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Downtown Parking: Don’t feed the meter, use structures for longer term parking needs

Post Date:12/07/2018

During the holiday season parking can be especially challenging in the Downtown core. City of San Luis Obispo parking officials are patrolling to ensure parking rules are being followed to allow for efficient use of the spaces. The City’s 30-min and 2-hour parking meters are designed for quicker trips Downtown. Once the time limit is reached, “feeding” the meter with additional funds is not allowed.  

In general, for on-street and public parking lots in the Downtown area, all have 30-minute, 2-hour or a 10-hour maximum parking restriction. Once the maximum time limit has been reached a car must be moved to another block to avoid a parking citation for exceeding the maximum time restriction. Some spaces have parking meters or other forms of payment in order to use the space up to its maximum time limit. A common misperception is that “feeding” a meter extends the maximum allowed parking time for each space, it doesn’t. The meter limit is not to generate revenue, rather to ensure appropriate space turnover for the benefit of other parkers and Downtown businesses. 

For longer term parking needs, the City encourages people to use the parking structures, that are most cost-effective, as the first hour to park is free. The City has three parking structures in the Downtown area. The first hour is free and is $1.25 per hour or fraction thereof. There is no overnight parking in the structures: 

  • 842 Palm Street 

  • 919 Palm Street 

  • 871 Marsh Street 

 Parking Lots with 2-hour Meters, $1.75/hour (credit card and coin only): 

  • Lot 4: 860 Pacific Street (located on the bottom level of Marsh Street Parking Structure) 

  • Lot 10: 640 Higuera Street 

 Parking Lots with 10-hour Meters, $1.00/hour (coin, cash key, or permit only): 

  • Lot 9: 680 Monterey Street 

  • Lot 14: 630 Palm Street 

  • Lot 15: 699 Monterey Street 

In the structures, the first 60 minutes continues to be free and then $1.25 for each hour thereafter to a maximum of $12.50 per day. There are no overtime violations in the structures so you can shop and visit Downtown with little worries about a citation. Visit the City's parking page to learn more.