Downtown Parking: Expand Supply

We can take some simple and inexpensive actions to expand the available supply of parking.

Many downtown businesses have plenty of parking that they only use during weekday working hours.  I'd like to work with those property owners to identify ways we can utilize their parking spaces during their off hours.  For example, perhaps the Bank of America or Sonoma Cider lots, and even the City Hall lot, can be used for SoFi or H2 valet parking on weeknights, weekends and holidays.  This simple action would free up a significant number of spaces in the West Plaza lot, the Cerri Building lot, and Vine Street.  Other lots, like the office building lots on Vine between Matheson and North, or the gas station lot at Piper and Healdsburg Ave, could be made available to employees of Plaza businesses during off hours.  This “surplus” parking might also be used for a city-wide weekend & evening valet parking service.

I believe it is also time to revisit the downtown "parking exclusion zone," which has allowed businesses within that zone (SoFi is the posterchild example, but they are not the only ones) to expand their businesses without accommodating for their employees’ parking needs.

I also feel we need to have a community conversation about instituting paid parking (3 hours free for locals, of course) within the immediate downtown area.  Paid parking would encourage parking outside of the central Plaza area and would help fund the development of new parking infrastructure.  However I appreciate the reality that there are very strong feelings about this question - which is why we need to start with a conversation.


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