The following letter was sent to the City Council
Dear City Council,
We respectfully submit the following proposal to improve the Downtown RRP District and enabling Resolution 9473.
The recent staff report, if adopted as presented, has the potential to reverse the quality improvements realized over the past 2 years. The staff report fails to address the most important issue: What is the credible rationale for staff to authorize issuing non-resident permits in numbers greater than the established demand?
Furthermore, staff has not yet been able to fully occupy Bryant Street and Cowper/Webster garages, where non-resident vehicles should be directed before accessing neighborhoods permits. These two garages have the capacity for 100-150 additional permit sales.
February 26 is the time to address these issues.
The attached residents’ proposal is presented to foster continuous improvement of all RPP programs and to give clarity to merchants, office tenants, property owners and residents. The action items in the residents’ proposal address unresolved issues that have persisted since the formation of the RPP Stakeholder effort.
TRAFFIC AND COMMERCIAL PARKING FLOOD RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOODS
From: John Guislin and Neilson Buchanan
For more than 10 years our Council has failed to manage parking and traffic in four neighborhoods adjacent to University Avenue commercial core. Council continues to approve project after project of under-parked commercial development creating the need for a massive 1-square mile Downtown Residential Preferred Parking Program (RPP). Office space density grows with more and more employees per square foot.
The clear intent of the RPP was to mitigate and steadily improve traffic and parking congestion over a multi-year period.
On Feburary 26 at 7:15pm the Council will consider a staff report to put improvement on hold for up to 24 months. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE AND MUST NOT BE APPROVED. BETTER SOLUTIONS HAVE BEEN AND WILL BE PRESENTED TO COUNCIL.
RPP has been partially successful but there is an immediate opportunity for substantial improvement. After RPP Year One, the maximum limit of non-resident permits to be sold was reduced from 2000 to 1400. During the last 11 months the number of non-resident permits sold has dropped further to 1090, an accurate representation of actual demand. During this time, the Bryant and Cowper Webster garages have been underutilized and can easily accommodate 100 additional permitted vehicles, further reducing the negative intrusion into nearby neighborhoods. A new limit of 1000 non-resident permits can be enacted on Feb 26 by your Council without any risk to the well-being of the University Avenue commercial core. This reduction will also support Council’s stated goal of reducing traffic near Downtown.
On Feb. 15 city staff released their recommendations for the next Permit parking year commencing April 1, 2018. The Staff Report fails to recommend long-deferred specific mitigation of the negative impact traffic and parking impact to Downtown and nearby neighborhoods. See attached first three pages of 35-page staff report.
Instead, staff recommends continuing the 1400 limit of non-resident permits, higher than actual, documented demand. The staff report effectively declares that residential neighborhoods should serve as an overflow tidal basin for commercial parking. Staff report acknowledges demand for only 1090 permits but staff report approved by City Manager Jim Keene wants authority to sell an additional 310 non-resident permits without any justification.
This is unacceptable and violates the problem solving process previously agreed upon and the goal of reducing the traffic and parking burden on residential streets. This staff report violates the substance of the new Comprensive Plan which states city will promote commerce but not at the expense of residential neighborhoods.
In the case of our neighborhood, the traffic impact is equal to or greater than parking intrusion. There is no reason to encourage higher and higher levels of traffic when easy-to-implement actions can reduce the overall traffic burden.
CALL TO ACTION:
PLAN TO ATTEND THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING AT 7:15PM ON FEBRUARY 26. WE NEED YOU TO ATTEND AND BRING 4 OTHER NEIGHBORS OR FRIENDS TO THIS MEETING. IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND AND BRING FRIENDS, LET ME KNOW ASAP. firstname.lastname@example.org
YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO MAKE A STATEMENT TO CITY COUNCIL. JOHN GUISLIN AND I ARE ORGANIZING 5 RESIDENTS TO CONCEDE THEIR TIME SO WE CAN PRESENT ORGANIZED THOUGHTS ABOUT THE EMBEDDED PROBLEMS AND LANGUISHING SOLUTIONS. CRESCENT PARK, UNIVERSITY SOUTH AND PROFESSORVILLE RESIDENTS WILL BE PRESENTING THEIR APPEALS TO REJECT THE STAFF RECOMMENDATION AND ADOPT TERMS THAT PROTECT RESIDENTS FOR THE RPP YEAR BEGINNING APRIL 1, 2018.
IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND THE COUNCIL MEETING, SEND AN EMAIL IMMEDIATELY TO COUNCIL ASKING THEM TO REJECT THE STAFF REPORT AND LISTEN TO NEIGHBORHOOD LEADERS. CITY.COUNCIL@CITYOFPALOALTO.ORG PLEASE COPY ME ON YOUR EMAIL.
- Nov 16, 2012 Editorial KICKING THE CAN
- Issues summary and action plan
- 3-page excerpt from staff report