Downtown Parking Action Plan approved by city council
—The Paso Robles City Council adopted the 2018 Downtown Parking Action Plan at their June 19 meeting. Development of this plan started in March 2018 and is designed to improve parking in the downtown area for businesses, customers, and surrounding residential areas.
The plan designed implementation for short-term, mid-term, and long-term effects on the downtown parking situation. The city manager and police chief are actively working on 13 short-term effects, as directed by the city council, which include starting to “update municipal code ordinances to allow for time limits and paid parking…initiate a Residential Parking Permit (RPP) program to prevent spillover parking in the residential neighborhoods… ensure pedestrian routes to and from Downtown parking lots are safe and accessible… [and] establish a Bike Sharing Program, valet parking, or a Downtown free ride shuttle program,” according to the Council Agenda Report.
The 2018 Downtown Parking Action Plan has three main objectives to address parking: “managing on-street demand to maintain occupancy rates, use technology to improve the parking experience, and creation of an Employee Parking Program (EPP),” according to the Council Agenda Report. This plan was created by the city and consultant Dixon Resources Unlimited; multiple community outreach meetings, reviews of 2002 and 2008 parking studies, a Steering Committee with community members and stakeholders, and many other steps were taken in devising the plan.
Implementing paid parking spaces was recommended to include a mix of single space meters and pay stations, with payment methods ranging from mobile options, credit cards, and coins. Recommendations of different options for payment costs include a flat rate of $0.75 an hour with a limit of two hours, a zone rate where parking within two blocks is $1.50 an hour and within three to four blocks is $0.75 an hour and so on, or an escalating rate where parking for up to two hours is $0.75 an hour and between three and four hours is $1.50 an hour and so forth.
While there were no financial costs in approving the plan, the estimated budget for initial establishment is $300,000 and annual operation is $94,300.