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Parking enforcement to increase following study results

RANCHO SANTA FE — There is no on-street parking problem in the village of Rancho Santa Fe.The real problem is the people who ignore the two-hour parking limit and leave their vehicles parked in the same spot all day, every day.

That was the conclusion of a two-week parking study conducted by the Association, the results of which were presented to the board of directors at its Feb. 2 meeting.

As a result, the CHP, as a part of its recently approved Agreement for Overtime Enforcement, will begin ticketing violators who will have to cough up $62.50 for their transgressions.

“Consistent enforcement of the timed parking regulations would result in additional parking turnover and free-up some of the timed parking spaces for customers where those spaces are currently occupied by employees of village businesses,” Covenant Administrator Ivan Holler told the board.

He said some of the main violators are business owners and their employees.

“We saw the same vehicles day-after-day,” he said. “It’s the same folks.”

Staff conducted the study beginning Monday Dec. 19, 2011, through Friday Dec. 23, 2011. The second week the survey ran from Friday Jan. 12 through Thursday Jan. 19.

The survey was conducted from the intersection of Paseo Delicias and El Tordo on the east, to La Garcia and Linea Del Cielo on the west. The northern and southern limits were the intersection of Avenida de Acacias and La Granada and the intersection of Via de Santa Fe and La Granada, respectively.

In order to evaluate the turnover of the timed parking spaces, the staff checked the areas four times per day at two-hour intervals at 9 and 11 a.m. and at 1 and 3 p.m.

“Not surprisingly, parking demand in the village core area is higher than the perimeter areas,” Holler said. “The percentage of occupied spaces for the village core range from 75 to 90 percent. However the corresponding ranges for the village perimeter areas were 43 to 60 percent.”

“Even though some street segments exceeded the 90 percent parking demand threshold, there does not appear to be an overall parking shortage in the village,” Holler said.

The survey revealed the peak parking time was at 1 p.m. when there were fewer available spaces within the core of the village, but if a person does not mind walking a little, there is much more available parking.

The survey was conducted purposely during the week of Dec. 16, 2011, when school was not in session, but it was in session the second week of the survey. This helped determine whether the school had any effect on parking.

Also, Jan. 16 was a state and federal holiday and some businesses were closed.

“Parking demand was lower during the first week of the survey when school was not in session. Somewhat surprisingly, however, the difference was most apparent during the 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. survey times,” he said.

“Holiday parking demand was lower than any other day, but violations of timed parking still occurred.”

He said the overall percentage of occupied spaces ranged from 58 to 74 percent.

Association President Jack Queen said he did not want to be associated in any way with saying there is no parking problem in the village.

“I go to the village regularly and often and there are times when there is no place to park and I don’t mind walking,” he said.

Director Dick Doughty said that regardless of the parking issues, he would rather do without parking meters or cautionary signs. He said parking in Del Mar is so regulated it is “a place you don’t want to go” and he would not like to see Rancho Santa Fe do the same.

The staff will give the new enforcement program 60 days to determine whether it is working and during that time CHP Lt. Deb Schroder said she will keep track of statistics to see if pulling officers away from traffic enforcement will make a difference.