Daily Life

“Five hours is not beyond reason for ladies to have coffee, shop, browse and have lunch”

Note: Read my parking alert post from last year here.

A bit scary how Broadway Plaza parking jumps from free the first 3 hours to $25 for 5+ hours!

From a reader:

The lot behind Crate & Barrel has paid parking since January 7.
First 3 hours free, then confusing signage of each hour after.

A friend and I were up there today for shopping and lunch. We began at 10 with coffee at Macy’s, then shopped in Macy’s ($50.00), cruised Lush and The Container Store, had lunch at Sunrise Bistro ($60.00), spent an hour or so in Crate & Barrel and finished up at David M Brian ($250.00), going back to the garage at 3:00. We were parked for 5 hrs.

First 3 hours free? . . .you would expect maybe $2.50 per hour after? . . .You would be wrong. It cost us $25.00 to park for those 5 hours!! Twenty-five dollars! That’s either $5.00 per hour or $12.50 per hour depending on how you look at it.

This is atrocious. A Wednesday in winter at the middle of the day? Seriously??

Five hours is not beyond reason for ladies to have coffee, shop, browse and have lunch – we easily might have wanted to take in a matinee too. The garage cost, however, was far, far beyond reason. This is urban robbery and taxes the very people who support those stores, shops and restaurants.

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  • Barbra515

    The parking people are trying to prevent Las Lomas students and working people from parking there all day every day. But, they are succeeding at driving away the very people/shoppers they are trying to attract by implementing these crazy parking fees. I feel it would be wise to have tickets that are stamped by merchants so parkers could pay a reasonable rate, maybe $2/hour after the first 3 hours. It would mean having parking attendants to take tickets and verify purchases but I’m sure BP can afford to pay a few parking attendants.

  • Steve Nelson

    I would send that itinerary to the managers of each of the stores mentioned, and ask if they would like to be the one cut out of the itinerary next time to keep it all under 5 hours.

  • JWB94596

    Just wondering why you think Broadway Plaza would have to provide free parking for people shopping at the Container Store or having lunch at Sunrise Bistro? As far as I know these are not part of Broadway Plaza.

    • My husband and I argue constantly about whether it’s appropriate to park in the Ross lot and go to TJ’s or walk down Locust. Whoever’s driving usually wins.

      • JWB94596

        I know the feeling. As a matter of fact I remember when Plazza Escuela still had Andronico’s the used to ticket folks for parking at the Ross lot and walking over to Plazza Escuela. While I can understand the motivation for businesses to restrict parking to people spending money at their stores I always found it silly to ticket people who had for example lunch at Sunrise Bistro and afterwards wanted to pick up a phone charger at the Verizon store. It makes no sense to get into your car and drive across the street and find parking again for a quick errand.

  • I’ve parked in that garage for a few hours at a time a couple times in the past few weeks and don’t recall ever paying anything. Could there have been a problem with the ticket or machine? That does sound insane, even for fee-crazy Walnut Creek.

  • bjjones

    And notice that ALL the parking meters in town are only 2 hrs, and until 8 pm, and on Sundays. It’s like the whole city wants you to quickly toss your money in the till and leave!

  • bjjones

    There’s not enough parking in the garages to accommodate all the cars, and two hour meters are redonkulous. The city of WC has gone crazy. Friendly: NO. Easy to shop: NO. Great place to browse and have lunch/dinner: NO. And just wait until all these hundreds of new apartment/condos are finished, and guess what–they don’t provide enough parking for tenants.

  • Hello From

    Come down to downtown Danville. The parking is free. There are plenty of cute shops, great eateries and kind people to help you explore. Afford yourself the time to enjoy and experience local living.

  • bjjones

    I was just in Pleasanton today for lunch with a friend. Plenty of free parking!

    • JWB94596

      not to be snarky but the distance from WC to Pleasanton and back is about 50 miles. The cost to drive a car per mile according to AAA is 60.9 cents. Without traffic it takes about 30 minutes for one way. So you spent about $30 and one hour of your time to avoid paying $25 parking? Obviously there is nothing wrong about meeting a friend in Pleasanton but if the motivation is to avoid parking fees then it makes no sense.

  • Jay

    I find this post particular post both hilarious and astoundingly pathetic. Whomever wrote this had the ignorance and lack of self-awareness to understand that if you believe people care about your itinerary and shopping habits – especially what you spent, then you are living in a fantasy. If you are willing to spend over $350 on “stuff” then why on earth complain about $25? First world problems are tedious, I get that but the next time you wish to make a point of substance and think your audience cares about how much money you spent (and where) – you might as well itemize what you bought. At least that would have made for some real comedy. Please look beyond the bubble you are currently residing.

    • J V

      Snarkiness aside, and regardless of income level, $25 is a bit steep when the City is trying to attract more shoppers to downtown.

      • Tim E

        I’m with Jay, to drop $350 and then turn around and complain on the $25 parking is sad state of commentary.

        The person probably could have worded it a lot better to make the point of what You and I certainly agree with. $25 buck on five hours of parking is steep for WC & assume in time it will be a bad move on Broadway Plaza part as they get a lot of short time parking with no revenues and no discernible increase in sales for its tenants/stores . As lot of others pointed out. More then one way to skin the parking cat including a much more affordable city garage that requires maybe an extra block or two of walking

  • A. Ham Fan

    I only go to Broadway Plaza now to eat and I leave the parking lot before 3 hours are up. No more window shopping and dawdling around for me. There is nothing in the stores that I can’t buy online with free shipping and no parking fees. $25 to park after I’ve already spent $$$ in restaurants and shops is ridiculous and I won’t do it on principle alone.

  • Old curmudgeon

    Hey don’t complain! It’s good old unfettered American greed at work. You can now charge what the “free” market will bear. If people don’t like it let them ride public transit, there’s a free bus from the BART station or use Unter. Better yet, WALK if you can.

  • Walnuts and Creeks

    Solution; walk back to car before the 3 hour time limit, do a victory lap out and back into the garage and voila, you’ve extended your day. Life’s short and full of solutions. Have a great day in the great city of Walnut Creek, CA, that owns more open space per capita than any other community in the state of California 3,000+ acres (Lime Ridge Open Space, Shell Ridge Open Space, Acalanes Ridge Open Space, and Sugarloaf Open Space). Also, have Diablo Foothills Regional Park and Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area, both in Walnut Creek. Cheers my friends and be happy w/an adult beverage/s!

    • JustJake

      That won’t work. They scan license plates and the 3 hours free per day is cumulative. This has been made clear.

  • Old curmudgeon

    Isn’t this sexual discrimination? After all some women shop as an expression of their femininity. Men know what they need to get before they hit the mall and just buy it.

  • parkinginWC

    On the topic of being charged $25…have you considered pleading your case to the powers that be and ask for a refund this one time? Ie make it clear you didn’t understand? Most people can be quite reasonable if you yourself are being reasonable. Speaking of which, 3 hours of free parking for shopping seems fair to me…at worst you can move your car to another garage. Or why not valet? I *think* Nordstrom offers valet. Garages do cost money to maintain.

    FWIW the city charges for parking (via meters) precisely to encourage turnover, so that folks don’t park their cars in premium/convenient spots all day with no ability for others to use them. It used to bother me but as a consumer I see the value in it. Downtown WC is a commerce district and if you want to support local stores, this is one way to do it. There are less expensive city garages throughout town that only charge $0.50 per hour, with the first hour free. So you have to walk a little. It’s a nice town and there’s plenty to window-shop!