Sunday, November 30, 2014

New Restricted Parking Around Hayward BART Station

The City of Hayward has been busy installing signs that restrict parking along streets near the Hayward BART Station and at the parking garage across from City Hall. The posted restrictions limit parking to a maximum of 2- or 4-hours during the work week at the locations shown on the map below.

Click on the map to view an enlarged version.  (Image credit: City of Hayward)

Beginning tomorrow, December 1st, the city will enforce restrictions by issuing warnings to those who exceed the posted time limits. After a grace period of a couple of weeks, citations will be issued. The fine for parking over the time limit is currently $77.50.

The new parking restrictions are in response to BART's plan to charge for parking at the Hayward Station. Hayward is the last station where drivers can still park for free. But this will come to end on December 8th when BART will begin charging a $1 fee to park between the hours of 4 am and 3 pm.

BART's new fee will undoubtedly increase desire for free off-site parking. The city hopes to limit this by enforcing the new restricted parking zones. Doing so, however, creates two potential problems.

First, those who reside on streets within the new restricted zones and who park their vehicles on the street for lengthy periods are at risk of being ticketed. Fred Kelley, the City's Transportation Manager, acknowledges that this is a possibility. But he assured me that the City will attempt to avoid citing vehicles of those locals who reside within the restricted areas and will dismiss tickets of those locals who are mistakenly cited. The alternative is to establish a parking zone that requires parking permits. While such permits are a possible future consideration, the City's current plan, if effective, is preferable, since locals won't have a need to purchase permits.

The other problem that will probably arise from the City's parking restrictions will surely frustrate many BART patrons who currently park at the Hayward Station. Currently, there is an insufficient number of parking spaces available at the station to accommodate demand. The lot and garage are typically filled to capacity by 8:15 am every Monday through Thursday. Those who arrive later are forced to find parking off-site in competition with those who prefer city streets or the City's garage to that of the BART parking lot or garage. If nearby off-site parking is effectively eliminated by the City's parking restrictions, the station's parking capacity will likely be reached considerably earlier. Those not arriving before then may have to park many blocks away, find another way to get to BART, or give up on it altogether.