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November 18, 2009 > Parking program finalized for station district

Parking program finalized for station district

Union City will charge for parking

By Shavon Walker

Union City's parking program in the Station District is being finalized for implementation. When Council met on November 10, it approved parking policies parking policies and a parking program for the Station District, authorized the City Manager to execute a contract with Tropos Network to install Wi-Fi for the program and adopted city and redevelopment agency (RDA) resolutions to approve an agency grant to the city from tax increment funds. The latter will pay for the purchase of the Wi-Fi system and parking equipment which will enable the parking program to commence.

The city researched this project extensively in conjunction with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Watry Design and Nelson/Nygaard through three study sessions. Nine parking principles were established for the Station District. These include identifying opportunities for shared parking, evaluating and developing prospective parking standards and parking solutions that can be implemented incrementally. BART parking ceased to be free and is charged at a rate of $1 daily in readiness for the city's parking program. Parking is now available for $63 per month.

The RDA Board chose Ampco System Parking to manage the program and install Digital Technology LUKE pay stations which accept debit cards, bank cards and coins. Union City Police Department (UCPD) cadets will issue citations rather than outsource this function. Other components of the program were discussed by Public Works, Administrative Services and Economic & Community Development departments.

The parking area includes both sides of Alvarado-Niles Road from Meyers Drive to Monterra Terrace and Osprey Drive, Union Square, Meyers Drive, J Street South of 12th Street, 11th Street from Decoto Road to Aquamarine Terrace, the city-owned parking lots east and west of 11th Street and the future public parking in the Mid-Peninsula Housing parking structure on Block 4.

There will be per-hour pay stations and quarterly parking permits. The most convenient areas will cost more. The intention is to always have 15 percent of parking vacant to make it easier for drivers to find a space.

Parking without a permit or not feeding the meter will incur fines of $60. More serious issues, such as obstructing a fire hydrant or double parking, will attract higher fines. The revenue will go towards enforcement expenses and to meet the city's obligation to share a portion with Alameda County for construction of courthouses. The rest could be designated for a City Parking Program within the General Fund. This would facilitate projects like landscape maintenance in the Station District.

Public education about the parking program will begin January 2010. Outreach will include promotions on the City's website, cable television stations, community meetings and informational literature distributed by roving ambassadors.

The estimated total net income for the first year of operation is projected at $59,584, after operating costs and funding reserves have been met. Full implementation is from May 1, 2010, with the parking ordinance itself taking effect in February 2010 when the public may start ordering parking permits.

Nov 10, 2009 - City Council approves Parking Policy and Wi-Fi Contract.
Dec 08, 2009 - Introduce Parking Ordinance, authorize Parking Program vendors.
Dec 09, 2009 - Order Digital Technology LUKE Parking Pay Stations.
Jan 2010 - UCPD interviews and conducts background checks on cadet candidates; public education on Parking Program begins.
Jan 12, 2010 - Second reading Parking Ordinance; UCPD hires and trains cadets.
Feb 12, 2010 - Parking Ordinance takes effect; public may order parking permits.
Mar 10, 2010 - Start installation of parking pay stations; Public Works begins to install parking signs; Parking permit vendor mails out parking permits; City Manager's office issues employee parking permits.
Apr 01, 2010 - Parking Program goes live; police cadets issue two warnings to parking violators before issuing a ticket.
May 01, 2010 - Full parking enforcement; no warnings.

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