Better Options for Housing and Transportation

Upcoming events:

Bike Salon - Thursday, March 22


Have you wondered how the bike infrastructure in Palo Alto came to be?
Do you have questions about how to improve cycling infrastructure in Palo Alto?
Do you want to better understand what works and what doesn’t work?

In 2017, Palo Alto was named a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. After Ellen Fletcher championed our first bike boulevard in 1981, Palo Alto has continued to expand bike infrastructure around the city.

Come meet Hugh Louch, Principal of Alta Planning and Desig to learn more about recent city efforts to design and expand our bicycle infrastructure. To start the discussion, bring your own images of successful bike infrastructure and with Josh’s guidance, we will deepen our understanding of Palo Alto’s cycling infrastructure toolkit, and learn how we as individuals can help champion more successful bike infrastructure.

Proposed Format: 

  1. Introduction (20 -30 min): Attendees introduce themselves, and show an image of bike infrastructure (please come with a 8.5x11 image of a good example of of bike infrastructure)
  2. Street design vocabulary and library (20 min): Short presentation/forum for staff to share different street designs, cycling and traffic calming strategies and provide background theory and data around different street designs 
  3. Bike Infrastructure Plans for Palo Alto (20 min): 
       - Key Documents - Comp Plan + 2012 Bike Pedestrian Transportation Plan (BPTP)
       - Short History: how did we get the bike infrastructure we have? 
       - Timeline of different bicycle/pedestrian/traffic calming projects currently in the pipeline
  4. Discussion/ Q+ A (30 min+) How do we build the bike infrastructure we want?

Speaker Biography: 

Hugh Louch is a Principal of Alta Planning + Design and leader of Alta's Bay Area offices.  Hugh specializes in helping communities identify and prioritize transportation investments that create comfortable and safer travel for people walking and bicycling.  He has helped the City of Palo Alto plan for and design a set of bicycle boulevards that are currently under construction and recently helped develop the California Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and an Bicycle Plan for Caltrans District 4 that identifies improvements to bicycling on state highways in the 9-county Bay Area.

Affordable BMR Housing 101 - Thursday, April 05


Rents have skyrocketed the last decade and the median house price is even out of reach of families with two professional incomes. The high housing costs have made it increasingly difficult for people with lower incomes to remain in Palo Alto.  In our public discourse on housing, affordable or Below Market Rate (BMR) housing for the low income and very low income is often brought up as a solution and a priority for many citizens. Yet despite the increasing need for BMR housing, we seem to be falling further and further behind in meeting the demand.

So how exactly does Below-Market Rate housing get built?  Who builds this type of housing? How is it financed? And how come we don’t see more of it?  Come learn about the basics of developing new affordable, below market rate housing, as well as the key hurdles and barriers facing below-market-rate housing proposals in Palo Alto today.  We will have a chance to hear from and ask questions of Danny Ross, Senior Development Manager with Palo Alto Housing.

For over 48 years Palo Alto Housing has been Palo Alto’s primary Affordable Housing developer.  They build, develop, acquire, and manage low- and moderate-income housing in Palo Alto and parts of the peninsula.  Previous projects include Oak Court, Alma Place, Sheridan Court and Treehouse.

This event is sponsored by Palo Alto Forward and League of Women Voters, Palo Alto.  

We are a group of residents interested in crafting a vision for the future of Palo Alto that expands choice, opportunity and quality of life. We believe in approaching challenges like traffic and parking with a "can-do" attitude and believe there are positive outcomes and opportunities when we plan for future growth holistically and in strategic locations.

We are a coalition of all ages: some who are younger energetic, and optimistic that creative thinking can solve challenges many find impossible; others who are older, experienced, and keen to pass on a legacy of innovation, opportunity, great schools and amenities to future generations. We live in South Palo Alto, North Palo Alto, and the midtown neighborhoods. We own and rent. We have young children and children who have left the nest. We walk and bike and drive but we all wish we had better options.

If you want to make a difference in the future of Palo Alto,

join Palo Alto Forward

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