BERKELEY -- Finding a parking ticket tucked beneath the windshield wipers is frustrating for anyone. But for low-income residents already struggling to make ends meet, that expensive piece of paper is more than just a financial slap on the wrist. That's why Berkeley city officials voted last week to reform the exorbitant fees and penalties that come with parking tickets, permits and towing services. Expanded eligibility for monthly payment plans, reduced late fees and waived first-time towing offenses were some of the changes approved without discussion or pushback at a January 31 City Council meeting.
The changes also eliminate the city's age-old requirement that most new housing projects include a parking space for every unit in transit-rich areas, which staff say is producing too many spaces and driving up land costs, cutting off opportunities for more affordable housing and conflicting with the city's climate goals. The move will also allow the city to more aggressively promote alternative modes of transportation, such as walking and biking.
Get around Berkeley by bike, bus, car or foot. Find more than 2,500 on-street and parking garages/lots in downtown Berkeley. Get to know our BART station, AC Transit bus lines and the UC Campus Shuttle.