What are the priorities you would like to see the City Council adopt for 2020?
220 registered priorities
Name not shown in Old Palo Alto
Name not shown in Palo Verde
We need less dense housing, limits on street parking, limits on jet noise from low-flying planes.
Karen P in Duveneck/ St Francis
The steady rise in air traffic since the FAA decided to re-route and concentrate SFO and SJC flights over Palo Alto has seriously increased noise and air pollution, threatening the health and wellbeing of everyone in the City (as well as our neighbors). Numerous residents have spoken at council meetings about the disruption to their lives. Teachers have said how overflights require them to interrupt class lessons. It is well past time for the City to specify the reduction of jet noise and emissions as a key priority. Given the City’s past failure to timely recognize and challenge the FAA's implementation of NextGen, there is an added responsibility to finally give this issue appropriate attention.
Name not shown in Midtown/ Midtown West
Airplane noise is a major quality of life and health issue, one of the biggest if not the biggest in Palo Alto. All airplane traffic is badly impacting us, this particularly includes all SFO bound traffic, and San Jose bound traffic when it is shifted to a "South Flow", which impacts Midtown Palo Alto very badly. The airplanes are particularly harmful at night. They wake us up and keep us from sleeping. Airplane noise needs to be lessened. Airplane traffic needs to be reorganized so that Palo Alto does not bear the brunt of it on the peninsula any longer as we do now.
Sally O'Neil in Barron Park
Climate change is a gigantic problem that already does and will increasingly affect all of us. One way to do our part is to focus on Palo Alto's trees, which provide many benefits to us, including but not limited to: moderating climate warming, helping to clean our air, sequestering carbon and simply making our children and adults happier and more relaxed. Tree canopy in schoolyards has been shown to influence students' mental health and comfort. Our city council can make a difference right now at a relatively low cost that does not threaten the sustainability of the city budget by devoting resources to caring for our existing trees and fostering the planting of and caring for the right kinds of trees. Trees are not a luxury, nor are they peripheral to our daily experience. They are a crucial element of our local environment and our lives and health. This is now recognized worldwide. Let us here do our part -- we all benefit from an environment with healthy trees.
Name not shown in Crescent Park
#1 - Stop the flight paths being straight over us with jets low and noisy literally every 2-6 minutes presently(!) [Cresent Park etc.]
#2 - Remove local retail and business KILLING ridiculous rules of zoning changes by business and building owners desiring to rezone to alternate forms of retail (Ex. gym to food sales) telling owners what they can or cannot do building and stop this 100% business-murdering parking space fantasy slaughtering all retail outside of 1 block from University to having an impossible amount of parking losing downtown immunity.
Palo Alto had a very special history of supporting its local business, and due to these corporate interests (office buildings and ignoring all small retailers' desires and protections required for little guys) taking full control our local downtown has completely lost its soul and is not AT ALL supportive of small business and long term inviting behaviors for local business to thrive and draw even more culture and promise (as the soul is NOT the big retailers).
#3 - Actually enact long term 'smartest shining city on the hill' intelligence beyond unreasonable bickering and enormous and utterly ridiculous fantasmical budgets (Churchill and the 50yrs too late kids crossing trains . . etc-etc.) in removing the obvious elephant of 'TRAFFIC' in the room by truly looking at: University from 101, Embaradaro, Oregon Expressway, Page Mill, Sand Hill, and Arastadaro MAIN thoroughfares they TRULY ARE and as an air traffic controller does, and with a sound and wise 20-year lens and really looking into alternate methods already utilized by other cities for solutions such as:
a) intelligent traffic lights (not these dumb antiques from the 1950-60's)
b) timed efficiency (Ex: certain times of day restricts or enables flow and is broadcast to all entering and leaving)
c) improvements and ADVANCED design flow using some of our Valley genius employed into algorithmic intelligence finally!
Melanie Liu in Duveneck/ St Francis
1. divestment from fossil fuels
2. investment in low and extremely low income housing
3. investment in citywide EV shuttles that are fast, free and frequent
Osborne Hardison in Greenmeadow
1. Reduce jet noise day and night.
2. Fix the dangerous interchange from the San Antonio service road into San Antonio going east toward 101 near Middlefield.
3. Did I mention jet noise?
Name not shown in Charleston Terrace
Our city council's priorities have been so out of line with the needs of everyday Palo Alto residents, that I find it hard to believe that any of you are actually residents who spend any time in this city. For those of us who actually do live here we need the following:
1. End the jet noise plaguing our lives, do whatever it takes. I can no longer get a full night of sleep and it has become impossible to sit outside in my yard at all. I moved here for the peace and quiet, and we no longer have that. We have loud, low planes at least as early as 5:30am and as late as 2:30am. During the day we have planes flying over as low as 1500 feet every 60-90 seconds. The air quality in Palo Alto has to have been affected. If one of those planes loses altitude and crashes, a huge swath of Palo Alto and Menlo Park can be wiped out. There apparently was no Environmental Impact Study done by the FAA before they trashed the quality of life of Palo Alto and surrounding towns. If this isn't our City Council's highest priority, you are NOT doing your jobs. Forget global warming which most of us won't live long enough to see, it's long past time to make this the top priority and get it fixed so we can enjoy our homes and gardens again.
2. Put an end to senseless growth that may enrich some developers and give the council more tax dollars to play with, but overtaxes the city's infrastructure and makes life stressful for those who actually live here. I would point to the planned development of East Meadow Circle by Google. That area has no direct exits to any major road, so we will have hundreds more car and bus trips a day going through residential streets including onto the new Ross Road bike boulevard. How is that going to improve life for kids riding their bikes to/from school not to mention the rest of us who thought we lived in a residential neighborhood, not in a high traffic, overly dense commercial development?
3. Stop wasting our tax dollars on poorly thought out and worse executed projects like the Ross Road bike boulevard which pushes bikes into the same space as cars, puts bulbouts and other hard to see impediments in the path of drivers, and slows emergency vehicles that can't readily transit the badly designed roundabouts. How did this project go through with so little imput from residents and no adjustments when its many failings became obvious?
4. The real priority I'd like to see is a City Council that actively seeks out input from residents all the time, not just once a year for a retreat, and listens to that input to make constructive change in our city. You should be on top of all the issues I've outlined above, but you haven't been. You need to restructure your approach so you really represent and serve the voters in this city.
Name not shown in Midtown/ Midtown West
My priorities are 1) creating a lot more affordable housing in our community in the next 3 years—at least 500 units and at different levels of affordability, 2) funding and launching more shuttles with more frequent service to get us out of our cars, engaging more forcefully with the FAA to reduce the horrendous number of commercial flights at low altitudes that go over many of our homes in numbers of 150 to 300 every 24 hours.
Please advocate for our city and the city's clean air and clean noise requirements, that we have planes diverted from overhead to over the Bay.