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University Ave


City of Palo Alto




Palo Alto, California


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With the pandemic, our local businesses were hard hit by the lockdowns.  California and much of the US has developed around the car limiting pedestrian access to our cities to the sidewalks.  The pandemic offers a unique opportunity to rethink how we interface with our cities.  If we look to Europe where many of their cities formed more organically and not to the rigid optimization of vehicular traffic in America, we see street designs where the pedestrian is prioritized.  In this scenario, cafes flourish, shops see more foot fall, and there is more of a sense of a community.  Chris had early discussions with the city of Palo Alto about closing University Ave to vehicular traffic and allowing restaurants to seat their patrons outside on the street.  A solution to help limit the spread of the virus indoors, it also is a first step towards creating a public realm for people rather than cars.

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