On Monday, May 1, 2017 the City of Spokane announced that, starting on Thursday, July 1, parking enforcement officers will start giving $10 tickets for plugging the meter or $30 tickets for staying over the allotted timestay of the meter.

Is this new?

No this is not a new fine. Since 2014, it has been illegal for any vehicle to park at a metered parking spot beyond the maximum time allowed by the meter.

How long can I park for?

Anyone parking at a downtown meter will have up to 2 hours to conduct their business or shopping. Each Spokane meter has a time-stay of 2 hours, 4 hours, or all day, depending on their location. Meters are enforced Monday through Saturday between the hours of 8am and 7pm. (Tip: If you park at 5:30pm and pay for 90 minutes, you will not need to move your vehicle until 8am the next morning)

Are you charging me more?

The cost to plug your parking meter will remain the same in the foreseeable future.

What does the city do with the money?

Starting in 2014, all revenue generated from parking meters has been re-invested directly into the areas where they are installed. Some of the projects include hanging flower baskets, updated sidewalk ramps, new bike racks and gateway beautification projects.

Does this mean less parking?

This should mean more parking! The number one complaint received from individuals who choose not to come downtown for shopping or dining is that there are limited parking options. By enforcing posted meter times, the city is creating turnover that allows patrons to park near their favorite eatery or retailer.

How does this effect my business?

The intention of the enforcement is to prevent individuals who spend an extended amount of time in downtown – mostly employees – from using the parking spaces that would otherwise be available to your customers.

But there’s no parking!

According to a 2017 count by the DSP, there are 12,658 parking spaces in the downtown core. More than three quarters – 9,000 – of those spaces are off-street garage and surface lots and within a two-block walk of most destinations.

But it’s cheaper for me to park at a meter.

The cost to park at a meter is $1.20 per hour, a full-time employee parking exclusively at a meter will pay $206.40 per month for parking. The average monthly parking rate at a parking garage is $92.60. In addition, the Spokane Transit Authority offers monthly parking at the Spokane Arena with a shuttle into downtown for only $35 a month, and free Vanpool spaces have been designated in the downtown area for individual who carpool through Commute Trip Reduction.

Thriving small-business and an accessible downtown is important to the economic vitality of our community. Through your support, the DSP and the City of Spokane are working to improve the downtown environment every day. To provide constructive feedback or creative solutions, please call the DSP office at 509.456.0580.