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PaloAltoConnect

City Manager Weekly Update Blog Series: April 5, 2021

Learn about recent City of Palo Alto updates and news.

Each Council meeting, City Manager Ed Shikada provides “City Manager Comments” sharing recent City news, and updates for the community to stay informed on important issues facing the community. This blog series summarizes these weekly updates.

If you’d prefer to watch the City Manager share this week’s updates and news at the April 5, 2021 Council meeting, click the video below.

COUNTY CONTINUES IN THE ORANGE TIER

Santa Clara County continues in the State’s Red Tier, along with 87% of the state. The County will move to the less restrictive Orange Tier as of Wednesday, March 24. To move to a higher tier, counties must meet case rate and test positivity for two weeks.

Managing through the pandemic

Santa Clara County continues in the State’s Orange Tier. Check out the Blueprint for a Safer Economy for more details on what that entails. FAQ from the County’s website can be found here.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department announced that a growing number and proportion of COVID-19 variants have been detected in the county. County public health officials warn that the increasing presence of variants can jeopardize the county’s progress over the past few months in curbing the pandemic.

Urging Continued Safety Practices

Continued safe practices are critical:

  • Wear a face covering
  • Avoiding gathering with those outside your household
  • Continue free COVID-19 testing
  • County public health officials are also cautioning against non-essential travel and quarantining if traveling

VACCINE ROLLOUT & COVID-19 TESTING OPTIONS

Vaccine Update:

Overall vaccine supply in the county remains limited. April 1 marked the first day all California residents age 50 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Starting April 15, all California residents age 16 and older will be eligible.

Go to sccfreevax.org for more information and updates on availability for Santa Clara County residents.

COVID-19 Testing Continues to be Critical:

  • Testing through Curative:
  • Every Tuesday at Mitchell Park Library Parking lot
  • Every Wednesday at a new Downtown location near City Hall
  • Testing through the County/City:
  • April 16 at Mitchell Park Community Center

Go to www.cityofpaloalto.org/testing for timely information on upcoming testing opportunities and to book your appointment online.

LIBRARY PHASED REOPENING PLANNED

A phased reopening of select branches for browsing and pickups is planned this April and May:

  • Children’s Library Reopening By Appointment Only April 13
  • Mitchell Park and Rinconada Libraries will reopen by appointment only in May

Visitors will be required to wear face coverings, follow social distancing protocols and capacity limits per State and County public health restrictions.

Keep an eye on the Library’s website for more details about the reopening, appointment scheduling, and how you can visit the Libraries safely.

UPLIFT LOCAL COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Share your input on the City’s Uplift Local Efforts

NEW ONLINE SURVEY: Share your thoughts about the potential extension of the parklet and street closures on and off University Avenue and California Avenue

Results will help inform the April 19 Council discussion

Go for the survey: http://bit.ly/Upliftextension

UPCOMING COMMUNITY CHECK-IN: Join us for the next meeting on April 20 at 5:30 p.m.

For details and Zoom link, go to www.upliftlocal.org

MAY FETE WEEK-LONG CELEBRATION PLANNED

Join us for this year’s May Fete celebration May 1 through May 8! The theme will be “What a Wonderful World.” While 2021 won’t see the same kind of gathering as in past years, it will feature a “reverse parade,” where displays are stationary and spectators drive around Palo Alto to view them. There is also a Pets on Display option to celebrate Palo Alto pets, plus Library story times and a virtual vehicle car show!

Join in the fun, learn more and register at paloaltomayfeteparade.com

HIGHWAY 101 BIKE BRIDGE INSTALLATION UPDATE

The Bike Bridge project trusses over Highway 101 are anticipated to be installed in the next few weeks. Transporting the trusses to California is an amazing effort that takes tremendous coordination. There are three trusses, each about 100 feet long. Project progress continues and the completion date remains Summer 2021. Tentatively, City contractors are working on finalizing permits and other required items for the rescheduled highway closure and bridge installation on April 22 to April 25 or the following weekend April 29 to May 2, could be an alternative date. As contractors gain the required State and Inter-state approvals, staff will resume a public outreach campaign in coordination with Caltrans.

Go here for the project page.

POWER OUTAGES UNDER REVIEW

Two recent power outages affected Palo Alto customers:

  • March 27: The first involved a failed preventative maintenance project at a substation that caused an outage impacting 7,000 customers for approximately two hours
  • April 4: The second was due to a blown transformer impacting 570 customers, most for four hours and a few overnight

Several Issues & Improvements Needed:

Improvements to operational procedures, timeliness of public communication and customer call handling, and limited staffing resources are being explored. Changes to the existing outage system for quicker proactive notifications are being examined. Customers can verify phone numbers on their MyCPAU account to ensure correct Caller ID.

Review Underway:

Internal and third-party reviews are underway. The City will provide updates as further information becomes available.

NOTABLE TENTATIVE UPCOMING COUNCIL ITEMS

April 12

  • Finance Committee Recommends Adjustments to Park, Community Center, and Library Development Impact Fees and other actions
  • Update on the City’s Planned Community (Planned Home Zoning — PHZ) Application Process
  • Colleagues Memo: Referral to the Parks and Recreation Commission of a New Skate Park

April 19

  • Sustainability/Earth Day Item
  • Council to consider including extending the City’s parklet program and street closures as part of the City’s Uplift Local efforts

April 26

  • Continued Connecting Palo Alto Rail Grade Separation Discussion

May and Beyond

  • Prescreening of 123 Sherman to redevelop as a Mixed-use Project
  • Recommendation on the North Ventura Coordinated Area Plan
  • Human Relations Commission recommendations related to CDBG funding
  • Regional Housing Allocation Appeal
  • Council/Planning & Transportation Commission Housing Element Study Session
  • FY 2022 Budget Actions

For City Council meeting materials go here: www.cityofpaloalto.org/councilagendas

STAY INFORMED

City Manager Comments Blog Series at: Medium.com/paloaltoconnect

Gain Coronavirus Updates at: CityofPaloAlto.org/Coronavirus

Sign Up for Coronavirus Updates at: CityofPaloAlto.org/newslettersignup

Call us: (650) 272–3181

Community Support Call Center is available to answer community questions

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City of Palo Alto

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