Palo Alto forced to share a public park with the public; Surprise! Its beautiful

Originally published at: Palo Alto forced to share a public park with the public; Surprise! Its beautiful | Boing Boing

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I’m going to the park Right Now!

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I would be interested in the outcome to some of the softer non-resident bans in other municipalities.
(Example, parking is $5, unless you can show you are a resident.)

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After moving to the High Desert / Cal. one of the first things my Dear Wife and I noticed is the relaxed nature of the drivers, it’s really a no fuss no muss attitude while driving around here. We ascertained that it’s the ample parking and low traffic that just comes with the rural area. You can park the Queen Mary anyplace in town, free.

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It’s more complicated than that. I grew up (and learned to drive) in rural Michigan. People are aggressive drivers there. I’ve theorized that it is because people have to drive so far between work and home that they’re always in a rush and can’t tolerate even a few seconds delay. The friendly, polite mid-westerner trope was an endless source of amusement to me. They’re polite as long as you aren’t in their way. The reality is I’ve seen way more fist fights on the freeway in the relatively light traffic of West Michigan versus the near constant bustle of the Bay Area

(it’s possible there is something in the water. :wink: )

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Reminds me of my favorite political joke:

A conservative and a libertarian are arguing and finally, the conservative, exasperated, throws up his hands, “you libertarians would let people shoot drugs and fornicate on the playground of a public park!”

The libertarian looks horrified. “Public Parks!?”

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I commuted to SF from 70 miles north everyday for 10 years [on a motorcycle], absolute f’ing murder of that ride. Not enough cheddar in the universe to get me to that death march ever again. So say I.

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God God, Muffy, they’ll let State College graduates in now!!

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Before the park opened, Palo Alto turned down an offer from Santa Clara County in 1964 to contribute $500,000 toward the acquisition costs — because accepting the county’s offer came with a contingency that the park be open to all. Instead, the city limited access to the park to only Palo Alto residents and their guests, starting in 1969, and even made it a misdemeanor for a nonresident to enter the park.

County: Hey, here’s some free money to buy a little more than half of your beautiful park!

City: Nah, we’ll go with racism and classism instead.

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As a former Midwesterner, I agree. As a bartender in Kansas City, I had to drag people out weekly. In New York I’ve never even had to admonish anyone. In my experience, Midwest polite only applies to people who look, talk and think the same.

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I live in Atlanta, where everyone thinks he’s a NASCAR driver. I drove my son’s car to him cross-country when he relocated to San Fransisco a couple of years ago. It’s a Fiat 500. There was a point, somewhere along I-580 where I realized I was locked in Deathrace 2000. It was terrifying. I could not wait to get where I was going. Beautiful city, but I never want to drive anywhere near SF ever again.

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Heh, try parking on the other coast in Queens for free.

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Used to live in Palo Alto, not far from this park.
It is beautiful, and was one of my favorite places to hike.
It felt like I was presenting my White Privilege card every time I passed the guard gate and had to show my driver’s license with the “correct” ZIP on it.
Probably because that’s precisely what I was doing.
Very happy to hear that this is open to the public now, as it always should have been!

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I lived in San Jose for five years before heading back to Florida. I don’t think anything compares to Florida because the drivers are all imports who bring their individual states’ driving styles with them, comprising a grand rush-hour carnival of idiocy. I’ll admit I drive like an asshole, but I want to think it’s more a survival mechanism than anything else.

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Whether or not there’s racism in Palo Alto’s stingy attitude towards its park (and I wouldn’t necessarily deny it), there is one hell of a lot of NIMBYism. Unless you can afford a $2 million house, Palo Alto residents don’t believe you belong there. While Palo Alto was not the only Bay Area community to prevent BART from reaching San Jose on the south side, it was one of the loudest, most notable opponents to what it called “crime trains.” These wealthy bastards can go screw themselves.

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I’m a terrible driver. And by that, I mean I follow the rules and have never been in an accident. I take no chances. I lived in the Washington DC metro area back in the '80s, and I felt the same way about drivers there that you do about Florida. Lots of international drivers who had … interesting driving styles.

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If a park has a guard, it’s not a park and they’re not doing it right.

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I have some experience in South Bay traffic. East San Jose to west-end of Santa Clara county for 15 years (Palo Alto, Cupertino, or Mountain View). I found 280/680 is worse in terms of behavior than 87/101, so I often took the slow more-congested way. Then I moved, so now it’s Santa Cruz to Mountain View or Santa Clara for the past few years. 17 is dangerous, I never take my motorcycle on it.

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Yikes, the 17 over the hill everyday? No thank you. In my crazy days I would do that ride on a bike, but not anymore, too crazy for this old biker.

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