Street Parking May Lead to Accidents


THE TOWN CRIER has a bone to pick about parking. It’s a meaty topic as a growing number of hills dwellers park their cars on the street.

Many folks feel it’s their right to park in front of their own home. Perhaps they’ve converted their garage into a living space or it’s simply full of stuff — too valuable to toss but not good enough to bring in the house. Is it fair, though, to block a lane of traffic with their vehicle?

On many hills streets, it’s a dangerous indulgence — a seemingly selfish act that forces motorists to go around parked cars on narrow, blind curves. It increases the rate of accidents and the blood pressure of drivers who have to maneuver around obstacles just to get home. It’s also the source of a lot of chatter, right now, on Montclair’s Yahoo listserv (you can sign up at http://www.montclairsic.org).

While many residents are clearly frustrated (especially on Florence Terrace where a number of the old homes were built without garages), it’s not an easy problem to address. How do you legislate street parking?

As the mother of a young driver told me recently, it’s a matter of safety. Her daughter’s car was hit, recently, by a motorist who was forced out of his lane by a car parked on a blind curve.

The neighbor who owned the parked vehicle felt terrible and moved the car immediately. Let’s hope it doesn’t take an accident to spur action in your neighborhood.

ON THE TOWN: The joke was on me the other night at Alameda’s Altarena Playhouse. I had invited two girlfriends (one was a new godmother to the other’s infant twins) to the opening of “Oh My Godmother!” –billed as a Cinderella story with a San Francisco twist.

“Twist” was right. Cinderella was a guy and his “godmother” was the flamboyant male owner of a costume shop. During the intermission, I spotted an older couple I knew, and asked them how they liked the show. They admitted they were as surprised as we were about the storyline. Still, they laughed heartily at the slapstick bits and hilarious dialogue. The acting, we agreed, was superb and the live orchestra added much to the enjoyment of the show. Live theatre is always a lot of fun. In this case, it was also an adventure.

DINNER WITH STRINGS: It’s always a treat to have live music with dinner, but when the instrument is a harp, it’s just heavenly. Angel Simmons (yes, that’s her real name) plays the harp two Friday nights a month at Terzetto’s Restaurant in Moraga. There’s something about soft music that makes you savor your food and drink. It lends itself to warm conversation and may even help with digestion. That’s probably why it’s striking a chord in this bedroom community.

SIPPING AND DIPPING: I discovered a whole new way to be a wine snob the other evening. A friend at the Montclair Bistro poured a fine French wine into a Vinturi aerator, which allowed it to breathe almost instantly. In the time it took to gurgle through the clear acrylic device, the wine opened up with a delightful bouquet and smooth finish. I felt so hip as I sipped my aerated wine and nibbled on an incredible antipasta plate with lightly marinated vegetables and other goodies. The Vinturi aerator — $34.95. The antipasta plate — $10.

The coolness factor — priceless.

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