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New Sacramento Parking Regulations Disgruntle Residents And Business Owners

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

UPDATE: In response to this story, the City of Sacramento explains why it made some of the changes it did in the midtown area of Sacramento.

The Sacramento City Council approved changes to parking hours and time limits this spring. The City has missed the mark in both regards according to some people who live and work in parts of the midtown area. 

From Front Street to 16th, you must pay for parking from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Free parking used to begin at 6 p.m.

Depending on the street, one hour parking is now also the rule.

Ignacio Garcia is the manager of Ernesto's Mexican Food at 16th and S Streets. He says the one-hour time limit isn't enough.

"Maybe the people say, 'Oh, you guys are better for you to move in people.' But, nobody's done having dinner in one hour. So, it is better to be two hours parking," says Garcia.

A city map shows Ernesto's shouldn't be in the 10 p.m. zone.

According to the City, Ernesto’s is in a residential zone and all residential zones in the Central City will go to 10 p.m. on October 1. 

Jackie Vikre and her daughter Caron say it's difficult to find spaces that allow them to shop or eat without fear of getting a ticket.

"The smaller businesses can't afford to have people to not come into their spaces and if you're driving around and you think, well I'm not going to park because that's money, and then if we eat, that's money...or people just can't find parking."

Kimio Bazett owns Hook and Ladder restaurant on S Street. He says a combination of one-hour parking spaces and the elimination of some free parking makes it difficult for customers and employees to find spaces.

"For employees, you know, it's tough if you get a ticket. Like, that may be your pay for the whole shift, gone, in an instant. $55 is a lot of money to some people," says Bazett. 

Mike Welch lives off 3rd Street. According to him, one-hour parking is now the law and is inconvenient for guests.

"My son lives with me. He complains because his girlfriend comes over to visit. She gets a parking ticket because she's there more than an hour," Welch says.

Linda Tucker is a spokesperson for the City.  She says there have been "no changes to the timed zones" and enforcement of the new operating hours is not supposed to take place until October first.

Councilman Steve Hansen's office says it will schedule meetings soon with parking officials and Bazett to discuss the new parking rules.

Marycon Razo with the City Manager's Office says the Parking Division based its one-hour parking limit for the area of 17th and S Streets on feedback from businesses and residents. The feedback was provided prior to the City Council's March 2016 approval of the 8 a.m.-to-10 p.m. operating hours.

She also says anyone may contact the Parking Division to have hourly time limits re-evaluated.

The Parking Division reduced the free parking hours to force people to use garages for long-term parking.