Neighbors fear parking headachesBy Dana Yates
Residents living on the streets closest to the new San Bruno BART station are bracing for a paralyzing parking problem.
"The neighborhood has narrow streets and there is very little parking for neighbors as it is. Each family has three or four cars and one-car driveways," said Linda Mesqueda, a resident on Pacific Avenue near the station.
While surrounding cities have already created parking policies to deal with the arrival of Bay Area Rapid Transit, San Bruno is planning to "wait and see" what will happen when BART opens Sunday.
The Fifth Addition neighborhood -- which is closest to the station -- is marked by small, crowded streets near industrial businesses. Residents are worried that people will park their cars on their streets to save the daily $2 parking fee at the station. City officials say they are monitoring the situation but don't want to act too quickly.
"We're taking the approach that we don't know what the impact will be -- if it will be two blocks, three blocks, six blocks or 10 blocks," said San Bruno City Engineer Merill Buck. "Instead of making limits bigger than what we need them to be, we'd rather do it after [BART opens]."
San Bruno's Traffic, Safety and Parking Committee, comprised of five appointed citizens, is in the process of creating a parking policy for streets affected by BART that will likely be finished next month. However, the plan won't be presented to the City Council until September because the committee wants to spend the next few months figuring out what streets will be see the most traffic, said Bucks.
The plan will likely limit parking during certain hours of the day when commuters usually look for parking. A city engineer has been monitoring the site for a week and plans to continuing watching the parking situation through the summer, said Bucks.
Residents on the 400 block of Huntington Avenue, the street that runs parallel to the station, have already submitted a petition to the city in favor of residential parking permits. The committee will likely recommend the City Council grant parking permits to those residents as soon as possible, said Bucks.
San Bruno's decision to hold off on implementing parking permits sets them apart from neighboring cities like Millbrae, Colma, Daly City and South San Francisco that already have permit programs.
In April, Millbrae approved a permit program that restricts people without permits from parking on residential streets near the BART station between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m.
On Aviador Avenue, that runs parallel to station, Millbrae has opened up 40 parking spaces that people can park at for $55 a month. The project was recently approved to encourage people to stay away from residential streets and the city is currently accepting applications, said Public Works Director Ron Popp.
BART stations in Millbrae, San Bruno and at the San Francisco International Airport are scheduled to open Sunday.
Copyright ©2003 San Mateo Daily Journal. Published 06/20/2003.