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

City Council Considers Adding a Garage Downtown

On Monday night, the City Council examined options for building a new garage in the downtown area to be situated on existing city-owned parking lots. The Council reviewed a couple of private-public partnership responses to a Request for Information which would allow the city to get private financing for the garage. The Council also reviewed staff’s prioritization of the 16 existing surface parking lots and garages in the downtown area as candidates for the  new garage. Read more

5 Trends in Housing

Trend 1: Fewer Americans believe home ownership is essential in being part of the middle class. Read more

Let’s Get This Comp Plan Party Started!

A crisp chill has settled in the air, the leaves have fallen, pumpkins and goblins are out on porches, waiting for the the trick-or-treaters.  And then November will be here, bringing the next important step for Palo Alto's Comprehensive Plan process.  In an earlier blog post, we briefly outlined why the Comp Plan is so important and the connection to this election cycle.  The next big milestone for the Comp Plan is a Monday Nov 3 City Council meeting to review four revised alternatives.  In advance of that, we’re also getting together Tuesday Oct 21 to brainstorm ideas for Comp Plan Alternatives to improve housing and transportation options in Palo Alto. Read more

Survey Shows Palo Alto Residents Feel the Pain of High Housing Costs

I recently ran a survey of housing attitudes among people living in Palo Alto.  It yielded some interesting results. Why I ran this survey to satisfy my own curiosity: I wanted to get real data on Palo Altans' attitudes towards housing.  Housing and zoning has been a politically fraught issue in recent years, but (as far as I know), there's been very little actual data on people's attitudes. Read more


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