Parking at the dog run

Will there be enough parking at the dog run?

There will be no additional parking spaces created with the dog run. Indeed, it seems likely that one or two of the spaces on the roadside on Lakeshore immediately adjacent to the Children's Play Area will be removed to make space for the utility/emergency vehicle accessway.

Most dog park users come by car. Indeed, 95% of them, according to a UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine study of 17 California dog parks, most of which (12) were urban fenced dog parks. Here's the description of the study and its results. And here are the guidelines they developed. To quote, "Provide adequate parking for the dog park users, as most users (95%) drive to them. In addition, locate the off-leash area close to the parking lot as possible to discourage owners letting their dogs off-leash between the dog park and parking." The presence of enthusiastic dog owners in our community who like to walk to the Lake does not in any way reduce the number of other dog owners who like to go by car.

Parking spaces available without crossing a busy road:
    • Today there are 9 spaces on Lakeshore (will drop to 4 or fewer?)
      • The new curb cut on Lakeshore for the utility entrance will eliminate one space (as per the architect)
      • Cory LaVigne of AC Transit Service Development and Planning on March 10th 2011 asked Oakland Council "If the driveway is to be installed as proposed, we request that the curb between the existing bus stop and the proposed driveway be restricted to parking, thus enabling the buses to safely and efficiently enter traffic."
      • The City ADA Coordinator may further require that some of the spaces on Lakeshore close to the entrance be limited to Disabled parking only
    • 4 metered and 4 unmetered spaces on Grand Avenue
    • Outside library hours, there is the library parking lot (Permit parking enforced 8:00am to 6:00pm when library is open). 
Parking spaces available that require crossing the street:
    • Spaces in front of the businesses on Grand Avenue
    • Spaces immediately around the lake, on Grand and Lakeshore
    • One row of four-hour spaces underneath the highway in the lot
Competing activities that use the parking spaces today:
    • Employees and customers of businesses on Grand Avenue, including restaurants such as Sidebar, Coach Sushi and Zza's
    • The Children's play area at Astro Park
    • Gold's Gym
    • Volleyball, Soccer players
    • Library overspill
    • The Church on Lakeshore Ave
Utilization of existing parking spaces:
    • During "outdoor activity" hours at the weekend and evenings during the week, it's frequently observed that all the parking in the immediate vicinity is full:
      On this occasion we also took a photo under the highway in the lot there. The picture came out very dark (no flash). There were two spaces in the single-line four hour parking area; most of the aisles are "permit parking only".

What will happen if the dog run opens and we then discover that there is not enough parking?
  • Restaurants struggle, sales taxes reduce, and perhaps they go out of business
  • Patrons go to the gym less regularly, and eventually find a different gym
  • Congestion increases while drivers drive round and round seeking parking
  • Dog owners are forced to walk their dogs across more busier intersections
  • Locals call for the addition of more parking in the neighborhood
  • There's a compelling safety and economics case to take over more of the green space for additional tarmac for car parking
Could we, realizing our mistake in building a dog run with no parking, return the dog run to its former glory as green unprogrammed space?
  • NO. We couldn't afford it. It would take far more money to remove the soiled bark, break up the hardstanding concrete and the waste receptacles, take down the fence and replant and nurture sod in this space than it did to make the change to the dog run in the first place.