No more free Sunday parking in San Luis Obispo

April 6, 2011

The San Luis Obispo City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday night to begin charging for Sunday parking downtown beginning July 1. [Tribune]

On a second 5-0 vote, the council also agreed to raise the price of parking in the “core” downtown area from $1.25 to $1.50 per hour.

The vote came despite pleas from local church leaders opposed to the new parking fee, which will be in effect from 1 to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

The new combined parking fees will bring in an estimated $325,125 each year—$206,125 just from the new Sunday fee.

The City is looking to increase revenue in order to finance a new parking structure at the corner of Palm and Nipomo Streets.

The council also voted to spend $223,235 on 400 new parking meters for downtown that are designed to accept credit cards as payment.

“We’d all like parking to be free,” Councilman Andrew Carter said. “But it does cost the city to provide it.”


Simple, buy online and avoid shopping locally. Fees are taxes. Raising taxes is bad for business. When will the adolescents learn?


Why the hell do we keep voting in these high class, highly educated BUT naive and ignorant people into office?

We got to do something to prevent the young voters from being manipulated by the sight and sound of these types.

(Reference: Rudard Kipling: Poem “IF” To walk among kings but not lose the common touch!)

These officials want to make SLO like an LA and Beverly Hills.

In the 1960’s Native Hawaiians grief at the reality “they were strangers in their own home”

Leave it to these stupid “A” officials to politically, economically and socially poison the SLO air


Various areas that I personally observed dd that in LA was a total failure, the three areas in LA I inspected became a ghost town while trio ticket writer teams stood by ready but with nothing to do all day!


From the article:

“The council also agreed to pursue installing new meters in that area that accept credit cards to make the increased fee less of a burden on motorists.

All 400 meters in the super core will be replaced at a cost of $223,335. ”

So I wonder what the fees to process the cards will be…….

Kevin Rice

The 400 new meters are SMART METERS, folks! YES!!! They contain radios and communicate with each other. Where are all the SMART METER people now??? (crickets…)


Here’s the cost breakdown (Agenda item B-2, page 7):

400 SMART METERS $495 EACH = $198,000 + $16,335 TAX

Installation and training $2,000

RFID “synchronization” ($15 each) = $6,000


“Secure wireless gateway/data fee” $3.75 per meter PER MONTH = $18,000 annual

“Management system license fee” $2.00 per meter PER MONTH = $9,600 annual

CREDIT CARD TRANSACTION FEE = $0.13 per transaction = $15,600 annual (10,000 trans./month)

CREDIT CARD CHARGE FEE = 1.93% = $4,725 annual

ESTIMATED METER REVENUE = $51 per month x 400 meters = $20,400 = $244,800 annual

REVENUE FOR SLO CITY = $218,475 (80%)



So not only will these “Smart Meters” be transmitting all over downtown, they will be transmitting credit card numbers and zips/pins (yes there will be “wireless security”, air crack anyone?)

With raidos and CC readers I see increased cost to repair, vandals and mabey skimmers?

If only the county had parking for it’s 900 employies, there would be more street parking for everyone.

Kevin Rice

Excellent point about skimmers/security.

Still, I’m wondering where the SMART METER crowd is with 400 radios… how do they say it… “causing radio frequency pollution” or whatever… won’t it give us all cancer or kill honeybees or something to that effect?

Can’t the SMART METER folk be useful when you need them?


Perhaps we will start seeing Emf Rf maps like the pollen and flying sand maps we have now.

I can see it now, destnation cities rated by radio frequency pollution levels.

In other words, one more thing not helping downtown San Luis Obispo.

Kevin Rice

We can all wear tin foil to protect ourselves.


$206125 ÷ $1.25/hour ÷ 52 Sundays = 3171 parking hours per Sunday. If the average downtown visit is 4 hours, that is 793 Sunday visitors who have an additional reason to think downtown sucks, and they might as well go to the mall. Nice thinking.


“But it does cost the city to provide it.” Ummm, it costs the city to provide street parking? REALLY? No eminent domain involved when they build streets huh? That’s very interesting. I think what he means is that it costs the city to run the parking ticket racket. They have to pay for the meters, those fancy carts, nice hefty salaries to people who would have made great nazis (“Someone has to do this job”), the ticket computers, the list goes on. OTHER than that the only costs I can think of when it comes to parking is the pavement, which needs to be there for a road shoulder anyhow, and which businesses are often assessed for anyway. If they just built the roads and let people park anywhere that wasn’t a safety issue, there would be VERY LITTLE cost associated with parking other than ticketing a few flagrant violators.

This will backfire in ways the city council could never imagine, that I’m pretty sure of.

The Gimlet Eye

well said, mkaney. Don’t they call this in economics, “the law of unintended consequences,” something like that? Or is it the principle of “The Broken Window”? Anyway, isn’t SLO overlooking what will be lost via increased taxation? Shoppers coming to SLO will react to this in adverse ways, as most people do when faced with taxes which they consider excessive, namely x number of shoppers will no longer come to SLO downtown, so a lot of shopping which would have taken place no longer will. The potential losses may be greater than the expected gain.

Tthe SLO City Council should all be condemned to reading Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt.


Are they gonna post large signs warning parking tickets are $35 including Sunday’s OR is the name of their game to get residence, guests and tourists by $urprise?

I am sure they all fancinated themselves on the projected mint of money they think they are gonna make doing this.

The only oversight was not to include “Holiday”.


Tempest in a tea-pot. Move-on to figuring out how you’re going to pay the rent next month. Or, how about going back in time and arguing against parking meters in the first place. It’s that balance of what kind of retail establishments you encourage/permit, and where. Long ago lost to the whims of past councils. Beer, booze and broads. That’s the downtown. OK, too far. In 1980 SLO reminded me of Huntington Beach, with too many meters and too many dumb-ass ‘wanna be’ cowboy punks. At least the punks have aged,


Mayor and Council Persons “Stupid Stupid Stupid”

Do you truely believe this will increase the rate of revenue for a parking structure?

You have the power to win this battle but you lose the war, I have no respect for any of you.

You should all move to a big town like Los Angeles because more and more people here can see none of you really care about our city or your just flat out stupid!!!!!!.


“You should all move to a big town like Los Angeles.”

Our City Manager already lives in the L.A. area. But your tax dollars pay for her to commute here to work. How long will it be before Mayor Marx and the City Council start appointing more people to city positions who don’t (and won’t) even live in this area code? Be careful who you dare to “move to a big town like Los Angeles.” When some city employees are getting paid more than the Governor, they can afford to move anywhere they want.