Business owners on San Jose’s East Santa Clara Street, a corridor next to downtown that is comprised of 30 blocks of shops, salons, restaurants and community centers, say the presence of numerous parking meters in the area is turning away potential customers.
There simply isn’t enough parking in the area, they say and they want city officials to address the problem.
Christine Patterson-Simmons, a San Jose resident for the past 13 years, has seen plenty of change in the city. She has spent the last seven years as a small business owner of the Neu2u thrift boutique on East Santa Clara Street.
“Parking meters have become a barrier to business” Patterson-Simmons says. She says lack of free street parking turns off potential customers and businesses might not want to set up shop because of that.
There are around 2,600 parking meters located in and around the downtown area, Japantown, San José State University and the county civic center. The meters are a major revenue source for the city, but residents and small businesses say it comes at their expense.
There are also concerns about active parking meters by the former San Jose hospital located on 725 East Santa Clara, which was shut down back in 2004. Even though the clinic is closed, the city continues to receive revenue from the meters.
“The lack of parking on East Santa Clara Street has made it difficult to run, grow or even rent out a business in district three” Patterson-Simmons says.
But she remains hopeful, “A lot of businesses are standing strong, they’re hopeful, they see what’s happening with Google being in our midst, and all these other big companies that are bringing in work to the area.”
Meter parking prices jumped to $2 from just 50 cents in 2014.
Michael Aghvami, owner of Elite Dental and a member of the East Santa Clara Business Association board has taken the lead on collecting signatures hoping to get rid of some of the meters.
“Clients complain about parking being too high costing them $4 or $5 each visit” Michael Aghvami said.
The East Santa Clara Business Association plans to propose recommendations to city council on how to improve parking in the area.