Town Crier: Premium parking’s value worth discussing


MONTCLARION: October 4, 2013

It was painful, but I did it. I shelled out $18 for parking at the O.co Coliseum. Over time, I supposed I’ll get over it — but it does pose an interesting question: what is a premium parking place worth these days?

Montclarions may soon find out. The Village is being considered for the city’s first test of flex meter parking. Motorists would pay up to $3 an hour on popular streets, such as Antioch Court, and as little as 50 cents an hour on streets with plenty of parking, such as Mountain Boulevard.

Councilmember Libby Schaaf says the goal is to create a model in which drivers can always find parking. You pay a little more for a choice spot and a little less if you don’t mind the walk.

The real question is will people be willing to pay $3 an hour to park in the heart of Montclair? Put another way, is an hour of parking worth the price of a small latte, if all you’re buying is a small latte? If it sounds hard to swallow, then you know how I feel. I just paid $18 to park at a $2 Wednesday A’s game.

Clogged artery: Montclair Elementary has a new state-of-the-art school but an age-old problem with traffic. Enrollment this fall has reached 487 kids, creating a twice-daily parade along Mountain Boulevard. Add impatient motorists to the mix, and you have a potential for accidents as drivers pass double-parked cars and slow moving vehicles. For the safety of everyone, avoid school zones during drop-off and pickup times.

Around town: The cavernous space at 6125 Medau in Montclair is reopening as another fitness center. CRUfit calls itself a neighborhood club with superior strength and endurance classes. High-tech equipment includes a cycling theater and Concept 2 Rowers along with an outdoor circuit training space. Look for CRUfit to open sometime in October.

Foodie alert: The church ladies have been prepping since May for this weekend’s big Bazaar and Food Festival at Saint Vartan. This is the East Bay’s premier Armenian festival with two days of music and dancing and handmade food and crafts. Check it out from 5:30 p.m. to midnight Friday and from noon until midnight Saturday at 650 Spruce St. (off MacArthur) in Oakland. More info at www.stvartanoakland.org.

Oakland shines: A mobile visitor center named “Ray” is hitting the road to promote Oakland. Last week, the “Raymobile” cruised down to Los Angeles and back, touting our town as “the sunny side of the Bay.” Alison Best, of Visit Oakland, says Ray is a cool way to rep a hip destination. Fans who follow Ray on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram could win a weekend in Oakland with airfare and two nights at the Waterfront Hotel.

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