OAKLAND (KPIX) — Oakland’s ban on food trucks and street parking around Lake Merritt got very little compliance on Friday. City leaders went ahead with the ban after seeing large crowds and gatherings there on previous weekends.
City officials said Friday they would start to hand out tickets because people weren’t taking the ban seriously. One taco truck defied the ban and sold food right next to the lake. A city employee and a park ambassador warned the business owner he could get a ticket.
“I need to work,” said food truck chef Alberto Avramow. “I need to get some income because I need to pay the lease. I need to pay expenses,” he added.
Avramow said he’d stay put until the parking-enforcement officer arrived and that seemed to be the attitude of most drivers who parked along Lakeshore Boulevard despite city signs prohibiting parking and warning that vehicles in violation would be towed.
“No parties. Stop the partying, people!” Mayor Libby Schaaf said on a webcast. “We have got to stay healthy. That’s really important and we are not seeing enough compliance, especially at the lake.”
The mayor is fed up with large gatherings, hence the ban on street parking and food trucks around the lake.
At a playground next to the lake, families ripped down the caution tapes and used the equipment.
“It’s very dangerous, it’s very dangerous. The equipment is not cleaned,” said Nicholas Williams, director of Parks, Recreation and Youth Development. Williams said the park equipment would continue to be taped up and he reminded people about social distancing.
“Some think that they are invisible. It’s just ignorant,” said Renee Warren who was out for a walk by the park. “How are you going to have a party at this time?”
Others said the parking and food truck ban is wrong.
“People are still going to want to come down here. So now what? Where are going to park? Now you have a neighborhood parking problem. They are just going to park in the neighborhoods and block the neighborhoods,” said Oakland resident Brandon Bailey.
Bailey and a group of people said that, since gyms are closed, they decided to bring their own equipment to work out. They did bring wipes and sanitizer.
“We got frustrated with staying inside for so long with the whole covid thing,” said Shakari Jackson.
“Tell Libby to come down here. She’ll have a good work out with us,” Bailey said.
The ban is in place Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and includes Memorial Day Monday May 25.