Parking regulations along Broadway in Burlingame are slated to change, as officials blessed a proposal by merchants in the business district to amend meter limits and prices to incentivize shopping locally.
The Burlingame City Council unanimously agreed to extend one-hour parking meter limits to two hours, and raise the hourly rate by 50 cents to $1 during a meeting Monday, Jan. 6.
The arrangement, expected to become official with a forthcoming vote, was made at the request of the Broadway Business Improvement District which has been seeking amendments to parking policy as a means of attracting shoppers.
Burlingame Mayor Emily Beach said she could support the amendment, so long as a majority of merchants in the area felt it would improve business, according to video of the meeting.
“This is really important to the Broadway Business Improvement District. It’s been an issue you guys have been wrestling with for a while, and you have come to some consensus,” she said.
The decision also preserved all the existing 24-minute spaces in the independent shopping district, and added on more similar space on the 1400 block of Broadway.
Broadway business owners have been seeking amendments to the area’s parking regulations recently, with hopes of granting shoppers more time to park and do business without fear of getting a ticket.
“It’s the customer service aspect, making sure people have enough time to go to Broadway, do more than one errand and have time to enjoy themselves,” said Beach.
Officials also expressed optimism the meter price increase would go far to dissuade employees of Broadway businesses from parking along the street and feeding the meter, consuming spaces intended to accommodate shoppers.
In 2018, Broadway Business Improvement District President John Kevranian shared a petition featuring nearly 50 signatures from local business owners seeking to extend permitted parking meter time limits along Broadway to two hours.
Councilmembers at the time were reticent to adopt the proposal, suggesting they felt claims of parking problems in the area were overstated, and that spaces are relatively easy to find.
At the most recent meeting, Vice Mayor Ann O’Brien Keighran said she still feels a sufficient amount of spaces exist in nearby surface lots to address the demand to park near businesses. But if consensus among members of the business district exists, O’Brien Keighran said she could get on board with the amendments.
“The way it is presented this time, I can support it,” she said.
Last year, officials agreed to hire Foster City business Streetline to install surface parking lots sensors and cameras tracking demand and parking availability which will be updated live on electronic signs at the lot entrance.
Signs will also be installed at main thoroughfares directing drivers to the lots, while also showing the amount of available spaces. Officials suggested the parking demand can be tracked remotely on phones or other mobile devices. Public Works Director Syed Murtuza said installation of the electronic sign system is underway.
Looking ahead, Beach said she would like to see officials take on a citywide parking study in its two business districts on Broadway and along Burlingame Avenue, to better understand how the existing system is meeting the community’s needs.
But with the Broadway amendments on the way, and a new parking garage under construction, officials agreed it would be best to postpone beginning the study until the effects of the new policy and construction have taken hold.
“I think we can really watch and see,” said Beach.
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