Woodside: merchants seek exemption from new parking restrictions


Motorists -- potential customers, actually -- have been seen driving away from downtown Woodside after not finding a place to park, according to members of the town's retail business community who are asking the town to create a parking exemption on Woodside Road during lunchtime hours.

"They make two or three circuits (of the full parking lot) and leave and don't come back," Jamis MacNiven, the owner of Buck's of Woodside restaurant, told the Town Council at its Tuesday, Nov. 9, meeting.

With Mr. MacNiven were Roberts Market owner George Roberts and several other retailers who do business at the corner of Canada and Woodside roads.

No-parking signs have been up along Woodside Road west of the intersection since September. The signs, along with more on-campus parking at Woodside Elementary School, seem to have ended an endemic 10 to 15 minutes of stop-and-go crawl that occurred twice a day as parents arrived at the school to drop off and pick up their kids.

The California Department of Transportation has jurisdiction over Woodside Road. The town, which erected the signs at Caltrans' behest, did so in anticipation of feedback. A Sept. 10 letter to Town Manager Susan George provided some.

"We merchants ... would like the town to consider helping us with the lunch parking by exempting the no-parking restriction between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. seven days of the week," the letter said.

The town has some discretion in making exemptions to the no-parking rules.

The letter to Ms. George was signed by Mr. MacNiven, Mr. Roberts and five other retailers. Their proposal would allow a total of about 200 feet of bike lane on both sides of the road, thereby increasing capacity by about 10 spaces.

The council agreed on a temporary exemption while town staff discusses the matter with Caltrans. The parking problem came to Caltrans' attention when at least one cyclist complained about the blocked bike lanes that had been the consequence of the school traffic twice a day.

Caltrans wrote to the town in September 2008 to propose no-parking signs to "remind drivers of the prohibition" on parking in bike lanes not wide enough to accommodate vehicles.

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Like this comment
Posted by Wdsd Resident
a resident of Woodside: other
on Nov 17, 2010 at 1:16 pm

As a 30-yr resident, I have seen a lot of changes take place, it's inevitable. However this newest parking ban is creating more problems than it's solving (other than for the cyclists who initiated it). I now have grandkids at Wdsd School that I help pickup on certain days, so have experienced first-hand the effects of the new ban. It is the people who live and work here who are being adversely affected, for the benefit of (mostly) out-of-town cyclists to be able to whiz through. I have even heard from one teacher that there is talk of demolishing the two tennis courts to make up for the lost street parking. This is insane.

Like this comment
Posted by Sarah
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Heights
on Nov 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Safe bike riding is insane. (Get kids back on bikes or walking their over-protected, computer-inflated behinds to school.)

Like this comment
Posted by member
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Nov 17, 2010 at 4:04 pm

I am in favor of getting kids to bike to school, but it won't help the merchant's problem. The merchants need parking from 11am to 2pm, when all the kids are in school. This one has nothing to do with the school.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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