As an incentive for people to shop more within the city limits, the City of Sacramento is offering free parking during evenings and weekends on some streets from Thanksgiving through Christmas.
From Front Street to 29th and from I to L Streets, shoppers can park for free after 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends starting Friday and lasting through Christmas Day. Thanksgiving Day is also a free parking day.
Matt Winkler with the city's parking division says it's one way the City tries to keep shopping dollars local.
"City Council wanted to level the playing field between shopping downtown and/or midtown in comparison to shopping in area malls where shoppers park free. They thought this would drive more shoppers through downtown and midtown to encourage the customers that come in downtown to shop and not feel like they have to worry about paying for a meter."
During free parking times, the meters are programmed to refuse credit or debit payments.
"The meter will say something pertaining to happy holiday or holiday free parking on the actual screen itself," says Winkler. "If you attempt to pay for it with a credit card, it won't allow you to add time to it or nothing. It will just tell you the payment is not necessary with the holiday parking."
The meters can't keep you from putting change in the machines. If you do, you won't get it back. There are no coin returns on city meters.
The City will still ticket you if you overstay your holiday welcome. Time zone limitations will be enforced.