Kato Road Parking Restrictions
Parking restrictions are in place along a stretch of Kato Road to prevent all parking, including large car carriers/haulers, employee parking for neighboring businesses, and RVs/vans primarily because of the unsafe conditions that exist on that street, which include:
• Vehicles traffic travelling at extremely high speeds adjacent to the parked vehicles
• Potential for accidents/collisions from I-880 also adjacent to parked vehicles
• Safety risk due to industrial land uses (the zoning along Kato Road specifically precludes uses deemed ‘sensitive’, including residential, in this zone because of the hazardous materials used in most of the nearby businesses)
• Potential conflicts with frequent truck activity related to nearby businesses
The City received a high volume of complaints about Kato Road from residents, businesses, and the general public as conditions had become extremely impacted on Kato. Complaints were focused around traffic safety concerns and property damage, trash, debris, and parked vehicles along the side of the roadway. Also, when the winter rains began, the parking on the dirt shoulder created a challenge with trucks getting stuck in the mud and vehicles tracking mud onto the streets.
The project began on December 6, 2019. Several City departments met to discuss ways to make improvements along the stretch of Kato Road, given the traffic and other safety concerns. The plan was developed to remove existing parking and physically prevent future parking, through the placement of signage and rock boulders.
The City is implementing the project in three phases:
- Phase 1 (pilot project) is at the Seagate frontage and a few hundred feet north and south on Kato Road (approximately 1,700 feet)
- Phase 2 is south of Phase 1
- Phase 3 is north of Phase 1
Phase 1 Schedule
- January 27, an electronic message board and tow-away signs on A frame barricades were placed in the area to announce the start of parking enforcement effective February 6.
- January 30 - Debris and garbage was tagged with notices for removal.
- February 1 – Vehicles were tagged with notices for removal. This was completed by the Fremont Police Department.
- February 6 – Removal of trash and vehicles occurred.
- February 6/7 – Installation of signs and placement of boulders occurred.
The Phase 1 effort will be evaluated for cost, effectiveness, and any relocation impacts.
Further phases of this project will be subject to City Manager’s Office approval. The Phase 2 schedule, if approved, will proceed similar to Phase 1. The Phase 3 schedule will depend on a review of Phase 2.
As of February 24, 2020, the City is continuing to evaluate Phase 1.
Boulders and Signage
Rocks or boulders are a known, cost-effective measure for quickly implementing a parking barrier. An alternative would be to construct a curb and would be more expensive.
The spacing of the boulders will be specifically placed to prevent large truck hauler parking and will be set back from the edge of the outside lane line. The set back is intended to create safety separation space to prevent against crashes into the rocks, maneuvering room for large truck turning, and a narrow space for disabled vehicle parking. A physical barrier (boulders) is being used with 20 foot spacing only to prevent car carrier/hauler parking because they have been known to ignore signage.
The Phase 1 cost for the boulders is $2,500 for materials, and was delivered with City staff labor and equipment.
Outreach to the Homeless
Staff from the City’s Human Services Department conducted outreach over the weekend of February 22nd with homeless individuals along Kato Road.
Prior to any future phases being approved, the City’s Human Services staff will be conducting outreach with homeless individuals on Kato Road to provide services and referrals as appropriate. During the Phase 1 implementation, there were no homeless individuals displaced.
The Fremont City Council has previously directed staff to identify options to establish a safe parking program pending identifying a location and ongoing funding source.