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Council Approves RPP Phase 2 as Part of Overall Effort to Address Traffic and Parking Issues

The Palo Alto City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday to move ahead with Phase 2 of the Residential Preferential Parking (RPP) program that's designed to better regulate on-street parking in the residential neighborhoods adjacent to downtown Palo Alto, while serving as a parking compromise between neighborhoods and downtown business concerns.

Phase 2 of the pilot program begins April 1 and will be in place for at least one year. City Council approved an updated Downtown RPP Resolution capping the number of annual employee permits at 2,000 this year, and reduces that number by about 10 percent, or approximately 200 permits, each year thereafter. The City so far has only sold about 1,600 annual permits to employees and businesses in the first phase of the RPP program that began in September.

The second phase of RPP will still allow for a two-hour parking limit on residential streets for vehicles that don’t have permits. Employees can also purchase annual parking permits in downtown lots for $466/year. There is a reduced $100/year permit available for low wage workers in the RPP district.

The City’s Planning and Community Environment department will give an update to the Council later this summer. 

A Downtown Palo Alto paid parking study will launch later this spring to look at overall parking management in the downtown area, and determine if paid parking should be considered. 

The non-profit Palo Alto Transportation Management Association (TMA) (which was formed following Council direction and whose membership is made up of downtown businesses), has started to help employees find alternative ways to get to work. The Council will hear an update on the TMA at its March 14 regular meeting. 

"RPP is not meant to be a solution to parking issues," said Sue-Ellen Atkinson, Parking and TDM lead in the City’s  Planning and Community Environment Department. “It’s just one pilot program in a multi-pronged approach to try and reduce single occupancy vehicle trips in downtown Palo Alto.”

Palo Alto is also focusing on the Palo Alto shuttle program, a valet assist program, and parking technology to help address the issue.

Councilmembers Marc Berman and Karen Holman, Vice Mayor Greg Scharff and Mayor Pat Burt recused themselves from the vote. 

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