By Steve Levy
The Palo Alto I Live InUploaded: Jul 22, 2012
I came here in 1963 as a grad student at Stanford. We raised our children in Palo Alto. I have worked downtown since 1969 and we have lived downtown since 2006.
This is the Palo Alto I experience.
Palo Alto is university town. I have lived near UCLA and in Cambridge, Mass. while going to college. Towns with big bustling universities are big bustling places wherever located and never sleepy suburban places.
Add to that Palo Alto is the site of a large medical and research facilty at Stanford, a large regional shopping center and a center of high tech activity. We are not in any sense a traditional suburb nor does Palo Alto have that feel.
Moreover we are in the middle of two of the fastest growing metro areas in the nation measured by recent job growth.
Downtown is bustling and growing. There are several new office buildings under construction and I read that the vacancy ratge downtown is under 2%. Retail spaces are filling up in addition to the new Apple store about to open.
What does all this mean to me.
First, I like living and working in Palo Alto. I like being a part of the bustle and seeing a new generation of smiling young adults piling off CalTrain and steaming into offices, restuarants and places downtown. I like seeing crowded CalTrains and slowly expanding service.
While I don't think the current HSR is well thought out, if it occurs I want a station in PA. I welcome the expansion and bustle and accept the part we play in a competitive regional economy.
Second, I want to return the favor given our family by prioor generations that welcomed and planned for growth with high quality schools and amenities. So in addition to welcoming the job growth and attendant excitement of being near the cutting edge, I accept our responsibility to provide for housing growth as well even though much of the new job and housing growth will be near where we li ve, especially since PA is guiding new development toward areas like downtown.
So I support funding for schools my family will not use and amenities that others will use.
We are temporary visitors in a wonderful place and I want to do for the next and larger cohort of residents what was done for our family.