By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Many big cities are wrestling with the issue of RV dwellers on their streets. Mountain View, California, is just another one of them. With rent prices in this Bay-area city shooting through the roof, many people don’t have fixed roofs to live under. By one account, at least 600 folks in the area call Mountain View’s streets “home” for themselves and their RVs.
Home values in Mountain View average $1.5 million. Many residents don’t cotton to having RVs in various states of decrepitude parked in their neighborhoods. The cry of complaint has reached the ears of government officials, and now partnering with a local church, the county hopes they’ve come up with a possible solution. The church has offered to issue permits to RV dwellers that will allow them to park their rigs on a church parking lot. Get the rigs off the streets, and into a “safe” location.
There are a couple of catches. Apparently the space in the church lot is just that – only a space. No utilities of any sort, no dump station. And RVers who take advantage of the space will need to be scrupulously watching the clock. In no earlier than 7:00 p.m., and out of the lot no later than 7:00 a.m. The permit to park would be good for a month, and during that time, the user would meet with a social service agency who would attempt to help them get out of their RVs and into fixed housing.
It might be a solution. A quick “drive” down Crisanto Avenue, using Google Street View, shows a scene from last September. Starting at 1900 Crisanto, you can drive either direction a long way and a solid wall of RVs takes up the curb (just a rock’s toss from active railroad tracks). Still, the solution may be a bit on the small side. With 300 RVs across the city, the church is offering “a handful” of spaces each night. Two other area churches have expressed interest in taking on RVs themselves. The idea? By the end of the decade, among the three church lots, perhaps as many as 60 rigs could be accommodated.
Like a lot of other problems facing mankind today, it’s one where there seems to be more problem than solution.