Downtown Palo Alto is a regional retail and entertainment attraction center with vibrant professional office and service commercial center. The City actively monitors parking in and around the Downtown and is committed to work with commercial and residential interests to balance the demands of parking with measures to minimize its impacts on adjacent residential communities.
In 2013 the City initiated several new projects and programs aimed at restructuring the way in which parking is allocated and managed:
Downtown Neighborhood Preservation
The City is evaluating near-term parking efforts to help immediately alleviate parking demand outside of the Downtown Core into adjacent residential neighborhoods:
· Attendant Parking Trial
· City Commitment to Reduce 50-100 Employee Parking Spaces
· Public-Private Partnerships for New Garage Construction
· Evaluation of Restrictions on Creation/Use of Transferrable Development Rights (TDRs)
· Revising Zoning Exemptions from Parking Standards (Downtown Cap Study – See Below)
· Residential Street Parking Considerations
This effort includes community outreach with both residents and business interests to identify and implement projects by the end of 2013.
Downtown North Community Meeting, April 30, 2013 – Presentation - Meeting Notes
Downtown South Community Meeting, May 2, 2013 – Presentation - Meeting Notes
Downtown Cap Study
In 1986, the City of Palo Alto conducted a Downtown Study, which examined parking, traffic and land use conditions in the Downtown area. The original study area included the Downtown Commercial area and surrounding residential neighborhoods in the periphery study area (see map in Council Report below). As a result of the Study, the Downtown zoning regulations were made generally more restrictive. A Downtown development cap policy was also adopted. This policy restricted future non-residential development (office, retail, etc.) to a total of 350,000 square feet beyond what was in existence or approved in the Downtown (“CD Zone”) area as of May 1986. CD development regulations were to be re-evaluated when new development reached 235,000 square feet. There were a number of other specific policies related to parking, traffic and growth in the CD area as well. A list of these measures can be found in the Council report below. The legal requirement for this evaluation was recently triggered by the submittal of several Downtown development applications. The Development Cap Study will evaluate the potential development and its impacts on downtown and nearby residential areas in two phases: a “data and impacts” phase (Phase 1) and a “policy” phase (Phase 2). Phase 1 will include a detailed review of existing traffic and parking conditions in and around the Downtown area, as well as projection of future conditions based on existing zoning requirements. The RFP was recently released and the City expects to receive consultant proposals in May and select on consultant soon thereafter. Phase 2 will be released at a subsequent date, following Council discussion and direction. This overall study process would include the appointment of a Downtown Stakeholder Task Force. It is expected that Phase 1 of the Downtown Development Cap study will be the focus of a series of public meetings over a 6-month period commencing later this year.
DRAFT Downtown Cap Study RFP
City Council Report
Downtown Parking Garage Study
The City is studying five existing surface parking lot sites for construction of new parking structures in and around the Downtown, including: 1) Lot D on the corner of Hamilton Avenue & Waverly Street, 2) Lots E/G on Gilman Street between Hamilton Avenue and Forest Avenue, 3) Lot O on High Street between Lytton Avenue and University Avenue, 4) Lot P on High Street between University Avenue and Hamilton Avenue, and 5) Urban Lane between Palo Alto Medical Foundation and the University Avenue Transit Mall. The project also includes evaluating existing Downtown Parking Garages for use of Attendant Parking to increase parking capacity.
Council Update Report – Scheduled May 20, 2013
Downtown Parking Occupancy Data
The City collects parking occupancy data twice per year during the Spring and Fall to measure parking trends. Data collection started in 2011 and data maps are provided below by count season:
SPRING 2012 (Not Available)