Parking in Palo Alto: Beset by Traffic, Palo Alto Seeks Ways to Get Drivers on the Bus

Palo Alto wants you to get on the bus.

By Chase Cain and Chris Roberts
|  Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014  |  Updated 6:32 PM PDT
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The city of Palo Alto is looking for ways to shed itself of a parking problem, and that would include getting more citizens in buses and out of cars. Chase Cain reports.

The city of Palo Alto is looking for ways to shed itself of a parking problem, and that would include getting more citizens in buses and out of cars. Chase Cain reports.

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More shuttle buses -- and a traffic-fighting bureaucracy.

The city of Palo Alto is looking for ways to shed itself of a parking problem, and that would include getting more citizens in buses and out of cars.

Residents and visitors to Palo Alto have been frustrated for years by a lack of parking. A new Transportation Demand Management initiative could see more commuting by train and car-sharing services and fewer solo motorists circling for parking.

City leaders say they would rather not be forced to police parking so heavily. Instead, they are looking at ways to keep people downtown -- but getting rid of more cars -- possibly, by adding shuttle service down University Avenue, and even encouraging city employees to get free Caltrain passes by giving up their parking permits.

"There's no one solution,” Palo Alto City Councilman Greg Scharff. “I think, as a council, we feel there's no silver bullet, that what you want to do is push forward on a bunch of fronts and solve it little by little by trying all these different approaches."

Councilman Scharff even says they are batting around ideas to incorporate services like Uber into the mix, all to make Palo Alto a more pleasant place to park.

"Parking is not going away,” Scharff said. “Cars are not going away. You've gotta create that better experience.”

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