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Attachment B

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PALO ALTO CALIFORNIA AVENUE TRANSIT HUB CORRIDOR September 1, 2011 Attendees: Jaime Rodriquez Linda Gates Curtis Williams Bob Moss Cham Dang Lara Ekwall Judy Gittelsohm Bob Davidson

Shahla Yazdy David Gates Dave Bennett Scott Otle Jessica Roth Masa OhoChi Tommy Fehrenback

Kandee Bahmani Terry Shochat Leland Wiesner Elena Silverman Michael Ekwall Christina Ross Hector Sol

The City introduced the project and the Design Team. It was emphasized that the City would like to formalize communications with the business community. They would like to establish a consistent meeting schedule, at time/times most convenient for property owners and merchants which could provide a reliable method for the business community to communicate their issues and concerns to the City. Per City direction, the first tasks the Consultant Team will be to look at are options for widening the sidewalks. The RBF/Gates Consultant Team solicited input from meeting participants on their concerns and goals for the project. Input fell into several categories. 1. Decision to reduce number of travel lanes on California Avenue from four (4) to two (2) lanes. The majority of attendees (10-2) are not in support of the 2-lane options; but would like to see the street beautified. They are concerned that without 2 lanes of traffic in each direction, flow will severely impact motorists, as motorists require left lanes to pass cars stopped in right lane (they noted double parking for deliveries). Motorists on California must stop to allow pedestrians to cross driveways prior to turning into parking and to allow cars parked in diagonal spaces to back out. David Bennet noted that the Mollie Stones Market especially could be impacted by congestion. Participants also expressed frustration that they feel the City has elected to proceed with the 2-lane option in spite of business community concerns. The City indicated that they are looking into perhaps performing a test to see how traffic patterns might be impacted. Participants were in favor of a test. One participant shared the viewpoint in support of the 2-lane option. He pointed out that many of the successful retail corridors are 2-lane only. One example he shared was the BIRDROCK area in San Diego; which did a similar, very successful, conversion from four to two lanes. 2. Parking All participants indicated that adequate parking is the number one issue. The majority of parking shortage occurs between 11 and 3. Some local companies have addressed parking deficiencies by providing employee shuttles to California Avenue for lunch. Jaime shared that the City is currently conducting a parking analysis for the area. They have already collected important information on parking availability at four (4) key times throughout the day and will repeat the inventory assessment again in September. There was concern expressed by participants that some of the available parking stalls were actually not used because they were too small. The City and Design Team shared that future parking stalls would be per city standard (9 wide by 18 deep) Sub-standard stalls would not be used to

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increase parking stall yield. The angle of parking should be looked at also (check what Menlo Park did). The City acknowledged the long waiting list for permit parking. It was suggested that the waiting list is an indication of both of the critical need and that permit rates are low. It was suggested that fees should be raised and an additional parking structure constructed. Other suggestions included: train employees and business owners to use the remote parking spaces. Provide customers information about parking stall availability in the area. Enhance pedestrian connections between available parking and destinations to reduce perceived travel distance. 3. Character of California Avenue: There was a discussion of what makes California Avenue special. It was felt that California Avenue is a reflection of old Palo Alto. The tenant mix of local, owner-operated, independent businesses creates a unique, personal, friendly ambiance. It feels authentic. The focus of the project should be protection of existing business and this special retail ambiance. The link to Cal Train is important for business. Thoughts on character: ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Like the art flavor of the street and feel that the beautification project should indicate potential locations for art but not pieces. Perhaps these could be short-term revolving art display. Need shade, would place emphasis on trees over art. Existing trees are not sacred; rather find the best solution for the street. Like outdoor dining uses; but need to protect these areas from cars. Would like to see more interesting plantings (Stanford Shopping Center and University Ave. are good examples) Maintenance: need to address maintenance for new planted areas; not consistent. Existing planters and banners are not maintained. News racks improve look, consolidate and regulate locations, reduce visual clutter. Lighting: need to improve to make the area feel safer (especially by Plaza). Light fixtures should be more attractive and pedestrian scale. Signage: enhance way-finding at the pedestrian scale, (maybe a directory with street map @ locations along street). Mixed feelings on adequacy of parking lot kiosk with information / signage about local events/sales. Street furniture: add more trash receptacles and attractive recycling containers. Provide opportunities for boulders, art, seat pads. Storm drainage: make sure improvements do not create drainage / flood problems. (Consultant Team has been specially tasked by City to look at this issue.) Farmers Market is critical to economic success of some businesses. Retain at its present location, although as it grows, shift further in from El Camino intersection. Look at opportunities to develop other events in Plaza area to benefit businesses at the end of sheet.

4. Pedestrian Circulation Crosswalk needs to be more visible. Concerned flashing crosswalks would increase traffic congestion, like raised crosswalks. Need to provide adequate space for Moms with strollers. 5. Plaza Area Plaza, particularly the undercrossing, does not feel safe. Maybe it could be a performance / speaking venue. Maybe it could provide more parking.

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6. Construction Impacts Construction of beautification improvements cannot be allowed to disrupt existing businesses. City and Consultant Team are committed to creating a staging and phasing plan which is focused on protecting existing businesses. 7. Other Would like to see stop sign added at Sherman Avenue and Ash Street. Questions the participants would like to see addressed: 1. How do improved bicycle facilities benefit business? Where has this happened? Do not feel increased bike traffic will benefit some uses such as the grocery store. 2. How are bicyclists safer with reduced lanes? What about conflicts with parked cars backing into bicyclists? 3. What are the economic benefits of the improvements for the merchants? 4. Many businesses use rear alley for deliveries; but some depend on deliveries directly from California Avenue; how will 2-lane option accommodate deliveries? 5. Does it make sense to retain four lanes and transition for first block of El Camino? There are significant back-ups for motorist turning into the CitiBank parking area and the first block is the most congested. 6. How are buses accommodated?