On Monday, October 31, Spokane City Council passed a resolution with the goal of increasing turnover in Spokane’s metered parking. The resolution, supported by The Downtown Spokane Partnership (DSP), encourages City of Spokane Parking Services to determine the prevalence of meter feeding by downtown employees and closely enforce meter time limits while developing a comprehensive parking plan by the end of 2017 to make on street parking more accessible for visitors and shoppers.
It emphasizes access to affordable options for those who need parking beyond the normal two hours, highlighting the Spokane Transit Authority’s Vanpool program as a means to reduce demand for employee parking and save trips downtown.
These efforts are intended to increase parking turnover by providing visitors and customers with convenient opportunities to patronize local businesses and collaborate through work-related appointments. Fees collected by enforcement fund important projects downtown, such as the I-90 off ramp gateway on Division Street, multi-modal transportation improvements, and beautification projects like hanging flower baskets and utility box art wraps.
“I’ve become acutely aware the importance a vital, active and accessible parking system has on Downtown Spokane,” says 2016 Ratepayer Advisory Board Chair Dana Harbaugh. “Frequent parking turnover makes spaces available for customers visiting our downtown businesses and contributes to a thriving downtown environment that better supports our retailers.”
Implementing technology solutions to improve the parking experience, while decreasing the cost of collections and enforcement, is also a goal of the on-street parking system. “With more available technology to discourage people from continually plugging meters coupled with a good public relations campaign on this topic, I believe enforcing current statutes against extended stays beyond times allowed in metered parking spaces will benefit our downtown core,” said Harbaugh.
Parking Services has developed a proposal to grant Vanpool vehicles access to all-day meters, within walking distance of the downtown core. Parking Services is to identify specific locations that would benefit from turn over times shorter than two hours and loading zones that could be modified into flex zones, which would be available for afternoon parking in the afternoon and evening.
The DSP will be working with Parking Services to expand angle parking in downtown, which successfully added over 20 parking spaces on Main Street, between Division and Browne Street, while bolstering foot traffic in the area.
About Downtown Spokane
The DSP is a private, non-profit membership organization that serves as Spokane's central city advocate and service provider, dedicated to enhancing the quality and vitality of Downtown Spokane as the basis for a healthy region.