A community news source for residents of the HarriOak neighborhood in Oakland, CA.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Neighborhood Strike Called to Protest Parking Crackdown




Alan Michaan of the Grand Lake Theater is calling for a neighborhood strike to protest a parking crisis that has been precipitated by the City Council and, he says, is threatening the viability of local businesses. On Thursday, July 30 at 3:30 p.m., Michaan will host an open house at the Grand Lake Theater to brainstorm additional solutions.
In a recent letter to fellow merchants, Michaan wrote that "the city council has declared war on our businesses, our customers and Oakland residents." Along with "an avalanche of parking tickets," people are no longer able to park for free after 6 p.m. because the hours of parking meters have been extended, he noted. As many HarriOak residents have discovered there has also been a steep increase in the cost of fines for parking violations. "In an effort to raise funds, the Oakland City Council has placed a higher priority on generating short-term funds via an aggressive, unreasonable and punitive parking policy over the long term viability of our shopping districts," Michaan wrote.
Michaan said all business should close on Thursday August 6 in order to bring national media attention to Oakland's disasterous local government. In addition he is suggesting gathering signatures to petition the City Council to change the policy or face a citywide recall campaign.

EDITOR'S NOTE: As Dto510 points out in the comments: "The Grand Lake Theater has for years enjoyed city-subsidized free parking, and Lakeshore has a city lot that's not metered, while Montclair and Piedmont's city lots are metered. Seems like somebody's gotten spoiled..."
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grand lake parking meeting -

11 comments:

Barry K said...

Please note:
Council Member Desley Brooks was the only "NO" vote on the last Council budget vote.
Please do not lump her in with the others.

dto510 said...

The Grand Lake Theater has for years enjoyed city-subsidized free parking, and Lakeshore has a city lot that's not metered, while Montclair and Piedmont's city lots are metered. Seems like somebody's gotten spoiled...

Harrioakster said...

Dto510 you rock. I can count on you to be up to speed. Thanks for posting that additional info.

GrandAveResident said...

Grand Lake theater may lose my business for being so pro-car. My ten-minute walk to the theater is plagued by crosswalks that seem invisible to drivers - less traffic would only seem to enhance the visitability of the Grand Lake district.

Unlike a trip to the hardware store, you don't need to drive to the movies - unless you're picking up five XL bags of popcorn to take home to watch your Netflix. Michaan's histrionics are puzzling to me, and his position reveals that though the Grand Lake theater puts forth the image of old timey, cute neighborhoods, the business politics are not so different from the suburban multiplex after all.

Andy said...

As I've said elsewhere, parking costs figure very small into my shopping/entertainment choices. I go where I like to go don't worry about the cost of parking. I think that the theater needs longer parking hours - 2 hours is not always enough time for a movie.

These businesses would better spend there energy promoting their businesses.

incredibledaze said...

It seems Mr. Michaan's spoiling for a fight since Bush is out of the White House and his ability to plaster his marquee with humorous political slogans are diminished. Some people are only happy when they're angry.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how this minor increase in parking costs can be decried by a movie theatre which costs ~$10 a person,

Anonymous said...

I e-mailed Michaan the morning his public campaign hit the papers. I wrote him that his public campaign would hurt Oakland more than help it. In his 600+ word response he essentially said that I just didn't get it. Oh boy I do, thanks to his press campaign everyone in the Bay Area knows it's now more expensive to park in Oakland's shopping districts. With that said I really find it audacious that Michaan thinks my property taxes should pay for the parking needs of his private business. I love Oakland with or without cheap parking.

ralph said...

I was on Lakeshore earlier today when I came across this Revolt at a business I frequent. The owner encouraged me to come out in support of this craziness. and to have something done about the TJ towing. I told her I think the rates are too low and I support the towing. She countered with some patrons have complained that they are not coming back and will shop in WC. I, of course, was dumbfounded. I followed with would you rather I come here park all day at the TJ lot and spend just $1.75 on coffee or would you rather I move my vehicle and make way for another patron to park and spend money. Silence. As someone else once said business owners may not be the best judged of what is in their economic interest.

PS: I was not at Peet's

artemis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
artemis said...

Agreed with what's already been said. I'm having a hard time getting my head around the myopic view that many businesses seem to have on this issue. The alternative to a (small!) increase in parking fees is further cuts to parks, libraries, our police force, maintenance, and other basic quality of life services. The long-term impact of those cuts on Oakland's business community will be far worse than parking fee increases.

I'm also extremely disappointed in Michaan, and am certainly keeping tabs on which businesses are leading the charge on this. We make a point of choosing local Oakland businesses whenever possible, but when there's a choice between locals---for instance, between the Piedmont and Grand Lake Theaters---I know where I'll be headed.