City Council Votes to Increase Parking Meter Fees

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SACRAMENTO —

Tuesday night the Sacramento City Council approved a proposal to increase parking meter fees across the city.

The Department of Public Works Parking Services Department has been working on parking reform for the city since 2006.

The hourly parking meter rate will increase from $1.25 to $1.75.

While some don’t mind the change, others don’t want to change.

“I don’t think it’s unreasonable,”Karen Shaffer, who parks in Handle District, said. “I think Sacramento is a pretty cheap place to park right now. I know a lot of cities are much more expensive already.”

“Old Sacramento would charge that much because it’s a historic place and a lot of people do come here, but if it’s all over Sacramento, I wouldn’t even want to park in the meters,” said Ashwin Naidu, who parks in Old Sacramento.

The city is also introducing dynamic pricing — what they call “Special Parking Over Time” or “SPOT Zone” parking.

“This is going to give motorists the ability to actually extend their time beyond the posted hour,” Sacramento Parking Services Manager Matt Eierman said.

For example, if you are parked in a two-hour zone:
– First 2 hours: regular $1.75/hour
– Next 1 hour: $3/hour (same price as a city garage)
– Any time after that: A premium $3.75/hour

Many Sacramentans like the idea that they will have the option to add time if they need. Time and money can be added via smart phone.

“It’s hard to find parking in this area. Once they find parking, they will pay to be able to stay longer… I’m pretty sure of it,” Shaffer said.

“If you go to a good restaurant and you know you’re going to be there for a few hours, and you go over it, it’s better to pay that price instead of a parking ticket,” Naidu said.

On average, the city of Sacramento issues around 12,000 parking citations a year.
Parking citations are $47.50.

The pilot program will begin in two different places — the Handle District (18th and L streets in Midtown) and Old Sacramento.

The city will continue with this pilot program for as long as they need, until they are ready to roll it out throughout the rest of the city.

Other cities like San Francisco already have a similar program. But their parking meter prices fluctuate according to peak hours, which has no benefits for drivers.

Sacramento hopes its version will catch on in other areas.

“Bigger cities will look to us and say, ‘How did you do that?'” Eierman said.

The changes will take effect on Dec. 1, 2015.