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San Luis Obispo Establishes Rideshare Loading Zones in Downtown

Post Date:08/26/2019

The City Council approved a recommendation to start a pilot, late-night, passenger loading program in downtown San Luis Obispo. The program will enable people to safely enter and exit when using rideshare options like Uber, Lyft and City-licensed taxi companies, curbing the current practice of vehicles stopping in travel lanes to pick-up and drop-off passengers and/or having people run across the street to meet vehicles.

A second reading of the ordinance will happen on September 3. If passed, a soft opening of the zones will happen in September and be enforced beginning October 1. The Police Department will monitor the effectiveness of the signage and make recommendations for modification, if necessary, if compliance is not achieved. 

The location of the rideshare passenger loading zones will include: all spaces on both sides of the 700 block of Higuera (between Garden and Broad Street) excluding the two disabled parking spaces; as well as the commercial loading zone on the 1000 block of Chorro Street (in front of Luna Red). The program will allow the loading zones to be used for rideshare vehicles, in addition to taxis, allowing both to use the space and it fall under the provisions in the pilot program. 

The proposal specifically:

  • Established a late-night passenger loading program to pilot for a 12-month period with reviews at three months and six months.
  • Introduced an ordinance amendment updating loading zone signage and marking requirements, which allow for street signs to be used in conjunction with/or in lieu of white curb markings to establish passenger zones.
  • Allowed for time restrictions for the pilot late night passenger loading zones to be established by Council resolution with the recommendation to begin passenger loading/unloading zones between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. with a 5-minute loading limit.
  • Gives Council authorization to staff to adjust hours as necessary to achieve compliance and success of operations.
  • Maintains the No Parking 3 to 5 a.m. restriction in downtown to allow for trash pickup and street cleaning.

In gathering the data and determining the results of the program, they City will consider feedback from police, businesses, users, rideshare companies, as well as Downtown SLO. They will look at how often the spaces are utilized, conflicts during parking transition times, and the overall impact on illegal or dangerous drop-offs or pickups in the area. 

If the pilot program is successful, staff will notify Council and the allowance for rideshare parking will continue until otherwise changed by the City Council. If the pilot program needs modifications, staff will make adjustments to promote success and achieve the desired outcomes listed above.

All costs associated with this recommendation will be funded by the Parking Fund. As part of the FY 2019-21 Financial Plan, Council established $25,000 in capital improvement funding to use for implementing changes to managed parking in the City. This funding will be used to implement this program. It is anticipated that signs and installation will cost no more than $5,000. There is sufficient funding in the CIP account to perform these services.

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