Oakland Parking Officers Unite Against "Unfair" Rules

City memo ordered officers to go easy in wealthier areas

By Jessica Greene
|  Thursday, Feb 25, 2010  |  Updated 9:15 AM PDT
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Oakland Parking Officers Unite Against "Unfair" Rules

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Parking officers in Oakland are sticking up for the average citizen and will rally Thursday against rules that encourage them to go lightly on the area's wealthier residents.

A city memo sent in July ordered parking officers to avoid enforcing rules in the area's wealthier neighborhoods.

The memo, obtained by The Chronicle, exempted residents in the Montclair and Broadway Terrace neighborhoods from meter enforcement between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and tickets for parking on sidewalks and in the wrong direction. Instead, the memo said, those higher income residents were to receive "courtesy notices" but did not say why they were exempt from the rules.

Three parking officers confirmed the memo.

The new rules are not only upsetting to residents, but also to those in charge of enforcing them. Officers upset with the directive say it is are unfair and will protest the policies on Thursday starting at noon at Frank Ogawa Plaza.

This is not the first time Oakland's parking rules have been the subject of debate. Over the summer, the city changed rules in the Lake Merritt shopping area, raising fees at some meters in an effort to help the city balance the budget. The move not only upset residents, but also merchants who said the rules were driving business away from an area already struggling to survive.

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