Redwood City Parking Initiatives and Transportation Management Update

The City of Redwood City’s parking system has evolved significantly over the past 70 years to meet the needs of the growing downtown. The City Council periodically reviews and provides direction on various components of the City’s parking strategy with the aim of reducing traffic and parking congestion.

Below are topline updates on the latest parking strategies, accomplishments and next steps prepared by City staff for the City Council. These initiatives, which were approved by the Council, are based on invaluable input from the Complete Streets Advisory Committee and the City’s Neighborhood Parking Working Group. To read the full staff report, go here.

Recent Parking Management Goals and Accomplishments

Through a series of ongoing goals, City staff strive to provide more user-friendly parking for Redwood City residents and visitors in order to enhance the downtown experience. See accomplishments in this area here.

One of the key goals has been keeping convenient curbside spaces available for customers to ensure that they always have a place to park. To do this, parking spaces are priced to encourage long-term parkers, such as employees, to take advantage of discounted monthly permits in the Marshall St. Garage, Main Street Lot, or Sequoia Station Garage. Rather than relying on enforcement, which can cause frustration, this provides a positive incentive for accomplishing this goal.

Another goal has been to provide more flexible time limits and payment options for customers to reduce the need for them to rush or re-park their car. The current two-hour limit on some streets and lots can be inadequate for those conducting business or going to dinner and a show, so the City wants to reduce the use of time limits to encourage people to enjoy and patronize downtown businesses. The City recently upgraded and expanded its pay-by-phone feature to help make it easier for customers to stay longer in the city.

To reduce “cruising” for parking spaces the City recently installed digital signs to several garages so that parkers can see how many spaces are available before they enter.

Other Parking Accomplishments

In addition to the above developments City of Redwood City staff members have created additional tools to improve our city’s parking:

The City recently hired a Parking and Transportation Demand Manager, providing a central source for coordinating and tracking issues, reducing red tape and duplication of efforts;

· Staff recommended various policy modifications to the Residential Parking Permit Program, which was discussed by the Council and approved, such as:

o More flexibility on days and hours program is enforced;

o Limiting the program to one permit per licensed driver at an address; and

o Established a fee associated with the permits, to cover the enforcement and administration of the program.

· City staff continues to collect parking data to monitor parking usage in downtown in order to continue streamlining and improving the parking experience. Data will be collected this fall to determine the impacts of the two-hour parking restrictions on Broadway. This data will then be brought to the City Council for discussion;

· The City of Redwood City completed a commute survey of downtown employees and Redwood City staff members, coordinating with Friends of Caltrain and Stanford’s Urban Study students to analyze the results. With these results the City can better strategize future transportation and parking issues;

· The Crossing 900 parking garage opened for public use on nights and weekends on Dec. 4, 2015. This added 900 spaces to the night and weekend parking inventory;

· New parking garage gates and higher-tech pay stations were installed in the Jefferson and Marshall garages and additional configuration adjustments are ongoing to make parking more user friendly; and

· The City purchased and is installing new, upgraded parking meters and pay stations, which are nearly complete.

Learn about these recent parking improvements in this new video.

Next steps

As a city like ours grows it is important to keep planning ahead. The City of Redwood City plans to continue managing our parking and transportation efforts.

The City is looking to develop a comprehensive plan to balance the locations of specialized parking spaces to address the needs of the downtown community. These specialized spaces include accessible (ADA), short term, loading and motorcycle parking.

The City is also currently assessing the cost and feasibility of implementing real-time wayfinding signs on key street locations to assist parkers in finding available parking. Staff will request budgeting as part of the five-year Capital Improvement Plan to fund this potential project. This project would look at analysis and design over the next year and implementation that would start in fiscal year 2017/2018.

Learn more

To learn more about City of Redwood City parking and transportation, go here.

To learn specifically about downtown parking in Redwood City, go here.

To download the Parker mobile app, which can assist you in finding a parking spot, go here.

If you have not already, read our blog and watch our video about downtown parking updates!