Cost to park in downtown Riverside will rise

 

Cost to park in downtown Riverside will rise

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.

Starting later this year, parking in downtown Riverside will cost more in some spots, while drivers will get a break in others.

In July a few increases will kick in: monthly permit fees will go up, and late-night revelers will be charged a $5 flat fee in city garages from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.Other parking fee changes also are coming later, under a new rate plan the City Council approved Tuesday, Jan. 24.

But council members rejected several of the proposed changes, keeping 90 minutes of free daytime parking in garages, and they tweaked others, like ending meter charges in the justice center area at 5 p.m., an hour earlier than currently.

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.

 

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