Finding a home on Hotel 22

By Isabel Angell : KALW – excerpt (audio)

I’m on the Valley Transportation Authority’s Line 22 bus somewhere between East San Jose and Palo Alto. It’s 2:30 a.m., and it’s raining. I start a conversation with a man sitting down, and ask him if he’s heard the nickname for the bus.

“Yeah, well there’s the Motel 22 or Hotel 22. That’s the big one I’ve heard.”

I ask him what he calls the bus.

“I call it home.”… (more)

Feature Disabled After San Jose’s ‘Smart’ Parking Meters Unexpectedly Reset, Leading To Tickets

cbslocal – excerpt

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — San Jose’s “smart” meters have been leading to lots of unexpected tickets for drivers, and the city is making them just a little bit dumber to solve the problem.

Some of San Jose’s new ‘smart’ parking meters downtown have been resetting to zero when some heavy trucks pass, leading to tickets for drivers.

A lot of construction and heavy machinery around downtown has led to a lot of parking tickets.

San Jose lawyer Todd Rothbard has been snapping photos with his cell phone when he feeds meters outside the superior courthouse.  He had gotten three tickets in less than two weeks.

“I would have paid it if it had just been a single ticket, because it’s well more than $40 worth of time goes into presenting a case, and telling them they’ve got a problem,” Rothbard said.

San Jose did own up to the problems and have disabled the troublesome reset function on some meters. But, the city is relying on people to report the faulty tickets themselves… (more)

Roadshow: Back-in angled parking has its detractors

Q Thanks for starting my new year off with a laugh with the column about San Jose using back-in angled parking on Stockton Avenue. What are traffic engineers smoking? The average driver can’t parallel park, let alone drive backward between two lines. Just the extra time it takes to do this will cause nothing but backups and confusion.
Stupidity at its best.
– Claude DeMoss, San Jose

A The city of Fremont tested back-in angled parking on Capitol Avenue five years ago that failed miserably. While traffic experts insist it is a safer way to park, the experiment showed that the average driver could not accurately back into these spaces.

Said Norm-The-Fremont-Traffic-Czar: “The typical driver backs up by looking out of their back window. Depending on the visibility, this can work when you are trying to fit between two cars, but it doesn’t work if there are no cars parked to guide you. We found when you try to maneuver into a space marked by stripes, as you get close to the stripes you can’t see them out of your rear window because they fall below your field of view. Probably only 5 percent of our drivers ever thought to use their mirrors when attempting to park, so they ended up parking across the lines at all angles.”… (more)


Downtown San Jose street parking cost could double to fund new smart meters

By Mike Rosenberg : mercurynews – excerpt

SAN JOSE — The cost to park on downtown San Jose streets could double to pay for new meters that accept credit cards, a change that could free up more spaces and cut down on parking tickets — or drive visitors away.

The City Council on Feb. 4 is set to order new smart meters that also eventually will allow drivers to pay with a cellphone – in addition to credit and debit cards and coins – and provide real-time data for a new app that will show where parking is available.

To pay for the $1.3 million batch of new meters, city officials say rates would increase at those meters from $1 an hour to as much as $2 an hour. Dropping in 50 cents would put 15 minutes on the meter — and a dime would net you 3 minutes.

The current $1-an-hour rate at San Jose meters hasn’t budged in 11 years, making it one of the cheapest big cities in the United States for parking, far less expensive than San Francisco and half the cost of Oakland…

But some business owners say the parking fee increase will give customers an excuse to shop somewhere else.

“As it is, it’s hard to get people to come to downtown San Jose,” said Kam Razavi, who owns the Loft Bar and Bistro on South Second Street. “If they’ve got to spend more money, it’s the last thing we need.”…


Talk about adding insult to injury. Forcing the victims to pre-pay for their punishment. And the rationale is, you must pay more for convenience. This is hype and we know it. Looks as if the city council holds the authority in San Jose. That is an elected body. Let’s see how the voters react during the next election.