City of Emeryville Studying Citywide Parking Management Plan

Published On December 8, 2017 | By Bobby Lee | News & Commentary, Transit

The City of Emeryville is considering major changes to citywide parking regulations, hoping to address ongoing resident & business dissatisfaction with a lack of available parking in high-traffic areas.

During two community workshops on November 16, residents and business owners were asked to weigh in on proposed ideas that would change the existing residential parking permit system, add short and long-term metered spaces, and other parking management strategies. Also discussed were available parking meter technologies.

Consultants from CDM Smith led the community workshops that gathered feedback from attendees.

Residents spoke of vastly different and competing demands for parking within their neighborhoods, illustrating to staff the challenge that lies ahead in confronting each area’s parking problems. A major complaint focused attention on commuters who park their vehicles in unrestricted parking areas.

“With free parking available all-day on the streets around 40th [Street], people drive to the Park Avenue district/40th Street retailers and get on Transbay buses for a shorter and more convenient commute,” said Jeff Arko, a Park Avenue District resident. “I would like to see neighborhood parking passes available to residents. This will remove ‘all day’ parkers from other neighborhoods while still allowing locals to park on the street.”

Concern about the changes spilled over the city limits as well, as a resident from North Oakland spoke about concerns that a change in parking policies would create a spillover effect on her neighborhood just across the city limits.

Business owners also peppered city staff and officials with their concerns that a lack of nearby parking has affected their customers and staff, especially in the North Hollis neighborhood. They noted in particular how contractors for the numerous neighborhood construction projects have taken up many of the area’s available parking spaces. Some noted that this leads their customers to circle for as long thirty minutes or give up entirely.


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Solutions proposed include providing off-site parking for construction crews, encouraging construction firms to limit the number of workers who bring their vehicles to the job site, and instituting a parking permit program. “If you consider how many tens and dozens of contracted construction workers and the vehicles they drive coming in to work, it really impacts the parking in the area,” said Alvin Shen co-owner of Best Coast Burritos.

One thing that both stakeholders did agree on was a desire for the City to focus on enforcement. Perception among attendees was that the City performs little to no parking enforcement, discouraging space turnover and encouraging scofflaws. The Emeryville PD currently staffs only a single parking enforcement officer for the entire city.

The plan will update the 2010 report shown below:

The Emeryville Parking Management Plan is an update to a 2010 Parking Management study commissioned by consulting firm Wilbur Smith Associates (now CDM Smith). Most of the recommendations from the study were left unimplemented following a downturn in the economy. The updated study will look at parking issues citywide, excluding the Bay Street Mall area that already has meters and enforcement.

CDM Smith will continue to solicit public opinion through an online survey through the end of the year. There is a separate survey for business and property owners.

The consultants will release a draft report of the plan update in January for further feedback from the City and the community. In the spring, the City will bid out for parking technology vendors and adopt a new residential parking permit policy, with summertime being eyed for full implementation of the plan.

More information on the plan update and the online survey can be found at emeryvilleparkingmanagement.com.

Timeline For Implementation:

October 2017: Collect baseline data.
November 2017: Get community input. Community workshops to be held on Thursday, 11/16.
January 2018: Release draft report.
February 2018: Go back to community, including Planning Commission and City Council.
Spring 2018: Issue Request for Proposals (RFPs) and select vendors for parking technologies and adopt Residential Parking Permit (RPP) Policy.
Summer 2018: Install and test new parking management technologies. Roll out permits in areas concerned with spillover from priced areas.

About The Author

is a Bay Area native who’s lived in the Christie Core Neighborhood since 2010, Bobby enjoys exploring the far corners of our region, trying the newest restaurants in the area, or relaxing to 80's era television sitcoms and game shows. For the past six years, he's hosted a web video series called 2 Minute Finance teaching basic money management and consumer education.

8 Responses to City of Emeryville Studying Citywide Parking Management Plan

  1. Mike McConnell says:

    This was a really helpful and clear explanation of the effort to address one of the city’s big problems. Thanks for including all the back up slides too.

  2. Sarah says:

    Yes, this was an informative and helpful article, thanks for writing it. I am intrigued by the quote by Jeff Arko and the decision to include it, as the fantasy is both delusional and nonsensical. If there is anyone at all who drives to Emeryville only to take a 50+ minute bus into the city instead of driving the extra 2 miles to take a 7 min Bart into the city or back tracking .5 miles to take a 12 min Bart, a) let’s let them know they have far more convenient options and b) if there were someone who was doing this, the most obvious place for them to park is the Emeryville City Hall lot, and there is no shortage of parking there and it doesn’t affect Jeff. You can walk down Park or 40th any time, day or night and there is plenty of parking along both sides of either street. As for Burritos, that Gas Station is giant and there is no shortage of places to park in there. People don’t go there because the burritos are really bottom of the barrel.

    While I can appreciate that the city’s strategy of hiring a consultant and then not following their recommendations didn’t work in the past, I hope the city takes 10 minutes to imagine hiring someone to analyze the traffic patterns and come up with an evidence based solution instead of blindly following the emotional whims of residents. As a resident that is multimodal, I have never had the slightest difficulty in parking or accessing any of the businesses or residences in the area.

    • Bobby Lee says:

      Hi Sarah – Thanks for reading and commenting.

      The City acknowledged that it is very hard to get an accurate count of the number of drivers who park in Emeryville and commute into SF for work. (After all, City staff members would have be on every block in Emeryville asking drivers of their parking intent, in order to get an accurate count.) But there have been numerous reports told to us from residents from all across the city observing this type of parking behavior and the City has publicly acknowledge this type of behavior to be a contributing problem.

      One thing left out of your scenario is that BART parking lots lack available parking spaces by 6-7am. Leaving driving, bus, or casual carpool as the only option many drivers have to commute to SF. The AC Transit transbay bus ride into the city in the morning is 20-30 minutes, providing an appealing alternative to sitting in their car in the Bay Bridge toll plaza behind the metering lights for one hour or more.

      Especially given that there are 4 transbay bus lines that serve Emeryville today, parking a vehicle all day in our city becomes a very appealing alternative to commuters, given all of the above constraints.

      Park Ave., Hollis St., and the intersecting roadways have all be recognized by the City as problem parking areas, with much more demand than supply. Hollis at 59th thru 63rd Streets currently have various closures and no parking restrictions in place because of construction, for example. Construction traffic has displaced office workers, who now park in residential areas. Leaving no room for visitors, customers, deliveries, and such.

      On the Peninsula, office workers trying to avoid paying to park in their office garage choose to park on the street. Combine that with casual carpoolers who park on the peninsula, and that leaves no spaces available by mid-morning along Powell. St.

      I would challenge you to try to find an open street parking spot on any of the roadways you mentioned mid-morning or mid-afternoon. The parking situation has changed dramatically over the last year or two in many neighborhoods.

      Every neighborhood has a one or multiple drivers of their parking problem. The City and consultants are attempting to find the best solution to meet the needs of everyone. They are listening to all stakeholders involved (not just residents). I would encourage you to participate in the process, as you may be able to provide some insight into the areas with greater parking availability.

      (P.S. I applaud your willingness to be multimodal in solving your transportation needs. Please support the Emery Go-Round whenever possible!)

      • Anonymous says:

        I wouldn’t assume that the current city council has any intention of “listening to all stakeholders”. This has not been their approach historically. They act largely on whim and ideology without regard to the residents, businessss, or employees in the community. They general ignore the recommendations of staff on significant issues. Most decisions are made long before anyone from the community can add their input.

        Participating in the “process” in Emeryville is truly a complete waste of time. Your best bet is to befriend a city council member or contribute to their campaigns and lobby them privately.

        The public process is just a show. Don’t waste your energy.

  3. James says:

    Is there any update to this concern? Not much has been discussed on this thread since 2017. According to the information stated many bullet points for the 2018 agenda seem to have been neglected. My primary concern as an employee of George M. Martin company, is that my already low pay will be adversely affected by a daily parking fee. Unfortunately not all the employees that work in Emeryville have the convenience of working at one of the various high paying tech jobs in the immediate area, who’s employer would be happy to pay there permit fees.

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