A bit of relief may be on the way for Oakland drivers who started forking over more money this summer to park.
The Oakland city council will take up a compromise plan tonight that would rollback paid street parking from 8 p.m. back to 6 p.m.
Merchants across Oakland say business has been down nearly 30 percent since the new parking policies went into effect because. The store owners say they cannot compete for shoppers attracted to cheaper meter parking in Berkeley and more cost-effective garage parking at nearby Bay Street in Emeryville.
Four council members say they will introduce a plan that would finally roll meter enforcement time back two hours while offsetting the nearly $1 million in estimated lost revenue for the struggling city by relying on nearly $500,000 from a billboard deal with Clear Channel.
And while Oakland has struggled to figure out a parking plan to help the city and keep residents happy, the East Bay town has taught San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom a lesson about playing with people’s meters, even if the City won't admit it.
The gubernatorial candidate told officials to back off a plan to add parking meters across the City and to extend enforcement time until 9 p.m. Although Newsom denied pressuring anyone to avoid extending the meters.
But despite San Francisco learning a lesson from Oakland’s move, some residents won’t believe a rollback until they see it. In a meeting just last month that went late into the night, the council decided to keep the current meter hours and enforcement.
But this time things are different, according to Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente .
"The majority of the people feel it's bad for Oakland, feel it's bad for their businesses," he told the Oakland Tribune. "So let's roll it back and move on."