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March 7, 2014

Modesto News: City reconsidering downtown parking times

Downtown soon could be more visitor friendly. The City Council on Tuesday will be asked to increase how long motorists can park on some downtown streets during weekdays, from one hour to two, before getting ticketed.

Downtown soon could be more visitor friendly.

The City Council on Tuesday will be asked to increase how long motorists can park on some downtown streets during weekdays, from one hour to two, before getting ticketed.

The area that would change is bounded by Ninth, K, 12th and H streets. It is concentrated with restaurants and shops, and most of the street parking there is for one hour.

One-hour parking is one of downtown visitors’ biggest complaints. They say an hour is not long enough to have lunch, shop or take care of other business. The ticket for parking longer than allowed is $33.

City officials and other proponents of the change say letting people park longer will make downtown more inviting and will encourage more people to visit and to stay longer.

“The idea is to make it so that people want to be here, and we are not rushing them out,” Downtown Improvement District board Chairman David Boring said last month. “Parking is at a premium in any downtown. But my issue with it, and my board’s issue with it, is I don’t think we are sending the right message to people who want to come downtown.”

The City Council’s safety and communities committee recommended at its Feb. 10 meeting that the council adopt the longer parking times. City staff also is recommending the change.

The council meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in the basement chambers of Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St.

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