Town Square

Vehicle dwellers leery of Mountain View's safe parking program

Original post made on Dec 24, 2019

Mountain View is ready to dramatically expand its safe parking program as an alternative for those camping out on public streets. But they're missing one important thing people who actually want to use the lots.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, December 24, 2019, 12:18 PM


Posted by J
a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2019 at 1:21 pm

I would imagine it would be nearly impossible to find a spot again on the street once you’ve “given yours up” to leave for the night.
That being said, if we’re openly admitting here that most vehicles leak sewage and oil and that’s a main reason they can’t participate, we have a huge problem. That’s disgusting and no longer just a rumor.
IMO it’s time to stop offering handouts and make like Los Altos. Or Walmart. They’re not even allowing overnight parking anymore.

Posted by Because
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 24, 2019 at 2:32 pm

They'll continue to stay on the streets, leaking sewage and oil, as long as there are no repercussions for doing so.
Why would anyone sign up for the perceived hassles of the safe lots if they can live on the streets without the hassles.
Once we begin restricting parking and and towing the offenders, the safe lots will begin to look more attractive.

Posted by PeaceLove
a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 24, 2019 at 3:14 pm

Once again, a structural pathology prevents the proper and appropriate solution. The requirement that people move their homes twice a day obviously makes the plan a non-starter for most vehicle dwellers. So a law that's supposed to protect them (the requirement that anyone operating an RV park have the necessary legal blah blah blah) actually *harms* vehicle dwellers.

This is a clear example of the Rational structure of consciousness (which produced our current governmental system and "objective" laws) gone pathological. A key point, to paraphrase Einstein, is that we can't solve our problems from the same structure of consciousness that produced them.

Posted by The Grinch
a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 24, 2019 at 4:00 pm

"City attorneys claim Mountain View could be legally liable for operating the equivalent of a mobile home or RV park."

Uh yeah, right. They finally admit they have a big problem on their hands. It's like feeding stray cats. The more you put out, the more that come around.

"Under city rules, anyone residing in a safe parking lot must have a working vehicle that doesn't leak oil, sewage or other hazardous materials. Vehicles must also have current registration and insurance. In many cases, lived-in vehicles fall short of one of these stipulations, CSA officials say."

So now there is at least admission that many of these vehicles and their owners/residents are in violation of the law, while City officials and police sit by and do nothing. Since that's the case, how can the City ethically enforce any laws at this point?

Is any one really surprised things have gotten to this point?

Posted by rational
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 24, 2019 at 4:02 pm

rational is a registered user.

The article describes how much of a hardship would befall the RV dwellers if they had to move their cars or giant vehicles every day. Somehow, I have no sympathy for these people since, when I was growing up in New York City, I had to move my car every day because of the alternate side parking rules. The city would clean the streets every night and all cars had to move or they would be towed to the impound yard and they would have to pay a large fine to get their cars back.

Mountain View, how about if you clean the streets every night?

Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 24, 2019 at 4:38 pm

Simple solution: Oversize vehicles left overnight on public streets or lots are impounded. Problem solved.

Posted by The point
a resident of Bailey Park
on Dec 24, 2019 at 5:01 pm

The fundamental problem is that a vehicle is not a “dwelling”. The vehicle dwellers live in RVs because they can. They’ve chosen them as alternatives to shared housing, commutes, etc. Enforce the local ordinances, outlaw parking RVs on the street and the dwellers (who are not homeless) will find actual dwellings to live in.

Posted by Good Golly, Why?
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 24, 2019 at 6:05 pm

Enough has been said already, so I will not repeat things again, but residents do not want this in our city.

SO, since this program is costing Hundreds of Thousands Dollars for the lot,


Posted by Come election time, remember to vote
a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 24, 2019 at 6:15 pm

Everyone needs to remember that city council members like Lenny Siegel and Pat Showalter wanted these RV dwellers not to be touched by the MVPD or code enforcement.

They allowed this problem to grow, and grow, and they wanted to expand this to other parts of the city.

They where voted out of office because of this.

They are running again for city council come November 2020, DO NOT VOTE THEM BACK IN OR OUR PROBLEMS WILL ONLY GROW AND GET WORSE!!

Siegel already contacted the ACLU and had them write a letter to the city telling them that if they try and remove these RV's, they will sue the city.

If Siegel gets re-elected tent cities will be along our sidewalks soon enough.

Posted by Longtime Old Scool MV Resident
a resident of Rex Manor
on Dec 24, 2019 at 6:24 pm

Ungrateful these people are. The City spoon feeds these people with porta pottys, food programs, vehicle repair and many other benefits. They don't only "leak" sewage they deliberately dump their belly tanks of gray water and raw sewage when they think no one is looking or in broad daylight or when there is a storm. Enough is enough. These people need to go. Why would you want toive like that?? Move where you can have a roof over your head and not have your children be embarrassed by the choices you make. Stop slapping the city's hand away. They have been more than accommodating to you ALL !!!

Posted by Quit being so Lenny Triggered
a resident of Bailey Park
on Dec 24, 2019 at 6:41 pm

Jeeze, that guy is living rent free in your brain Shoreline West Dude. Discuss RVs without discussing Lenny, then start a NEW thread about the GOOD things Lenny's opposition is doing and why we should vote for them instead of living the "I hate Lenny" life.

Posted by Patricia
a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2019 at 7:33 pm

Oakland and San Francisco have RV parking lots run by the city why can't mountain view???

Posted by Patricia
a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2019 at 7:37 pm

RV residence need resources to make sure they all have incomes and the ones who do have incomes are perfectly happy to pay 25% of their income for a parking space this is not rocket science and I cannot possibly be smarter than all you politicians!??

Posted by Patricia
a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2019 at 7:45 pm

How embarrassing for our government to wait till something gets completely out of control like washing two or three dishes versus 100 dishes piled up in your sink before they finally decide that something needs to be done???

When anything gets out of control completely out of control which is Bay area homelessness really there is no catching up to it....

Every city has homeless... it's been around since the beginning of time... You all act like this is some new invention... And those of you who are critics... It can happen to anyone... Look at the people in natural disasters!!... So stop thinking you're so damn smart because you're not... Not even wise...

And to degrade another human being with your limited knowledge and understanding makes you ignorant and a fool... Go study up on it and then maybe you will have a more accurate assessment.... And understanding... Instead of being locked up in your cute little world debt could collapse at any given moment irregardless of how much money you have.....

Posted by Patricia
a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2019 at 7:53 pm

Okay critics... Bad things can happen to anyone at any given time... Let's suppose that you were one of the homeless people in an RV...

If all of us human beings would treat each other as we would want someone to treat us... This world would be a really great place to be...

Instead... We have 70% haters living in our world...

And make no mistake... God is sending Jesus to rapture his God And Jesus loving people and the rest of you will be left on this earth for 7 years the last 3 and 1/2 being tormented irregardless of how much money you have...

So you might want to open that Bible of yours... Before you get left behind in hell on Earth....

Posted by Patricia
a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2019 at 8:05 pm

Do you have any idea how ignorant you haters sound??? With your little bachelor's degree or whatever degree you have you should have at least learned in one of your GE classes to look beyond the obvious...

Would you rather see people sleeping in doorways than in their cars or in an RV??? How sad for you to think that...

The majority of people who are homeless actually have mental illness issues resulting from tragedy and abuse.... You better thank God in heaven that you have not had that....

Smile now cry later?? Oh yeah that's real.... Cry now homeless people and smile later?? Oh yeah that's real

Every homeless person I have ever talked to says God bless you back when I say God bless you... And non-homeless people do not say it back.... What does that tell you??

Our government who is stupid which is no secret to anyone... should have made a law from the beginning of time that no one pays more than 25% of their income in housing unless they choose to because they have so much money which they earned...

Posted by Patricia
a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2019 at 8:14 pm

Okay... Has anyone noticed besides me that every city manages their own homeless population??

Have you noticed that some cities do not tolerate people putting up tents in their city??

The solution is for each city to designate an area of their city usually the older part of the city where homeless people can be homeless that way they are not all over the city!!!

homeless people don't want to be around you haters anymore than you want them there!! And they are perfectly happy being in the older part of your city every city has an old part... Where there are no fancy houses...

And still need resources in that part of town to help them progress...

My God... You all make me feel super intelligent compared to you!!... Oh... It's because I know both sides of the issue... And not just one side...

Posted by Patricia
a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2019 at 8:28 pm

I completely agree that the cities are way too lenient on homeless's our human nature that if you're going to let us do something that's what we're going to do....

For most of us working is our option so stop giving these sign-holding people money because it's a scam I heard two of them say oh yeah I get 50 to $150 a day... Stop giving them money!!! Give to legitimate organizations!!

So if you make homeless people be responsible in return for their resources then they will... Now mental health population needs conservatorship!

So regular homeless population residents either comply and progress to paying 25% of their income into housing or be arrested and have their vehicle impounded...!!!

See how fast they will stop freeloading!!!

I work full time and live in my RV on the street and I pay for my son's apartment while he's finishing college... So he finishes debt free... And that is just part of my story...

Posted by Why?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 25, 2019 at 12:02 am

The City Council must be commended for setting up Safe Parking overnight, which by law is all they can do. I understand the vast majority of the RV dwellers do not work or are not previous renters in Mountain View, so other cities need to start taking care of their own - Mountain View cannot do this for the entire Peninsula. Mountain View has spent over $2.4 million of our tax money on services for these RV and auto dwellers, so keep in mind it is us - the MV taxpayers paying this - as RV and auto dweller pay no property tax. Many of these RVs are rentals that are a gold mine for the (mostly out of town) landlords, as they also pay no property tax.
Siegel and Showalter were the reason we had this situation multiply (causing their defeat in the last election) and Siegel is still pushing the "rights of RV dwellers to live on MV streets". Currently, the majority of our Council is progressive in trying to solve this (unfortunately without support from Alison Hicks and Lucas Ramirez) so yes, be very careful how you vote.

Posted by Disaster
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 25, 2019 at 3:03 pm

What a disaster. A solution that doesn't work. Again, if the city enforced the 72 hour rule, this problem would go away,

Posted by Visibly Shaken Googler
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2019 at 6:09 pm

Many of my handsomely remunerated co-workers at G**gle live in RVs. What a great way to save money, leaking your oil and dumping your sewage after your free meals and massages. Meanwhile, I'm paying $4K a month for nothing special, I assure you.

Posted by Billy Bob
a resident of Bailey Park
on Dec 25, 2019 at 6:31 pm

City Council clearly has no sound plan to deal with this issue for 4 years and counting . The RV issue has gotten worse with no solution insight on the city's part to deal with the issue only half baked ideas that go no where . They need to wake up and get real instead of living in fantasy land . Clearly the people of this city are upset and rightly so enough all ready

Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Dec 25, 2019 at 7:07 pm

It's amazing that people will post outright lies on today, Christmas day! Somehow, they expect us to believe that vehicle dwellers are both meth-addicted, undocumented tax cheats (as seen in other comments sections about this topic) *AND* well-to-do Google employees. Those of you that hate the poor need to pick one narrative and stick to it, otherwise your lies are too obvious.

Posted by Visibly Shaken Googler
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2019 at 8:25 pm

Dear Randy Guelph,

If you re-read my post, you will see that I only spoke of what certain Googlers are doing. I did not generalize to all RV-dwellers, and I do not hate the poor, having made considerable donations this year to charitable organizations. Merry Christmas.

Posted by Child Therapist Teacher Household
a resident of North Whisman
on Dec 26, 2019 at 12:04 am

Child Therapist Teacher Household is a registered user.

If you truly believe "many" of the people who live out of their RVS or cars are doing so by choice, you are delusional. This is the same "Welfare Queen" narrative which decades of evidence continues to show is FALSE.

These are desperate people who need our patience, support and firm guidance towards growth+improved independence.

I SHOULD KNOW----->I have a family member who is one of those RV dwellers. They know many of the people who live out of their vehicles and laughed when I read aloud "Many of my handsomely remunerated co-workers at G**gle live in RVs."

1. That's BS and you truly can't be that naive.

2. Like my family member, a LOT of these people are mentally ill, disabled or otherwise struggling with issues that are debilitating.

3. Pushing a 'pull themselves up by their bootstraps' narrative is asinine and ignorant. Perhaps they'd have done that already if they could?

Posted by Working bum
a resident of another community
on Dec 26, 2019 at 1:50 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

Posted by Katherine
a resident of Whisman Station
on Dec 26, 2019 at 7:00 am

The level of callousness in these comments is extraordinary for any time of the year but most especially now.

Who do you think these people, (find the term vehicle dwellers dehumanizing) are? - these are people!

Many are working to make your $5 coffees, selling you groceries, taking your money at gas stations, waiting on you at restaurant and making your food in your company free cafeterias. As well as cleaning your houses and raising your kids. This is the service part of our economy. At an average rent of $3000 a month and wages at 15/hr...WHERE do you think all these PEOPLE who make your and my comfortable lives possible LIVE?

Posted by Katherine
a resident of Whisman Station
on Dec 26, 2019 at 7:17 am

@Patricia! One fairly confident you have never taken a moment to have a conversation with a panhandler IN YOUR LIFE! So please don't front.

But that aside, WOW! 50 to 150 bucks a day...well let's do that math. So 1500 to 4500 bucks a month, sitting on a median in all weather 30 days a month. And how far would that 4500 go? You reset your life to live on that or support more than just yourself? People like us spend a $100 a month just on coffee. Just so are very likely the same person who is fighting the building of high density housing in town.

Building large apartment buildings is the only way out of this.

Building 1000's of units with all the nice amenities that the high wage employed want to live in will cause the housing that the lower wages Service employed have lived in for decades to be price readjusted to match that actual housing.

Having landlords of rundown old 4, 6, and 8 plex housing getting to rake in 3 to 4000/month for what at best should be 1000 to 1500 is the only solution.

But instead stops from creating these kinds of solutions ironically often about how it will change the culture of the town. are we likely this culture?

Change is inevitable resistance is what causes failure, understanding it and moving with it is how we create positive and sustainable change.

More inventory! I myself feel the squeeze and I make more money than both my parents combined and 65% of my take home goes to live in a 1.5 bedroom 60 year old apartment building and I am terrified every month the notice that rent is going up is coming.

But I see the person at the grocery checkout...and wonder where could they possibly be living?

Have a heart and we all will be better for it.

Posted by Visibly Shaken Googler
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2019 at 8:38 am

@Child Therapist etc, you wrote: "If you truly believe "many" of the people who live out of their RVS or cars are doing so by choice, you are delusional. "
@WorkingBum, you wrote: "I hope you get punished for speaking on something you know nothing about so poorly..."

If you re-read my post, I was only speaking about what certain of my co-workers are doing. I was *not* speaking about the majority of people who live in RVs, nor would I. I repeat: I was *not* speaking about the majority of people who live in RVs, nor would I.

I assume that the majority of people who live in RVs have little choice, and my heart bleeds for them. I don't know how I would handle their situation, if we were to trade places. (Is this "callousness?")

@WorkingBum, shame on you for your profanity and your rage over my setting aside my earnings to help the sick and the poor. I'm doing the best I can.

But here's something I *do* know about... Go to Alza Street on a weekday, preferably on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. There is a line-up of RVs on both sides of the street so dense that, if you're on the sidewalk, you cannot see the buildings behind them. Alza is a relatively quiet street that is about a two- or three-minute-walk to the heart of our offices. Now guess who lives in many of those RVs. Before you start foaming at the mouth, I am talking about many (not all) RVs located solely on Alza. That's all. Calm down and let's try to remain civil.

You are calling me a liar and delusional and you wish I were punished. You say I'm ignorant on this topic. Meanwhile, here's what one colleague boasts:

Instead of having our employer handle his relocation to the Bay Area, he instead opted to handle his relocation on his own, for which he received several thousand dollars. He used the money to buy an RV, which is parked GUESS WHERE. He lives in the RV weekdays, and spends the weekend at the home that he owns (!) near the state border.

And he is not alone. Google has great shower facilities and free meals, so why *not* live in an RV across the street from your office? But this seems to be, like, "gaming the system"...kind of, like, "taking advantage." Just a little bit?

Again, I'm talking about relatively few RV-dwellers i.e., people who live in RVs for *whatever* reason, whether by choice or otherwise...I don't mean to de-humanize, @Katherine. Really I don't.

Please let's have a civil discussion.

Posted by Visibly Shaken Googler
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2019 at 8:53 am


There is a line-up of RVs on both sides of [Alza] street so dense that, if you're on the STREET <not "sidewalk">, you cannot see the buildings behind them.

@WorkingBum, shame on you for your profanity and your rage over my setting aside my earnings to help the sick and the poor >and the uneducated<.

Posted by Understand
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2019 at 8:55 am

To ask a community and a city municipality to bear the burden of so call marginalized dwellers are unfair and not a long term solution. I know many dwellers are abiding sanitation rules, but no one is able to police all of them. Our city council is merely trying to take care of everyone as humanly as possible and take a long term approach to manage the problem. No one deliberately hates the RV dwellers nor the homeless, but we cannot tolerate the the sanitation demise or road hazards as results of the parked RVs. If I need to move out of the area and live in Tracy or South SJ, I would to keep a roof over my head. I am adapting and I will adjust by going to where ever I need to go. Let the Starbucks close down if they cannot recruit baristas, let economics work its coarse. I read today many are moving out of the area, maybe that's the answer..Many of our early pioneers moved westward in the 1800s to seek for new life when they realized there are new opportunities elsewhere..well maybe some of us need to do that to find new jobs and new homes. I personally grimace when I imagine someone has to live in the RV for months and years, what an unhealthy way of living! Rent is not coming down soon, It's not a long term solution for anyone and the community will suffer along. Please don't lay the guilt trip on those who don't live in an RV, we work hard too to keep a roof over our heads and want to keep a healthy community.

Posted by Visibly Shaken Googler
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2019 at 9:09 am

Thank you, @Understand!

By the way, I like my landlord a lot. He's super responsive, personable, caring, and he can fix anything :-)
He says the rent increases are due to increases in property taxes, the Home Owners Association fees where I'm renting, etc.

Things are spiraling out of control, it appears.

Posted by Property Taxes
a resident of North Bayshore
on Dec 26, 2019 at 9:17 am

Googler, your landlord is lying to you, since property tax increases are small and predictable under Proposition 13 at 1% annually. But I'm glad they're nice to you while they're lying!

Posted by roaksinri
a resident of another community
on Dec 26, 2019 at 9:24 am

Mountain View actually has a Haz Mat budget for taking care of any "leakage" of "hazardous waste or fluids- by the way, anti-freeze and oil are considered Haz Mat" yet only only a couple of instances were actually responded to in Fiscal 2018-2019. The unfortunate statement in the article only feeds this myth and creates a false narrative for those inclined to be against vehicle dwellers. The issue is poverty in the Silicon Valley. I work with this population. Most of these folks do not want to be in vehicles yet cannot afford the cost of living in this area. Displacement of seniors and disabled living on fixed income (SSI avarages $870/month, SSDI $1200/month), service workers living on 2-3 minimum wage jobs, single parents, most of them women, with children eking out an existence, and unskilled documented, undocumented and asylum seekers (the horrors occurring in Latin America is another topic most of the ostriches with their heads in the sand would like to continue to ignore).
The scandal is that this pocket of prosperity has totally missed the boat of unaddressed poverty in our midst. The responsibility is widespread- local and state governments, churches, temples, mosques- are reactive and have failed to be proactive. Homelessness has increased by over 30% in this County in the last two years. Perhaps its time to revisit how the Depression era accommodated the homeless while more permanent solutions were enacted. Perhaps we need regulated and supported tent cities and RV parks for a season, despite the NIMBY's . These are our neighbors, after all. And someone wiser than I commanded "Love thy neighbor:....

Posted by Rengstorff visitor
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2019 at 10:12 am

I can only attest to dwellers I see near rengstorff pool. They look a bit scary tbh. Disheveled males in groups. Also I cannot find parking for swim lessons because their cars occupy half the spaces of that lot.

Posted by Tonya
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Dec 26, 2019 at 10:40 am

I left Mountain View for 2 years to come back and be shocked with what’s happening. Mobile park is all over Cuernavaca neighborhood. Theft, sanitation hazards, human waste and 20k property taxes.

What shall I say? It’s a greatest house hack that people of Silicon Valley came up with. Get a house on wheels, live for FREE, pay no rent and no property taxes, exploit the system, run on the wave of homelessness, and get some benefits, support and empathy for your situation. Plus enroll your kids for FREE in MV schools and play this card when speaking with journalists, they love a human angle.

Wow people just wow!!! How this was let happen?!! And now I have to pay a property tax bill, deal with drunk dwellers from RVs, who steal from me, dump poop on me and pay for their lifestyle??

In addition, I observe how many vehicles they operate - at least two cars per person parked in front of my place - folks do have jobs and money and they choose to house hack, and yet we have to tolerate, support and solve their problems for them. Are you kidding me? Really?

Posted by Master of Coin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 26, 2019 at 3:04 pm

Master of Coin is a registered user.

Two groups I have no sympathy for:
1. The house hackers making a decent wage that can afford rent, but chooses not to do so and live in the RVs.
2. The RV landlords - who are profiting from all of this! Can we at least all agree this has to stop?! They need to at least pay for Transient Occupancy Tax.

Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Dec 26, 2019 at 4:36 pm

Polomom is a registered user.

@MasterofCoin and those RV landlords need to register their business with the city and pay their annual fee. Which just went up...

Posted by Sophie888
a resident of The Crossings
on Dec 27, 2019 at 9:34 am

Sophie888 is a registered user.

These people are so entitled and spoiled and think they are above any regulation and even don't want to accept the offer from the city out of courtesy. I blame lack of legal enforcement from the City to enable these selfish and ungrateful behavior.