Last fall, Council implemented a pilot parking program despite the fact that staff had strongly recommended a "wait and see" approach. The program was anticipated to have a small deficit of less than $20,000 initially and was anticipated to possibly generate income afterward.
The ostensible reason given was to protect neighborhood parking. However, the program did not restrict parking for events such as The Farmer's Market, Thursday Night Live, The Art and Wine festival or other events.
THe 3 hour limit was enough to allow parking for The Farmers Market, but not for football games. I never understood the reason for this. In my opinion, it doesn't matter if people are parked for 3 hours or 5, it should all have remained free.
Approximately 2700 staff hours were dedicated to the permit parking program which generated about $10,000 income to the city instead of the projected $90,000. This means that the program generated just under $4 per staff hour spent and was $80,000 short of the projections. Even if staff was paid a minimum of $10/hr (John Inks indicated that staff is paid significantly more), the program would be losing $6 per hour and that doesn't include the non-staff expenses which were $61,000 to date.
The good news is that the number of paid lots will be reduced, as will the area to be included in the 3 hour time limit for event days. However, Pat Showalter twice requested that the area near 100 Moffet be placed back into the resticted parking zone based on the request of one resident even though there had not been a single citation issued there. In the end, the Council decided not to include the 100 Moffet area, but they did decide to continue the "Pilot".
My understanding when this "pilot" was first considered, was that it was being done on a trial basis, and that if it was unsuccessful, it would be discontinued. By any analysis, it has been an unmitigated disaster (which is probably why staff so strongly recommended a wait and see approach), yet the Council on a 6-1 vote (Inks against) decided that the pilot needs more time.
If these dismal numbers were not enough for the Council to discontinue this money wasting program, what will be? The program is expected to lose less than $30,000 this year because of the reduction in staff hours needed to administer.
In my opinion there are far better uses for precious staff time and far better uses of limited City funds.
Resident Old Mountain View