Oakland Mayor Jean Quan announced that today and next Saturday are “parking holidays” for Oakland. Personally, this is too little too late. When Elihu Harris was Oakland’s Mayor, the office had something called the “Shop Oakland” campaign, which started back in November, before Thanksgiving, and was a major, city-wide marketing event. It featured not just free parking days, but a way to learn what stores were offering specials tied to “Shop Oakland.”
This is another example of Mayor Quan not looking back at what has been done before.
At any rate, here’s what the Mayor wrote:
We hope you will shop Oakland this season. To encourage you to visit one of our 40 neighborhood shopping districts, we are declaring free parking this Saturday (today) and next Saturday, December 24th.
All year my office and the city has been working with the Oakland Merchants Leadership Forum and Oakland Grown to help keep dollars in our local economy. Local merchants asked us to consider parking holiday’s and after running the numbers and impact on City finances, we decided pilot the program.
On Saturday, December 17 and Saturday, December 24, parking at all parking meters will be free for the posted period of time (30 minutes, 1 hour or 2 hours). The free parking “holiday” applies to both standard meters and the parking kiosks that are located in many commercial districts.
Standard parking rules and time limits apply—if shoppers need additional parking time, they will need to move their car across the street if it is a two-way street, or park around the block if it is a one-way street. The City will be monitoring parked cars on a regular basis.
As usual, the Clay Street garage at 14th and Clay Streets in Downtown Oakland is open to the public free of charge all day Saturday year-round.
The two-Saturday parking “holiday” will result in the loss of about $125,000 in parking revenue, which will be absorbed by higher-than-projected revenues in other areas.