Town Crier: Workable deal on Oakland hills parking to be difficult

courtesy of Susan Slusser
Oakland A’s broadcaster Ken Korach and the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser, above, on Sept. 18 will be at the Montclair Library in support of their new book, “If these Walls could Talk: Stories from the Oakland A’s Dugout, Locker Room and Press Box.”

MONTCLARION: Sept 12, 2019

The art of the compromise — it’s never as easy as it seems. Take the folks living on Heather Ridge Way in the Oakland hills. These neighbors need a solution to the problem of parked cars clogging access to emergency vehicles. But the Oakland Fire Department’s decision to prohibit all street parking is clearly not going to work.

“What about people who don’t have off-street parking?” ask several readers who live on the street. “What about people with mobility issues who CAN’T walk if they have to park on the next street over?”

For their part, the OFD says they’ve surveyed Heather Ridge Way and determined that “no portion can retain on-street parking in order to provide enough clearance for emergency access.” And the folks on this street aren’t alone. Dozens of narrow hills streets are reportedly affected by the Fire Department’s new survey on street parking.

And again, nobody’s arguing against access for emergency vehicles, but a complete ban on parking affects delivery vehicles, visitors and homeowners without garages or driveway parking. Then there’s the issue of short-term residential rentals. Neighbors on Heather Ridge Way say there are five homes being rented as Airbnbs, which almost certainly adds to the number of cars parked on the street. “Enforcement of parking codes for rentals, especially Airbnbs, might resolve much of the situation,” says one homeowner.

As we approach the anniversary of the Oakland hills fire, a solution still hasn’t been reached (at least at the time of this publication). The issue may also be complicated by questions of liability on the city’s part (attorneys would have to weigh in on that). But it’s increasingly clear that any compromise will take hard work, patience and more than a sprinkle of wisdom.

Book it: Baseball fans have a double-header coming Sept. 18 to the Montclair Library. Oakland A’s broadcaster Ken Korach and the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser will promote their new book “If these Walls could Talk: Stories from the Oakland A’s Dugout, Locker Room and Press Box” at 6:30 p.m. The free talk will reveal the inside scoop on everything from covering the A’s to front office wheeling and dealing — aka “Moneyball.”

Animal tales: “Are you talking to ME?” That’s what a turkey seemed to be saying recently when he discovered a street mirror on Manzanita Drive. There to aid motorists on a blind curve, the baffled bird walked around the mirror, then started pecking his reflection. “In your face,” the bird must have been thinking … yet the confrontation went nowhere, and he threw up his wings and walked off.

Ginny Prior can be followed on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and at Email her at


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