Burlingame hopes permits ease parking headaches

For the Broadway and Bellevue neighborhoods, where residents shuffle their cars frequently to avoid parking tickets, city officials will begin creating a permit program that will exempt them from curb parking zoned for two hours.

Over the next few months, city officials will work with police representatives in creating a program that will sell permits for a small annual fee. Last week, the Traffic Safety and Parking Commission unanimously approved the idea of creating a permit plan.

The fee has not been determined yet and there is no timeline as to when the program will be implemented, said city traffic engineer Augustine Chou.

Bellevue area residents in particular have clamored for such a program. Because of the area’s vicinity to the robust downtown and the area’s high-density apartments, parking can be a nightmare.

“It used to be people had one car, but now they have two or three,” said Tonie Hertz, an apartment building manager on Bellevue Avenue, who oversees an 85-unit building that has one carport per unit.

Ross Bruce, president of the Broadway Merchants Association, said the program could hurt merchants.

“We’re concerned that if people have all-day parking permits that it will take away two-hour parking that is used by our customers, and that would be a bad thing,” he said. He said he would rather see a permit program that exempts residents on Saturdays only.

Hertz supports permitted parking, but added it will not solve overnight parking congestion in the Bellevue area, where residents often park at least three blocks away from their homes. She has requested the city approach merchants along nearby Chapin Avenue to open their private lots to overnight residents.

City officials, however, have not considered that idea. Traffic Safety and Parking Commissioner Mike Bohnert, who works at Cashin Realtors Co. on Chapin Avenue, said workers sometimes burn the midnight oil and need the parking spots.

Betty McKinney, an attorney at Pagano & McKinney law firm on Chapin Avenue, said the city should make city-owned lots on Chapin and Donnelly Avenue accessible to Bellevue residents for overnight parking.

bfoley@examiner.com

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