Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oakland May Roll Back Meter Hours

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 10:39 AM

The Oakland City Council plans to consider rolling back parking meter hours to 6 p.m. in response to a flood of complaints from local merchants and shoppers. The council extended meter hours to 8 p.m. in June in order to generate more revenues, but based on today's Trib story, it sounds as if the council may have enough votes to reverse itself. In addition to Councilwoman Pat Kernighan, who represents the Grand and Lakeshore avenues shopping districts, where the change in meter hours has generated a strong backlash, it appears that Councilwoman Jane Brunner is ready to vote for the change as well. Vice Mayor Ignacio De La Fuente also previously told the Trib that he believes the council made a mistake when it extended meter hours.

Supporters of the later meter hours have warned that the council may have to cut library hours because of the loss of revenues. But Brunner told the Trib she was "optimistic" that the council could find an alternative solution. The council plans to take up the issue on September 22.

However, opponents of the council's original decision are unlikely to be mollified by just a rollback of hours. Many of them are also upset about the council's decision in June to raise meter rates and ticket prices. There is some indication that meter rate increase may have hurt daytime businesses in the Grand-Lakeshore area. As the Express has previously reported, the council should also closely examine what other cities are doing with parking meters - specifically, San Francisco and Redwood City.

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