Getting There: Spokane changing up max times at parking meters

<p><p>Why the rush? Stay a while in downtown Spokane.</p></p><p><p>The time limit at dozens of parking meters downtown, including several on the west side, is extending as part of the city’s ongoing efforts to modernize and upgrade its metered parking system. Meters in 61 spots are expected to see their maximum times increase from two hours to four, like on the north side of 1st Avenue between Cedar and Adams. There are 47 two-hour or four-hour spots that will change to all-day parking spots.</p></p><p><p>Adjustments in the other direction will be made to just a few meters, with maximum time reductions from four hours to two, such as on the south side of Main Avenue between Division and Pine streets. There are 16 spots that will change from all day to four hours.</p></p><p><p>Meters have different hourly rates depending on their maximum time. The longer the maximum stay, the cheaper the hourly rate, so the change will also save some parking customers a few coins.</p></p><p><p>The primary reason for the shift, according to city spokesperson Kirstin Davis, is to create consistent time limits across every meter on a block. It should make parking a bit easier, Davis suggested, by avoiding abrupt changes in time limits from one meter to the next.</p></p><p><p>The blockwide consistency in time limits is also a requirement for use of the city’s new automatic license plate readers, which will ticket lethargic motorists faster than they can say, “I was just about to move my car.”</p></p><p><p>They will also allow for easily tracking occupancy rates in city parking spots.</p></p><p><p>The shift in parking meter times comes as the city continues to implement the changes suggested by a 2019 study of its downtown parking system, which suggested the city aim to have about 85% of its parking spots full for maximum efficiency.</p></p><p><p>The study noted that in certain areas in the core of downtown, there were few to no spaces available during the busiest times of day. But elsewhere, spots were completely empty. The city is also going to replace its parking meters.</p></p><p><p>“More than anything, it’s a technological renovation of the on-street parking system. The meters we’re getting rid of are on the 2G system,” Davis said.</p></p><p><p> Much of the rest of the world is on 5G wireless networks.</p></p><p><p>Public comments on the planned changes will be accepted through Dec. 27. After a review of the feedback, city officials expect to make a decision and implement the changes beginning on Jan. 17.</p></p><p><p>The city is garnering feedback on the proposed changes via email. Comments can be sent to</p></p><p><p>Parking meters that will be affected have been tagged with a special notice alerting drivers to the change and directing them to submit their opinions.</p></p><p><h3>Work to watch for</h3></p><p><p>The southbound lane of Post Street between Indiana and Nora avenues will be closed Wednesday for crane work.</p></p><p><p>The intersection of 31st Avenue and Southeast Boulevard on the South Hill will be flagged Wednesday for stormwater testing.</p></p>