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Community Asked for Feedback on City’s Parking Program

Post Date:11/08/2018 11:00 AM

The City of San Luis Obispo operates one of the most comprehensive parking management programs – structures and street meter parking, neighborhood parking programs, trolley systems, and more – for cities of comparable sizes. To plan for future growth, the City is asking the community to take an online survey about parking. 

The first parking meters in San Luis Obispo were installed in 1948. Today, the City manages more than 2,800 parking spaces downtown and in Railroad Square. In 2017-18, the City’s parking programs brought in more than $5.5 million in revenue and expenditures of $4.8 million. The economic vitality of downtown and in commercial areas along with quality of life in neighborhoods of the City is dependent on actively managed parking. 

The last update to the City’s Parking and Access Plan was completed in 2011, and changes in the downtown, growth patterns in the City, technological changes, Cal Poly student housing, and other trends have or will impact parking now and into the future. The recent Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) and Zoning Regulations updates call for fewer trips by cars, and an increase in multi-modal transportation that includes increased use of travel by bicycle, public transit, or walking. Additionally, the Climate Action Plan update next year and goal to be a carbon neutral city by 2035 will require a shift in transportation methods to be accomplished. 

Changes and technology upgrades are already being implemented. In late October, the City installed a new parking system in the Marsh Street structure including multiple payment methods and new pay of foot technology. The Palm Street structures will see these upgrades completed this month. Electric vehicle charging stations are also being installed in the three downtown structures with the Marsh Street structure currently underway. 

At the City Council meeting on Tuesday, November 13 there will be a study session on parking management issues and strategies leading to the upcoming update to the Parking and Access Plan commencing in 2019. The community is invited to attend the meeting to learn more and provide their input on the future of parking in the City. They are also asked to weigh in ahead of the meeting online through Open City Hall. Responses to the survey will be provided to the City Council as part of the study session. The survey can be found at

CONTACT: Tim Bochum, Public Works Deputy Director, (805) 781-7203

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