The Boise City Council has approved a rate increase for metered parking spaces in downtown Boise along with changes in enforcement hours and fines.
The ordinance passed this afternoon after Mayor Dave Bieter broke the council’s 3-to-3 tie vote.
Council members Maryanne Jordan, TJ Thomson and Scot Ludwig voted against adopting the ordinance, while Council President Elaine Clegg, Council President Pro Tem Lauren McLean and Council member Ben Quintana voted in favor of the ordinance.
The changes, which go into effect on Feb. 1, 2018, will increase meter rates and enforcement hours in Zones 1 and 2, which is the four blocks in Boise's downtown core. Enforcement hours will be extended by two hours Monday through Friday, meaning meters will soon be running from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Zone 1 meter rates will increase to $2 for the first hour and $3 for the second hour.
In Zone 2, parking will cost $1.25 for the first hour and $2 for the second hour. There will be no changes to parking meters in Zone 3.
Saturday parking will no longer be free. Meters will be enforced from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The cost of parking is 50 cents for each of the first two hours, and then $1 per hour after that.
The city says these changes are to free up parking spaces on the street and encourage long-term parkers to opt for the garages.
“One of the issues we were seeing downtown Boise was cars were sitting in spaces all weekend long or all night long, and it was creating a problem where businesses couldn't get the turnover of customers they needed when people were coming to Boise to go to a store or grab a book or grab a coffee, they had a hard time finding a parking spot for just the quick 20, 30 minutes they may need,” said city spokesman Sean Briggs.
Along with increased fees and enforcement, the city council also voted to increase fines. Expired meter violations will carry a $20 penalty and time zone violations will cost $25.
Two free parking options are still available downtown. The 20-minute free button on all meters will remain along with the first hour of free parking at CCDC parking garages.