Redwood City parking rates in its downtown core will increase to $1 per hour starting in July while city officials study other opportunities including the use of private lots, the addition of grab-and-go spaces and a possible new garage.
The City Council Monday night also agreed to stop selling monthly permits for its Perry Street lot and Marshall Street garage and restrict the number of permits to 70 for the Main Street lot.
All of these changes are aimed at encouraging more parking turnover in areas already made cramped by ongoing construction which closed two lots, court consolidation, employees parking in front of their businesses and casino travelers parking all day while taking buses.
“The downtown isn’t the downtown we used to have 20 years ago,” Mayor Jeff Gee said.
The council unanimously adopted a list of recommendations which include a 50-cent increase to $1 for hourly parking in the core area — generally the area between Main, Marshall and Winslow streets — and a 25-cent rate in the periphery.
The monthly price tags on permits are also going up for the Marshall Street garage — from $30 to $60 for weekday permits until 7 p.m., from $35 to $80 for weekday permits until midnight and from $40 to $100 for everyday permits until midnight.
All together, the changes could bring the city an extra $846,000 annually. Officials also hope the tweaks change parking behavior and keeps the city in line with other Peninsula cities.
“Nobody ever wants to raise rates. It’s not a fun thing to do,” said Councilman John Seybert. “But I think it is the right thing to do.”
Public speakers were generally in favor of the increases although some also urged expansion of the effort. Steve Penna, for example, urged the addition of more than one resident on the city’s parking advisory committee and asked that something be done about the two to four casino buses that pick up travelers who leave their cars downtown for eight hours.
Going forward, Community Development Director Bill Ekern said the city has other possible options like a new garage behind City Hall for which he said he’s been approached by several developers interested in a public/private partnership. No new facility would begin until after the Crossing 900 project is finished and its parking available to the public at night and on weekends.
He also pointed to Walnut Creek as an example of a city successfully using private lots to manage parking.
The city’s parking advisory committee also considered extending meter hours to 8 p.m. but Ekern said it decided doing so could alienate visitors and hurt business.
“The general consensus is that it was too much of the apple to eat at this time,” he said.
The changes begin July 1.
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