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Downtown Parking Rates Revisited by City Council

Community input encouraged through surveys prior to September 9

A parking meter outside City Hall
City Council to reconsider parking rate hike
Brenda Flowers

An updated report regarding the City of Riverside’s parking program, which includes revised rates and hour schedule, is expected to be presented to City Council on September 6.

On February 15, City Council adopted a revised rate and hourly schedule in order to make the program more fiscally responsible. With an expected deficit of $1.3 million, the updates were anticipated to increase revenue enough to make the program self-supporting and generate additional income for upgrades to structures, technology, and security in downtown. According to a statement released by City spokesperson Phil Pitchford, the rates have been kept as low as possible for more than a decade, with only one minor increase in 2017.

On July 19, City Council made a motion to rollback increases to previous rates, engage the community, and utilize American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to offset costs until proceeds from the sale of two of the parking garages is received. This motion came after businesses, downtown employees, and persons of the community expressed their frustration with the new rates on social media and at Council meetings. Many of the concerns expressed that the rates were too high for employees to afford and that the increase would deter people from patronizing downtown businesses.

In an effort to gain the opinions of employees, businesses, and customers, the Riverside Chambers of Commerce and the Riverside Downtown Partnership released three Downtown Public Parking Program surveys. Individuals are encouraged to complete by September 9. Additional information regarding the City’s strategic plan to adopt new parking rates and expected timeline can be learned about at the City Council meeting on September 6 at 1:00 PM in the Art Pick Council Chambers.