City Council to increase paid parking

CAITLYN SAMPLEY / AGGIE

Council voted 4-0 in favor of expansion of paid parking

On Nov. 7, City Council finalized the expansion of paid parking in downtown Davis. This was a result of the Downtown Parking Management Plan, released in 2014. The outcome of this plan was 19 recommendations for the city of Davis, which have been worked on over the years.

“From 2014 to now, we’ve been implementing as many of those recommendations as we can,” said Davis Mayor Robb Davis. “The topic of paid parking was always part of the plan. The council just hadn’t given direction to implement paid parking. Back in December of last year, the City Council did give direction to establish paid parking in all the city-owned off-street lots and garages, but we started to hear over the course of the year that they were interested in perhaps reconsidering that. So last week, we brought that back to the council for discussion, and they gave direction for staff to establish paid parking for both the on-street as well as the off-street lots in the southeast quadrant –– First to Third Street and D to G Street.”

The city has been facing a parking management problem, due to which the council decided it was time to establish paid parking. Although there are spaces available on the periphery of downtown and in the off-street lots, this could pose as an inconvenience to those who want to park on-street right next to their destination.

“The basic philosophy of paid parking is that it’s not a major revenue generator,” said Brian Abbanat, the senior transportation planner of the Public Works Department. “It’s designed to better manage the supply. It encourages people to make their purchases and move on and free up parking. By attaching a small financial contribution to the parking, you encourage people to use it in a more parsimonious way.”

Although Council voted to increase paid parking, some free parking spaces will still remain. The staff has recommended maintaining paid parking in the E Street parking lot and establishing paid parking in the southeast quadrant.

“The other thing is, you maintain free parking further from the most desired areas, so people who are price-sensitive can park there for free and they just have to walk a little bit more to get where they want,” Abbanat said.

The Boy Scout cabin lot and the Davis Commons will continue to have free two-hour parking. The city staff has also recommended providing free two-hour parking in the F Street lot and free three-hour parking in the parking garages near the F and G Street theaters, with additional hours paid. The staff is currently working on researching methods to introduce paid parking, including metering and having payment kiosks.

“I think it’s a great idea to organize the parking situation in the city,” said Shreya Deshpande, a second-year cognitive science major at UC Davis. “I brought my car to Davis so that I could go around the city at my convenience. I’d rather pay $2 for parking than circling around trying to find space. Plus, there’s still going to be free parking for the days that us college students are broke, which is pretty often.”

 

Written by: Prachita Chawla — city@theaggie.org