By Kiet Do

PALO ALTO (CBS SF) – Palo Alto is considering a major overhaul of its Residential Preferential Parking Program.

Monday night, the council met to discuss the findings of a 51-page staff report.

The report identified 35 shortcomings to address in order to improve the RPP, which over the past decade has expanded into a patchwork of five districts that are “tailored to meet the unique circumstances of the area.” As a result, the administration and enforcement process, and even the look of the permits themselves vary from district to district.

For instance, rules in College Terrace only allow parking from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in two-hour increments, per day on the same block. The “CT” district was established to address spillover parking from Stanford Business Park into the neighborhoods. Residents can apply for permits that exempt them from the restrictions. While in Crescent Park, parking is only prohibited from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m., in response to a spike in overnight parking.

The first of the 35 recommendations calls for a “Parking Permit Management System”, to create a uniform and consistent permit and citation process across the city.

Mayor Eric Filseth supported streamlining the process to make it more efficient.

“It’s simpler to administer and quite frankly, it’s probably fair. Right now there is a certain amount of argument involved. And we want to get away from that,” Filseth said.

Filseth said after years of strong job growth, city governments all across the Bay Area must refocus efforts on infrastructure investments: housing, transportation, and or course, parking.

“It’s been an economic boon. But the infrastructure has not kept up. Developers hate to build parking because it costs money and we let them do that,” Filseth said.

At the meeting, the council heard public comment, and considered adding contracts for service in the next operating budget.

Neighbor Robert Kennelly suggested creating a rule to prohibit parking during street sweeping hours.

“I hate to make things more complicated, but it’d be nice if we had one or two days a month where the street would get swept,” said Kennelly.

Read the full report here.

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