was killed for Middlefield but not for Embarcadero.


24 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 4, 2017 at 1:55 pm

If we have a new law, and most people violate it, and there are no consequences, then maybe it shouldn't have been a law in the first place?

We can't blindly trust the city staff to always make the right decisions.

Just get rid of the sign. It was clearly a mistake.

Traffic flows like water, the more rivulets and ways for cars to split off the better.

Why would you want Lytton and University to get more congested.

And there it is! They WANT car drivers, especially "single-occupant vehicles" to suffer so much to the point that driving is simply not viable anymore. So congestion is a good thing to them. Their dream is that people will WILLINGLY give up driving. The government here, locally and regionally is driven by ideology over pragmatism.

Its painful when I read about gas prices being at a 12-year record low... we never see any of that! We still pay more than $3 a gallon! Just because California wants to punish us for driving. Unbelievable!

The rationale behind these decisions is NOT safety. Its climate change alarmism and the asinine & futile War on Cars.


28 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 4, 2017 at 7:51 pm

The Palo Alto City Council brought this on. Overbuild', create traffic beyond the infrastructures capacity to carry, add barriers to further restrict traffic in the pipe dream that anyone, much less everyone, will take public transportation out of frustration.

What you get is a population att war with the city. Running red lights, illegal turns, simply driving over the barrier dots. Did that once by accident. It's not a big deal. Then assign our limited police force to catch people who idle their cars for more than three minutes so we can placate the Sierra Club.

It is crazy!


14 people like this
Posted by Joey
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 5, 2017 at 9:11 am

Shame, I didn't pay Millions for my home to see dozens of cars gridlocked outside in my street in traffic?!? Can we find another soloution like Los Altos, such as "No Tru Traffic" and place them all across the city? And if that doesn't work, build tunnels!


21 people like this
Posted by new mom K
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 5, 2017 at 9:22 am

As a new mom who has been taking many walks these past few months on maternity, I am feeling relieved with these new restrictions. Sometimes I wonder if the cars who zoom past on Hawthorne were even planning on stopping at any given stop sign (or if I weren't there trying to cross, they would just speed through). That's incredibly dangerous, especially on the 2 way stops. Anything to reduce the cut through traffic. It bothered me so much that there would be a blatent line of 6+ cars during the no turn hours, and no one seemed to care or feel like they needed to follow directions. I'm so happy these barriers are up because the signs weren't working. I am already seeing lower traffic on Hawthorne and feel just a tiny bit safer walking my baby around now. (and yes, it takes a few extra minutes to find a way to turn left on Middlefield, but I'm ok with that if it means safer streets).


23 people like this
Posted by kya
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 5, 2017 at 10:40 am

I agree with 2 comments made above. We didn't pay millions to live in Palo Alto to have cars idling in front of our house for a few minutes waiting to get across a traffic light!! R--1 streets/neighborhoods should not be subjected to the kind of traffic Palo Alto now finds itself immersed in because City Planners/City Councils could not manage basic development/over- growth effectively. I am also concerned about all the car pollution spewing out for idling cars waiting to get across an intersection. BTW, Castilleja Expansion will only provide another example of what Downtown North is now experiencing.
Another comment spoke about safety being the cornerstone for any community. So we pay for security guards at school crossings, but dont have the money to pay for $$$ traffic enforcement. Check out the LEFT TURN ONLY sign at Churchill/Alma when school is in session. There are hundreds of bikes crossing the intersection with approx. 30%of cars going straight, in violation of traffic sign. . It is an accident waiting to happen, or has already happened. The Churchill/RR crossing is a mess!! Recent car near fatalities are common there. When will the City actually live up to providing safety for its citizens whether they are bike riding, walking or driving in their cars?


22 people like this
Posted by CYA
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 5, 2017 at 11:02 am

I agree with the 3 comments above. I didn't pay a fortune for my house to have constant backups in front of my house, to have to pay $$$$$$$$ to repair AND replace our PARKED carS (plural) smashed by distracted drivers, to have overflow parkers coming so close to the drivewaywe can't safely back out at angle and instead have to back straight out into gridlock and hope someone yields, to have our unresponsive city take forever to fix traffic light timing, to INTENTIONALLY cause dangerous backups with their stupid bollards, to have friends have to drop me off 3 blocks from home so they can cut-through other streets because the traffic is too backed up to drop me off at home, to even consider giving Casti its own LEXUS lane off Embarcadero ...

To echo CYA's point about traffic fatalities -- it's shameful that he city willfully and consistently ignores complaints and refuses to correct THEIR decisions that get drivers stuck in the middle of major expressways. If someone gets killed on Oregon, I hope the survivors get huge settlements for civil and criminal suits.


13 people like this
Posted by DTN Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 5, 2017 at 5:12 pm

DTN Paul is a registered user.

I heartily concur with Cynthia. As a resident of downtown north, these barriers and rules make getting into and out of our neighborhood even harder than it already was. And for what? Has the safety or traffic situation gotten any better?


14 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 5, 2017 at 6:14 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

When I was younger and driving my sports car, I would see a cop behind every speed limit sign and I learned very quickly that Palo Alto WAS NOT A PLACE TO BREAK SPEED LIMITS IN. Now you have a top cop who gives excuses instead of actually go out and ticket violators. That means that Top Cop should be replaced NOW. His behavior has poisoned any communication between residents HE IS SUPPOSED TO SERVE! It's time to find someone up to the job of enforcing ALL traffic laws. I can think of many different ways BI can sell solutions, not just ankle bracelets, to the police. ( BTDTGTTS ). Denver Boots for violators. UV paintball markers to tag violators. " I didn't do that! Yes you did, I marked your car when you violated the law " gets you the ticket. BI thinks outside the box for enforcement agencies around the world.
Even citizens can help enforce the law. While the cars are not moving, just have a tire valve core remover on a tubeless tire core and spin out the valve core and lay it and the valve cap beside the tire, you won't want to get arrested for theft by your lazy police force...gridlock is the perfect time to do this. That also works well for people who constantly park in signed HANDICAPPED PARKING spots, like they did at the Cubbberley REACH Program. No, the cops didn't do a thing about it, which is opne of the reasons the REACH Program moved.


6 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 5, 2017 at 11:18 pm

Sounds tough like your name punnisher, LOL, but I think what really happens when traffic enforcement crack-downs are called for is that police go out and just try to get their "quota" ... either official quota or implied quota out of the way and what ends up happening is that people get ticketed for tickets that are easy to give out rather than any targeting of tickets to bad drivers.

Of all the tickets I have ever gotten in my life probably 85% of them were technically deserved, but to me unwarranted because I was not acting a danger to anyone ... and mostly I was just doing what everyone around me was doing, but I got ticketed for it as some kind of example. I guess 15% were because the officers were either mistaken in some way or just did not like my looks. It is hard to target people in real time who are a real danger to the public because the police rarely see them - but we all do.

When police ticket more blindly, you see people with less expensive cars getting tickets and fix-it tickets, and people who may run stop signs in places where and when there is no real danger getting tickets rather than actual people driving dangerously getting cited.

This has always been a pet peeve of mine about traffic tickets. I's like to think I am a perfect driver, but truthfully I am probably slightly better than average. I have not had any kind of ticket over 10 years, but I have no doubt that if the police were mandated to give out more tickets I could well be in that group ... and for doing nothing but perhaps going over the speed limit by a few MPH's on Alma or Middlefield. This doesn't accomplish anything, except a nice income boost for insurance companies.

There must be someplace on Earth that has analyzed and solved this problem of traffic violations and how to maximize the effect traffic regulation. I suggest we do some research, because just giving people that some police personally want to give tickets too without any coherence behind it never seems to help anything.

The only solution I can think of is either self-driving cars or ubiquitous cameras, and even then people are going to disagree on what is dangerous driving, and then there is the question or intent or mistake?


28 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto native
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 6, 2017 at 10:55 am

There are traffic violations all over Palo Alto experienced by all residents. Address and enforce the red light runners at the intersection of Charleston/El Camino/Arastradero; speeding on W Meadow Dr; stop sign runners at Wilkie Wy/W Meadow Dr; driving Alma St like a freeway. Enough is enough.


17 people like this
Posted by EPAMom
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 6, 2017 at 11:31 am

From reading the comments, it sounds as if people feel that the price they paid for their home includes the right not to be inconvenienced by others. Perhaps the traffic should move to a lower-priced area. I imagine if there were a way to ensure that, it would have been proposed.

en·ti·tled
inˈtīdld,enˈtīdld/
adjective

believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
"his pompous, entitled attitude"


19 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 6, 2017 at 11:40 am

@EPA Mom, whatever people paid for their homes, they/we have a right to expect that situations aren't made worse by ridiculous and costly policies that keep pushing growth at all costs. You're entirely right that the traffic will have to overflow somewhere and it's overflowing all over the place.

So in this case, entitlement has little to do with our frustration.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Midtown

on Jul 6, 2017 at 1:21 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


1 person likes this
Posted by Perfection is elusive.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2017 at 4:47 pm

The increase in traffic congestion has to do with the increase in automobile traffic. We are driving more. This really is about us and the transportation choices we collectively make. It is also related to a much improved economy. People who want to work are working. This is a good thing--much better than many other cities in our nation. Where my brother lives, they are crying for good jobs.

Let's count our blessings. I can bike from Palo Alto's north to south borders without breaking a sweat in a half hour--and I'm a slow, old fart. It's just not that hard. Try it. You'll see.

If you expect perfection in this life, you are doomed to be disappointed and unhappy always.


5 people like this
Posted by trump is right!
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 6, 2017 at 8:31 pm

well sort of. Build a wall around Palo Alto. No vehicles allowed expect Palo Alto residents. provide bikes and scooters at the border. Problem solved


22 people like this
Posted by The Greatest Commuters
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 6, 2017 at 9:06 pm

@Perfection, "we" are not driving more. There's a 4:1 ratio of commuters to residents so "they" are driving more while "we" get lectured to get out of "our" cars to make it easier for "them" and "we're" told to pay for "their" commuting expenses!

Taking a page from Trump Is Right, maybe we should make 'them" pay for the wall instead of us.


18 people like this
Posted by taffictangle
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 6, 2017 at 11:31 pm

The present traffic arrangement is absurd. Palo Alto has a network of streets that communicate between Alma and Middlefield, and at this point all but Lytton are blocked. I live on Byron Street and in order for me go north on Middlefield I have to turn right onto Middlefield from Hawthorne, left onto Everrett, U-turn, then right back onto Middlefield. It's silly. The alternative is to follow Byron to Lytton, wait who-knows-how-long to make a left, then wait again at the Middlefield light for the left turn. Byron to Lytton is a terrible intersection: narrow and congested. Who dreamed up this crackpot scheme? I'd love to meet them - look them in the eye to check if they're some kind of prankster amusing themselves at our expense.


7 people like this
Posted by @taffictangle
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 7, 2017 at 7:07 am

Homer and Channing are not blocked.


8 people like this
Posted by hawthorne resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 7, 2017 at 8:23 am

If the original no left turn sign was legally followed (out of our neighborhood on Hawthorne) between 4 - 7 commute times, the City would not have had to make such a drastic change. Yes, i am inconvenienced to go to Lytton now and it does add time of seconds. Please try to support your neighbors and this community as it makes our streets safer and lives more peaceful. It does improve the air quality and the ability to cross our streets, walk our dogs and yes, i do drive have a teenager and run my own business and have a busy life. I support the overall neighborhoods in palo alto to create a safer neighborhood for everyone involved. This generation is so focused on themselves, and not connected to people i really worry about the future of relationships and conflict resolutions.

We need a big picture resolution to help with the thousands of cars that pass through our neighborhood on hawthorne and everett on a daily basis. You folks who are upset do not live on this street. Come by anytime to see how many cars that are not residential drive through and blast through our stop signs.


12 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2017 at 8:58 am

I am not familiar with this part of town particularly at high commute times.

However, I think the biggest problem is that we have no efficient way to get around town. We have bottle necks and consequently gridlocks at what should be arteries that should be keeping traffic flow efficient. So many arteries have traffic calming, such as Charleston/Arastradero, Alma/Sandhill, to name but two, that it is apparent traffic will look for alternatives.

We really need to look at traffic circulation as the big picture rather than localized. The questions need to be asked along the lines of how will traffic from highway 101 reach Sand Hill, or how will traffic get to Gunn high school from the south east of town. Instead, they put up barriers in the hopes that traffic will be content to sit at endless red lights, crawl on single lane stretches, and wait patiently in a jam knowing full well that there is a parallel road that can get them where they want to go more expediently.

Traffic management should be designed for efficient traffic flow, not preventing traffic to do what it needs to do.


7 people like this
Posted by Safety on school routes, please.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2017 at 11:33 am

As a resident of the southeast of town with Gunn students, I am glad the city made these changes. Being able to bike and walk to school has been great for our family.

Did you know that majority of Gunn students bike, walk, or ride a bus to school?
Did you know that there are 11 public and private k-12 schools served by this corridor? Did you know that much of the road is a posted school route (25mph) for school commute safety which many drivers completely disregarded before the restriping?

Did you know that even today PAPD cannot enforce the speed limit on certain segments of Arastradero because the 85th percentile speeds exceed the speed limit. (State law prevents them from enforcing the posted speed limit under these conditions.) That means a majority of drivers are speeding--scofflaws who prioritize their convenience over the safety of others. Implementation of the final plan will help control that behavior and will make turns and merges safer.

Did you know that the crossing guard at Carlson was hit by a car and hospitalized for a week before the restriping? Not to mention many other crashes during school commute times...

Traffic engineers are required to prioritize safety for all road users as they work to provide efficiency. Please remember you are not alone out there. Be considerate of your fellow road users, especially the little ones. Thank you City of Palo Alto for the Charleston/Arastradero Plan. I look forward to seeing it completed.




12 people like this
Posted by Roy M.
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 7, 2017 at 11:41 am

Roy M. is a registered user.

I have mixed feelings about the changes. On the one hand, I totally get my neighbor taffictangle's point about the inconvenience. On the other hand, I am willing to live with a bit more traffic if the changes truly make it safer.

What bugs me about the whole debate about traffic is the number of people who see this as just a Palo Alto problem when it is a regional issue. Companies like Google and Facebook continue to expand and it affects all of us. For DTN especially, the traffic has gotten worse with Facebook expansion and with the changes that Menlo Park made to the Willow and Middlefield intersection. With the additional Facebook plans being reported today in the Mercury Web Link as well as whatever they end up doing with the former Sunset HQ, it will only get worse in the years to come. I am all for continued job growth, but we need a regional solution to the resulting increase in traffic. To Facebook's credit, they want to push shuttles and other cross Dumbarton options which should help some. The solutions can be found, but given this area's long history of not thinking regionally (think San Mateo and Santa Clara counties rejecting BART when it was first built), I am not optimistic that we can come together to find those solutions.


12 people like this
Posted by The Greatest Commuters
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 7, 2017 at 12:25 pm

@Roy M, I totally agree that it's a regional problem, too, so you'd think our fine Transportation / Planning folks might coordinate with surrounding cities and govt entities re how their projects and PA's projects intersect.

But instead they seem to blissfully ignore the fact that having major multi-year construction projects occurring at the same time on MOST or ALL major arteries, roads, streets etc. just might cause problems, might increase cut-through traffic, might increase gridlock. etc.

Why they're contemplating gridlocking University with 2 bike lanes when 101 is under construction, while San Antonio is under construction, etc. is, as Diana Diamond wrote today, ridiculous.


8 people like this
Posted by Pat Markevitch
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 7, 2017 at 1:11 pm

The uptick in commuter traffic seemed to correlate to the to the 101 construction. The Waze app will send commuters around the back-up on 101 and into the neighborhoods. I feel that the traffic calming that went in on the Middlefield arterial was extreme. The city could have started with smaller steps such as lane reductions and 4-way stops at Hawthorne and Everett or even a stoplight at Hawthorne.

As for Hawthorne residents' comment regarding the thousands of cars that pass through our neighborhood on a daily basis, that number seems extremely high. I would like to see some traffic counts done by the city to back up that claim.


4 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2017 at 2:58 pm

[Portion removed.] To those who "paid millions" to live - didn't you guys know that Downtown North and Middlefield were like that already? It's like moving next to a club and complaining about the noise.


16 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 7, 2017 at 3:39 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Me 2 - Right, because traffic hasn't been getting worse. It is more like moving next to a club, then complaining when it is replaced by a 10 story building, with 3 clubs, and no parking. But I'm glad you don't feel the effects in your neighborhood (except when you had the music school shut down because it brought a few cars an hour to Old Palo Alto).


19 people like this
Posted by The Greatest Commuters
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 7, 2017 at 3:39 pm

@Me 2, I guess you've never heard of long-time owners / residents. We didn't move next to the "the "club" years and/or decades ago because it wasn't there then. It would never have gotten a no-occupacy-limit permit or C/O then.

"Hilarious" for you to deny the reality that traffic's gotten worse and/or that the city should have consulted with Menlo Park about Willow etc.


13 people like this
Posted by wowzers
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2017 at 4:55 pm

All i see is more construction, another multi-story building, another wing on the hospital, another development anywhere you turn in town. Then they reduce lanes and enact signs to limit traffic, in hopes of helping traffic??? Doesn't make sense. Limited number of police can't solve the problems, voting the city council out who has okayed all the "progress" for years does. Pick someone who says, no, to the developers. You think those workers are local? You're nuts. Want tech companies and startups so your house prices skyrocket to insane amounts, well, this is the price you pay. Look no further than the mirror and the community you have allowed PA to become, and your bicycle.

PS don't forget to pay your increased parking fees to use the spot in front of your house.


21 people like this
Posted by Zoya
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 7, 2017 at 7:50 pm

PNQLnow.org is fighting hard, very, very hard to rid city council of corrupt figures who vote with their personal future opportunities in mind, Tanaka and Schaffer recuse yourselves as you care not about the people of this town. We all need to stand together to protect Palo Alto Neighborhood Quality of life. PNQLnow.org


4 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2017 at 8:11 pm

"I guess you've never heard of long-time owners / residents"

Long-time owners didn't "pay millions" to move in. They paid thousands and continue to underpay their fair share of taxes that is contributing to this problem.

"All i see is more construction, another multi-story building, another wing on the hospital, another development anywhere you turn in town."

Correlation != causation.


19 people like this
Posted by No Lexus Lanes
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2017 at 8:11 pm

@Zoya, right you are! So grateful to them for waging the good fight.

Maybe they need to offer some new signs telling Tanaka and Scharff to receuse themselves. I'd sure plant one on my lawn.


12 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2017 at 9:04 am


CarWars is a real issue around town, I think traffic is marginly better now that school is out, but I made the mistake of attempting to use Arastradero/Charleston mid morning on a week day this week and it was still a very slow drive requiring stops at all lights. This should not be happening at what is a non-commute time.

I feel that at non-commute times the lights are on demand for side street traffic entering arterials rather than sequencing the arterials to have green lights for traffic moving at the limit.

Traffic lights should be there for the purpose of traffic flow rather than traffic slowdowns. In countries that use roundabouts rather than endless series of lights, traffic flow is much faster in both heavy traffic but also in lighter traffic as through traffic slows down but doesn't always have to stop. Our traffic lights appear to impede efficient traffic flow by design rather than anything else.


7 people like this
Posted by Motorcycle vs. Car
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2017 at 11:31 am

Another accident, northbound 101 after embarcadero on ramp. At the creek construction site, Once again!


12 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2017 at 3:18 pm

Is PNQLnow dedicated to protecting the quality of life in all Palo Alto neighborhoods or just Old Palo Alto?

The website says PNQLnow is "committed to protecting Palo Alto residents from commercial development in R1 neighborhoods", but the website only covers the Casti expansion issue.

Neighborhoods all over Palo Alto are under assault from commercial development and have been for years. What other neighborhoods are the folks at PNQLnow working to protect?


7 people like this
Posted by disbelief
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2017 at 7:34 pm

Today I saw another car maneuver through the
obstacles and make a left onto Middlefield.
The through traffic merge right after University
causes big problems when there is traffic. The
narrowing of lanes at Jordan for right turns and
left turns is very dangerous as well. And the City
has cut traffic enforcement. In Palo Alto we are
at the point of complete disbelief in how this
City is governed.Stage one which continues is to
create problems and stage two in parallel is to respond in ways which make things worse.


7 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 9, 2017 at 7:57 pm

@Disbelief, totally agree. The other night (July 4th around midnight) we saw a car driving north IN the Jordan bike lane and had to laugh.

It's not only dangerous and irritating; it's also still obviously very confusing.

Stage 3 is how long it take them to "monitor" known problems. The Jordan bike lane will be 2 years old this August.


2 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 10, 2017 at 11:10 am

For those complaining that you paid millions for your house to have traffic idling on the street - remember - you only bought your house and property, not the street. It's not YOUR street. Your entitlement doesn't legally go beyond your property line, but apparently you think it does. The joke's on you - you get to sit in, be delayed by, frustrated by and impacted by local traffic, just like everyone else. This is a regional problem that we all are experiencing on this peninsula of land. It could be worse - there are locals idling in traffic who see coyotes ambling down the streets.


9 people like this
Posted by driving in the bike lane
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 10, 2017 at 11:35 am

@disbelief and @online name - I live near Jordan and have seen multiple people drive in the odd/new bike lane, including someone pulling out of the Jordan circular driveway. I seldom see people use the bike lanes on Middlefield, they usually still use the sidewalk to bike, half of the time in the wrong direction.

@hmmm - I agree that we don't own the streets, but I would love to see some traffic enforcement with the intention of getting people to drive more safely.


2 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 10, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Driving in the bike lane - that traffic enforcement is needed everywhere - and not just for drivers, but for cyclists as well.


5 people like this
Posted by Longtime Resident
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 10, 2017 at 1:25 pm

@Hmmm
As a driver and blke rider I agree that bikers need to follow safer practices and that some bikers ride very dangerously. However, there are a couple of basic differences between the two modes that should be borne in mind when comparing the two.
First, the risks to riders are exponentially higher than to drivers in the event of a collision between the two. This doesn't determine practices and rules, but it should be a consideration.
Second, cars much more easily come to full stops and acceleration. Bikes need a fair amount of effort to re accelerate after each full stop. That is why the Idaho Stop was developed which allows bikes a 5 mph rolling stop when no cars are present.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 10, 2017 at 5:03 pm

I have to drive in the bike lane on N. California in order to avoid head on collisions. The way they narrowed N. California is completely irrational. Its odd when I have to break the law in order to be safe.

Look, OK, maybe cars are on their way out to eventually be replaced by more efficient transport.
But this is decades away. The way to replace cars, traffic, congestion is only through free market innovation and NOT through government actions that try to rapidly accelerate the transition (with lots of casualties and damage to the economy) and force the issue and shove their "zero waste" "SOV-free" delusional, communist ideology down our throats.


5 people like this
Posted by Lazlo
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 10, 2017 at 9:57 pm

Remember when Palo Alto used to be a progressive city. Now it's just a sorry retirement community with residents whining and complaining abou nonsense. What a pity!


20 people like this
Posted by Kya
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 11, 2017 at 7:25 am

In response to Hmmmm: yes it is true we bought a house here in Palo Alto, not the street. However when one buys a house and pays a premium for the house, schools,parks, cultural amenities, near jobs, the price is higher than other homes in other places. All of this is factored in which is the reason Palo Alto and other towns here are so valuable.
When the traffic, pollution, incessant noise from trains/airplanes, over-development get to a certain point, then that value is called into question. The citizens in Palo Alto were once determiners of growth and devt. Now we are not! The Facebooksand Googlers along with Developers / City bureaucracy have the power and have shown little interest in homeowners experiencing diminished quality of life. They make their profits, and go happily on their way to the next deal. It is the citizenry who are the losers-----trying to put out fires with a lawn hose. Yes, I do complain and try to improve poorly designed traffic plans with bits of success, but I am not going to stop defending my rights to live in a City where the streets are livable. This means walkers are not in fear of crossing, drivers are able to back out of their driveways safely, kids can ride to school without fear, citizens can do errands and find parking downtown........ just normalcy in day-to-day-living.
Somehow these basic tenets of a community where citizens and the City work for the common good/safety in and on streets has been broken. I'm not too optimistic it can be repaired. Greed and milking the system for $$$ is by far the overriding focus of Our City.


Like this comment
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 11, 2017 at 8:50 am

"However when one buys a house and pays a premium for the house, schools,parks, cultural amenities, near jobs, the price is higher than other homes in other places. All of this is factored in which is the reason Palo Alto and other towns here are so valuable. "

So what? You don't "deserve" more because you paid more - you just decided to pay up. That's a personal decision. It has nothing to do with the other residents of Palo Alto that you're impacting with your selfish attitude towards the street.

But let's take that argument to its logical conclusion. With Prop 13, your taxes are kept artificially low. Therefore, over time, you pay less as a percentage of taxes relative to newer residents. Therefore, in your argument, the longer you live here, the fewer "Palo Alto Amenities" you deserve.

That's not the attitude I get from long-time residents. They still want a bowling alley.


16 people like this
Posted by COMMERCIAL Prop 13
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 11, 2017 at 10:43 am

Why complain about Prop 13 for residents but not for BUSINESSES? Businesses "live" longer yet still don't reduce their rental rates. Or even pay Businesses Taxes thanks to their buddies in government,.

When the hyper development crew starts complaining as much about the low low taxes paid by developers and commercial property owners as they do about the older homeowners, then I *might* believe they're more than illogical stooges for the developers.

If they cared at all about the "quality of life" issues, they'd fix stupid traffic problems when they're known. They'd stop adding more and more ridiculous charges and fees and surcharges to all our bills. (Check your utility bills; the last one still had a drought surcharge even though the drought ended in February!

All over the Bay Area, the well-funded developers are working to over-turn the will of the LOCAL voters to restrict density Now they're after beautiful Marin.

What's wrong with bowling alleys? Art and music? This USED to be a fun area to live, not a boring office park.


7 people like this
Posted by Progressive
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 11, 2017 at 11:18 am

@Laslo "Remember when Palo Alto used to be a progressive city. Now it's just a sorry retirement community with residents whining and complaining about nonsense. What a pity!"

What's a pity is how the city treats us as cash cows to be milked.

The VOTERS voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana but the city decided our votes don't count so they said nope and over-ruled us, What a pity!"

Keep telling us that it's more "progressive" to care about enriching developers than providing a govt that's responsive to our complaints and I'll sell you a nice bridge.


Like this comment
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 11, 2017 at 2:11 pm

Being a residentialist is as about as opposite of progressive as you can get. It's the definition of conservatism.

#irony

"Why complain about Prop 13 for residents but not for BUSINESSES? Businesses "live" longer yet still don't reduce their rental rates. Or even pay Businesses Taxes thanks to their buddies in government,."

Sure. Let's take away Prop 13 for businesses too. The funny thing is about business taxes - it's always paid by the end consumer (Basic Econ 101). Want to make it more expensive to develop in Palo Alto? Guess who pays - the person who buys or rents. Not the developer. Guess who pays for Healthy SF in San Francisco? Not the restaurants. The patrons.

The business/residential distinction for Prop 13 is a red herring. It's basically wealth hoarding by long-time, uniethnic homeowners.


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

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