Santa Monica changes parking rates at beach and shopping areas
The aim is to ease the burden on congested downtown lots and structures by encouraging long-term parkers to use spaces in the Civic Center and main library garages, said Donald Patterson, assistant director of finance. Use of those garages is now relatively light.
Free parking in downtown structures will decrease to 90 minutes from two hours. After 90 minutes, motorists will pay $3 per hour, up from $2. Downtown structures will no longer offer a $5 flat rate after 6 p.m. Customers arriving after 6 will park 90 minutes for free. The fee for the first hour after that will be $1, with additional hours costing $3 each. The daily maximum will rise to $14 from $9.
Since the average evening stay is three hours, customers under the new rates will typically pay $2.50 rather than the current $5, Patterson said.
At the Civic Center structure near the exit from the 10 Freeway at 4th Street, the daily maximum will be cut to $5 from $9; the main library's maximum rate will drop to $5 from $10. Meter rates downtown and close to the beach will double, to $2 an hour. Meters elsewhere will rise to $1 an hour from 75 cents. Patterson said this was the first increase since 2003.
According to the city staff report, the changes are expected to raise $3.5 million in new parking revenues annually, in addition to the $24.5 million that meters, parking lots and structures now bring in.
-- Martha Groves
Photo: Pedestrians on the Santa Monica Promenade in 2011. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times