Commercial Development Cap thoughts: Open Letter to Council

To City Council/ City Staff-   We have seen that you are considering an annual cap on office/R&D development in Palo Alto at your January 26 meeting.     The staff report includes data on the rate of annual additions to non-residential building stock, and also includes benchmarking data on what caps other California cities have put in place.   But why is the cap being proposed, and what should it accomplish?  If the reason for the cap is to reduce traffic and parking problems in Palo Alto, then the most important data to understand is the relationship between new office/R&D development and traffic/ parking problems.  Santa Monica decided to attack the heart of the problem (cars and parking) vs. one aspect of the problem (development): their goal is to “limit new trips” vs. “limit new construction”.      Read more

Steve Levy Presentation

Thanks to all who came to our general meeting last week.  40+ people packed Mitchell Park Community Center's Adobe Room South to hear Steve Levy present his voluntary research: Region and County Economic Trends and Implications for the Comprehensive Plan.  For those who were unable to attend, Steve has updated his slides to clarify some points and incorporate some of the discussion.  Slides: Region and County Economic Trends and Implications for the Comprehensive Plan Read more

PAF Holiday Social

It is that time of year - people, food, soft lights, and lots of well wishes for each other during the short winter days. Palo Alto Forward is asking you: What’s your wish for Palo Alto? Last Thursday, that is what 80+ Palo Altans and friends did when they met up for Palo Alto Forward’s winter social. Hosted by Sandra Slater, we all took a pass at naming our wishes for Palo Alto’s future, asking ourselves: What vision do we have for the city we live in and call home? What ideas could get us really excited to get involved, working with others to make the ideas a reality? Read more

Five Trends in Transportation

The Five Trends in Transportation You Need to Know   Here are five major trends in transportation to pay attention to [1]. Read more

Palo Alto Council Reviews El Camino Bus Rapid Transit, which would make the bus time-competitive with driving

The VTA Bus Rapid Transit project would make the El Camino bus time-competitive with driving, including in Palo Alto.  For the El Camino route as a whole, San Jose to Palo Alto, people using the bus would travel over 30 minutes faster, and a driving trip would be 3-4 minutes slower.  But, almost nobody travels on ECR from Palo Alto all the way to San Jose - most trips are 5-7 miles long, whether driving or taking the bus.  Read more

City Council Reviews the 2015-2023 Housing Element

On Monday Nov 10 @ 7:55p, City Council reviews the Housing Element (HE). The HE is a section of the Comprehensive Plan and the state requires updates every 8 years.  The next update is due to be certified by January 2015.  Join us to voice your thoughts about the HE (or write to city.council@cityofpaloalto.org) in support.    Read more

Redwood City parking and transportation policy - lessons for Palo Alto

On Monday Nov 3, Redwood City’s City Council heard a staff update with the latest statistics and proposed changes to the city’s parking and transportation programs.   There are several elements that might be relevant for Palo Alto as the city moves forward with its parking and transportation strategies. Read more

Palo Alto moves forward with initiative to reduce car trips

Last week, the Palo Alto Planning and Transportation Commission got an update on the early stages of the formation of the Palo Alto Transportation Management Association (TMA).  In the last year, the Palo Alto City Council started a major initiative to address traffic and parking problems by investing in programs to reduce vehicle trips, in addition to strategies to manage parking more efficiently and build more parking supply.  To implement this trip reduction strategy, Palo Alto is starting a TMA, a nonprofit organization which will manage marketing and programs to reduce vehicle trips, such as shuttles, transit pass discounts, carshare, and other benefits, on behalf of businesses and residents. Read more

Everything You Need to Know About Election Day

“Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” -- Abraham Lincoln Read more

Housing Design Challenges in Palo Alto

According to a recent October study[1], Palo Alto has the highest rents in the country, with a median rent of $3,645/month. Given the city's limited space, is it possible to accommodate future homes in Palo Alto?   Read more


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