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

Regional Context for Housing & Transit

We see the symptoms every day.  Housing prices (sale and rent) that get more and more expensive.  The struggle to get to work, to school, to accomplish life’s basic tasks.  Palo Alto Forward was launched in an effort to start a conversation about how we can pursue better housing and transportation options for Palo Alto.  And part of that journey starts with understanding how these problems came to be. Read more

How to Bring Innovative, Not-Insanely-Wealthy People Back to Palo Alto

The other night, I found myself reading my almost-three-year-old daughter a children’s book from 1950. The book focused on family life, and I had to explain some of the things she didn’t recognize. The father was smoking a pipe, and sitting in front of a fire. There were no TVs, phones, or laptops anywhere in sight. Explaining to her that I’d had neither a laptop nor a cellphone growing up unleashed a series of “why”s I could only answer meekly. The world has changed immensely — not only since 1950, but since 1996, when I arrived at Stanford as an 18-year-old freshman from Philadelphia. There are things I like about those changes, and things I don’t like, but one thing is clear: there’s no going back. Read more

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