Two-hour rule in effect
by Glenn Moore
Oct 05, 2012 | 3438 views | 5 5 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
2-hour parking limit
Tracy police will begin enforcing the existing 2-hour parking zones on downtown streets.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Police officers will begin enforcing the two-hour parking zone on downtown streets next month, a response to merchants’ complaints about people clogging spaces along 10th Street and Central Avenue.

Tracy Police Department neighborhood resource officer Miguel Contreras said the department was approached about two months ago about the lack of enforcement of the 2-hour parking law.

The enforcement had lapsed in recent years. Parking in front of the Tracy Press, for example, has not been enforced strictly for several years.

Contreras did not know when official enforcement faded, but he said police have always enforced rules regarding handicap spaces and fire zones.

Warning notices began circulating through downtown on Monday, Oct. 1, alerting businesses and patrons that a stricter enforcement will begin soon, according to Contreras.

Some businesses depend on short-stay traffic, he said, and there was a concern that some cars parked all day in the same spot were taking up spaces for potential customers.

After walking through downtown, talking to merchants and meeting with business owners, the police department decided to enforce the time limit more strictly, Contreras said.

“We want to increase the traffic flow,” Contreras said.

The enforcement will go into effect in November, Contreras said, adding that it will be a time-consuming operation.

Volunteers in Police Service will mark tires and return to check how long vehicles have been parked downtown, and traffic interns will be responsible for issuing citations.

According to the Tracy police records department, a ticket for violating the two-hour limit will cost $37.

The zone to be enforced includes Central Avenue between 11th and Sixth streets, 10th Street between A and E streets and the two-hour zones on Seventh, Eighth and Ninth streets just off Central Avenue.

Main Street Music owner Ken Cefalo looked out the window of his 53 W. 10th St. shop on Wednesday and said he could usually spot at least one or two cars that are routinely left along 10th Street most of the day without moving.

“What sometimes is discouraging is to see cars parked all day long on the street,” Cefalo said.

Cefalo said he first noticed a problem about eight years ago, when there were more businesses and more people downtown. But he has recently seen the issue resurface.

“I would like parking spaces made readily available to the retail customers who go in and out all day long,” he said. “My employees are not allowed to park on the street — they park in the lot behind.”

Mike Trotter at Town & Country Café, 27 W. 10th St., said there are always parking problems, but he thinks enforcing the two-hour rule will help.

“My customers say it is real hard to find a place in downtown to park,” he said. “Between all the businesses and their employees, it can be real hard to find spaces — even the lots fill up early.”

Tracy City Center Association President Dino Margaros, the general manager of the Tracy Inn, said he saw the need for short-term parking in front of businesses.

“People who spend the money should be parking on the street,” Margaros said. “Basically, the street parking is not meant for all-day parking — it just hasn’t been strictly enforced.”

Margaros noted that a study of downtown parking a few years ago said there was enough parking available in the downtown area.

Margaros pointed out that there are eight free parking lots spread through downtown, including two at the Tracy Transit Center.

He said he wasn’t sure about the total number of spaces available in the lots, “but it had to be in the hundreds.”

Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or gmoore@tracypress.comw

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October 05, 2012
ChrisR hit the nail on the head. Bird_man too. I go to the mall area for shopping. There just isnt anything downtown. Its all dinky oddball places. The bs about increasing traffic flow is a riot. Its about revenue for the stores. More importantly to the city it is more tax and ticket revenue. If you want to increase traffic flow then blocking all the spots up is a pretty good way to do it since all the other cars will keep flowing right on by or will keep circling the block. Lots of flow that way. Besides, when has the city ever wanted to increase traffic flow? Every damn thing I see is some greenie hippie article wanting us to get out of our cars and drive less. This other one galls me: “People who spend the money should be parking on the street."

Uggh. If I am the one spending money then the parking should suit my desires. The last thing I want to do is park my car on the street where it can get hit with pebbles from every passing car and where me and the kid on my side of the car have to step into traffic to get out. I know, many of the spots are angled. Even worse then as those are door dinger spots. I want a nice large lot off the street where I can park away from that stuff.
October 05, 2012
No body goes to downtown anyways, so I fail to see why this is an issue.
October 09, 2012
Well as much as I hate ta agree with ya I have ta.

Until some real plannin an cooperation by th landlords of th down town area takes place downtown is gonna continue ta suffer blight.

They have done a lot of improvements on th public dime down thair with little in th way of positive results in stimulatin business in that area. Sidewalks still roll up at 5 an rents are still too high fer th old run down buildins thair in.

Too many ethnic markets an foo foo shops sellin thags that people mostly don't want. A usually over priced city owned theater mixed in with a bar or two. An they wonder why th business turnover in that section of town is so high?

But don't get yer hopes up Chris cause we rarely agree on much of anytang provin once again, in yer case, that sometimes even a blind squirrel finds th occasional nut.

Hey, it's said with humor so don't get yer shorts in a wad over it.
October 05, 2012
“We want to increase the traffic flow,” Contreras said.

Me thinks thou speaks with a forked tongue.

Translation IMHO... We want to increase revenues wherever we can.

October 05, 2012
Just think of th revenues they could glean if they just enforced th no parkin signs on Holly immediately next ta th Discovery school when Soccer games an practice are underway.

No Parking Anytime, of course unless yer thair fer a soccer game an then it's OK. Selective enforcement at its best.

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