My View: Will Paid Parking Really Deter People in the Downtown?

Maybe it is because I grew up in a town that always had parking meters in the downtown that I have never believed this was going to be a huge problem.  Embedded within the discussion of the future of downtown has been the question – do we go to paid parking, do we build a new parking garage, do we do both?

I tend toward the view that, for the most part, there is enough parking in the downtown.  The supply is poorly managed, and thus people congest on the surface streets rather than parking in central locations and walking.

From the Downtown Plan Advisory Committee (DPAC) perspective, they believe we should “prioritize parking management before adding new parking.”  One such tool is paid parking.

But there is some pushback, which could grow stronger.

Alzada Knickerbocker, a business owner in the downtown, spoke out against paid parking, noting that “many long term, well respected business owners agree as do their customers.”

She cited 12 businesses she talked to and stated, “We all agree, paid parking will be a deterrent to patrons of our individual businesses in the downtown.”

Ron Glick has long been an opponent of paid parking and also believes it will act as a deterrent to people coming to the downtown.

For the last two years, I have paid about $75 a month for a parking space behind PDQ in the Tim Spencer Alleyway.  But as many are aware, starting this summer the alleyway, badly in need of repair, is undergoing at least six months of construction.

That means those of us who parked in the alley now have to find street parking.  The city accommodated us with X-permits, and when that proved to be burdensome they allowed us, at least during the summer, parking on the streets during the day.

From what I have observed, not just during the summer but over the course of the last several years, the city does not have a parking supply issue – although it does get tight during peak hours, especially at night during the latter part of the week.

First of all, there have been many arguments made against paid parking, but look at the E Street Plaza parking lot.  That has exclusively paid parking and the reality is that you cannot generally find a vacant spot unless a car is immediately pulling out of the space.  So the idea that people won’t pay for parking – if that is the parking close and available – seems misplaced.

Paid parking will mean that people who park long term in the downtown will utilize free locations.  For example, the parking garage on G and 4th is underutilized.  You can park there for free for three hours – as opposed to other locations where it is two hours.  If you wish to park longer than three hours, you can pay a dollar an hour.

The city has recently opened a lot on Olive and Richards that has spaces which are rarely used, and people can park there long term.

By implementing paid parking, people who do not wish to pay and who are mobile can choose.  When I grew up in San Luis Obispo, there were three basic parking options.  If you wanted the convenience of parking on the street, you had to put coins into the meters and pay.  (It’s a lot easier now with machines that take credit cards, you no longer have to collect dimes and quarters).

Second, you could park in a garage and get about 90 minutes for free and then an hourly rate which was fairly affordable.  Third, if you wanted free parking, you parked about four blocks away and walked.

The thing to note – both in the case of the E Street lot and other areas that require paid parking – the paid parking has not been a deterrent.  People still come to downtowns where they have to pay.  Heck, they often pay a lot more than what we are going to charge.

Everything that is done which is new is going to create a period of adjustment.  But that is why we have comparative cities with studies to look into policies before we implement the changes.

Do we have a parking shortage?  I have looked at the data.  During peak times, we are bumping up against that shortage.  Certainly, we are on the surface streets.  But even during peak hours, I have never gone to the G and 4th parking lot and found cars beyond the first turn on the second level.

By getting long-term parkers and employees off the surface streets, the city would have a better flow of parking and fewer problems finding parking during peak hours.

Do we need more supply?  We may at some point and we should look at ways to better utilize it.  One thing I would like to see is, as we look at densification and redevelopment on city blocks, that we figure out ways to add parking internally.

One of the models that could work in Davis would be street-level retail and restaurants, offices above and residential above the offices.  On the interior of the blocks, we could put parking garages to serve the residences.

That is what they have done in some areas of Sacramento and what they are suggesting with University Mall.  Why not reserve the lowest level for patrons?  That way, we are not only utilizing space better, we are providing more parking.

Others believe that driving will decline over time.  I’m not so sure of that.  I think the most likely scenario is more alternative fuel vehicles, not fewer vehicles.

Bottom line, observing the E Street Plaza lot does not lead me to the conclusion that paid parking is going to be a deterrent.  People have other options nearby, and yet there is rarely an available space in the paid lot.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Keith O

     The city accommodated us with X-permits, and when that proved to burdensome, allowed us at least during the summer, parking on the streets during the day.

    Why was that burdensome?  If employees used their x-permits maybe it would help alleviate the downtown parking crunch.

    1. John D

      David’s comment about X permit parking is actually quite illuminating.   Only David can elaborate on what he means by “burdensome”, but I have heard many stories from Downtown employees who are more direct in their concerns.

      And let’s not mince words about this proposed initiative – it is the Downtown employees who are the primary target of this new parking management strategy.

      X permits are basically hunting licenses.   Unlike Boulder, for example, where the city implemented a permit program for Downtown employees in which they were assigned spaces in underutilized structures and older lots, Davis has identified clusters of X permitted areas around the Downtown and adjoining neighborhoods.    The difference being assigned versus unassigned – meaning each day you begin your shift by searching for an available space.   For early arrivers, it’s not much of a problem – for later arrivals it can be different story.  On rainy days, it’s another store entirely.  The major difference in the models is the predictability of knowing your space will be available when you arrive for work.

      The next element is the frequency and reliability of public transit geared to the schedules of Downtown workers, employees and visitors/shoppers.   If it’s a few blocks from your parking location into town, but you know a regularly scheduled shuttle or bus will be coming along to carry you into town – that’s one thing.    However, investment in and commitment to public transit solutions – geared specifically to serving the needs of Downtown Boulder or Park City patrons and employees – has no parallel in Davis.

      In Davis, if you’re working an evening shift and, by personal circumstance forced to live out of town and unable to afford a daily metered fee (or $75/mo reserved space as David has described), you may end up finding an X permit spot 6 or 8 blocks from your job.  In that case, how safe would you feel walking back at 2AM when your shift is over?

      In response to David’s experiences in San Luis Obispo, he regularly gives short shrift to the significance of tourism which drives much of the Downtown San Luis retail economy.   Many visitors to popular beach communities arrive with a mindset and expectation of paid parking.   The same expectation is true for  residents of the San Luis region who must appear at court for a traffic citation or to apply for a building permit – these are region-serving institutions who both drive visitor activity, on the one hand, and can impose paid parking on the other.   These factors combine to create reliable visitorship to the Downtown, while imposing/distributing the burden of paid parking on visitors rather than local residents.

      The vast majority of our Downtown “visitors” are local Davis residents and university students, and without an employee-and-shopper-focused  Downtown shuttle system, the vast majority of paid parking revenues will necessarily accrue from local residents and inbound employees working in the Downtown.

      If this is the strategy to improve business in the Downtown, let’s make sure that everybody is clear on the model, and fully aware of who will be getting stuck with the bills from paid parking.

      1. Jim Hoch

        “how safe would you feel walking back at 2AM when your shift is over” I feel and am safer walking around Davis at 2AM than almost anywhere else at almost anytime.

      2. David Greenwald

        Sorry I’m on my phone so missed some comments. Burdensome because as John surmised if I get to downtown early and don’t leave no problem.  However if I arrive later or how to come and go the spaces fill up.

      3. Tia Will

         In that case, how safe would you feel walking back at 2AM when your shift is over?”

        Pretty darn safe. I say this as a senior woman who has lived in small towns, inner cities, suburban areas, in North Star in Davis and now on 3rd & J. When compared with any other area in which I have lived, I would feel very safe making the six block walk home.

        Note, I am addressing safety only, not desirability.

  2. darelldd

    I assume that all of the “push back” comes from people who drive automobiles into town. If the draw of our downtown is not good enough to overcome the expense of a dollar or two for the luxury of driving a motor vehicle into our town and storing it on the publicly-funded street for a while… then there are much, much bigger things to worry about for our downtown than just metered parking.

    It costs money to purchase, own and operate a motor vehicle. Having a place to park it, is one of those expenses that needs to be considered.

    While some organizations and business owners are certainly welcome to their opinion about how paid parking will negatively affect our downtown, it *is* only an opinion. And that opinion is not supported by the real data from other, similar communities that have had paid parking for years.

    Paid parking is the path forward to making our downtown MORE attractive and vibrant. Allowing everybody who wishes to store their cars for free after circling the blocks for a while is likely not the the answer we seek.

      1. darelldd

        I am sorry to hear that my comments disturb you. And I’m not sure I get the question about the Prius. The type of automobile is irrelevant in this discussion. I supposed it was meant to be funny since Prius drivers are all smug and saving whales?

        This is nothing against people who drive cars. It is all about using and managing the vehicles appropriately.

        Paid parking is not anti-car. In fact it is the way to keep allowing the use of cars.

        Now the discrimination against people who are NOT in cars is palpable. But that may only be obvious to those of us who use all available forms of transportation somewhat regularly.

  3. John Hobbs

    I’m trying to think of a time I’ve had trouble finding a convenient parking spot in downtown Davis during business hours and a couple of Friday nights over the last six years and honestly can’t. I think the bigger issue for downtown might be how to make enough people want to come downtown and take up all of the spaces.

        1. Ron

          Regarding San Francisco, I recall a columnist (Herb Caen again, I think) who said that if you see a place to park, take it – and then find a reason that you parked there.  (In other words, take advantage of that opportunity.)

          Seems like Davis might be on a similar path.

          As a side note, a “parked car gathers no moss” (emits no emissions). I often park, and then walk around downtown Davis. (But, I avoid the multi-story garage next to the USDA building as if it were the plague.)

  4. Jeff M

    Parking downtown is great during the summer.  And it has generally improved over the last few years as there are fewer retail locations that attract shoppers in cars.  The declining retail of the downtown is one of the best things we can do to ensure adequate parking spaces.

    1. Keith O

       The declining retail of the downtown is one of the best things we can do to ensure adequate parking spaces.

      And charging for parking might create even more declining retail.

        1. Keith O

          That charging for something often times encourages people to use less of it which in turn might create more declining retail because of less shoppers going downtown?  I think that speaks for itself.

        2. Ron

          Keith – since some are simultaneously attempting to turn downtown into a semi-residential area (with all of the resulting traffic and parking impacts), it will “all work out”, in the end.  (That is, no one from outside of the downtown will go there, anyway.)  🙂

          Combined with paid parking, it’s actually a comprehensive “new and improved” plan, this way!

        3. Howard P

          So Ron, you morph a discussion on paid parking to “no new people, or we will have an apocalypse Downtown”… brilliant and predictable…

          I believe in evolution, and DT needs to evolve… more people, fewer venues dedicated to alcohol consumption, heck, it could even become a neighborhood… more neighbors, less hoods…

          I also grew up in a city that had paid parking downtown… no problem… loved going there… and, they added more residential… just made it stronger, and (not sure of cause/effect) crime went down… personal and property crime… revenues (prop tax and sales tax)[and merchants businesses did better] went up… win-win…

        4. Keith O

          Ron, I think what people need to understand is our downtown ain’t that great and is not a tourist attraction like SLO.  People can easily change their habits once it gets more expensive to visit downtown.

        5. Ron

          I do know some folks who currently/periodically make a “stopover” in Davis, when traveling between the Bay Area and the Sierra.  There’s really no other comfortable valley town to stop in, along the I-80 corridor.

          And, since that corridor is increasingly gridlocked (due to – you guessed it – more development in the region), more folks might be looking for such a location to take a break and “wait out” that gridlock.

          But, if Davis creates its own “gridlock” downtown, it will discourage both (existing) residents and visitors to downtown. Add paid parking, and it will further discourage such visits.

        6. Ken A

          I have to laugh when David asks for “evidence” that charging for something that is currently free will result in people using less of it since EVERY time you start charging for something that was free people use less of it.

          The LA Times reported that after CA made retailers charge just $0.10 each for plastic bags people used “13 BILLION less” than the previous years when they were handed out for free “at grocery checkout counters and by other retailers of all sorts”.

          A parking charge for me is less about the money and more about the hassle of waiting behind the “smarter than average” UCD students, their parents and people that don’t speak English visiting from another country that can’t figure out how to pay for parking at the pay points on E and F.

          P.S. Does anyone know if if the city has ever talked about a pay in advance option?  I would happily pay $50 a year to avoid waiting behind the guy who is certain that the 63rd swipe of his card will work, and then waking across the lot from E to F and finding 20 people from China around the kiosk with no clue what do do when I just want to buy a pound of whole bean coffee from Peet’s for weekend guests (stepping up from the cheap Costco coffee we drink when we don’t have guests)…

        7. Ken A

          I grew up not far from Howard and have been visiting the downtown in his hometown for over 50 years (as a kid I loved Talbot’s Toy Store & Cyclery) . Things are doing pretty well today with a LOT of new residential development (and redevelopment) east of El Camino and homes on the street (named after my wife’s alma mater) west of El Camino where my Aunt and Uncle bought their home for just under $50K selling for over $3mm.

          Howard may forget the tough 30 years that his hometown downtown (with paid parking) had with lots of vacant storefronts and vacant big department store and vacant hotel.  The downtown hit a real low in the 80’s after the big Hillsdale mall added more stores and even more FREE parking.  (It was amazing that the downtown looked so bad and had so many vacant storefronts in the late 80’s with the Silicon Valley booming and in Baywood homes  just west of downtown selling for over $1mm).

        8. Keith O

          While in high school, Aragon, I used to work at Knockenhaur Stationers as a stock boy which was located a few stores down the street from the old theater.

          I recently took my grand daughter to Talbot’s Toyland.  Still looks as great as ever with the giant stuffed animals.

        9. Ken A

          I forgot about that old theatre… just down El Camino I happened to be there the day they took down the Fox theatre in the 70’s with an actual “wrecking ball” (my one and only time seeing an actual “wrecking ball” in action)…

          P.S. We had no problem finding a place to park since the street also had paid parking in the 70’s  and was also having a tough time (when homes just west of El Camino were “only” selling for ~$250K vs. $10 million today)…


        10. darelldd

          >> That charging for something often times encourages people to use less of it which in turn might create more declining retail because of less shoppers going downtown?  I think that speaks for itself. <<

          No, it does not speak for itself. If people drive into town less often, it does not logically follow that fewer people will be in town, nor that fewer people will shop. More money is spent in town each trip by those who arrive by bicycle, than by those who arrive by car.


        11. Richard McCann


          On stopovers, au contraire. If a tourist pulls into town and every visible spot is taken because all the spots are free, they will simply turn around and hop back on I-80. The point of paid parking with variable “peak” rates is to keep a couple of spots open so that a wayward visitor can easily stop in.

          As to impacting retail, we only need to look at how Midtown Sacramento has bounced back with paid parking.

          And Ken A, I’m so sorry that your patience is tested by people who don’t precisely fit your every need. We all should be highly considerate of all your needs since the world apparently revolves around you.

        12. Richard McCann

          Ken A

          Nice abuse of anecdote about San Mateo and Hillsdale Mall. Downtowns across America were being killed by large malls three decades ago, whether the downtowns had paid or free parking. It was the concentration of retail opportunities that facilitated easy pedestrian access that was one key attraction of the malls at the time. Now, despite having tons of free parking malls are struggling. Just look at how Woodland’s County Fair Mall is a ghost town while downtown Woodland is rebounding.

        13. Ken A

          Any idea who did the “More money is spent in town each trip by those who arrive by bicycle, than by those who arrive by car” study?

          I ride my bike more than 99% of the people in Davis and 99.99% of the people in the US and of the people I see at bike racks it sure seems to me like they are spending (and buying) less “on average” (especially at places like Don’s, Hibbert, ACE and Target).

          My problem with paid parking is the same as it is with all the other little fees and taxes that torture us, and after admin expenses really don’t make a lot of money.  Why not just raise taxes rather than making people pay every time they park (or take their kids to the park).

        14. Ken A

          I am aware that “Downtowns across America were being killed by large malls three decades ago” and today (with the “Regional Mall going the way of the 8 Track Player and VCR) Downtowns face challenges from Power Centers, Big Box Stores and Amazon (that don’t charge for parking).  Downtown Woodland may not be as bad as it was ten years ago but I would bet that the Target and Costco in the big power center in town EACH generate more sales tax revenue than EVERY store in the Downtown area combined.  Like Downtown San Mateo Midtown Sac added a lot of upper middle class and rich people.  Davis can do the same thing, but without adding people charging for parking will mean less people spending money downtown (and there will soon be a new Starbucks just South of Downtown with free parking)…

        15. Howard P

          Apologies in advance, and will accept deletion:

          (as a kid I loved Talbot’s Toy Store & Cyclery)

          Lived near (very) Hillsdale Mall (and went to Hillsdale High)… Talbots at the Mall had a slide where kids could go from one floor down to another.

          Howard may forget the tough 30 years that his hometown downtown 

          Yes, true in part… pretty much left in 1977, and most recently was there when Mom and Dad passed in 2001-02… have not been there since, but every time I WAS there, (1958 is about the earliest I remember) there was paid parking downtown SM… talking pennies, nickles, dimes, and wages were around $1.50/hour (median wage, and Dad’s was a tad less than that, in the 60’s)…

          Hillsdale Mall, about 1.5-2 miles away from DT SM, went thru its own decline/renaissance… early 2000’s… apparently things have changed… Sears was gone, Emporium gone, Macy’s was struggling, Florsheim shoes folded in 2002 (got shoes for 50% off, when I needed them for Dad’s services)…

          Main point … parking costs are usually de minimus… DT SM had them since the 50’s, and as Keith and Ken have pointed out, in different ways, the results may vary… apparently DT SM went into decline, as did Hillsdale Mall… one had paid parking one never did… stuff happens… for many reasons… but am unconvinced hat paid parking is a “driver”… it might contribute, of that I have no doubt… but not a “driver”… nor will be add’l residential downtown, via mixed use re-development, except likely as a stimulus… just my opinion, based on experiences…

        16. Ken A

          The Hillsdale Mall did lose the Sears (where I bought my first mechanics tool set and tool box in the 70’s that I still have), but it never “went in to decline” as “DT SM” did.  I was at a wedding a while back where a friend married in to a family of bay area retail RE brokers and after noticing a guy with a bottle of Macallan 18 on his table I introduced myself.  After chatting about the merits of the Speyside vs. Highland region we started talking about Bay Area Real Estate and then Bay Area Retailing and he said that for the past 30 years no mall in America has had higher incomes, education levels and home prices in the one and five mile rings than the Hillsdale Mall and he also mentioned that the Hillsdale Mall has been in the “top 1%” for sales per foot for many retailers for decades and the Nordstrom in the Hillsdale mall had been one of their top stores since it opened in the early 80’s.

      1. darelldd

        Might. Or it might increase it. You’ve fallen into the hole of car=customer. The recent studies done in Davis do not support this. So even if charging for parking decreased the number of cars (it likely won’t… look at E-st. Plaza), it would make town more pleasant for everybody, and spending could easily increase.

        These things aren’t quite as simple as, “free = good, cost = bad.”

        We need to prioritize and plan for *people* in the downtown area. And not equate cars with people.

    1. Ron

      Howard:  I’m glad you brought up those towns.  However, you neglected to mention West Sacramento, etc.

      None of those towns offers what Davis (currently) does, for visitors. (A walkable and safe downtown, lots of restaurant choices, small shops, etc.)

      1. Don Shor

        All of those towns have more restaurant options for travelers, much better freeway access, and significantly higher sales tax revenue per capita than Davis does. If Davis wants to capture freeway business, it needs to develop freeway frontage. Some of them have pretty much killed off their downtowns, but their tradeoff was freeway-based revenue. There is a great Mexican restaurant in downtown Vacaville, but that’s about it there. Along the freeway, on the other hand, there’s just about every mid-size American restaurant chain you could want.

        1. Ron

          I’m not a fan of Cattleman’s restaurant.  Dixon is also too far from the freeway.  In short, there is no “there”, there for visitors (to paraphrase a newspaper columnist from long ago). (Herb Caen, I believe.)

          Vacaville is fine, for those who want to stop at a mall. I’m not sure if it even has a viable downtown at this point, due to peripheral expansion.

          West Sacramento is an industrial town. 

          There are no other reasonable places to stop, until perhaps Auburn.  (And, by then, you might as well continue on to your destination – especially since you’re beyond the increasingly gridlocked valley traffic along I-80, at that point.)

        2. Ken A

          I find it funny that Ron can’t think of a any “other reasonable places to stop” between Davis and Auburn (“nothing” in Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Roseville or Rocklin???)…

          P.S. I (really) would bet that more people in Davis have been to downtown Florence Italy than to downtown Vacaville, CA…

        3. Ron

          Ken:  Neither of the freeways (I-80, or Highway 50) go through the main part of Sacramento.  What, exactly, do you see near the freeway? (I can tell you what I see.)

          Citrus Heights?  (That would fall into the category of “there is no there, there”.)

          Roseville?  Not much of a downtown.  Looked pretty dead/small, last time I saw it.

          Rocklin?  Not familiar with their downtown.

          Would also have to ask how difficult it is to reach those downtowns, from the freeway. Again, for those who prefer stopping at a mall, I realize there are options (but generally not good restaurants or an attractive downtown experience).


      2. John D


        To one of your points, I would note that Gary Sandy famously referred to “I-80” through Davis as a “river of money” – there but for the asking.

        There was even talk of investing in some attractive/artistic “large format LED” freeway signs like every other city now has.   This was six or seven years ago, when Gary was still in a university liaison role to the City of Davis.   The conversation was an outgrowth of the Chamber DSIDE initiative.

        The obvious ironies, “capitalizing” on this proximity would have entailed plans to accommodate an even larger number of travelers in cars – generating ever more parking demand and circulation challenges.   And, of course, it would have conceded the reality that the world still remains largely autocentric.

        Ultimately, the idea got no further than the discussion table at the Government Relations Committee of the Davis Chamber.

        1. Ron

          John:  That’s interesting, and you’re right – it would require a need to address parking (along with an honest acknowledgement that this is how most folks travel, outside of Davis). (Even within Davis, for that matter.)

          “A river of money” – that’s quite memorable!

          The “other” elephant in the room (which admittedly makes Davis a potential draw) is UCD, itself.  Already an “agriculture” university, with a connection to local farming/food.

          Seems like Sacramento is capitalizing on the “fork the farm” movement, more than Davis is (and should).  (Sorry – I just like wording it that way.)  🙂

  5. Robin W.

    I don’t know about the effect that the cost of meters will have on people, but how much of a hassle (and time investment) it is to park may make a difference. I imagine that meters at each parking space would be much less of a deterrent to people coming downtown than it would be if you have to walk to a central location to pay and then walk back to put a ticket on your dashboard.  The other parking problem downtown is the two hour limit which makes it impossible to shop and go to lunch or go to lunch and a movie. If meters (at each parking space) allowed for up to four hour parking they could make it more attractive to come downtown than the current situation.

  6. Don Shor

    Embedded within the discussion of the future of downtown has been the question – do we go to paid parking, do we build a new parking garage, do we do both?


    So, we had a commission that met for months to address this question; they discussed all these issues, the data, the details of how to implement parking fees, etc. The members came from a cross-section of downtown interests.


    Downtown Davis finds itself in similar circumstances experienced by other communities where parking efficiencies have been effectively maximized with existing parking management techniques and parking supply. A coordinated set of management and supply changes are needed to ensure substantive improvement in downtown parking conditions. The proposed recommendations will significantly change how parking is managed in the downtown. These are based on a deliberate process driven by data, literature review, public input, case studies, and task force members’ acquired understanding of parking principles and best management practices.

    The Task Force balanced the many interests of downtown users and stakeholders, carefully considering input from the Davis business community. Citizens gave input at meetings, and the Task Force reviewed results of surveys that collected information from local residents relating to downtown parking.

    The 11 voting Task Force members (and ex-officio member) represented diverse viewpoints, including those of retailers, service providers and office tenants, residents of downtown and adjacent neighborhoods, and property owners, as well as bicycling advocates and concerned Davis residents. All members shop downtown and treasure its success and vitality.


    Recommendation #1: Establish paid parking in Southeast Quadrant.

    Recommendation #2: Increase employee parking location options.

    Recommendation #3: Increase employee permit fees and streamline employee parking to single “X” permit.

    Recommendation #4: Convert Amtrak Lot to paid parking.

    Recommendation #5: Restrict delivery vehicle double-parking between 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. for the area bounded by Second Street, Fourth

    Street, D Street and G Street (data could be used to refine limitations over time).

    Recommendation #6: Eliminate on-street green waste in downtown for the area bounded by First Street, Fifth Street, B Street, and the railroad tracks.

    Recommendation #7: Shift parking enforcement hours to 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Monday – Saturday.

    Recommendation #8: Establish tiered-fine citation system.

    Recommendation #9: Upgrade parking enforcement technology.

    Recommendation #10: Invest in electronic information systems.

    Recommendation #11: Develop transportation and parking alternatives campaign.

    Recommendation #12: Collect quarterly parking occupancy and turnover data.

    Recommendation #13: Explore voluntary private shared-parking district.

    Recommendation #14: Provide van-accessible parking upon street resurfacing.

    Recommendation #15: Streetscape Improvements.

    Recommendation #16: Expand Parking Supply.

    Recommendation #17: Provide administrative resources necessary for successful implementation of the Downtown Parking Management Plan.

    Recommendation #18: Improve transit options into downtown.

    Recommendation #19: Re-examine parking in-lieu parking fee policies and procedures.


  7. John D


    Wasn’t quite clear as to the significance of the DPTF recommendations that you had included as bolded text in your above citation.

    The summary of recommendations you have included above reflects the original, unranked and unprioritized listing of 19 elements agreed upon by the task force.  Following its presentation, city council separated the elements into Phase 1 and Phase 2 as priorities for implementation.

    Item 1 – Paid Parking was pushed into Phase 2 along with Items 4 & 16 (both intended to increase parking supply) along with Items 14 through 18.   Reasoning at the time was to allow implementation of the remaining elements in order to judge their effectiveness in the management process before undertaking the more dramatic and expensive elements – namely implementation of paid parking, investment in additional supply and #18 which would have focused on improved transit options to the Downtown.

    What has subsequently transpired, over the past 4-1/2 years, bringing us to where we are today, is a failure to execute on any of the other key, formative elements originally identified as Phase 1 (Priority 1) activities.   Just a series of unfortunate circumstances?  Perhaps, but somehow there was never quite enough funding, never quite enough resources, never a vendor who could quite perform on time – you name it, it happened.

    If the ultimate goal in establishing the DPTF was to singularly and exclusively focus on implementation of Paid Parking in the Downtown, perhaps it should have been commissioned as the “Downtown Paid Parking Task Force” from the outset?

    1. Don Shor

      Well, I thought the issue of whether or not to implement paid parking had been resolved, and the issues were how, when, how much, and in what order with respect to other commission recommendations. So I kind of wondered why David was revisiting the basic question. But Alzada, who was on the commission, is pushing back, and I see Dan of Bizarro World is arguing against it in the Enterprise, and there is some informal group of downtown businesses at running a petition against it. So I guess any consensus from the commission has pretty much evaporated.
      I do think those are important stakeholders whose views merit consideration. It’s their pocketbook, not mine. So I defer to their concerns and suggest the council revisit this whole topic.

      1. Mark West

        “So I guess any consensus from the commission has pretty much evaporated.”

        The consensus was for implementing all of the recommendations at one time, not picking and choosing from the list. It is quite reasonable to understand that not everyone on the commission supported every one of the recommendations individually, but chose to support the impact of the combination of all of them. The problems arose when the CC decided not to accept the recommendations as is, but instead chose to implement them in a piecemeal fashion.

        “So I defer to their concerns and suggest the council revisit this whole topic.”

        So then why did we spend the time and resources having the commision meet in the first place? The CC should give the commission an up or down vote. If the results of their work are deemed insufficient, then the CC should demonstrate that by rejecting the entirety of the panel’s recommendations and then either select a new panel or do the work themselves.

      2. Howard P

        Don… think I hear where you are coming from… not 100% sure… my concern about paid parking has always been “does it pay for itself?”… it should NOT be seen as a revenue source, and it is questionable as to what will it do to solve any issues?  That said, I absolutely have no problem if revenue neutral/somewhat possible, and if it has a positive benefit… it may well might…  and might not… but the arguments against are as limp as…[ well, can’t say… would be moderated…]

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