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San Jose tries to find solutions to RVs parked on city streets

Robert Ashworth
Flickr / Creative Commons

Mayor Matt Mahan and three San Jose councilmembers want to explore ways to manage homeless residents living in vehicles while simultaneously ramping up available safe parking sites.

Solutions being discussed include fully banning RVs in certain areas or finding ways to allow RVs to park on specific streets long term, acting as pseudo-safe parking sites.

Mahan told San Jose Spotlight: "The conditions on the street and in some of our neighborhoods are simply unacceptable today and we have to better manage that situation as we create more safe places for people to go. That may not require a ban if some of these other strategies are more viable."

Mahan said unlike street homelessness, the city does not have a wraparound approach to assisting people living in their vehicles. Action taken by leaders at the Rules and Open Government Committee meeting Wednesday asks the city to come back to the San Jose City Council with an actionable plan by next year.

The proposal, co-authored by Councilmembers David Cohen, Sergio Jimenez and Bien Doan, is inspired by various programs across the South Bay.

Redwood City has a permit program that allows RV dwellers to park on specific streets so long as they agree to be "good neighbors."

Mountain View banned oversized vehicles in 2020 from parking on "narrow streets" -- 40 feet or less in width -- and on any street with a bike lane.

Sunni M. Khalid is a veteran of more than 40 years in journalism, having worked in print, radio, television, and web journalism.