The common refrain in Oakland recently is that businesses are opposed to the meter rate increases and the metering time change from 6pm to 8pm. Several business owners, led by Allen Michaan of the Grand Lake Theater, have spoken out at Council meetings, expressed their concerns to the media, circulated a petition threatening to recall the Council if the parking changes weren’t revoked, and posted a cartoon depiction of what Oakland looks like after the parking changes.
But other businesses are accepting the changes. Instead of scaring customers off by screaming to the media that customers will get ticketed if they come to Oakland (great job Michaan!), they’re educating their customers about the changes so that they won’t get ticketed. Spice Monkey, one of the few reasonably priced restaurants in downtown Oakland that stays open for dinner, put this sign up in their window:
If you can’t read that, it says:
NOTICE TO CUSTOMERS: Please be aware of the City of Oakland’s new parking meter guidelines!
Street parking is now $2.00 per hour and enforced until 8 p.m.
We apologize for the inconvenience. Feel free to ask us if there are other parking alternatives available.
Imagine how different the conversation would be if businesses throughout Oakland had taken this tact instead of following Michaan’s lead. Oakland wouldn’t have gotten all this terrible media coverage, and maybe people wouldn’t be so irrationally scared to come here. And yes, this fear is irrational, because people are much more likely to get ticketed in San Francisco and basically every Bay Area city charges for parking and enforces parking violations.
So go to Spice Monkey, buy some food (I highly recommend their salads and grilled cheese sandwich), and thank them for taking such a rational approach to the parking enforcement changes.