About two weeks ago, I wrote an article about plans the city has to force residents of the Old Mountain View neighborhood to pay for parking in front of their homes on Levi's stadium event days. The way that the city plans to implement this is to make all parking in Old Mountain View restricted so that residents must move their cars every few hours. If they do not do so, they will then get a parking ticket, which in my opinion is no different than forcing residents to pay for parking as many people will at some point be on vacation, or may be out shopping and will have left their car(s) at home, or may simply be sleeping in on the one day off that they have the entire week.
Regardless of the reason, the City is now placing the burden of responsibility for resolving the issues at Levi's stadium on the residents of Old Mountain View! IF they get away with this, I am sure that it won't be long until they try to apply this same strategy to much of the rest, if not all of Mountain View.
I have watched the video of the study session, that I also attended, a few times and it is clear to me that there is a specific agenda at work here. If you watch the video, you will note that in staff's presentation, there was no recommendation for paid parking, let alone restricted parking in Old Mountain View. These subjects were introduced by Council Member Kasperzak, along with the issue of the controversial License Plate Readers!
Most of the rest of the Council with the exception of John Inks, also seemed to be very excited about the prospect of generating new revenue at residents' expense either through paid parking or residential restrictions.
Vice Mayor McAlister seemed to relish the idea the most and wanted to also introduce towing parking violators! He also said "Wouldn't it usually be better to be harder on people and then soften up, meaning charge them, then soften up, versus give it to them free and then all of a sudden they're paying for it and they would complain?". The City Manager told him that staff was not recommending paid parking nor was the Downtown Committee.
If you watch the whole video, you will see that the City Manager as well as other city employees repeated the admonition again paid parking and against restricting parking in the neighborhoods, many times and the Council went out of their way to ignore this advice.
In the end, Council Member Kasperzak proposed:
o Game day restrictions of 4-5 hours for residential streets in Old Mountain View
o No parking permits for residents
o Use of License Plate Readers to enforce parking
Council Member Kasperzak also commented that it was easier for residents to move their cars than to get a permit and if they don't move their cars or park in their driveway, then they will get a ticket.
Well as a resident of Old Mountain View, I could have told him that many, if not most residents of Old Mountain View, do not have off street parking available either because they have multiple cars (because they are sharing a 2 or 3 bedroom rental unit just to be able to pay rent, or have 2 or more children), or because the house/apartment does not include enough (or any) off street parking.
I believe that the city should follow the original recommendations of the entire staff and the Downtown Committee rather than trying to make up the rules for parking on the fly just so they don't "miss out on a year of revenue opportunity"
Make no mistake, this is nothing more than a money grab at YOUR EXPENSE with the added bonus of invading your privacy! Please demand that the council follow the original recommendation and make NO CHANGES to parking policies. To do so, you can sign the petition that I have created here:
Web Link (Change.org Parking Petition)
or you can email the city council directly at ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
To view the video of the Council and hear the comments for yourself you can use this link:
Web Link (Council Meeting Levi's Stadium and Residential Parking Restrictions)
The one interesting note is that the plan that the city staff will be presenting at tomorrow's meeting includes a plan for residential parking permits even though the council specifically gave instructions that they are not interested. In my personal opinion, I believe that this is the result of all the hard work that many of you have done to help me spread the word about this ridiculously bad plan and they emails that you have been sending to the City! Thanks to everyone who has helped and it is still not too late to sign the petition or email the Council.
Also, this item will be on the agenda for tomorrow. It is scheduled to be the last item, so chances are it will not be heard until very late. The regular meeting starts at 6:30. It is possible that the Council could change the order of the agenda to hear this item sooner, but I wouldn't count on that. So if you do plan to attend, please be prepared to wait up to 4 hours to get your chance to speak.
Again, thank you all for your support and I hope to see many of you tomorrow.
Candidate, Mountain View City Council
Resident, Old Mountain View
Progress in fight against forcing residents to Pay for Parking in front of their homes?
Original post made by Jim Neal, Old Mountain View, on Jun 30, 2014