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Simitian Seeking "A Whole Lotta Lots" for Safe Parking Programs in Mountain View and Palo Alto

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             

February 27, 2020

For More Information, Contact:
Charlsie Chang
(408) 299-5050 office
(626) 898-2395 cell
charlsie.chang@bos.sccgov.org 

SIMITIAN SEEKING “A WHOLE LOTTA LOTS” FOR SAFE PARKING PROGRAMS IN MOUNTAIN VIEW AND PALO ALTO

County Supervisor Joe Simitian announced today plans for a concerted effort to find “A Whole Lotta Lots” in Mountain View and Palo Alto. Simitian is talking about parking lots for use as safe parking venues in those two cities. He plans to use the month of March to seek out local property owners willing to rent out unused lots for use as “safe parking” lots.

“We’re stuck,” said Simitian. “We’ve got literally hundreds of vehicle dwellers living on city streets. The circumstances are less than ideal for vehicle dwellers. Neighbors are running out of patience. And the politics are increasingly contentious.” Simitian said he thought his office, “might be able to play a constructive role in identifying safe parking sites,” in Mountain View and Palo Alto, both of which are in his district.

“Before you can have an effective, successful safe parking program you’ve got to identify the sites. It’s just that simple, and it’s just that hard,” said Simitian. To that end, Simitian has asked the County (which has already invested $750,000 in safe parking programs around the County) to step up its efforts in new ways. Among the proposals Simitian suggested were County leasing and operation of identified sites (working with experienced non-profit contractors), and, where appropriate, 24-hour operation so that vehicles can be off the streets “24/7”.

Last month, the Board of Supervisors moved forward on Simitian’s proposal to make safe parking more feasible and effective.

To help identify sites, Simitian has scheduled four information sessions to explore how property owners can be part of the solution in providing more safe parking sites. These information sessions will take place on Wednesday, March 11 in Palo Alto and Thursday, March 12 in Mountain View.

In the past five years, the number of Santa Clara County residents living in cars and recreational vehicles (RVs) has increased significantly. In the latest Santa Clara County Homeless Census 18% of unhoused County residents were found to be living in vehicles – up from 8% in 2015 and 2017. While not a long-term solution, safe parking allows residents to have stability in where they sleep each night while they seek permanent housing.

If you or someone you know owns an unused or under-used property that could be a potential site for safe parking please call (408) 299-5050, email safeparking@bos.sccgov.org or attend one of the following info sessions to learn more:

Who: Joe Simitian, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, District Five

Where and When:

·      Palo Alto, Wednesday March 11, 11 am – 12 pm and 6 pm – 7 pm

All Saints Episcopal Church

555 Waverley Street, Palo Alto, CA

·      Mountain View, Thursday March 12, 10 am – 11 am and 6 pm – 7 pm

Mountain View Chamber of Commerce

580 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA 94041

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Last updated: 2/27/2020 1:57 PM