By Max Darrow

MOUNTAIN VIEW (KPIX 5) — Finding parking can be tough in many downtown areas throughout the Bay Area. In Mountain View, spots can be tough to come by, as the city gets busier by the week.

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“This morning, friends were coming over – they had to do three or four turns to try and find something,” said Robert Calkins, who lives near downtown.

But that could start to change. The Mountain View City Council voted to move forward with a new “Downtown Parking Strategy,” a 10-year plan designed to better manage the current and future parking demand.

“The City of Mountain View has been talking about parking for as long as I can remember,” said Mayor Ellen Kamei.

She says adding more parking spots is a piece of the puzzle, but not necessarily a major piece.

“The City of Mountain View found in our research that we actually do have an ample suply of parking, however, most people are only looking in certain parts of our city,” she said.

The prime spots on and around Castro St. are often taken, one reason why people often circle around.

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Kamei says better wayfinding is a crucial piece of the puzzle, and that could mean putting better signage in place – perhaps in multiple languages – that points people towards other parking options.

Another piece of the puzzle? The introduction of demand-based, paid parking. Public street, lot, and garage parking is currently free throughout downtown Mountain View.

Some people aren’t thrilled about this one, but others think it’ll help free up spaces and encourage people to get downtown by other means of transportation.

“No one likes paying for parking,” Calkins said.

“I’m sure that paid parking would help,” said Tricia Alesna, who works in Mountain View.

The plan also would call for better parking enforcement and a push to get people to consider other modes of transportation as well.

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“People will be able to weigh in on what they’d like to do moving forward. While council has adopted this strategy, nothing is getting implemented yet,” Kamei said.