As part of its comprehensive approach to address parking downtown, the City will launch an effort starting on May 19 to identify where people are parking and how the City's existing parking supply is being used. This effort will ultimately help to inform recommendations for the most efficient use of parking in Downtown Palo Alto, including time restrictions, evaluating if paid parking is warranted, and the allocation of permit and public spaces.
As part of this effort, a consultant team headed by Dixon Resources will be conducting extensive data collection downtown on Thursday, May 19 and Saturday, May 21 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on downtown streets, as well as at surface parking lots and downtown parking garages.
The City has contracted with Dixon Resources to conduct the parking counts using their customized phone application, OccuApp, to streamline the data collection and processing. OccuApp lets the surveyor capture license plate numbers and locations of cars parked within the study area. Information on individual license plates is not stored in the system, but rather aggregated to have a better understanding of where people are parking and for how long.
General occupancy counts will be performed in each of the City’s six public garages and 12 surface parking lots.
Parking data collection will be captured again in September and October. Given the study’s proposed scope and size of the study area, the data collection effort will rely on a sampling methodology to select a set of block faces and off-street facilities that are representative of downtown Palo Alto.
The City has convened a stakeholder group of residents, large and small employers, as well as property owners to serve as an advisory committee on the direction of the study, and to evaluate draft recommendations based on the data collection. Dixon Resources will also conduct several focus groups and intercept surveys to solicit feedback. A recommendation is expected to return to the City Council by the end of 2016/beginning of 2017.