Parking Planning


Neighborhood and Quality of Life Preservation

The City actively monitors parking and is committed to working with commercial and residential interests to balance the demands of parking with measures to minimize its impacts on adjacent residential communities. This page provides an update and an overview on Parking Planning projects. Check back for updates.

The City is engaged in a three-pronged approach to reduce parking and traffic demand within Palo Alto’s downtown core and adjacent residential neighborhoods. These efforts include:

  • Transportation Demand Management initiatives
  • Parking Supply Initiatives
  • Permit Parking Programs

Transportation Demand Management (TDM)

Location: City-Wide

  • Free Shuttle Program: The City is looking to significantly expand its existing shuttle program (please view our current schedule and operations) to better support commuting both within Palo Alto and adjacent communities.
  • Formation of a Transportation Management Association (TMA): The City will initiate the formation of a TMA which will manage and market alternative modes of transit in commercial areas, as well as collect data on modes of travel.
  • Rideshare Apps: The City will investigate the use of Rideshare apps and other ways to encourage commuting via public transit. The City initiated a program with Caltrain to provide a free Go Pass (24 hour, 7 day Caltrain pass) for regularly benefited City Downtown employees who turn in their parking permits. For information, check out the Caltrain Go Pass and SAP TwoGo Rideshare app websites. If you do not work for the City, you can still participate in the TwoGo Rideshare program for free.

Parking Supply Initiatives

Location: Palo Alto Business District (Downtown and California Avenue)

  • Parking Facility Upgrades: The City is exploring ways to upgrade the capabilities of its existing parking garages with revenue access controls, parking guidance systems and wayfinding signs.
  • Valet-Assist Program: The City has entered into a contract with SP+ Corporation to perform valet-assist parking operations at the Lot R – Alma/High Street garage to maximize the parking capacity of this garage.
  • New Parking Garages: Two new parking garages are in development for the commercial core for both University Avenue and California Avenue. To accommodate the increasing number of vehicles in the two neighborhoods, the city is moving forward with erecting a multilevel parking facility for employees and visitors. The California Avenue garage will be built in junction with the construction of a new Public Safety Building.

Parking Programs

Location: Palo Alto Business District

  • One-Day Parking Permit: All day visitors may purchase a one-day permit. Permits are valid in all off-street parking lots and garages. All-day permits are not valid for on-street parking spaces. The cost is $25.00/day for downtown area and California Avenue business district. Paystations will only accept card payments. Paystations are located in the following locations:
    • Lot CC - Civic Center Garage
      • Revenue Collections – Ground floor of City Hall
    • Lot R - High/Alma South Garage
    • Lot S/L - Bryant/Lytton Garage
    • Lot W/C - Webster/Cowper Garage
    • Lot 5 – Cambridge E/Garage
    • Lot 6 – Sherman/Park
    • Lot 9 – Birch/Cambridge
  • Comprehensive Permit and Citation Management System: The City of Palo Alto is seeking proposals from experienced vendors for the development, implementation, support, and maintenance of a new Parking Permit Management System to facilitate online permit sales and distribution for a variety of parking programs and a related Parking Citation Management System.

Location: Select Palo Alto Neighborhoods

  • Residential Preferential Parking (RPP) Program: An RPP program (Downtown, Evergreen Park-Mayfield, Southgate, College Terrace) is intended to preserve the integrity of residential neighborhoods which have an influx of non-resident parking. The program is designed to provide preferential use of on-street parking to residents and restricts parking for outside users during select periods. However, the area designated as an RPP District allows parking for non-permit holders through time-limit sign restrictions (2-hours) to allow for convenient visitor use or service vehicles.
  • No Overnight Parking (NOP) Program: The Crescent Park No Overnight Parking program restricts parking from outside sources during the hours of 2 AM – 5 AM. Only residents of streets within the program boundaries are eligible to purchase permits.

Additional Information & Resources

Contact Us 

Office of Transportation       
(650) 329-2520
Please use Palo Alto 311 to report an issue.