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Council to talk downtown Danville parking availability

Joining regional energy JPA also topic for morning study session

The Town Council is set to continue talking about options to improve downtown Danville parking conditions when town staff leads a presentation on a new parking utilization assessment study Tuesday morning.

TJKM Transportation Consultants has conducted research and determined "downtown continues to have sufficient parking within convenient walking distance to most locations," but overcrowding and insufficient turnover have been problems at certain public parking "hot spots" during peak hours, according to town transportation manager Andrew Dillard.

To address the concerns, the consultant team recommends the town focus on parking enforcement, reinforce employee-parking rules downtown, minimize student parking and improve park-and-ride options, Dillard wrote in a staff report in advance of the council's morning study session.

The council contracted with TJKM to update the town's 2009 downtown parking assessment, and research began last fall, according to Dillard.

"The consultant team conducted an extensive evaluation of downtown parking facilities, surveyed and documented parking demand, gathered input from the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Discover Danville Association and assessed the town's current parking management practices," he said.

The consultants found problem hot spots at the Clock Tower and Front Street municipal lots, as well as isolated on-street areas such as north Railroad Avenue, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. weekdays when parking occupancy exceeds 90%, Dillard noted.

Saturday mornings also see hot spots at the Railroad Avenue and Clock Tower lots, as well as Railroad Avenue street parking, primarily due to farmers market demand, he added.

The consultants recommend the town focus on parking enforcement during weekday lunchtime hours and Saturday mornings to ensure adequate turnover and to make sure downtown workers and students aren't taking up prime parking spots otherwise available for patrons.

The town should also intensify efforts and requirements toward focusing downtown employee parking into designated areas, and officials should do what they can to reduce student parking downtown by striving to add on-site parking at San Ramon Valley High, maximizing student parking on Danville Boulevard and promoting high school carpooling, according to the consultants.

Maximizing parking spaces available at the Sycamore Park and Ride Lot as an employee parking resource and providing a non-vehicular connection at the northern end of downtown are also key, according to the consultant firm.

The parking issue will lead the council's study session, set to start at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Town Meeting Hall, 201 Front St. in downtown.

In other business, the council will discuss the merits of opting into a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program available within PG&E service areas allowing local jurisdictions to participate in a joint powers authority (JPA) that purchases sources or generates electricity for their residents and businesses, according to Nat Rojanasathira, assistant to the town manager.

"Communities opt in to CCA programs with the goal of sourcing energy from more renewable sources such as solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal and hydroelectric," he wrote in a staff report to the council.

The town is asked to consider whether to join a new countywide program or participate in the existing regional Marin Clean Energy JPA.

Town staff recommends the council authorize Contra Costa County to obtain the town's electrical load data from PG&E, which would allow the county to begin analyzing data to study CCA options, Rojanasathira said.

Danville officials also recommend the town share costs with the county and other cities for a non-binding technical study to estimate the electricity rates that would be charged to customers under the two JPA options, he added. Study costs are estimated at $7,500-$15,000 per jurisdiction.

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Comments

1 person likes this
Posted by FanDanville
a resident of Danville
on Jan 12, 2016 at 4:06 pm

How much was the cost of the "study" by TJKM Transportation Consultants?
That money could have been spent on BUILDING ADDITIONAL PARKING!

How much annual cost is for Town Transportation Manager, Andrew Dillard?
And why do we need him when we are hiring out for "parking studies"? What does he do for his annual cost?

The report says that there is "sufficient parking within convenient walking distance to most locations" in one breath. Then the report says there is "overcrowding and insufficient turnover" at some highly desired locations "during peak hours." In other words, there really ISN'T SUFFICIENT PARKING AT CRUCIAL LOCATIONS DURING PEAK HOURS! --Which any of us could have told you without an expensive report.

And look at their recommendations:
It isn't build more parking or to require buildings to have more parking or to build parking upward or downward. NO!
It is:
1. more and stricter parking enforcement (FORCE people to move their cars more often and not stay where they want to as long by TICKETING THE HELL OUT OF THEM),
2. more and stricter enforcement of employee-parking rules downtown (AND make a whole bunch of them go over and park at the Sycamore Park and Ride lot--which is already overcrowded with more legitimate users--and how are the employees supposed to get over there and back?)
3. minimize student parking (by more and stricter enforcement, by paying for the School System to build its own parking lot or building?, by crowding more student parking onto Danville Blvd, and by forcing students to "car pool" as if they are all on the same time and sports schedules)
4. improve park-and-ride options (the article doesn't clarify what clever ideas they are referring to here, but, once again, you can be assured that they are talking about how to force people out of cars AND avoid building more new sufficient parking)

Here are my recommendations:
Turn Railroad back into the regular width street that it used to be and allow sufficient bike lanes on it. Instead, build the clock tower lot into a two-story parking structure. And don't have any "compact" spots--compact cars will just get the luxury of more spacious accommodations and probably less dings, but all other types of cars (which we have reason to have) will get sufficient space.
Let the height of the town's buildings go up to 3 stories, at least........and let there be underground parking....IF there is not problem with the water level in the soil.
Do not let any more buildings be built without supplying there own amount of sufficient parking.....unless Danville takes on the obligation to supply huge amounts of parking. --unlike the recent Danville Hotel development.
Do NOT have a Farmer's Market in Danville, unless there is absolutely no need and demand for the parking spaces that they are taking up. Unless there is a glut of parking space in the town at peak hours and during the Farmers Market. And unless they are NOT in competition with any brick-and-mortar Danville business or grocery store--only if all Danville's businesses "consent" to the FM's presence. The FM's takes up parking lot spaces, creates an need for more parking, and competes with local businesses. (I'm not running for a Popularity Contest, in case you didn't notice.)
Make the School District build its own parking, with its own money, on its own land, before they build ANYTHING else, and with sufficient spaces to hold ALL of its students who want to drive to school without any requirement for "carpooling". Let that Parking Building be multi-storied. And require that there be an off-street drop off/pick up location with "waiting cars" location and safe entrances, exits, and quick traffic flows to the parking areas and to the streets where people are driving BY the school.

COUNCIL, get serious about our LOCAL PROBLEMS and solve them directly fulling meeting great goals--like actually meeting the real needs and desires of the citizens. Stop trying to FORCE US INTO YOUR MOLD and just build Danville to meet the needs that we have.


Like this comment
Posted by dbrower
a resident of Alamo
on Jan 13, 2016 at 5:34 pm

Except for the use of screaming ALLCAPS, I appreciate FanDanville's lengthy comment.

I wouldn't be particularly concerned about the cost of the study given how much construction costs. Doing the right thing is much more important.

It is clear that there isn't sufficient parking at peak times to support the success of the businesses that continue to operate and start downtowm.

The recommendations to enforce, restrict and otherwise brow-beat are not helpful in the long term, and will only make people upset.

I'm not inclined to try to put anything back on Railroad; there won't be that many added spaces for the expense, and on-street causes its own congestion problems.

Putting a double-deck (or triple with an underground level) at the clock tower is probably the best solution -- but it is also the most expensive, and things would be horrible during construction. A broader view should include looking at decked parking at SRVHS.

To be very expansive, consider multi-deck parking over the creek between Diablo and the Library, with a pedestrian connection from Prospect, like they did at Disneyland to jump the road between the parks and the Disneyland hotel.



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