More parking in downtown Pleasanton? Think $12 million

Now city working on plan to better managing downtown parking

Ever try to park downtown for lunch and can't find a space?

Try thinking that you're parking in Stoneridge Mall or at the San Francisco Outlets where it's just a block-long walk to the stores and restaurants and you'll find plenty of open spaces near downtown Pleasanton, too.

Even the now-paved "railroad corridor" near the Meadowlark Dairy usually has a few noon-time spots. At lunchtime and during crowded dinner hours, the Firehouse Arts Center parking lot is seldom filled except during theater events.

The problem, says Laura Olson, executive director of the Pleasanton Downtown Association, is that many motorists don't know about these lots. Even the railroad corridor, halfway between Main and First streets, which until last year was a dirt roadway, is now half paved but often empty. Another parking strip behind the PDA's offices on First Street is marked one-way, requiring motorists to circle the block to find the entrance.

Now the city has prepared a parking study with short- and long-term suggestions on better managing downtown parking. It includes ways to possibly expand the parking supply and ways to help motorists heading this way feel more comfortable about shopping and dining downtown.

Although the study found that there are 3,320 parking spaces downtown, many are on private property. City representatives will start meeting with owners to see if more of those lots could be marked as open to the public during non-business hours.

Based on GPS data used to compile travel behavior to the downtown, planners also want to use directional and even digital signs to show motorists where available parking is located. Those could help the 85% of total trips to downtown Pleasanton that originate here or in Dublin, Livermore and San Ramon.

On weekdays, the highest proportion of trips downtown (32%) come from businesses in Hacienda and northeast Pleasanton. On weekends, shoppers and diners coming from Dublin and San Ramon represent the greatest proportion. An estimated 39% of trips are between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.; 33% between 3 and 7 p.m.

To make more parking available for those heading downtown, the city recently marked parking spots on First Street and on the newly paved sections of the railroad corridor. City staff also plans to create an Information Center to consolidate information for businesses and the public regarding alternative transportation methods, such as Wheels buses and shuttles.

Bike corrals will be added downtown, possibly by removing the concrete newspaper racks on Main Street sidewalks. A traffic enforcement officer has been assigned to ticket cars left parked downtown for more than three hours, issuing more than 130 citations since the program began in March. A proposal to install parking meters on Main Street met with stiff resistance from council members.

Parking garages are other options being considered to handle an expected growth in retail and restaurant businesses downtown. A two-story garage at the Workbench True Value site could accommodate 135 parking spaces, 50 more than are now available on the surface lot.

Up to 465 spaces could be constructed with a multi-story garage in the Bank of America-owned lot at Angela and Peters. At least 200 spaces could be added with a parking garage in the new Inklings Coffee and Tea lot between Main Street and Railroad Avenue. The estimated costs of building these garages ranges from $3.8 million to 12.6 million.

On second thought, the Firehouse parking lot doesn't seem all that far away.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


3 people like this
Posted by James Beam
a resident of Castlewood
on Aug 7, 2016 at 10:04 pm

Parking garage at Bof A? I thought BofA owned that lot and that is why they don't let anyone park there when the fair is on.

13 people like this
Posted by Barb
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 7, 2016 at 11:11 pm

What about the plot of land behind Cole's Market/Cosmo's between Ray and Spring?

16 people like this
Posted by Mike Moreno
a resident of Stoneridge
on Aug 8, 2016 at 9:18 am

Be carefull what you wish for. We DO NOT want to become another Walnut Creek. I am totally against parking meters. Perhaps there should be a slow-down in further development until this is settled.
Mike Moreno

22 people like this
Posted by fine
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2016 at 11:02 am

I go downtown all the time and have never had an issue parking. I go there for lunch, concert in the park, first wednesday, antique festivals and always find a parking place in the railway corridor parking or the firehouse theater parking. Maybe those areas need better signage and lighting?

4 people like this
Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 8, 2016 at 11:06 am

Jack is a registered user.

The city is not serious about solving the parking issue Downtown. If they were, they would have never allowed the Pastime development to occur as it did... I wish them well in trying to get private property owners to open up their lots...

14 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Aug 8, 2016 at 11:29 am

I've never had to walk more than a couple of blocks for parking at lunch, and on weekends. The only exception are a few times a year when there are major events that close Main Street. I see no need for a parking garage. Silly waste of money.

10 people like this
Posted by Jim Van Dyke
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 8, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Before we spend a dollar to open up more space for cars, why not convert a few auto spaces into true bike corrals? Here's a key formula to remember: 1=12. One auto parking space creates a true bike corral that yields space for 12 bicycles. People who ride bikes increase merchant shopping, in cases where auto parking spaces have been selectively converted to bike parking space. I've met with the PDA, in concert with a transportation parking expert from the regional organization Bike East Bay, to show research data behind this, but our merchants are dead-set on putting bike parking in small or out-of-the-way locations (such as off of main street). Has anyone else noticed that the revitalization of downtown Livermore included fewer cars on the main drag? Think about this: every time we open up more centrally-located (for safety and convenience) bike parking spaces on main street, we've actually created more space for those who drive their cars. How? By enticing more people to leave their cars at home and bike instead, and thus leave more room for those who still choose the 4,000 pound steel cage to get their cup of coffee, meal, haircut or knick-knack!

12 people like this
Posted by spudly
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Aug 8, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Pleasanton does not have a parking problem. Put the money someplace else. Want proof? Go to Palo Alto, Walnut Creek, Sunnyvale, or Mountain View. Those places have parking issues.

20 people like this
Posted by William
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Aug 8, 2016 at 5:23 pm

You think traffic and parking are bad now? Wait until the 1,250 new housing units approved by Thorne, Narum and Olsen fill up. Then our streets will be in gridlock. But unless the drought improves substantially, we will all have to leave town to afford the increasingly expensive water rates Pleasanton will have.

16 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 8, 2016 at 5:25 pm

Retired and love the parking downtown, never have to walk more than a block no matter what time of day! Up to 12 million for a parking garage, I don't think so, keep your hands out of my pocket!!! Who are these people that can't find parking, walking a block or so never hurt anybody

7 people like this
Posted by Long Time Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Aug 8, 2016 at 5:49 pm

Of course, Ruby Hills has absolutely no impact on traffic and water use, right?

11 people like this
Posted by fine
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2016 at 7:38 pm

Jim, I appreciate you advocating for bikes but unfortunately, like you already know, Pleasanton is not a very safe city for bike riders. I remember years ago talking with our traffic engineer, Jeff Knowles, after I noticed bike lanes disappearing. He said that bike lanes are unsafe as it gives people a false sense of security and cited studies showing bike accidents going down when bike lanes were removed. I told him that accidents went down because people were no longer riding their bikes as they were not safe and parents were not letting their kids ride their bikes on roads without bike lanes.

I also question those riding bikes purchasing items downtown and having to carry the items on their bikes. I don't think Livermore traded cars for bikes. Rather they added parking off the main drag and made the main drag more pedestrian friendly. I feel Livermore has done a great job with their downtown. Also, they have some nice protected bike trails. Pleasanton just keeps adding more housing and reduces the bike paths to make room for more cars. It is a shame.

3 people like this
Posted by Jim Van Dyke
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 8, 2016 at 8:38 pm

Dear Fine

I think Pleasanton is in much better shape for bikes under the leadership of Mike Tassanno, who has headed up traffic engineering for several years now. I also agree that painted stripes on the edge of lanes meant for cars and trucks is not the answer, and we do need fully protected lanes like those going in within many cities around the world. Our five year bike/Ped plan is in the midst of an update, and if more people participate to give their input we'll get more precious resources from the City. Will you join us tomorrow night, the 9th, at the Pleasanton Library? For more details see the Facebook Bike Pleasanton page. Work together?

10 people like this
Posted by Carol
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 9, 2016 at 9:31 am

NO parking meters please! I eat downtown regularly, both lunch & dinner and have never had any problem because there is ample parking surrounding the downtown area. OK for people to walk a block or so which is a great health benefit.

Then again by the city rezoning low density housing to a much higher density which will eventually greatly impact the historic downtown Pleasanton area, how about if the city is adding costs to install parking meters, let the incoming builders who benefit from sales of the new properties to subsidize the costs of such impacts on services, etc. they will add to this city!

Having a place to have a voice i.e. this site is great, however, history continues to show that the city always does what they want, so save your time, effort and energy and elect those in charge who will follow your own personal views and concerns for this city!!!!!

12 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 9, 2016 at 3:58 pm

Bike lanes don't do any good when the bikers ride 3 or4 across and stick out in vehicle only lanes while blowing thru intersections with no regard for anybody else, jump in front of any car and the car will win every time!!

6 people like this
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 10, 2016 at 9:28 am

$3.8 million to 12.6 million for parking. City Council at it again trying to spend our monies. How about a few street signs directing people to park within a couple of blocks or so. Maybe walking to and from lunch is a good thing????

4 people like this
Posted by Ruby
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Aug 10, 2016 at 10:48 am

lived here since 1978 no problem finding parking spot what I have a problem with is walking down the street because of outside eating spaces you must walk single file and no room for wheel chairs in some cases.. strolling the restaurant row is nice in Livermore. also how about more coffee shops lets have the restaurants clean up there sidewalk areas the farmers market does a nice part of cleaning up there space lets leave some streets for cars bikes have enough now

1 person likes this
Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Aug 10, 2016 at 12:17 pm

mooseturd is a registered user.

All you folks that think it's OK to walk a block or two forget us old timers with infirmities. I've gone to the same downtown location for my dental care for 53 years. I now cannot park within my walking range.

2 people like this
Posted by Melissa
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 10, 2016 at 12:41 pm

Signs posted at The Workbench parking lot state for customers only. Need to eliminate signage and open up to those shopping downtown! They do not need all those spaces!

3 people like this
Posted by local
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Aug 10, 2016 at 1:41 pm

The Workbench parking lot is a private lot. Workbench leases the building and the parking lot from the property owner. So if you want it opened up, need to start negotiations on the cost for the city to purchase it.

To mooseturd, additional parking is not going to help you as it is not going to be right in front of your dentist. That is a risk of having a downtown business unless the business owns their own parking lot. My guess your dentist does not have any parking so you must use the public street parking. I sympathize with your mobility issues but not sure how this can be resolved unless your dentist has their own parking or they lease space in a private parking area nearby. Possibly if we make most of the parking on main street to be handicapped parking and have everybody else park in the side streets, private parking lots, or public parking lots.

3 people like this
Posted by Julie
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 10, 2016 at 2:16 pm

I've always said that the parking issue can be resolved by adding handicapped spaces up and down main street. Voila. Problem solved. Easy peasy.

1 person likes this
Posted by Apples
a resident of Country Fair
on Aug 10, 2016 at 2:38 pm

I hope not to have Pleasanton become Walnut Creek. Keep us small town. Here's a suggestion.
What if we opened the parking lot at Amador H.S. for parking on weekends when there's an event or Wednesday for 1st Wednesdays and had a shuttle bus, using local small transit busses to take us back and forth-especially for those who struggle with walking or other issues.
Just a thought.

4 people like this
Posted by Eric
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Aug 10, 2016 at 4:22 pm

Mooseturd, try the Pleasanton Paratransit. Pick you up at home, drop you off in front, pick you up and take you home for a couple bucks. As we all age there are things we can't do like walk a couple of blocks but the city has a great, inexpensive transportation system for seniors.

Like this comment
Posted by Matt Watts
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jul 29, 2017 at 5:39 pm

This will not be a popular idea but the parks on First Street could be turned into parking lots, with trees and flower boxes along First Street, and parts of the creek might be put underground with concrete pipes as not much water runs through there. I never see many people using those parks except for the free concerts, and that is only a tiny number of people compared to the town population and maybe that venue could be moved to the grass to the left of The Senior Center.
This is just a thought and much cheaper than multi story parking structures like the one in Livermore by The Transit Center.

1 person likes this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 30, 2017 at 9:04 am

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

The focus should be around commerce and community (in that order). In alignment with that it should cater to pedestrians, cyclists, and cars (oh, and fyi those of you complaining about parking in front of a specific location really need to consider uber or lyft). Our city plan should include biking a walk ways into the downtown - whether bike lanes or making use of the water ways or railroad. I personally would fully support turning the streets into one way routes through the area, allowing business to extend outdoor seating, and even a no traffic permanent outdoor promenade (perhaps where farmers market occupies today). Some additional parking may be required - but given today's commuting options perhaps start with leveraging existing spaces not fully utilized first, work with the property owners on an incentive program that benefits both.

1 person likes this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 30, 2017 at 1:48 pm

My vote is still for 1 way streets on main and peters, forget the parking garages that's a lot of pocket money to spend just so people don't have to walk a block or two to be park downtown. I have never had trouble finding a spot within a 2 block radius of where I'm going from early in the morning through late in the day, weekends and prime time during the week no problem at all, never even had to make an illegal U-turn on main to snag a spot which can be observed everyday happening, let's bring back PPD on bikes downtown and maybe get a little more parking enforcement.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Couples: Reading List
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,494 views

New Donlon school is at least four years away
By Tim Hunt | 1 comment | 876 views