My office has fielded numerous complaints of vehicles stored or abandoned on city streets, plus occupied motor homes settling into neighborhoods for stays that exceed the 72-hour limit. It’s not just an issue in District 10, but throughout the City of San Jose. Our Department of Transportation personnel responded to 55,000 vehicle abatement requests in the one-year period from July 2017 to June 2018 alone — over 150 per day, every day of the year!
Those who have contacted the city or used their MySanJose app to report offending vehicles know that some people game the system and are able to stay one step ahead of parking enforcement which is stretched thin covering our 180.5 square miles. The system already has big loopholes that make it difficult to prevent people from using streets as public storage for their vehicles, making it hard for residents and visitors to find parking in some neighborhoods. Now, the state Legislature is proposing to make enforcement even more difficult for our Department of Transportation’s parking enforcement personnel and the SJPD by passing AB 516.
Two troubling features of the bill that was passed by the State Assembly and is now waiting for a vote in the State Senate are: 1) the 72-hour rule will be extended to a 5-business day rule (which can mean 7 or more days); and, 2) law enforcement would no longer be allowed to tow the vehicles of people who have received FIVE citations – even though they have not made any effort to resolve these citations. The official city position on this bill remains “Oppose unless Amended.” To read the bill, click here.
As I told the San José Spotlight in a recent interview, it will make the city less effective at handling things like stolen or abandoned vehicles, increase blight and make our citizens more frustrated than they already are.
What do you think of this new policy? If you are as concerned as I am, please contact your state representatives, which you may find here. The state senator for District 10 residents is Jim Beall (Senate District 15), and you may contact his office via email by clicking here.
Johnny Khamis is a San Jose councilmember first elected in 2012 to represent District 10, which spans Almaden and Blossom valleys.