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Is Parking Missing on Grant Avenue?

People on Grant Avenue continue to share what they feel is missing. For some it is what they can't find, a parking space.

Pam Russo of Novato talks about parking downtown
Pam Russo of Novato talks about parking downtown

While some people commented on what restaurants they thought were missing from Novato, some had thoughts out of the culinary area on what was missing on Grant Avenue.

Bruce Piper, Novato resident – He said he'd like “more of an old town feeling on the other side of Redwood.” Piper has lived in Novato since the early 60s and says, “I've seen a lof changes.”

An anonymous woman said that on the other side of Redwood “as you get toward 7th it's banks banks, banks. It does not feel like town, too many banks,” she said.

For some the issue was what was right in front of them, whether they could have it or not, finding an open parking space.

Pam and Tony Russo were walking their Labradoodle on Grant Avenue and both pointed out things they'd like. Pam Russo voiced her frustration at not being able to find a parking spot. She wondered

Pointing at the diagonal parking spaces on Grant, her husband Tony Russ said that the city, “should have planted the trees closer to the sidewalk than take up (parking) spaces.”

Do you think downtown has enough parking? Have you been frustrated by trying to find a parking space or usually have good parking luck? Let us know.


Sam January 14, 2014 at 08:12 PM
Pam answered the question point on I drive around to find a parking spot and then end up going to the mall. Hello city council Get it yet ? Your downtown stinks ! Why don't you build one more large building there or spend six more million on the theater so they also can look for parking. I think your cake handout at the Senior center last week will not get you any votes next election as most of them are on to you
Bubba six pack January 14, 2014 at 09:55 PM
You'll find a pinata at Jerome's house before you find a parking spot on Grant. Wanna create lots of parking immediately? Do a health inspection of the dozens of nail salons to see if they're changing the water and cleaning the foot tubs between customers. Then limit the Mexican restaurants to 12 per block. Meanwhile, back at reality, find out how much the liability tab for the insurance coverage would be for the old Pini parking lot(they cite liability issues as the reason they don't let people park there), and let the businesses chip in to pay for it,(hey-they already are with the downtown business association fees-tell the association that taxation without representation was our excuse for our revolution) and add enough parking to help out. Patricia-I made three errors in grammar. See if you can spot them.
Mark Burnham January 14, 2014 at 10:15 PM
The city council knew there was a petition with over 2,000 signatures asking them to not build their offices downtown. The city council paid for the Walker Parking study which stated that parking issues would be "extreme" if they built their offices downtown. The city council decided to eliminate ALL weekday public parking on the site of their new building taking away over 40 public parking spots. As predicted - parking downtown is at nightmarish proportions with no solution in sight. 999 Grant and the Novato Theater sit empty because no merchant/investor in their right mind would "invest" in downtown because of the current lack of parking and because they know the city council is completely clueless. Finally, as predicted the city council was over budget by over $1 million dollars .. that is AFTER they spent $15 million to build 19,000 sf as Circle/Umpua Bank spent $4 million to build 20,000 sf. City Council members - Macleamy, Athas, Kellner, Eklund and Carole Dillon-Knudson .. A big Thank you!
Mark Burnham January 14, 2014 at 10:23 PM
Pam Russo nailed it in her interview with Patch. Ask any merchant downtown what happens between 11-3pm on each and every weekday. A line of cars looking to spend money downtown and only a small handful find parking.. the rest? They move on to a "strip mall" to pick something up. So much for the city of Novato spending $10 million to re-do the streets and "revitalize" downtown. The exact opposite is now happening. 25,000 square feet of retail space is vacant in Old Town Novato alone! Stores boarded up, new ones sitting empty and a valiant effort by the Novato Theater fundraising group having to face investors who no doubt are thinking "Why would I invest in a 300 seat theater when we can't find parking for our one BMW?" Once again.. a big thanks to the city council of Novato.
Mark Burnham January 14, 2014 at 10:27 PM
Vacant retail space: 10,000 sf 999 Grant 12,000 sf Novato Theater 9,000 sf Novato National Bank building (next to Powell's) 12,000 sf five other Grant Ave store fronts ** I stand corrected ..over 40,000 sf of retail/income producing space vacant in Old Town Novato. My guess would be that accounts for 50% of all available space on Grant Ave in Old Town.. sits vacant.. collecting no rent.. generating zero in much needed tax receipts. Why? The city council of Novato shoulders most of the responsibility for this catastrophe.
Bubba six pack January 14, 2014 at 10:42 PM
Mark- It's like a game of chess. Don't waste time thinking of the past (I've worn out my brain on the city council building). Time to try to fix the problem. Free up the parking at the old Pini lot. Open up the lot next to the old Tresch Electric store, now under used and always vacant. Tell the cops to lay off tickets for 2 hours per car. Tell the few city hall workers that are left to park in the lot that was the old trailer park north of the feed mill until it's developed and walk to work. (They will, or they'll get replaced) Then open up that lot. Any body else have any ideas?
Hopkin January 15, 2014 at 03:42 AM
Get rid of all parking on Grant. Have shuttles running continuously up and down Grant, stopping every block or two. And also stopping at the new parking lot that is needed, probably somewhere up Redwood, since that is where they intend to do more developing anyway.
Linda January 15, 2014 at 05:00 AM
I was at the center last week and Macleamy started handing out the paint the town red cake early so she could snooze us to vote for her in the next election. Most people had a comment around the table and it started spreading fast to all tables . This is the same lady who closed our community house and now with the monster building next door took our parking away
Bubba six pack January 15, 2014 at 11:42 AM
What center? That's the problem here. Novato doesn't have a center, like Sonoma or Healsburg. Also, that crap covered in red that Maclemy was trying to shove down your throat wasn't cake, it was our budget.
Lou Judson January 15, 2014 at 12:33 PM
Move the trees and return to 45 degree parking for the length of Grant and the problem will be solved.
Sam January 15, 2014 at 06:27 PM
The best one is the new Ice Cream store next to the Mexican store at 3rd Grant . It will be open soon with no Parking and a Baskin Robins at a shopping center four blocks away. I wish them the very best but one needs to think before acting
Hopkin January 15, 2014 at 06:48 PM
Sam, I'm sure they will get some traffic from people just walking by. I was thinking about this today: Just how many people actually do live within a block on either side of Grant? Along pretty much the whole length of it!

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