Brentwood City Council Approves Downtown Parking Plan

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On Tuesday, the Brentwood City Council accepted a resolution accepting a Downtown Parking Management Plan and directing staff to proceed with initiating recommended parking solutions.

This agenda item was before that council after the May 2013, 2017 meeting where the council approved the temporary suspension of Downtown Parking In-Lieu fees and parking requirements to stimulate development—in exchange, the council decided to have a consultant come in to provide analysis and data.

The city hired TJKM to develop a plan to improve parking solutions and plan for future growth. The boundary area where TJKM focused on included a parking supply of 1,656 spaces.

City Engineer Steve Kersevan said they focused on 2nd, 3rd and 4th Streets and neighboring streets.

According to the report, the average duration for on-street parking was 1.71 hours on Day 1 and 1.79 hours on Day 2, implying a healthy utilization of the predominately 2-hour time-restricted on-street parking spaces in downtown. Higher duration’s at the City Hall Parking Garage (4.68 hours on Day 1 and 4.57 hours on Day 2) were attributed to vehicles parked at 2 hour parking spaces and the electric vehicle charging stations. The parking turnover, the ratio of the total number of parked vehicles throughout the survey period to the total number of spaces available (supply), was significantly low as a result of the high parking duration.

“For the most part, downtown has a 2-hour parking restriction, the interesting part of this table is that the average duration is 1.7 hours. So the average parker is not spending more than 2-hours which means we can’t really go out and enforce it,” explained Kersevan. “We have a good turnover, at the end of the day, it’s a situation of the parking is there, we just have to get them to it. Also what is important, we have to have an enforcement element.”

City Staff reported that community input was gathered between Nov. 2, 2017 – July 17, 2018 with a survey taken by 926 people along with an online survey comments of 301 along with 3 website comments.  Overall, 74% were residents, 18% visitors, 3% business owners downtown and 4% employees downtown and 1% were students.

According to the survey, it was stated that 27% were willing to walk at most one block from a parking spot to their destination while 37% would walk two blocks. Meanwhile, results showed that 60% thought Brentwood had a parking problem.

The report also highlighted a potential change in the parking garage time limit from 2-hours to 3-hours based on the occupancy analyst showing occupancy maximized at 55% and less than 50% for most hours during the periods of data collection. By going 3-hours, they say it would attract more commercial and library users.  The report, however, does warn that Liberty High School students could take over the garage with overflow.

Recommended Parking Solutions for approval:

  • Implement updated residential parking time limits on 2nd, 3rd and 4th streets (5:00 p.m. – 10:00 a.m. by permit only and 2 hour parking from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., except by permit, Sunday – Saturday)
  • Implement uniform time limit changes on designated streets and City parking garage
  • Increase way-finding signage
  • Investigate the viability of contracting with a parking enforcement management firm for sustained enforcement
  • Increase parking supply by converting designated parallel parking areas to angled parking on the following streets:
    • 3rd Street – West Side from Oak to Chestnut ( potential 13 additional stalls)
    • Pine Street – South side between Brentwood Blvd. and 2nd Street (potential 15 additional stalls)
    • Maple Street – South side between Brentwood Blvd. and 2nd St. (potential 15 additional stalls)

During public comments, residents on 3rd Street spoke against the proposal saying it would make them “prisoners in their own home” because they do not have a driveway or designated parking so once they leave on the weekend, they would lose their parking spots.

Staff highlighted for downtown residents who are issued a permit, they could park on the street for 24-hours and not get ticketed. Those without a permit, are limited to 10:00 am to 5:00 pm for 2-hours at a time and no parking between 5:00 pm to 10:00 am.

During council discussion, Councilmember Claudette Staton encouraged staff to work with residents and businesses but they will need to begin enforcing parking regulations. She also asked about the parking garage what the problem was if it was never full and the two-hour rule was only 9-5pm.

Staff replied people did not want to walk 2-3-4 blocks to a location.

“For the residents, I am really concerned, they should be able to park at any time of the day. Go out shopping and come back and should be able to park,” said Staton. “I hope this recommendation helps that.”

Staff reiterated if they have a parking permit, they will be guaranteed a parking spot 24-hours a day so they will not have to fight for a parking spot after 5:00 pm.

Mayor Bob Taylor asked if the city could just paint a resident parking zone on the sidewalk, however, staff recommended they paint and do a sign.

“The more we can do to accent the area and parking, I am for that. The more we do the better,” said Taylor. “The idea is we should accenting, people need to have a place to park. I’d be infuriated if I came home from San Francisco dead tired and I couldn’t park.”

Vice Mayor Joel Bryant addressed the public comment speakers on 3rd Street if this policy would help them or hurt them more.  The speakers reiterated that on weekends once they leave their homes, they come back and no parking is available and the policy would hurt them.

Councilwoman Karen Rarey asked if they did a residential space for residents on 3rd Street if that would guarantee them a spot.

City Manager Gus Vina interjected saying downtown living is different than subdivisions because there are housings without driveways and garages.

“I guarantee you that any decision we make will impact people differently so there is no perfect solution. We can look at the weekends, not applying. We can look at weekend being permit only, that is a choice. If you go to try and give their own resident, then we just need to do the math so you know how many spots your going to lose. Again, every decision is cause and effect. A lot of our activities downtown, movies, concerts, parades, they bring traffic downtown and people need to park… you saw in the survey, no one wants to walk more than a block.”

Taylor disputed Vina saying they were not losing the spaces because those spaces are already in use by the residents.

Council Member Balwinder “Bailey” Grewal highlighted that back in the 1970’s there was one designated spot for resident on 1st Street and there were many challenged with it because spaces were vacant half the time—it was then eliminated.

“If we do think about creating a designated parking spot for a resident, this will be a citywide issue and not just downtown,” explained Grewal who explained residents from across the city, especially near schools would want a designated parking area in front of their homes.

Taylor asked Police Chief Tom Hansen about enforcement and if these changes wouldl be a nightmare for the police department and dispatch. Hansen replied it would be a lot of work and would be a full-time job.  For that reason, Vina highlighted that they were seeking a firm and that firm to assist with enforcement.

The council then worked through the recommendations of the report.

The council adopted the recommendations with exception of recommendation parking updated residential parking time limits on 2nd, 3rd and 4th streets which shall be 2-hour parking from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and permit parking 24-7 and no parking from 5:00 pm to 10:00 am and permit parking on the weekend only. They also amended the 2018 operating budget.

For the full report, click here.