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Gifts From the Parking Gods

Oakland is looking to lure more shoppers to its downtown this Christmas Eve, December 24, by offering the same free-parking deal it offered last Saturday: 30 minutes, 1 hour, or 2 hours of free parking, depending on the meter's or parking kiosk's posted limit.

Better yet, until at least mid-June, Oakland will now give parkers at parking kiosk spaces a 5-minute grace period when they're late returning to their cars. No more tickets for rushing back just a minute or two tardy—now that's what we call kinder, gentler government.