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Starting Monday, Pay More to Park in Santa Monica

City will take in an extra $3.5 million in revenue per year, though it will be cheaper to park in less popular lots, such as at the Main Library and Civic Center.

A big change in Santa Monica's parking rates takes affect Monday, with the daily maximum ballooning from $9 to $14 in downtown garages.

The cost to park at downtown meters also goes up to double the current price, now $2 per hour. All other meters in the city will cost $1 per hour, up from 75 cents.

While the rates were hiked in most downtown areas, they were lowered in other, lesser-used garages, such as the ones at the Main Library on Fifth Street and the Civic Center on Fourth Street. The hope is downtown visitors will be enticed to trek a few more blocks to decongest the typically-jammed garages.

(Scroll to the bottom of this article to view a chart of the old and new rates across the city.)

"This should better distribute parking and minimize delays caused by people searching for parking," Don Patterson, the city's assistant finance director, said when the rates were approved by the Santa Monica City Council in July. "We should see more spaces turn over more regularly."

It's estimated the city will rake in an additional $3.5 million in revenue yearly after the new rates take effect in October.

It's the first change in meter rates since 2003.

SEE ALSO: Westfield Century City to End Free Parking

In proposing the new rates, staffers drew on a new report from Walker Parking Consultants that assessed rates at private parking lots and in comparable cities. They also sought input from neighborhood groups and business associations.

Merchants on Main Street, which is lined with small, independently run boutiques and mom and pop shops, objected to the meter rate hikes.

"There are many small businesses that are just hanging on," said Laura Owen, who owns Gioia. "I'm not interested in seeing it even hard for my customers to park."

She and several others also told the City Council in July that it was unfair shoppers could park for free for any amount of time in downtown garages, while those visiting Main Street have to pay.

Until Monday, it was free to park in downtown garages for two hours. Main Street lots cost $1 per hour with a 3-hour maximum. The City Council shaved 30 minutes off the length of time cars may park at no cost in the downtown structures, and lifted the maximum from the Main Street lots.

Going forward, city staffers said they will rely on new parking meter technology to adjust rates based on demand. The city is installing high-tech sensors to every meter in Santa Monica that will report real-time, daily, and monthly  parking space usage, including the average length of stay.

RATE CHANGES

* for a full list, click on the pdf to the right of this article

 

CURRENT RATES

NEW RATES
DOWNTOWN



First 2 hours Free
First 90 minutes Free Each additional 30 minutes $1
Next 1 hour $1 Daytime maximum $9
Every hour thereafter $3 After 6 p.m. $5
24 hour maximum $14 24 hour maximum $14







MAIN LIBRARY

MAIN LIBRARY/CIVIC CENTER
Each 30 minutes $.50
First 30 minutes Free Daytime maximum $10
Each additional hour $1


Daytime maximum $5 CIVIC CENTER



Each 20 minutes $1.50


Daytime maximum $10


After 6 p.m., weekends $3







MAIN STREET LOTS



3 hour maximum $1/hour
No maximum $1/hour

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Nick Frazee October 01, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Park @ the Library - it's just a couple blocks away -
Max Debber October 01, 2012 at 03:48 AM
.....and parking meter tickets are how much?
sina October 01, 2012 at 04:02 PM
I dont mind decent parking fees for structures or walking a little extra. I walk a lot, bike and drive. But in this day and age raising the rates on any level of parking and especially meters is ridiculous! Clearly local Gov just wants to increase revenue.
Marcie Maximo-Monroe October 04, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Well, here is my question, what about DISABLED passenger cars?? We HAVE to park closer, thus the Civic Center and Library parking structures are not feasible for us. And now we must pay the new rates as well. Many of us are on VERY limited incomes, so this places an additional cost to trying to shop locally. Thank you to the City of Santa Monica for taking another local resident/shopper out of your sales tax coffers. I will now be shopping in Culver City and the Westside Pavillion this holiday season, and giving my meager sales tax dollars there. With enough of us doing this, you will see the dent even with the increases to your parking fees.

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