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Mobility Study
Background
The City of East Palo Alto is grappling with two significant problems: traffic and parking. East Palo Alto experiences severe traffic congestion because other Silicon Valley cities deliberately develop more jobs than housing units. This traffic creates significant problems in East Palo Alto as residents are stuck in regional traffic, and both regional and local traffic moves from the arterials to local streets, further creating congestion in the neighborhood.

East Palo Alto suffers from significant cut through traffic. 84% of the trips on University Ave. neither originate nor designate in East Palo Alto. East Palo Alto has the highest rates of asthma in the County. East Palo Alto also has among the highest transit propensities and highest rates of trips by pedestrians and bicycles in the County.

As part of the City Council’s 2017 Strategic Priorities sessions, the Council identified the need for a comprehensive citywide transportation and mobility plan as one of the top items of the Council priorities for 2017. The Council directed Staff to develop a Comprehensive City Wide Transportation / Mobility Study that addresses traffic congestion, parking problems, cut through traffic on city streets, and overall circulation and mobility issues in the city.

Study Details
The City engaged Hexagon, a Traffic & Transportation Consultants to assist the City in the Mobility Study. The tasks associated with the Mobility Study include the following:

  1. Evaluate Cut-Through Traffic and Develop Strategies to reduce it: Cut through traffic can be analyzed based on existing percentages included in regional traffic models, license plate readers, or data sources from mobile phones. The study proposes to use the anonymous data sources from the mobile devices (phones, vehicle transponder and other) to estimate the actual cut through traffic on University Ave. The data collection firm is Streetlight Data (https://www.streetlightdata.com/) and the data sources are protected for privacy and anonymity. The Study will evaluate potential strategies for minimizing or reducing cut through traffic, including congestion pricing; capital investments (speed humps and mid block chokers); and increased regulatory controls.
  2. Parking Study: The Study will estimate the parking supply in up to 4 neighborhoods, including the Gardens neighborhood. The study will identify the potential solutions including converting streets to one-way streets, parking restrictions, and parking permit programs.
  3. Ten (10) Intersections of Stop Warrants- this is to identify potential problematic intersections.
  4. Updated TDM Policy Guidance: The City is working on a draft TDM ordinance. Hexagon will assist in its review and adoption.
  5. VMT Policy Guidance: Hexagon will assist the City in incorporating the new Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) standards in SB 743 into its traffic planning efforts.
  6. Draft Traffic Impact fee: Hexagon will review and provide comments.
  7. Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements: Hexagon will review existing bicycle and pedestrian plans and assist with prioritizing improvements.

For details on the role Hexagon has in the mobility study, please review their Scope of Work.

The parking issue exists because there are too many cars for the existing right of way.

The causes for the parking crisis are multifaceted and complex, but include:
  1. Residents own multiple cars and have to park some of them on the street. Twelve percent (12%) of the total households in East Palo Alto have four or more cars, while only 8% of the total households in the County have four or more cars.
  2. Many garages are used for storage or have been converted into a living space and cannot be used to park a vehicle.
  3. East Palo Alto has large household sizes and large extended families.
  4. There is a high level of overcrowding in housing units in East Palo Alto. Approximately 32% of all housing units in East Palo Alto are overcrowded.
  5. The regional housing crisis has created a regional crisis with many people living in RVs and parking them on city streets. This is especially a problem at the end of Weeks Street and in the Ravenswood Business District.
  6. The Gardens Neighborhood has narrow streets and rolled curbs, both of which contribute to the parking crisis.
  7. The multifamily units on the Westside are under parked, with approximately one parking space per apartment unit.
  8. Neighboring cities prohibit overnight parking in neighborhoods adjacent to East Palo Alto.

Mobility Survey
The City has created a survey and seeks the input of the community on traffic and parking in your neighborhoods. There is a surveymonkey option and a hard copy option.   

Here is the link for the Mobility Survey on survey monkey:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EPAMobilityStudy
Aquí está el enlace para la encuesta española: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EPASpanishMobilitySurvey

Please complete the hard copy survey below and email your responses to .


Community Meetings
The success of the Mobility Study will greatly depends on Community engagement and participation in the discussion and solutions development process. We are eager to hear your ideas about traffic and parking in your neighborhoods. We are encouraging our residents to attend all community meetings and participate in the discussion to help advance the study.