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No More Free Parking In Downtown Sacramento After 6 P.M.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

This picture of a "smart" meter prototype was taken in 2013.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Free parking after 6 p.m. in much of Sacramento's central city will be a thing of the past. The Sacramento City Council voted Tuesday night to extend metered hours by four hours for much of the city's urban core.

The city's parking department says its parking garages have been at about 30 percent capacity in the evening hours, while the street parking is at 85 percent.

To force people off the street, the city will charge for parking from Front Street to 16th Street and from W Street to C Street until 10 p.m.

Marycon Razo is a public information officer for the city's parking department. She says it wants people to reduce the hours they park on the street and increase the hours they park in garages.

"We noticed that some of our garages are currently underutilized and so there's actually an East End Garage that's only $2 to park after 6 p.m. which is actually on 18th and Capitol."

Meters would be altered to accept additional time at an increased cost. In a two-hour zone, a third hour would cost $3. A fourth hour would cost $3.75.

"Right now if you look at downtown at night, there's not very much available parking. You see some people going around. This actually just promotes parking turnover," Razo says.

Razo says the city has not studied how the increase in hours would affect parking revenues.

The city will phase in the increase of the meters' operating hours and will contact people who live in the city, business owners and others to notify them of the changes. 

Changing the 4,300 spaces effected could take seven months. The city would be required to install 13,000 new signs if the proposal passes.

A plan for meters on 16th-to-19th Streets to charge people until 8 p.m. will be evaluated in 120 days.

There will also be a delay for the R Street Property and Business Improvement District. It covers 7th-to-13th Streets and the Q-R Street alley to S Street.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob is the Sacramento Region Reporter. He has been at the forefront of the coverage of the Sacramento Kings' saga and the effort to build a new arena in Sacramento. He also covers education, business, environment, and sports stories.   Read Full Bio