Downtown Parking Changes Approved by City Council

ParkingMeter

At the regular June 7, 2017 City Council meeting, Council unanimously approved changes to downtown parking as proposed by City staff.

Following meetings held with downtown merchants and employees, a number of changes were proposed to downtown parking. The intent behind the changes is to price parking in a manner that encourages the appropriate use by both downtown employees and customers. Specific emphasis is being placed on:

  • Providing an area of free parking for employees who are willing to walk
  • Keeping the rates for outlying areas of parking unchanged
  • Increasing rates for meters that are closer in
  • Increasing rates for meter in high-use areas
  • Continue to have unmetered parking on Main Street.

Current Rates for Parking

  • Short-term 2-4 hour meters and Rood Avenue garage main floor = $.50 per hour
  • Long-term 10-hour meters = $.10 per hour
  • Parking Garage Lease Rates:
    • $60 per month for covered
    • $10 per month on top level.

New Rates for Parking

  • Short-term 2-4 hour meters and garage main floor = $.75 per hour
  • Closer in long-term 10-hour meters = $.25 per hour
  • Outlying 10-hour meters = $.10 (unchanged)
  • Parking garage lease rates:
    • $65 per month for covered (increased $5 per month)
    • $10 per month for uncovered (unchanged)
  • Free employee parking will be offered in the City-owned lot at 7th and Ute Avenue.

Rates for downtown parking have not been increased in nearly ten years.

As always, paid parking is only enforced Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Evenings, weekends and holidays are free. In addition, those with official disabled placards or license plates can park in any regular metered spot free of charge.

Pay-by-Phone App

The City’s current parking meters are 10 years old, and are not capable of accepting payment by credit card. In an effort to improve customer service and increase revenue, staff and the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) have implemented a pilot project to allow payment by smartphone. Meters and parking lots throughout the downtown area are signed and marketing materials are available for public awareness. Payment by smartphone requires customers to download a free app available on either Apple or Android devices. The app will alert the customer when metered time is about to expire. This solution is at no cost to the City, and customers choosing to pay by smartphone are charged a $.35 per transaction fee by the software vendor. Customers choosing to pay by coin will not be charged any additional fees and will see no change in their parking transaction.

Holiday Parking

Historically, all parking meters have been bagged for the duration of Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. Discussions have begun regarding possible changes to the program. In a recent outreach meeting held by the City with members of the BID/Downtown Development Authority, the following ideas were discussed:

  • Merchants could issue coupon codes for use with the parking app
  • Shorten the duration of the program
  • Reduce the area of the holiday program
  • Make January free parking instead to encourage customers to return during the slower shopping season

Implementation of the proposed changes is expected to increase revenues by approximately $47,000, and potential revenue increases will be used to maintain and upgrade existing parking infrastructure. The Parking Fund is solely funded by parking revenues – no tax revenues are used for parking expenses.

These changes will go into effect on June 15.

Contact:  Sam Rainguet, Communications Manager       970-244-1507 or samr@gjcity.org                

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