The city of Boise is eyeing a multi-tiered fee structure for Downtown’s metered parking spaces.
Craig Croner, Boise’s administrative services manager, is asking the City Council to give staff authority to adjust parking meter fees according to three Downtown zones. It’s a demand-based approach, but it won’t include Uber-style rates, which rise and fall in real time according to demand for services.
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. Parking in those areas is likely to become more expensive than the $1 per hour that’s currently in place for every Boise meter. Croner said staff is kicking around the idea of charging $1.50 or so for the first hour of metered parking and $2.50 for a second hour.
The goal, one the city’s been working on for years, is to push people who want to park more than one hour in the core into Downtown garages while freeing up metered spaces for short-term parking, Croner said.
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The second parking zone is basically the block of streets surrounding the Downtown core. City staff is considering charging something like $1.25 per hour to park there, with a limit on parking time of two hours.
The third zone would 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 parking is likely to fall, Croner said, with staff considering a charge of $.50 for the first hour and maybe $1 per hour for the second and third hours.
Over time, Croner said, the city hopes to drive half of its parking-related money from meter fees. Today, two-thirds of Boise’s parking revenue comes from parking tickets, he said.
“It’s a backwards model to a best practice,” Croner said.
All of this money would be put into an account that will support transportation projects all over the city. That could include shuttles for Downtown workers, bike lanes or bike parking areas.
“Everything that has to do with moving people around,” Croner said.
The City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the issue at its 6 p.m. Tuesday meeting. After that, the council would have to pass a law establishing minimum and maximum prices, Croner said. The new fees are likely to take effect in March or April, he said.