Lakeshore Blog – March 2014

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.


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3 responses to “Lakeshore Blog – March 2014”

  1. Frequent Neighborhood Shopper Avatar
    Frequent Neighborhood Shopper

    Thanks for updating us about the change to parking limits at Trader Joe’s & Walgreen’s. I would like to see free, time-limited customer parking continue. Perhaps employers could subsidize their employees’ parking under 580. If meters are installed, I fear that customers in cars will either go to other TJ and Walgreen locations, or troll for street parking in the neighborhood. Personally, I will resolve to walk and shop with my pull cart whenever the weather and the items purchased (i.e., non-frozen items) make this feasible. The exercise will do me good.
    Before investing in electric car charging stations, BART shuttles, bike racks, etc., I suggest (1) systematically collect data about parking lot and garage usage by observation; (2) survey current parking lot and garage users — who may or may not be customers at TJ’s or Walgreen’s (where did you travel from, which neighborhood locations will/did you visit, how did you get here, how frequently do you shop at these stores, how long did you shop today, how long do you typically shop, which of the following would you use if it were available, etc.); and (3) survey current employees (where did you travel from, how did you get here, which of the following would you use if it were available, what is your typical work schedule, etc.) to measure needs and wants. These survey questions are mere suggestions, of course. The BID will want to contract with a skilled survey creator so that the design is structured to promote responding and the results are both valid and reliable. This requires more expertise than listing a few questions.

  2. […] for Lakeshore’s offstreet parking and the opening of Michel on April 8th.  Please click HERE for all the […]

    1. Ken Katz Avatar

      Liane,

      Thanks for all your input. I also understand that the city is likely going to add more monthly parking slots under 580 to accommodate any and all business owners and employees who have been the Lakeshore parking garage.