CALIFORNIAN DREAM… When the Palo Alto City Council voted earlier this month to keep a segment of California Avenue as a permanent pedestrian thoroughfare, its decision sparked a mix of responses, with outdoor dining enthusiasts applauding the decision and some neighborhood businesses fuming against the action. Since then, however, the city has implemented small changes that it hopes will please both parties. In the days following the November 6 vote, the city installed approximately 40 signs in and around the business district, directing people towards covered car parks, bicycle parking and the pedestrian zone. He also added a “No Right Turn” sign. The Real Path, the western terminus of the pedestrian zone. And he promises other positive changes in the coming weeks, including a contract with the nonprofit. Downtown Streets Team to add the no-car portion of California Avenue to the list of city streets and facilities it cleans (according to a notice from the city, the council will consider the proposed deal next month).
Palo Alto also plans to extend until next year its contract for a mini-golf course that currently operates near Izzy’s bagels as part of a short-term deal and to add more murals to the city’s “second downtown,” a project that will be led by the city’s Public Art Commission.
Meanwhile, city planners are preparing to return to the council next month for its next decision on California Avenue: whether to approve a contract with the consulting firm. Urban Field Studios to contribute to the redesign and improvement of the new pedestrian promenade. According to an announcement released by the city, the contract is necessary to “support legislative methods to permanently close portions of streets, as well as other elements such as design guidelines for outdoor spaces, wayfinding signage and l ‘brand image”. The council is expected to consider this contract on December 11.
NEWELL NEWS… After a decade of debate and numerous delays, Palo Alto hopes to begin rebuilding the Newell Road Bridge next year. The $16.3 million project is part of a larger regional plan to strengthen flood protection around San Francisquito Creek. While other parts of the flood control efforts – including the planned replacement of the Pape-Chaucer Bridge – are coordinated by the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority, work on the Newell Bridge is led by the City of Palo Alto.
One outstanding issue concerns negotiations with adjacent property owners regarding upcoming work, according to a new report from the Department of Public Works. To contribute to this process, the municipal council is preparing to approve on November 27 an addition of $295,083 to its contract with the firm NV5, Inc., bringing its total amount to $2.2 million, according to the report. The work includes property appraisals, preparing documents for temporary and permanent easements and coordinating with landowners, according to the report.