San Bruno's new paid parking program frustrating business owners, customers

Lauren Martinez Image
Thursday, May 9, 2024
San Bruno's new paid parking program frustrating business owners
A brand-new paid parking program in downtown San Bruno is frustrating small business owners and their customers.

SAN BRUNO, Calif. (KGO) -- A brand-new paid parking program in downtown San Bruno is frustrating small business owners.

Rebecca Molano owns One Love Café.

"So the biggest issue right now, is people are being forced to pay for a full hour. So there is no incremental parking on the main street."

On April 1, the city of San Bruno rolled out their pay-by-plate kiosks on downtown streets and parts of El Camino Real.

In some areas, it requires payment seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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San Francisco resident Casey Dyson comes to downtown San Bruno with his family and says he has to pay an hour or two for 30-minute swim lessons.

"I feel like in San Francisco most of them it's just like an up arrow down arrow and you do like a quarter of an hour increments - something like that would be a lot easier and seems pretty intuitive," Dyson.

On Wednesday evening, Molano hosted a community meeting inside her café to address concerns. City councilmembers Tom Hamilton and Marty Medina attended.

They heard about kiosks not working property, or business is hurting because customers are only trying to park for a few minutes, not for hours.

Marty Medina said he'll make sure the message is loud and clear to the city.

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"It's ultimately up to the council to listen to our community to provide the feedback through our city manager to request a change," Medina said.

Medina said it's still very early in the program.

"I think there is a solution here it's just that it is a big change," Medina said.

The two city councilmembers at the meeting said right now they are working with city staff to adjust the time increment so people aren't required to pay an hour or two.

Thaher Shehadeh, owner of Besan's International Market, said for years it was free to park for two hours. Shehadeh said they're not against a paid parking program, but would like to see adjustments.

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"Cause a lot of times people come here for one minute and go. And it's not worth it to get a $50 ticket," Shehadeh said.

For Rebecca Molano, she said this is an urgent matter.

She said she lost 30% of business during April.

Molano will continue to advocate for the small business owners and residents affected by the parking program.

"It's too much, it's too expensive, they don't work - but the response that we're getting back is that it takes time, and as small business owners with no resources time is something we don't have," Molano said.

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