Town Square

Critical downtown study off to a rocky start

Original post made on Oct 8, 2013

A long-awaited study that aims to measure downtown Palo Alto's capacity for growth got off to a rocky start Monday night, when the City Council balked at approving a contract for the analysis because it failed to include one of downtown's most critical sites -- an area that developer John Arrillaga is eying for a dense office-and-theater complex.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 12:47 AM


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Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2013 at 7:17 am

> "Why is the 27 University Ave area not included in
> the scope of work?" Holman asked.


The borders proposed by staff were predetermined by a law the city adopted in 1986 as part of its revision of the zoning code.

Got to wonder why Staff thinks that using historical boundaries, rather than all the available space in the downtown area, will provide study results that are meaningfully predictive?

Also got to wonder if the contract to--

Dyett & Bhatia Urban & Regional Planners:
Web Link

was an open bid contract, or a no-bid contract?

It will also be very interesting to see what the City/residents get for their $200K? This is a lot of money. Getting another traffic study that claims that there isn't a traffic/parking problem in the downtown area isn't something that is going to help us. It would be really great if the Council were to provide some guidance as to what they expect from this consulting house, in terms of deliverables, and data.

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Posted by Shelley
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 8, 2013 at 9:07 am

This article sounds like the city council is so concerned about traffic yet they didn't seem to care much about the grid lock we will endure with the Lytton Gateway project they approved on the corner of Lytton and Alma. So many of these approved projects add no real public benefit, but at least building a movie theater for the residents would be a public benefit. We either go to Redwood City or Mountain View to see movies these days.....

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Posted by Rachel
a resident of University South
on Oct 8, 2013 at 10:24 am

Thank you Karen Holman for wanting to look "backwards" to see how we got here, and for making sure that the Arriaga project and traffic implications are included in the study.

It is why we have the City Counsel made up of community members, helping keep CPA staff members (who don't live in Palo Alto) on track.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 8, 2013 at 11:06 am

What, include Arrillaga-land in a downtown traffic analysis? You think?

The real lesson isn't that Schmid and Holman were awake. It's what the heck is going on with Price, Shepherd, Berman, Klein and Kniss?

Price and Shepherd have got go in 2014.

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Posted by AR
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 8, 2013 at 11:32 am

Unless you happen to be in the "Ruby Slippers" group that wields influence in P.A. (and seems to dance with City Staff) you might agree that our City Staff has too much say in what happens here and how things get done. If our City Manager isn't providing the requisite oversight, then City Council should. Too much to ask for?