Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
At the request of the local Harbor Bay Homeowners Associations (HOAs), the City is implementing new parking restrictions in the Columbia and Headlands neighborhoods to address spillover parking from the Harbor Bay Ferry Terminal starting Tuesday, August 1, 2017. The City, in coordination with the local HOAs and Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), have conducted an outreach campaign since the end of June 2017 to alert ferry riders and residents of the parking changes and of alternate transportation options to the ferry. As part of that effort, the City created the following frequently asked questions (FAQ) and responses:
Question: Why are there new parking restrictions?
Answer: The Columbia and Headlands Homeowners Associations (HOA) boards of directors formally requested that the City implement a neighborhood permit program with on-street 4-hour parking time limits to address spillover parking generated by the nearby Harbor Bay ferry terminal consistent with neighboring HOAs with private streets, who are also set to prohibit parking by ferry users on their private streets. The parking restrictions are one component of a more comprehensive plan and approach to address the implications of increased ferry ridership at the Harbor Bay terminal, including: (1) providing information on, and greater coordination of, free alternative transportation options for getting to and from the ferry terminal, such as walking, biking, and taking transit, and (2) implementing parking charges.
Question: Where are the parking restrictions and where do I park to ride the ferry?
Answer: For Harbor Bay ferry riders, parking in the adjacent residential neighborhoods is no longer an option, as those streets are limited to four-hour parking without a permit. Enforcement of two-hour parking along Adelphian Way also began on Tuesday, August 1. The 250-space ferry terminal parking lot with bike parking, Harbor Bay Parkway and North Loop Road are the closest available parking options as shown in the below figure. More information on other transportation options is provided below.
Question: What other transportation options are out there given that parking is an issue at the ferry terminal?
Answer: Approval of this residential permit parking program is part of a multipronged approach to ensure ferry users continued access to the ferry terminal while minimizing detrimental impacts to adjacent residential neighbors. Walking, bicycling, AC Transit Line 21, and carpool services such as Lyft Line and UberPOOL are all options to driving to the ferry terminal as shown in the below figure, and using AC Transit to take the ferry is free with your clipper card. As shown on the figure below, there is a 50-space Park & Ride lot on Island Drive.
Question: For parents dropping off kids at Earhart and Bay Farm schools, is the AC Transit Line 21 timed to accommodate the school drop-off schedule?
Answer: Yes, parents who drop-off children at these schools by 8:10 a.m. will be able to board Line 21 at Robert Davey Jr. Dr. at Packet Landing Road (for Earhart school) and Aughinbaugh Way at Robert Davey Jr. Dr. (for Bay Farm school). The timed point for this bus run before Bay Farm Island is on Otis Drive at Park Street at 8:09 a.m. and the next time point is 8:21 a.m. at the ferry terminal, which gets you to the ferry terminal in time for the 8:30 a.m. ferry departure.
Question: Why does the bus leave before the ferry arrives in the evenings?
Answer: The City has requested AC Transit to alert their bus drivers to wait for the ferries when the ferries are running late.
Question: How would the AC Transit Line 21 bus drivers know not to charge me in the morning before getting on the ferry?
Answer: All AC Transit trips used to take the ferry are free when using your Clipper Card. In the mornings, bus riders on AC Transit’s Line 21 would have to use a Clipper card for payment when boarding. The bus rider is charged for the bus ride and then "discounted" that amount when the rider tags onto the ferry, and the same is true for the return trip from the ferry to the bus.
Question: How do I obtain a Clipper card?
Answer: To order a Clipper card, you may purchase one online, by phone at 877-878-8883 or in person at the following Alameda locations: Walgreens (Webster Street, South Shore Center, or Park Street), Nob Hill Market, DeLauer’s News Stand on Park Street or the Packaging Store in South Shore Center. Adult Clipper cards cost $3. Clipper waives this fee if you set up auto load when you order your card online. For information on how to obtain a Youth, Senior, or Regional Transit Connection (RTC) discount card, visit Clipper Discounts.
Question: How did this parking change take place?
Answer: At the formal request of the Headlands and Columbia HOAs, on February 21, 2017, the City Council authorized a residential permit parking program for public streets within Columbia and Headlands HOAs once the Public Works Department found their applications compliant with the Alameda Municipal Code section 12-17.6(g). The implementation of these parking restrictions are one component of a more comprehensive plan and approach to address the implications of increased ferry ridership at the Harbor Bay terminal, including free alternatives to driving, such as walking, biking, and taking transit.
Question: What are the cost impacts to the city?
Answer: The Police Department will be using existing staff to do the parking enforcement, which will allow for no cost increases at this time. The enforcement revenue is not expected to be significant as Police will be issuing courtesy notices in the first month of the program implementation. With proposed public outreach and parking enforcement, the City is likely to see compliance with the parking program.
Question: How do I obtain a parking permit as a resident of an adjacent HOA?
Answer: Proposed parking permits for Columbia and Headlands HOAs are being issued by the Community of Harbor Bay Isle Owners’ Association (CHBIOA). To obtain a parking permit, residents are required to provide proof of identity and residency. Each household receives permits for eligible vehicles. The general public may park on the Columbia and Headlands HOA streets for up to four hours during the weekday and the parking is unrestricted during the weekends. There is no fee for the program. Administration and cost of the permits are covered by CHBIOA. The main contact at CHBIOA is Dawn Jaeger who can be reached at DJaeger@harborbay.org or (510) 865-3363, Ext. 340.
Question: Why is the parking along Adelphian Way by the park prohibited for ferry riders and only for two-hour park use?
Answer: The parking is regulated by a Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) permit, which requires the on-street parking be used for park use. City staff looked into revising the BCDC permit for the bay side of the street; however, BCDC indicated that they would deny the request since parking on the bay side of the street would impact the bay views. Furthermore, the adjacent HOAs were not supportive of changing the on-street parking restrictions along Adelphian Way due to safety concerns of ferry riders arriving quickly in the morning and departing with u-turns in the afternoon/evenings.
Question: Why isn’t more parking available along the portions of Harbor Bay Parkway closest to the Ferry Terminal?
Answer: The portions of Harbor Bay Parkway closest to the ferry terminal are regulated by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). City staff submitted a permit application to BCDC permit to increase the parking along Harbor Bay Parkway; however, BCDC indicated that they would deny the request since parking on the bay side of the street would impact the bay views.
Question: Has the City and WETA considered restricting ferry riders to only Alamedans?
Answer: No, the public ferry system is open to all riders and is paid for predominantly from regional sources such as Regional Measure 2 or countywide sources such as Measures B and BB regional sales tax. Furthermore, surveys of Harbor Bay ferry users show that 94 percent of the riders are Alamedans, mostly from Bay Farm Island and the east end of Alameda. Nearly half walk, bike, or are dropped off at the ferry.
Question: Will WETA or the City of Alameda be purchasing the land adjacent to the current parking lot to help alleviate parking pressures?
Answer: The City and WETA evaluated the possibility of purchasing the adjacent undeveloped waterfront land, which is currently privately owned and zoned for commercial use. Due to private ownership and the prohibitively high cost of the land, the City and WETA are no longer considering this a viable option. Additionally, new parking on waterfront land is not typically considered the best use of land adjacent to the bay by BCDC, the regulatory agency who would need to provide a permit to provide parking on the lot. The City recently added public parking spaces along North Loop Road, in addition to the public parking spaces on Harbor Bay Parkway for a total of over 200 of additional parking spaces near the ferry terminal, as shown on the figure above.
Question: Will the residents in the adjacent Columbia and Headlands be allowed to rent out their private driveways to ferry riders?
Answer: No. Harbor Bay homeowner associations do not allow residential lots, including driveways, to be used for business. Homeowners signed that they would abide by these rules when they purchased their homes. For that reason, we recommend ferry riders find another way to the ferry and not pay to park in driveways.
Question: Will WETA be offering paid parking permits and other options in the existing lot?
Answer: The WETA Board recently adopted a parking policy for all of its terminals and is expected to be considering specific paid parking options for the Harbor Bay Terminal at its November Board Meeting.