Newsletter

Newsletter

 

December 6, 2017
THIS WEEK ON THE SAN FRANCISCO PENINSULA 
News that Impacts Your Quality of Life
 
Quality for neighborhoods and work itself have been hallmarks of California’s success.  All of the Peninsula’s communities are experiencing the benefits and pains of sustained growth. Articles selected for this newsletter reflect the editors’ concern for quality of life in each town and city.
Weeping Willow Road
Menlo Park
Council, in response to an onslaught of complaints about Willow neighborhood traffic, considers “no through traffic” signs and stoplight synchronization. But they admit traffic will only improve slightly….Willows residents said the city needed to act now to reduce the congestion. Brian Gilmer, a lifelong resident, pointed out that traffic is not a new issue, but things have gotten significantly worse. 
Council voted 4-0 to put white “No Thru Traffic” signs up near the entrances of the neighborhood. City staff stated the signs are not enforceable and that Waze might [or might not] take streets off of the apps routes. 
Will Woodside Wave Off Waze?
Woodside
, just like Los Gatos, Menlo Park and Los Altos, sees negative impact from Waze craze. 
Catch 22
solutions are evolving. 
Ed. Comment:
First, citizens appeal to their city council. Second, analysis ensues; city erects a set of signs stating “No Through Traffic”. Third, this restriction isn’t enforceable by local police, but Google/Waze has option to delete guidance services into impacted neighborhoods. Final step, residential neighborhoods have unattractive signage and perhaps less Waze induced traffic. 
When will all Councils address their core quality control issue? Economic development has greatly exceeded carrying capacity of infrastructure. 
Waze is just a symptom. 
 
Paying for More Pavement?
$532 million will be proposed for another lane for just one segment of
Highway 101 in San Mateo County
. Taxpayer fatigue is a concern.   
Ed. Comment:
It is time to shift investment from pavement to traffic mitigation. Stay tuned for superbowl of regional, county, school and city bond measures in 2018.
Neighbors Find Stanford Project Unappealing
Menlo Park
is challenging Stanford growth. The council voted 4-0 to appeal the approval of medical office building to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. 
Big Dig = Big Fight
The fear over turning downtown San Jose
into a business-killing construction zone has transit agencies fighting over how to dig a 5-mile tunnel that will bring BART to the heart of Silicon Valley. “When BART was constructed on downtown Market Street in San Francisco, it took two generations for the core of that city to recover,” said San Jose Mayor Liccardo.

Getting there, however, has San Jose officials worried. They look at other big BART construction projects through cities and foresee nothing but trouble.

Ed. Comment:

Once-a-century infrastructure projects are vulnerable to over-simplified, short-term thinking and finance.

Are Audits Awful?
A
request for an emergency audit of the $64-billion
California bullet train
project was turned down by Assemblyman Muratsuchi who chairs the joint audit committee. Muratsuchi said the request would deny the legislature and public an opportunity to review and discuss the issue in public. The project is facing a $1.7-billion increase in costs and a seven-year delay in just its segment in the Central Valley.
Ed. Comment:
Legislators seem to avoid audits like the plague
AiRBNB: 2B Or Not 2B?
Net benefit of AirBnb is now under the microscope in Redwood City. In an effort to balance homeowners’ desire to supplement their income by renting portions of their homes with a need to preserve Redwood City’s housing stock, officials are scoping a set of regulations for short-term rentals.
Ed. Comment:
 We acknowledge Assistant City Manager Aknin for his leadership on a neglected policy issue for communities up and down the Peninsula.
Palo Alto Companies Know the Way to San Jose?
Could
San Jose
become the next
Palo Alto
for tech companies? San Jose may have a shot at the limelight. Companies with offices in Palo Alto are paying, on average, a 71.2 percent rent premium.
Palo Alto Pursues Bike Sharing
After failing to get traction in its prior attempts,
Palo Alto’s
plan to bring bike-share programs to the city’s masses is about to move into a new direction. 
Cupertino Council Takes the Lead
Cupertino
Council is among the first to respond to omnibus package of 15 new bills impacting California housing developments. Conflicting opinions, unclear interpretation and complex development incentives will complicate all local Council decision-making for years to come.
Ed. Comment:
 It is time for all City Council to convene study sessions to inform and involve their voters about the shift in local decision-making powers.
Subs Are Not Sandwiches
In the ultra-competitive market for substitute teachers, South San Francisco schools are boosting pay from $135 to $160. When there are not enough substitutes, classes may be split. The result is often a group of students too big for one teacher. 
Success of SFPRA newsletter success depends upon its readers. Please feel free to forward the newletter to your friends and neighbors. Ask them to subscribe at no cost by clicking the subscribe button above or by emailing 
cnsbuchanan@gmail.com
.
Editors Neilson Buchanan and John Guislin are unpaid, private citizens on the SF Peninsula and have no ties to developers or government organizations.

 

 

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