Changes coming soon to paid parking system in Truckee
October 26, 2011
TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; Paid parking will get a facelift next month by way of a new marketing campaign and a slew of measures aimed at making the townandamp;#8217;s controversial system cheaper, easier and more transparent.During a Tuesday presentation hosted by Truckee resident Pam Hobday and Alyssa Westenburg, president of the Truckee Downtown Merchants Association, the following changes were unveiled:andamp;#8226; free parking at the Beacon gas station lot with a two-hour limit,andamp;#8226; 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. free overnight parking at the Beacon lot (with paid hours 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.),andamp;#8226; user-friendly labeling on current meters,andamp;#8226; no $2 minimums when paying with a credit card,andamp;#8226; a flat rate of $1.50 per hour in the downtown (with a 5-cent minimum for coin payments and 25-cent minimum for credit cards)andamp;#8226; a flat rate of $1 per hour on Jibboom and West River streets (5-cent minimum for coin, 25-cent minimum for credit cards); andandamp;#8226; while parking at the Assumption Catholic Church will no longer be allowed for employees, free all-day employee parking at the Beacon lot will be allowed with employer-distributed permits, provided free to downtown employers.The measures andamp;#8212; which begin Nov. 14 andamp;#8212; are based on input from residents, business owners and the town of Truckee parking working group, formed more than a year ago to brainstorm solutions to complaints of high parking costs, excessive ticketing and overly complicated parking meters, among other issues.andamp;#8220;This is the first iteration,andamp;#8221; said Hobday, introducing the changes as part of an ongoing community process to resolve long-term issues.To publicize and create awareness, a marketing campaign called andamp;#8220;park! TRUCKEEandamp;#8221; will roll out to offer branding for the changes. Hobday and Westenburg showcased an iconic yellow pick-up truck as a cartoon mascot for the branding and community outreach campaign, funded by the town at $10,000.The mascot is tentatively intended to be placed on the current meters themselves, next to a 1-2-3 diagrammed payment system for easy use.andamp;#8220;I think this is a drastic improvement to having customers understand the system,andamp;#8221; said Westenburg.Kelly Beede, the townandamp;#8217;s parking service manager, said though plans are still developing, the marketing campaign has potential to be a part of new user-friendly signage for downtown parking andamp;#8212; poor signage has been a common complaint over the years.Between now and Nov. 14, Hobday said the she and TDMA will reach out to businesses to spread the word; however, for the campaign and changes to work, she cautioned that business and community support is necessary.andamp;#8220;This is not just a TDMA thing andamp;#8212; itandamp;#8217;s a downtown business thing,andamp;#8221; said Westenburg.The short-term changes are estimated to assess the $600,000 in annual costs to the townandamp;#8217;s parking district by eliminating a general taxpayer subsidy of $125,000; they was approved by town council on July 20 as part of long-term and short-term recommendations by the parking committee.A one-year review of the changes will be conducted to make adjustments based on community and business owner input. The groupandamp;#8217;s long-term recommendation to eventually transfer operations of the parking program over to business and property owners was not discussed Tuesday.