By DAVID DIERKS
Orinda started a pilot Residential Parking Permit Program on Brookwood Road in September. Residents of Brookwood Road requested the parking permit program due to the limited number of on-street parking spots and the use of those spots by BART commuters for extended periods of time resulting in residents lacking parking spots near their homes.
“BART parkers had reached epic numbers on Brookwood Road. They would drive over landscaping, litter the streets, cause traffic hazards and endanger kids walking to the bus. Residents, their guests, workers, caregivers and emergency service providers had nowhere to park,” says resident Jennifer Harper, who started the process of getting the parking program over four years ago. “Several altercations and incidents around parking transpired over the years between commuters and residents. The original request to the City of Orinda was to improve pedestrian safety, traffic calming measures and a residential permit parking program.”
The pilot program, extending on Brookwood Road from the western edge of Camino Pablo to Spring Court, is designated as permit parking District A. All vehicles displaying a valid District A parking permit are exempt from the four-hour parking time limit. The pilot program started Sept. 10. “Since the permit program has been implemented, commuter parking has ceased on Brookwood. It has made a significant positive impact,” says Harper.
Harper spent countless hours working with the city on this project. “The first meeting with the City regarding residential parking, pedestrian safety and traffic calming was in April, 2014,” remembers Harper. “It has taken almost four and a half years to get two of the three approved measures completed.” The first two measures were speed cushions to slow vehicles and the parking permit program. The last measure that Harper is working on is an electronic feedback sign which lets drivers know how fast they are traveling. “While the City staff has been courteous, the entire process has been incredibly tedious and time consuming,” adds Harper. “Over the past four and a half years, hours and hours have been spent by residents signing petitions, gathering approval votes, attending Traffic Safety Advisory Committee and City Council meetings and writing follow-up emails.”
Orinda residents living along Brookwood Road can apply by going to the Orinda website at http://www.cityoforinda.org/parkingpermitprogram. Ninety-four permits are available for Brookwood Road residents, with a maximum of two vehicles per residential household eligible for permits. After the first 30 days of the initial offering, up to four permits may be requested by households on a first come, first served basis until the maximum 94 permits are distributed. Permits expire at the end of the calendar year on Dec. 31 and cost $40 if purchased after July 1 and $80 if purchased before July 1. Note that a permit does not guarantee a parking space. Parking is still first come, first served.
To qualify for a District A Parking Permit, the registrant must provide a Driver’s License (registered to applicant’s address), utility bill, rental/lease agreement or deed proving residence in the permitted area and car registration, also registered to the applicant’s address.
With the pilot program comes new parking restrictions on Brookwood Road: four-hour parking limit from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, except holidays and vehicles displaying District A permits. “Brookwood Road is the pilot Residential Parking Permit program,” says Harper. “We hope all our efforts have laid the groundwork to make it easier for other residents to engage in this process.”
For more information, visit http://www.cityoforinda.org/parkingpermitprogram.