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Downtown parking going up to $2/hour on March 1

The city's first parking deck is almost finished and will open soon. Now, parkers have to pay the piper. Parking downtown goes from free to $2 an hour on March 1.

Assistant City Manager Brian Pahle presented the new parking rates and other changes the city will impose in the new parking environment downtown. He reminded council members that they've been hearing during the entire three-year parking deck discussion that "you can't have parking that is convenient, available and free," Pahle said. In order to make parking convenient and available — and to cover the debt service on the $9.6 million parking deck — the city is eliminating free.

"At one of the meetings we even heard, 'Seniors should get a discount. ADA spots should pay for parking. 'Not me' was what the result was" in public comments, Pahle said. "Everybody wants convenient, available parking. Someone has to pay."

Here are the changes effective March 1:

  • Main Street and avenue parking goes from free to $2 an hour.
  • Most parking violation fines will go from $25 to $50.
  • Construction parking permits will rise from $5 to $15.
  • City parking lot rates will go from $1 to $1.50 an hour.
  • The current three-hour time limit on Main Street is eliminated.