Downtown Boise’s parking fee structure is backward right now, said Craig Croner, Boise’s administrative services manager.
The cost of parking on the street — $1 per hour at every metered spot — is less than for Downtown garages, which charge $2.50 per hour, after a free first hour, with a maximum weekday charge of $12.
Instead, Croner said, the cost of street parking in the Downtown core should encourage people to use those spots for short periods of time so that other people can use them, too. The garages are an option for longer stays. Metered spots outside the core are another long-stay alternative for people who want to park on the street but don’t mind walking a few blocks.
Meter heads will have colored stickers to show which fees they charge.
In January, the City Council gave Croner and other staffers authority to adjust rates at the 1,300 Downtown parking meters Boise owns according to demand. The city is scheduled to enact a new fee structure June 1.
It won’t be Uber-style pricing, which increases and decreases rates in real time in response to demand for services. Instead, three zones will determine the cost of metered parking.
The first zone is the Downtown core — the area between 6th, 10th, Bannock and Grove streets, as well as the six blocks between Capitol Boulevard and Grove, Myrtle and 9th streets. The cost of metered street parking in this zone is going up. The first hour will cost $1.50. The second hour will cost $2.50.
The second parking zone is basically the block of streets surrounding the Downtown core. In this zone, the first hour will cost $1 and the second hour $1.25
Parking stays in zones 1 and 2 will be limited to two hours.
The third zone will have a maximum stay time of four hours. It will include the rest of Downtown’s metered spaces, as far west as 15th Street and as far east as 2nd Street. Here, the cost of metered parking will fall to 50 cents for the first and second hours, and $1 for the third and fourth hours.
Meter heads will have colored stickers — orange for Zone 1, purple for Zone 2 and light green for Zone 3 — to show which fees they charge.
Mobile app reduces Boise parking tickets
The city of Boise has written 300 to 400 fewer parking tickets per month since December, when it turned on its Parkmobile app, Boise administrative services manager Craig Croner said Friday.
The app allows customers to pay and add time to the meter by phone and receive alerts when time is almost up.