The city's voicemail box for questions is full and unable to take additional messages. Emailed questions go unanswered. A website is nearly impossible to navigate. A complicated and poorly explained process for getting permits leaves people confused and frustrated. And outreach is so poor that it reinforces the perception that the city doesn't care how its actions may impact the public, and especially the business community.
That is the state of the rushed implementation of the new residential permit-parking program in the Evergreen Park and Mayfield neighborhoods, approved by the City Council in January and taking effect in a week, with enforcement set to start on April 24.
Given the poor communication, both residents and employees of nearby businesses are in for some big surprises when the permit-only parking signs go up and new two-hour restrictions are implemented.
The new Evergreen Park and Mayfield parking programs are not simple and threaten to severely disrupt the California Avenue business district and the customers on which it depends. With only 125 permits being issued to employees for parking in each of the two neighborhoods, the easily predictable result will be large increases in the number of employees having no place to park and therefore needing to move their cars every two hours, depriving shoppers of spaces and creating unnecessary congestion.
And at the end of the year, the parking lot behind Starbuck's will close for more than a year while a new parking garage is constructed. That will further reduce the available parking by 160 spaces.
This week, businesses were given less than 24 hours notice, through email, of a meeting held yesterday to explain the program and its complicated permit system.
There is no excuse for such poor communication about a program that has so much potential for disruption.