Surely, we have all noticed the many signs in support of Measure P at downtown businesses. These businesses are members of the Downtown Association who participated in the development of the city’s downtown plan and fully support Measure P. Hence the “Save Our Downtown” and “Vote Yes on Measure P” signs throughout downtown.

The hypocrisy? The Downtown Association business owners and their employees are in fact a cause of the parking problem downtown. You see, in the 2014 Downtown Parking Management Study, the authors identified three key challenges with parking downtown. One of them was employees parking for four to eight hours in key locations. In fact, 80% of the employees surveyed admitted that they parked within one block of their work. You can find the study at

The city enables these employee parking habits by failing to enforce the time restrictions. It was noted in a presentation ( that the city only enforced the parking restrictions for two hours per day. Riddle me this: How do you hand out a ticket for parking longer than two hours if you only patrol for two hours?

Anyway, the city presentation on parking and the Parking Management Study both suggest that residents need to learn to park farther away and walk to their destinations. Yes, we need to learn to park in the proposed I Street Garage, which is attached to the far side of the Railroad Garage, and then walk to places on First and Second Street. Presumably, we will be walking by employees who have day-parked on the street by arriving before the customers.

Don’t be scared by these “Save Our Downtown!” signs. Saving our downtown does not mean voting for Measure P. In fact, saving our downtown means voting “no” on Measure P for now. You can decide for real in the November election. This gives the city a chance to develop a realistic plan for parking that may have to include stricter enforcement. Then, the Downtown Association business owners and their employees can also “learn” to park in the I Street Garage.