OAKLAND -- The flexible parking district pilot program, proposed last year by District 4 Councilmember Libby Schaaf, goes into effect on Aug. 18.
The plan, which was approved by the City Council in October, will create four different tiers of parking rates, reflecting the different demand for parking in Montclair Village. Rates will range from $1 to $2.50 per hour for prime locations.
The plan should make parking less stressful, and the revenues will fund capital improvements in the village, Schaaf said. The capital improvement projects are managed by the Montclair Village Association.
"High Demand Parking" will be increased from $2 to $2.50 per hour, along Mountain Boulevard from La Salle to Moraga avenues, as well as Antioch Street and Antioch Court, including the much-coveted spots in front of Peet's Tea and Coffee.
"Central Parking" will remain at $2 per hour, along Medau Place, La Salle Avenue, and Mountain Boulevard from Colton Boulevard to La Salle Avenue.
"Value Parking" will run $1.50 per hour, on the east side of Moraga Avenue from Montclair Park to Mountain Boulevard, to the east side of Mountain Boulevard from Moraga Avenue to Snake Road, and Merced Avenue and the west side of Moraga Avenue from Montclair Park to La Salle Avenue.
"Peripheral Parking" will run $1 per hour on the west side of Moraga Avenue (across the street from the business district), from La Salle Avenue to Mountain Boulevard and west side of Mountain Boulevard from Moraga Avenue to Snake Road.
Meters will be added on Mountain Boulevard along Montclair Park. This was approved before Schaaf was elected to the City Council in 2010. Schaaf said that she is not excited about this, but she has negotiated reducing the number of meters to be installed by half.
The pilot program is the first of its kind in Oakland. The program will be assessed for its success after one year, said Public Works project manager Bruce Williams.
"This is a pilot program. We want to hear from Montclarions if they think this is better. We want to hear from the businesses. We want to continue to experiment until we convince people that Montclair is a great place to shop," Schaaf said.
The tiers were created by two separate two-day parking surveys in the village, with the last one taking place in the spring. Rates can be adjusted quarterly, if necessary, Williams said.
"The new district also has a positive environmental impact.
Studies have shown that when parking is readily available, people circle the block less and therefore created less pollution," Schaaf said.
The flexible parking district follows the July 1 introduction of free 20-minute parking in the Montclair parking garage.
"The flexible parking district is cool because many of the (parking) spaces will decrease in price, extending the ability to park in less desirable spaces for less," said Daniel Swafford, executive director of the Montclair Village Association.
With the free 20-minute parking in the garage and the validation program by local businesses, Montclair Village shoppers will have a variety of parking options, Swafford said.