Boise & Garden City

Update: New Downtown Boise parking rates started this week

Parking in downtown Boise: "I'm willing to pay more for a spot that's closer."

"Snowpocalypse" drove home the value of convenient parking for Chase Erkins, a commercial real estate agent whose office is in Downtown Boise. Erkins thinks better public transportation and bike lanes would relieve pressure on Downtown's supply of
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"Snowpocalypse" drove home the value of convenient parking for Chase Erkins, a commercial real estate agent whose office is in Downtown Boise. Erkins thinks better public transportation and bike lanes would relieve pressure on Downtown's supply of

Boise's new rates for metered parking, and increased parking rates for Downtown garages, took  effect Thursday.

The update below was published Dec. 19, 2017, under the headline "Update: Boise finalizes rate hike, charge for Saturday parking Downtown."

Update: The city of Boise on Tuesday approved a policy change that will increase fees for parking in metered spots Downtown; extend the hours of charging for metered parking on weekdays; and, for the first time ever, charge to park in metered spots on Saturdays.

Weekday parking will cost money until 8 p.m. instead of the current 6 p.m. end of enforcement.

Saturday parking will cost $.50 per hour between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., with a two-hour stay limit. People who leave their cars overnight can pre-pay their meters for two hours, so that they have until noon on Saturday to retrieve their cars.

The new policy is scheduled to take force Feb. 1. The city is scheduled to review it in August.

Saturday parking was the biggest sticking point for members of the City Council, who split their vote over whether parking charging for Saturday parking is a good idea. Council members Elaine Clegg, Lauren McLean and Ben Quintana voted in favor of it. T.J. Thomson, Scot Ludwig and Maryanne Jordan voted against it.

The story below was published Dec. 12, 2017 under the headline “Boise to charge for Saturday parking Downtown. Here’s how to avoid a ticket.”

For the first time ever, Boise will charge to park Downtown on Saturdays.

Starting Feb. 3, for the first time ever, the city of Boise will charge people to park on Saturdays in metered spaces Downtown if a policy the city approved Tuesday night takes effect as planned.

Enforcement of parking fees and the writing of parking tickets will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. People who leave their cars overnight can pay their meters in advance for up to two hours so that they have until noon to retrieve their cars and avoid a ticket.

Saturday parking fees will be lower than they are on weekdays. Cars may stay in metered spots for up to two hours at the cost of 50 cents per hour.

The fees also will apply only to metered spaces close to the Downtown core — mainly the spots between 5th, 11th, Jefferson and Grove streets. Most of the city’s meters are actually outside this area.

The City Council struggled to reach a decision on the Saturday parking issue. Council members made four separate motions in their attempts to resolve the issue. Two went nowhere and two led to tied votes.

Mayor Dave Bieter broke both ties. He blocked one motion that would have put a two-hour time limit on Saturday parking but left it free. Councilmen TJ Thomson and Scot Ludwig were in favor of this approach. They proposed revisiting the policy after six months with the possibility of changing it. Councilman Ben Quintana voted for it, too, though he said later that he was concerned about the cost of enforcing the policy. Thomson said he would rather start with a less strict enforcement and then intensify regulation later than go the other way.

Bieter broke the second tie to pass the successful motion. In addition to Saturday enforcement, the measure raises parking rates and extends the hours on weeknights that Boise charges for metered parking from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Quintana joined Council President Elaine Clegg and Lauren McLean, the council’s second-ranking member, in voting for this measure. Thomson, Ludwig and Maryanne Jordan voted against it. Jordan recommended delaying a decision on Saturday enforcement.

Discussion hinged on whether more customers will avoid Downtown businesses because it’s too hard to find parking or because parking costs too much. Several Downtown business owners testified Tuesday that they wanted the city to start charging on Saturdays because they’re sick of people leaving their cars in front of their stores all day. One businessman said he believes people who live and work Downtown are occupying metered spots on weekends because parking is free.

The city is scheduled to review results of the parking changes six months after they go into effect, which is scheduled for Feb. 1. The council is scheduled to vote Dec. 19 on whether to finalize the new parking policy.

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