LAKESHORE BLOG by Pamela Drake, BID Director


The 27th Annual Lakeshore Easter Parade & Derby Decorating Contest & the 6th Annual Lakeshore Baptist Church Spring Children’s Festival

Please join us for this free, non-denominational event. Bring your kids, your grandkids, or your neighbors kids. Every child receives a prize! Or just take a seat on the Avenue around 11 am so you don’t miss the kiddies in their creatively decorated hats!  For details, please click on this downloadable flyer.

Restaurant Michel

Our new authentic French Bistro for fine family dining, a night out with friends, or a lovely cocktail after work will be opening on April 8th! After the last big rain which is anything over 2 hundreds of an inch these days, the owners discovered water flooding across their new floor and up to the freshly built bar. Dealing with plumbing and drainage issues, a perennial problem on that side of Lakeshore, set them back a week but they are close to ready and very excited about opening. We are too.

Parking Changes at the City Garage

For years the merchants and the city have been talking about negotiating a new contract with the owners of the lot where Trader Joes and Walgreens now sit-the existing one is at least 30 years old. We are still waiting for that but it will take some time to figure out how it can be structured. Should the lot charge after the first hour or ninety minutes in order to provide revenues for more security and maintenance? Should merchants and their employees be provided the option to purchase spaces upstairs? Or should we continue, as is, given the need for better maintenance and security?

At present merchants cannot use the lot which presents a real hardship for them. However, the lot was built by merchant bonds in order to provide parking for their customers so too much employee parking defeats the purpose of the lot. As any of you know who have circled endlessly upstairs, downstairs, and all around, it is no fun shopping on Lakeshore if you can’t get a space to park within a few minutes. Even loyal neighborhood shoppers had started threatening to go elsewhere so the city council office stepped in and worked with the owners of the adjacent lot-the owners of that lot assume responsibility for the garage-and asked them to monitor parking more closely.

On April 1st, Park Smart Regional Parking, Inc, will begin monitoring the lot and garage, issuing warnings and then $30 tickets. In the past the hourly limits were the same in both the open lot in front of TJs and Walgreens and the garage; but now that lot’s limit is one hour and the garage limit is restricted to 2 hours. Moving your car may still result in a ticket as the lots will be monitored electronically and the time limits will count wherever you park. Hopefully, all this monitoring will result in easy parking and thus enjoyable shopping and possibly more security for shoppers.

What this all means is that Oaklanders need to begin to have a discussion about parking, driving and public transportation. With businesses booming, employees need to have a reasonable, safe way to get to work that doesn’t impact local neighborhoods or hurt the businesses they work in.

Should we have reduced cost parking spaces for employees, many of whom make a little more than the minimum wage, should we provide shuttles to BART from our neighborhood retail centers, more bike corrals (we may be getting another one near the Starbucks, thanks to the city), electric car charging stations, what else? There are numerous solutions out there but none of them are simplistic or free-look for a new version of the transportation Measure B on the fall ballot to help provide the funds for some of them.

Solar Powered Trash Compactors

Even with the addition of our new BigBelly solar powered trash compactors, Lakeshore still seems to be awash in trash by Sunday afternoon, especially if the weather is brilliant, the norm these days. Our new compactors, paid for the Business Improvement District, can hold 5 times the amount of trash, so we hope you will use them! But, if you have a piece of trash and the closest can is overflowing, please carry it a few more feet, there is often a half-empty can nearby.

Once again, new openings are happening on Lakeshore and our stores and restaurants, not to mention our tree wells, are decorated for spring. Come hang out, shop, and dine in your favorite neighborhood-go to our Facebook page for the latest updates and don’t forget to “like” us.