On Tues., Sept. 5 the Redding City Council considered a recommendation from city staff regarding the parking program and the issuing of parking permits.
I attended the meeting as I had previously written the Redding City Council, the City Manager and Zachary Bonnin, who is responsible for the parking plan, expressing my concerns about some of the oversights and challenges of the program.
City of Redding Public Works Director Chuck Aukland and Transportation Planner Zachary Bonnin gave a presentation that reported glowing data and touted the benefits of the program.
At Tuesday’s meeting, I, as well as Leah Sullivan, the owner of the Post Office Saloon, and a couple of others spoke about the issues of concern. We pointed out the challenges with the current system. Such challenges include problems with technology for processing the fees, the challenge technology poses for elders, the lack of direct contact with the business owners for acquiring permits, and the ongoing parking demands. Sullivan expressed frustration over having employees being repeatedly cited for violating the payment options.
As a business owner in downtown Redding for over 15 years I shared how parking has always been a challenge; not enough spaces for business demands in the Oregon Street area.
It seems reasonable that business license owners would be contacted directly and offered permits first so as to support our continued business operation downtown. I asked why Redding business licensed people were not contacted directly to offer them permits for exempt parking, instead of only making announcements on KRCR TV and the Record Searchlight.
The City staff shared that they had not gone to the expense of directly contacting business license owners.
I also pointed out that my office is located in the McCormick Mansion at 1452 Oregon Street. There are 11 offices in the building with 5 private parking spaces available. Parking on the street is required for business owners like us who do not have private parking in downtown Redding. I also described how I’ve had clients terminate therapy because of parking issues, not wanting to walk very far, especially the elderly.
Lastly, though this was not discussed at the meeting, was the issue of safety. While there may be free parking at various lots around town, walking after dark for several blocks is a safety issue. I was very disappointed with the passing of the recommendation suggested by staff without revisions by Council to address the concerns presented.
Lynn E Fritz, MA
Licensed Marriage Family Therapist
1452 Oregon Street
Redding, CA 96001