SLO City Council votes to double parking rates, increase fines

June 8, 2022


The San Luis Obispo City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to double downtown parking rates, effective July 2023.

With plans to build a fourth parking structure, the city had saved approximately $13.9 million from parking fees and expected to save more, but COVID restrictions led to fewer people parking downtown. As a result, the city fell $4 million short in expected parking revenue.

In turn, city staff proposed downtown parking rate increases. Following council approval Tuesday night, the following parking rate increases will take effect in July 2023:

  • Two-hour street parking in the main downtown core will increase from $2 an hour to $4 per hour.
  • Ten-hour street parking in the outer downtown area will increase from $1.50 an hour to $3 per hour.
  • Parking structure rates will increase from $1.50 an hour or $6 maximum daily to $3 per hour or a maximum rate of $12.

Staff had also proposed eliminating the city’s first-hour-free component to parking structure rates, effective July 1, 2022. But, the council voted to delay eliminating the first-hour-free component until July 1, 2023 and to allocate $700,000 from an investment fund to compensate for the revenue the city would have gained by implementing the change next month.

Additionally, the council voted in favor of the following increases in parking and standing fines:

  • Non-paid or expired parking tickets to increase from $40 to $45.
  • Standing, stopping, or parking within intersection tickets to increase from $40 to $60.
  • Standing, stopping, or parking on the roadside of a vehicle stopped, parked, or standing at the curb tickets to increase from $33 to $60.

Many downtown business owners are already struggling in the wake of the pandemic, soaring inflation and rising crime. Business owners have expressed concern the rising parking rates will create further barriers to customers wanting to visit the downtown.

City officials have said they are aware raising rates will be a challenge for many, but they are necessary in order to fund improvements or repairs to existing parking infrastructure.

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Unanimously braindead. Another nail in the coffin of decaying Old Town. All parking should be FREE.

This is completely asinine.

With these rates, we won’t need another parking structure because no one will be going downtown.

I worry and feel for our few, local, small businesses downtown and those who work and will be forced to pay the higher fees.

Typical for SLO city. The numbers and facts prove it. The failed leadership for years is coming to fruition.

A unanimous vote … what lock step stupidity … fanatics.

Nice job SLO. Keep driving the people away from your city. It’s only going to get worst for you.

Why don’t you start looking at the overcompensated city department heads and reduce salaries and cost there as well? In actuality, your city is imploding. Self-induced problems. No sympathy from this guy.

By the time this goes into effect gas will be 12 bucks a gallon and no one will drive to SLO.

So the city on one hand is doing everything they can to get people out of their cars and public transportation or ride downtown, so why the need for a new parking structure? Of course they didnt want to cut their costs, why when you can always squeeze out more money.

The Business owners only worry about cost to customers?

This really is an “Employee Tax”. The City wants $240 a month from each worker in the downtown district.

Downtown workers, especially night workers, should have access to nearby, well lit, free parking.

Legal theft.

No one is forcing you to park. Are you a socialist that thinks the government should give everything away for free including parking? If the government is charging too much, nothing is stopping a private business from setting up a competing privately-run parking structure.

Slo-to-load, clearly you’re bonkers. A private garage would have to get city approval. Why would a monopolist approve competition? Your free-market ideology blinds you to such simple facts.

Parking on the street should always be free. Our taxes we pay to the state and cities, have already paid for these streets. You can stick the street meters where the sun doesn’t shine.