Richmond seeks solutions for high-demand parking areas

Richmond council unanimously approves neighborhood parking permit proposal

Parking pay stations in Point Richmond? It’s possible.

On Tuesday, Richmond City Council directed city staff to come up with solutions to widespread complaints over a lack of parking in some city areas.

City staff is proposing to install more time-limit zones in high-demand areas to prevent all-day parking, and possibly pay stations where parking is most difficult to find. To assist residents living in those high-demand areas — including the downtown corridor, 23rd Street, Point Richmond and near Contra Costa College — the city is also proposing to implement a neighborhood parking permit program. Under such a program, residents could apply with the city for a pass to park all day in their neighborhoods despite time zones.

Evans said these are just some parking management ideas that could bring relief to areas, some of which are becoming more strained by development.

Evans pointed to the downtown corridor as an area in need. Folks who patron or work for BART, Kaiser Permanente, and the U.S. Social Security Building “are all competing for a limited amount of parking,” she said.

While the BART parking garage offers 750 spaces, its parking administrator says that by 8:30 a.m. “they have 250 vehicles looking around the city looking for parking,” Evans said.

“Where do they park? Residential areas,” she said.

The same problem happens near Contra Costa College. Some of the school’s thousands of students either can’t or won’t pay for a $45 quarterly campus parking permit, so they’ll park in local neighborhoods, Evans said.

On 23rd Street, 2-hour time zones were recently implemented to prevent longterm parkers from stealing spaces from employees and patrons of local businesses. A neighborhood parking permit program would assist residents who live near 23rd Street who are having to move their cars every 2 hours or face a ticket, officials say.

“I have had individuals on 23rd ask me when these permits are going to be available,” Councilmember Eduardo Martinez said.

On Tuesday, Richmond council voted in favor of vetting the solution with community members and drafting a proposed parking management ordinance. Councilmember Vinay Pimple, who abstained from the vote, said he needed more analysis of the proposals, including their cost to the city’s general fund and whether parking restrictions are enforceable.

Mayor Tom Butt pledged support for drafting an ordinance, but challenged the city’s depiction of the parking problem in Point Richmond.

“I’ve lived and worked in Point Richmond for in excess of 30 years, and the entire time I’ve heard people [complain about parking],” the mayor said. “And yet I see these same people who own these businesses and work there and they park in front of their businesses all day long.”


  1. “…are all competing for a limited amount of parking”

    And all are wasting more and more time with staggering commute times. When will cities stop issuing building permits; when will they stop building more and acknowledge that we are FULL!

  2. Why are we all stuck in cars? How about riding a bicycle or an electric bicycle if you don’t want to get too tired. Those folks who live too far away to ride a bike can hang a bike on back of their car on a bike carrier or use a folding bike. When you arrive in Richmond find a nice quiet uncongested area where you can park your car and then take your bike to your workplace. You get much-needed exercise at the same time.

  3. I just came from downtown and the Marina Way parking lot is completely empty. The city parking garage at 12th & Nevin has plenty of parking spaces available as well. Newcomers may not remember that downtown Richmond was a busy shopping district till the late 1960’s. When the area was declining one of the things shop owners complained about was the parking meters because the then new shopping centers like El Cerrito Plaza had tons of free parking. I think it’s far too premature to be thinking about parking restrictions in the still struggling downtown. 23rd street perhaps. Parking in residential neighborhoods is difficult lately due to multiple people sharing living spaces. Some houses in my neighborhood have as many as 8 vehicles per address. I hope the city carefully considers this before enacting anything.
    Kudos to council member Pimple for doing just that.

  4. Parking is problem in some neighborhoods with large appartment complexes. Not due to lack of parking at these complexes (often empty), but because tenants don’t meet basic parking requirements for their lots (valid driver license, registration, proof of insurance). Therefore, these people park their vehicles in front of people’s homes for extended periods of time and this is a problem. Permits and time limits could be remedy for this behavior. Hope this is taken into consideration as well. If you can’t park where you live, you shouldn’t park where I live.

  5. The current one and two hour parking restrictions are not enforced. the city does not have the staff to go by and mark / ticket those that stay more than the allotted time. Some businesses park autos for repair or sale in residential spaces or time restricted zones and do not move them.

    Will this new system pay for more staff to enforce the issue, if a home has eight vehicles will they get eight parking permits at what price? Will this remove the broken down vehicles that are unsafe in the front yard with out neighbors having to call code enforcement. Or will there be more people parking in the front yard to avoid the permit fees?

    The new areas in Emmeryville have parking structures to make it convinient for shoppers and movie goers to park.

    Best wishes on getting money from the general fund to specific places with out the 2/3 majority needed to make the city commit to spending money on parking enforcement.