Tag Archives: Parking in Berkeley
LINDGREN’S COFFEE & CAFE We tipped you off in September that a new coffee shop was coming to downtown Berkeley, and now it’s here (hat-tip to David Sanger for the alert). Lindgren’s Coffee and Café, which has opened at 2120 Dwight Way just off Shattuck, roasts its own coffee, and offers fresh pastries (baked in-house), sandwiches, beer and wine, as well as coffee of course. There’s also free wifi.
MVMNT STUDIO A new urban dance space has opened at 2973 Sacramento St. near Ashby. MVMNT Studio describes itself as a creative space that provides training, facilities and encouragement in urban art forms such as capoeira, breaking, house dancing and street art. MVMNT or “Movement” began as a dancer/artist based night in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, WA. The studio’s 1,800 sq ft open floor space is also available to rent. Check out MVMNT’s Facebook page for the latest schedule of classes and events. [Hat-tip: Sofia Zander] … Continue reading »
In response to our first installation of Ask Berkeleyside, in which we requested your questions about mysteries around town, we received this comment and query from a reader: “I’d like to report that signs with one-way arrows and the caption ‘No Parking at Any Time’ seem totally ineffectual on narrow streets in the Berkeley hills because, while they do inhibit the residents, non-resident cars and trucks park in them constantly, with impunity. Any advice? By the way, what are the penalties and conditions, if there are any?”
Noel Pinto, parking enforcement manager with the Berkeley Police Department, said via email that the fine for a “No Parking Any Time” violation is $64; on game days the fine is $95.
Pinto wrote: “Narrow street restrictions are in place to ensure that emergency vehicles have unrestricted access when responding to an emergency. The Department’s goal is to enforce these violations consistently. However, more often than not, officers do not find many violations when they drive by regularly.” … Continue reading »
Berkeley’s San Pablo Avenue is a thoroughfare for cross-city traffic and a hub for all sorts of businesses. Recently, however, some of the street’s business owners say the street has been suspiciously empty, with few parked cars or people frequenting stores.
Terry Griffin, who runs Griffin Motorwerke, blames this absence on 420 parking meters that were installed two years ago.
“The day the city put in these meters, people stopped parking on San Pablo Avenue,” he said. “Now, they just don’t shop there anymore.”
The coin-only meters were installed along certain stretches of San Pablo Avenue in 2010 after a unanimous vote by the Berkeley City Council. This measure, which also raised the rates of meters across the city by 25 cents an hour, was passed in an effort to increase city revenue to fight the economic recession. … Continue reading »
In a measure that will be considered by the City Council Tuesday night, Capitelli is suggesting that parking enforcement officers give people a five-minute grace period after their meters expire.
“We hear that parking enforcement officers have been seen waiting at targeted cars for the exact minute the receipt has expired,” Capitelli wrote in the measure. “This has created tremendous ill will and frustration, ultimately discouraging people from patronizing our local businesses.”
Sometimes there is a discrepancy between the time on the watch of a patron and the time on the parking meter, Capitelli noted. This “friendlier” policy will ease that distinction.
The five-minute grace period would only apply to cars using a pay and display meter that produces a time-stamped receipt that can be displayed on a dashboard.
Any ease in parking restrictions would help attract customers because shoppers always have the option of going to a mall or going to Albany, where is parking is free, instead of coming to Berkeley, said Allen Cain, the director of the Solano Avenue Association. … Continue reading »
Kriss Worthington wants Berkeley to have a kinder, gentler ticketing policy.
If you park in a red zone or in a disabled space, you deserve no mercy, said Councilmember Worthington, whose district covers the Telegraph Avenue corridor. But if you encounter a meter maid writing you a ticket, you should be able to talk him or her into ripping it up.
“If you show up and you are going to move your vehicle, which is the goal in the first place, the police shouldn’t be forced to finish writing you a ticket when you are standing there mad at them,” said Worthington, who rarely drives a car and can been seen riding his bike all around town.
New parking signs have arrived in a Berkeley neighborhood that has been the focus of discontent and confusion over parking restrictions over the past few months — but not everyone thinks they are an improvement on the previous signage.
In early January, we reported on efforts by residents and workers in the area surrounding Trader Joe’s in downtown Berkeley to help drivers avoid parking citations. Handmade signs warning of what they saw as poorly signalled restrictions were erected on private properties and on trees and lamposts in the neighborhood.
Neighbors also voiced complaints that a local towing company was taking advantage of the confusion by swooping in to tow cars whose drivers had misunderstood the parking regulations.
The new signs show a large “P” with a cross through it and they detail both the time period when parking is not permitted on a particular side of the street, and the exceptions. … Continue reading »
By Linda Hemmila
Residents and workers in the area surrounding Trader Joe’s in downtown Berkeley allege that a local towing company under contract to the city is removing signs made by neighbors to warn drivers of possible parking violations. In doing so, Hustead’s, local residents claim, are hoping to drum up more business for themselves as more cars may require towing.
The accusations emerged in a story published on Berkeleyside on January 5 about parking problems in the area of the Trader Joe’s on MLK Jr Way and University Avenue. City signs regarded by many — including Councilmember Jesse Arreguín — to be confusing, have led some local residents to put up their own signs warning drivers of the risk of being cited.
Hustead’s Manager Janice Lee denied the allegations made against the towing company, saying Hustead’s neither contracts with the city nor works in the Trader Joe’s neighborhood. … Continue reading »
By Linda Hemmila
If you’ve received a parking ticket near Trader Joe’s on University Avenue in Berkeley, you’re in good company. So many people have been ticketed there over the past year and half it’s become a neighborhood cause, has provoked defiant action from a “parking vigilante”, and is up for renewed discussion at the next scheduled City Council meeting on January 17th.
The trouble stems from parking signs in the area, which, according to councilmember Jesse Arreguín, are “very confusing”. The city has acknowledged as much by dismissing most contested citations because, it says, the signage is not sufficiently clear to visitors.
It all started in June 2010 when, as part of the redevelopment of the downtown area — and with the June 11 opening of Trader Joe’s — the city altered parking signs in the neighborhood that designated one side of the street as resident-only parking and the other side two-hour parking. The signs on the residential side were adorned with red and white city-made stickers denoting “no parking” that were placed directly over the old sign which said “two- hour parking”. The streets in questions include Berkeley Way, Addison Street, Bonita Avenue and Grant Street. … Continue reading »
Berkeley City Council Tuesday voted to raise hourly parking rates by 25 cents to $1.75 an hour within a pre-determined “premium” zone in Downtown in order to raise an estimated $125,000.
The area where the new rates will apply has the highest intensity of use, as calculated by the city, and includes around 750 parking spaces within the bounds of University Avenue to Bancroft Way, and Oxford Avenue to Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.
The new rates could be effective as early as July 11 as they are being raised ahead of the Council’s expected approval of the designation of Downtown as a Property-based Business Improvement District. In a property-based BID, all property owners within the affected district are assessed, including public property, and the City’s total assessment will be $104,072 — hence the decision to cover that bill through increases to parking rates.
The recommendation was passed somewhat reluctantly by five votes. Councilmembers Gordon Wozniak, Susan Wengraf and Laurie Capitelli voted against it, arguing that the public would not take kindly to rate hikes and that downtown businesses would suffer as a consequence. … Continue reading »
Berkeley approves use of tire boot for parking scofflaws [CC Times]
Berkeley High conference on black youth in crisis [Daily Californian]
Berkeley Rep reschedules Rita Moreno, adds Anna Deveare Smith [Berkeley Rep]
South African judge who did report on Gaza conflict to speak at Cal [The J]
Nine Berkeley gardens on Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour [Oakland Tribune]
Chronicle’s Bauer holds his ground on rating for Gather Restaurant [Eater SF]
Photo: Blue Victorian by wnewton/Berkeleyside Flickr pool.
Parking scofflaws who have more than five unpaid parking tickets may soon find an unwelcome visitor on their car: a parking boot.
The City Council on Tuesday will consider becoming the 14th city in the United States to use these wheel blockers to recoup unpaid parking fines.
But as onerous and unfriendly as these “vehicle immobilizers” may sound, they may actually be less expensive and less inconvenient for parking scofflaws, according to a city report. Currently, those whose cars are towed because of an accumulation of unpaid tickets must 1) go down to the city’s customer service center, pay their fines, and pick up a tow release form; 2) hand-deliver the release form to the Berkeley Police Department, pay a $75 fee and pick up a vehicle release form; 3) Take that form to one of the city’s four tow lots, pay off the storage fees ($65 a day), and then, and only then, they will get back their car. … Continue reading »
The city will lose $52,000 in revenue when it gives drivers a parking holiday on Dec. 18 and 24.
The city earns about $20,000 each day in parking revenues and garners $12,000 in parking citation revenue each day, according to a report prepared by City Manager Phil Kamlarz. Dec. 24 is a city employee holiday anyway, so the city was not expecting citation revenue for that date.
Councilmembers Laurie Capitelli, Darryl Moore, and Susan Wengraf proposed a two-day parking meter holiday at last week’s council meeting. They argued that it would show small businesses that the city is trying to help during the current economic recession. The discussion at the meeting grew pointed, as Kamlarz argued against the holiday because it would worsen the city’s fiscal health. Mayor Tom Bates joined with Councilmembers Kriss Worthington and Jesse Arreguin, with whom he usually disagrees, to oppose the proposal, but it passed anyway.
The city can program the multi-space parking meters so they tell patrons that Dec. 18 and 24 are meter holidays. But they won’t put a bag over standalone meters because the city does not have enough bags.
Could the parking system be improved? This is a question Berkeley plans to address now that it has been awarded two grants worth a total of $3.8 million with which it will explore … Continue reading »