Paso Robles businesses can’t wait, stop the paid parking program now

December 5, 2023


I was totally baffled by the Paso Robles City Council’s vote on the parking situation. This has been an issue as far back as I can remember. Downtown business owners and/or members of Paso Robles Downtown Main Street spoke in unity over the need to get rid of the kiosks and the signage and have some sort of free parking. I personally pointed out that the signage is confusing, the kiosks are a nuisance and the city is driving people away from shopping downtown.

Business owners talked about the loss of customers and time wasted explaining to people how the parking programs worked. Instead the council decided to implement paid parking from the moment a person
parks at one dollar an hour. This was decided by John Hamon, Steve Gregory and Sharon Roden.

Particularly disappointing was the vote by Sharon Roden. There were high hopes that she would display commonsense and understand the needs of the business community. Instead, she totally ignored the advice and needs of the downtown merchants.

Sharon Roden stated to the effect that she wanted to give the program a year to see if it would work and pay for itself. Some businesses may not be able to wait a year.

Everyday is potentially lost revenue that will never be made up. The idea that people can sit around and wait for the City Council to experiment is ludicrous and shows just how far removed from reality Sharon Roden has become.

I do not believe she was appointed to improvise or ignore the advice of the people who are closest to the problems that we are trying to solve. This an incredibly bad start to her time on the
council and is the exact opposite of what the desired outcome was in having her on the council. So far she has not shown any ability to reverse a bad decision as evidenced by her appearance on Karen Velie’s
Sound Off Program this week on KPRL.

Roden is new to the council and we are grateful that she decided to get involved. This is a serious commitment of time and energy and you always run the risk of alienating someone. But she made a serious
error in judgement and my hope is that she will reconsider her position. My hope is that we can implement a simple solution with the first two hours free. Whatever is done in the long has to be something that the downtown merchants are in favor of. I also think she should consider the advice of Chris Bausch and Fred Strong who have been studying the parking situation for years

Please call Sharon Roden at (805) 703-1565 or email at and let her know that you are opposed to the current plan to start charging from the moment of arrival and that you would like free parking.

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Just a folow up on my first comment.

I appeal, on line my parking citation.

I receiced a letter that my citation is upheld.

Ok, i will pay the $50.

I learn that a new restaurant is opening at the carlton in Atown.

Also Cielo is open, good food, so is Don q restaurant.

So long Paso

What is surprising (maybe not) about the decision to require payment for parking is the fact municipalities never make money on parking, the money comes from tickets. How did the local government not know this? If Paso is going to lose business as a result of paid parking they might as well go while hog and gouge guests and locals alike with high prices parking tickets.

Obviously no one on the Paso Robles city council has seen what has happened 30 miles south in San Luis Obispo, where parking rates are $4 an hour payable by the confusing kiosk system. It is killing downtown businesses there and will do the same in Paso Robles. So sorry to see this.

Councilwoman Roden, if you’re reading this, ignore the hateful and ignorant comments and know that a lot of people support your decision to bring fiscal responsibility and increases flow to DT Paso. There is no such thing as free parking.

True nothing free anymore not even freedom itself. What is the parking fees for anyway it seems that the majority of the money goes to keeping the parking system running. I’m surprised the council hasn’t looked into figuring a way to put parking meters at Lowes that would really go over well Be nice if something remained free in this country

great reply mullyman!

Ricky2: Please address the Policies, events and arguments, not the person.

It’s on every page, no gatekeeping.

L.B. Jefferies I was replying to a comment that Ricky2 made (and won’t be posted) not your comment. sorry for the confusion.

hateful and ignorant? I happen to know that the author of that piece has been a member of Atascadero, Templeton, and Paso Chambers, Main Street, has been a resident of this area since 1987 and talked to quite a few people before writing that piece and was an active supporter of Sharon Roden. He worked downtown and has personal knowledge of the parking situation. Your comments add nothing to the discussion and show how your side is destructive and not helpful at all. His point is that we need to heal the divide, aid the downtown merchants and attract locals back to the Downtown. The idea that we need to get the parking program into the black while gambling on the future of taxpaying business owners and their employees is absurd.

Too bad Councilwoman Rodens fiscal responsibility didnt include reigning in outrageous employee compensation.

We went to dinner ,my wife and i to celebrate retirement .

Thomas organic restaurant was great, food, staff. Ambiance.

Back to the car, we had a $50 parking ticket on the windshield.

We had no idea we had to pay for parking, being living here for 25 years.

When we park it was dark and we were a litle late.

Well it was my mistake.

So, $200 for dinner +50 for ticket.

Thank you Paso.

Will go to templeton next time!