With the SDOT due to release its final parking plan for Fremont any day now, the Fremont Chamber of Commerce says the city cares more about making money than managing parking. “Everybody feels this is a revenue-generating tactic from the city,” says Jessica Vets, the chamber’s executive director in an interview with Fremont Universe. “There are paid parking lots all through Fremont, (but) nobody uses them. They’re underutilized.”
The chamber has led an aggressive campaign called “Keep Fremont Free” to protest the city’s plan to add paid parking meters throughout the neighborhood. The city, meanwhile, has called the parking situation in Fremont a “crisis,” holding community meetings and walking tours to get feedback on the plan. “When use of on-street parking spaces reaches 75 percent or higher, as it is throughout Fremont, SDOT considers implementing parking management changes to ensure that parking spaces are available for customers,” explains the SDOT web page on the Fremont plan.
SDOT revised the plan in late October, making adjustments to the map after hearing community feedback (see presentation), but most parking meters remain. Vets maintains that the city’s motivation is not to improve Fremont parking, but drive more revenue, potentially driving away Fremont visitors as businesses struggle with the economy. “We talked to the individual business owners, and they said, ‘This is just not my clientele. The people who shop here, the people who come to my store, they’re not parking meter people,’” said Vets. We’ll let you known when the final parking plan is made available.