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Parking in Berkeley, CA

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Housing, Neighborhoods, & Moving > Parking in Berkeley, CA


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All day parking in downtown Berkeley

Sept 2009

I plan to park in/near Downtown Berkeley for the day. The parking garage fees are outrageous and everywhere is 2 hour. What should I do? Does anyone know any secret, hidden spots near Downtown Berkeley that aren't 2 hour or a parking garage that isn't too bad? Or if anybody lives near Downtown and is willing to rent their driveway to me during the times of 9:30 AM-3:30 PM, that would be awesome! I would be willing to pay obviously, price depending on how close your house is to Downtown. Something before California St. would be ideal. I would need the space starting ASAP until June 2010. Thank you.


I don't know if this would work for you, but I sometimes do it. I put my bike in the back of the car and drive most of the way to work. I park in North Berkeley on a residential street and bike in. That way I never pay for parking and I get a little exercise. Usually I bike all the way in from home though (it's just twenty-five minutes for me) and that's a grand way to avoid parking fees, too! biking if it works!
In the last newsletter somebody suggested to park your car in a residential neighborhood and bike to work from there. Before you follow this advise, I'd like to express my disagreement and ask for everybody's understanding. I live in a residential neighborhood and people park their cars in our block all day while they are at work. My neighbors and I are desperately fighting for parking every day. We don't have driveways to park in and are dependent on street parking. Many of us have small kids and some are seniors with disabilities. Especially in the rainy season it is a major inconvenience to not be able to park anywhere near your house, with grocery bags and infants to carry. I kindly ask these car owners to think of other options and to keep their cars off residential neighborhood streets! Central Berkeley Resident
In our extended family (We live in different homes in different residential neighbourhoods of Berkeley), we've been chatting about this question posted on BPN: ''Where can I park my car all day in downtown Berkeley?''

We thought we'd speak-up to encourage that the person who posted that query and a few of those who posted responses (''Park in a residential neighbourhood and bike to downtown'' for example) to think about Berkeley residents who need to park near their homes: (1) neighbourhood residents who use wheelchairs, (2) neighbourhood residents who are elderly but choose to continue to live in their life-long homes as long as possible, (3) neighbourhood residents who have small children and a family's-worth of groceries to carry.

Those of us who have chosen to live in residential neighbourhoods of Berkeley are young and old, fat and skinny, single and in families, every race and nationality. Many of us are physically handicapped. Many of us do not ever drive ourselves, but we need to be able to get to and from a car for doctor's visits and such.

We strongly urge the questioner to find a better way of solving your problem than parking in Berkeley's residential neighbourhoods. Although public transit is not as good as we'd like (nor as affordable as we'd like), public transit is pretty good here. A extended Berkeley family who fit all #1, #2, and #3 above


How to Park Near UC Berkeley Campus?

Dec 2008

I work at UC Berkeley and have to drive from half an hour away. I can't take public transportation as I have to drive a child to school and another to pre-school in the morning and there is no one even relatively close by to carpool with for either work or schools. I need to park near campus but with two young children and only one income in the family can't afford monthly campus parking passes. What can I do? All the neighborhoods surrounding campus are zoned for 2-hour parking. I've tried running back and forth to a two-hour meter and it just doesn't work. I don't know anyone who lives nearish campus, otherwise I could park in their driveway 8:30-3 MWF while they are at work. Any suggestions for what I can do to find a solution would be very much appreciated!


You could park in a nearby neighborhood and take a bus. It would still be cheaper then monthly parking. anon
Ugh, parking on/near campus. I feel your pain. I would suggest posting a message on craigslist or something to see if you can ''rent out'' someone's driveway or parking spot who lives near campus for a reasonable monthly fee. parking blues too
There is free street parking in neighborhoods in Albany so I knew someone who would park there and take the bus. Bus pass is cheaper than BART at least and it's a quick trip from there. Also, there used to be transportation discounts for staff through Parking & Transportation on campus - something like $10 towards a bus card or BART every month or so.
search craigslist or post a ''wanted'' ad on BPN to rent a parking space near campus. Still costs $$$ but cheaper than a campus permit in some cases. Park farther away from campus and take the bus. (didn't quite understand if this was feasible w/ regards to your children, but???) I think you can park starting west of Sacramento, near the north berkeley bart. Park at a bart station (north berkeley, ashby, rockridge) and bart in. This may not be cost effective (not sure) but you can purchase discounted passes through campus if you enroll in their commuter program (instead of buying parking passes). Park at the top of the hill above LHS on Grizzly Peak and take the H campus shuttle down the hill to campus. I believe you can get a free campus shuttle bus pass if you enroll in their commuter program (free). I'm interested to hear what others say. cody
Both my husband and I have done this for years, meaning commuting to UC Berkeley while doing 1-2 kid dropoffs along the way. There is no simple solution. Your basically have 4 options. (1) UC Berkeley parking pass, which you've already said you can't afford, plus you have to get there pretty early to even get a space, which can be hard if you have to do dropoffs first. (2) Park REALLY far away, past the 2-hour slots, north of campus in the hills, and walk in. It would definitely be a trek, and take time. (But that could be your exercise for the day!) Biking this last part is also an option if you can bring a bike with you. (3) Rent a non-campus space near campus. Monitor Craig's List and you'll find a number of these. We now rent a space in an apt building near Hearst & Oxford for $85/mo. This feels like an extravagance to us, too, but on the other hand, we calculated how much we were spending on childcare while just waiting for the bus instead of getting work done, and it was worth it. (4) Take the bus - park a mile or so from campus, or at the location of one of your kid dropoffs, and bus in the rest of the way. (Or, again, you could bike that last mile if you are a biker.) There are lots and lots of bus lines that go right to campus as you probably know. We did this for a long time - left our car at our son's preschool during the day and bused to/from it. The downside is that it can take a long time (buses can be unreliable, etc.) and we were frequently a little late for daycare pickup if the buses were late. But, it is the most affordable option other than #2. AC Transit is discounted for faculty/staff and free for students. If you can do any of your work while on the bus/waiting for the bus, it can be a reasonably efficient mode of transportation. cal mom
Short answer. No. There isn't a cheap AND easy way to park around campus. Longer answer. With two children, it sounds like you can't afford to NOT have a parking permit. I think a carpool pass is around $50 while a monthly staff permit is around $100. Since it sounds like you already have a lot on your plate, my advice would be to find another place to budget and get the $100 pass. But carpooling might be an option too. Ask other parents at your children's schools, or post on the rideshare or BPN boards for passengers between your children's school and UC. Even if a 2 way carpool is not feasible, you may be able to find someone who is interested in a morning ride three days per week (I know I would have loved a ride to campus or downtown Berkeley BART every morning and to walk home at night.) Former pennywise and pound foolish Berkeley driver
Can you drop your kids off, drive to the closest-to-campus area that has all-day parking, then park and take public transit? There are plenty of Berkeley neighborhoods with all-day parking within a 10-minute bus ride. Try along the routes of the 51, 18, or 1/1R. public transit rider

How to find summer parking near campus?

June 2003

Hi I'm looking for a way to get affordable all day parking near Cal. I'm unable to get a parking permit because I am not a registered student (I am doing research but not getting any units..long story). Anyways, I am curious if anyone has any ideas about parking. I am currently parking at broken meters and the such, but I am tired of constantly checking my car. Please help! thanks Patricia


What I do when I need a full day there, is drive to the Ashby or No. Berkeley BART and take the BART to the campus - the cost is about $2.50 roundtrip, the parking is free at the stations, and the ride is 3 minutes. You probably have to get there by 800 or so to get a parking spot. Sharon
I hope someone posts a viable option for you. But I'm afraid there really won't be many. I encourage you to get familiar with the public transit options. You can park at North Berkeley BART and take BART 1 stop to Berkeley, and take the campus shuttle from there. There is lots of info on http://www.transitinfo.org/ for scheduling your trip. Good luck! Jennie
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