Free parking options returning to downtown SLO
Complimentary parking options are set to remain available until at least June 30, 2025
– The San Luis Obispo City Council convened a public meeting this week to address significant city issues, with a primary focus on downtown parking and tourism. The following is a brief summary of the key outcomes.
In response to concerns raised by the community and local businesses regarding the challenges posed by recent changes to downtown parking rates, the council deliberated and decided to reinstate free parking options. Commencing Nov. 23, the following provisions will be in effect:
- Free parking for one hour daily in the public parking structures.
- Free parking every Sunday in the public parking structures.
- Free parking during the annual downtown holiday parade, beginning at 6 p.m., both on-street and in the structures.
These complimentary parking options are set to remain available until at least June 30, 2025.
The decision to offer immediate relief is attributed to the city’s improved financial standing, surpassing initial projections. Lower-than-expected interest rates secured through debt financing for the new parking structure project will result in approximately $1 million less in annual payments over the initial five years of debt repayment, according to a report by the city. Concurrently, the Parking Fund is reportedly anticipated to have a surplus of around $1 million in the current fiscal year.
Despite these actions, council members acknowledged the need for further initiatives. In response to suggestions from the community to enhance the user-friendliness and affordability of downtown parking, the council directed staff to proceed with a comprehensive parking rate study. This study will involve community engagement and analyze parking demand, pricing, and user experience. Long-term solutions based on the findings of the study are slated to be presented to the council in the spring of 2024, with the aim of ensuring continued accessibility and affordability of downtown parking.