City officials say the cost increases will help address a deficit in the parking fund and pay for improvements such as more high-tech meters, better signs and security, and maintenance or replacement of aging garages.Most of the nearly 5,400 city-owned parking spaces in downtown Riverside – in four public garages, 15 lots and spots on streets – cost money to use at least some of the time, though nights and weekends are typically free.
Parking prices haven’t gone up since 2010. The city also has lost street spaces and surface lots to development, with more than 300 spots expected to disappear in the next few years.
But the problem isn’t a shortage of parking, according to consultant Julie Dixon, who was hired by the city to study the issue.
Parking is easier to find on the fringes of downtown, while it tends to fill up at times within the downtown core. Because some visitors like to park as close as possible to their destination, parking may not be available exactly when or where they want it, Dixon concluded.
Two residents told the council it’s difficult to find handicapped parking downtown, and some council members agreed. Other changes to parking costs will be retooled and brought back for further discussion in coming months.