Parking in downtown Spokane is about to get a whole lot tougher. The city will crack down on parking meter limits this summer. If you're not paying attention to where you park and for how long, it could cost you.
It's really to deter parkers from feeding meters and taking up spots from shoppers in downtown Spokane. They want more people to be able to park down there. But with construction nearly everywhere you look, some business owners are wondering why now?
On any given day, downtown Spokane is filled with people shopping, eating, and working. But with 10,000 cars vying for 3,000 metered parking spots, finding one is difficult.
The Spokane City Council approved this strict parking resolution back in October. Parking enforcement will start giving $10 tickets if you re-plug a meter and $30 tickets for staying over the posted time. That's double the $15 fine for letting your meter expire.
“On paper, in theory, it really should help downtown businesses because it's going to turn over parking spots more readily,” Curt Kinghorn, owner of Runners Soul, said.
Kinghorn says while the plan might eventually bring more shoppers into the downtown district, construction is keeping many people away.
“It just seems to me that it's a little band aid on something that needs a tourniquet,” he said.
Others who work downtown seem to agree. Brent Vogel says he's worried people just might not want to park down there at all.
“I think it just takes away not only from one business, but from others because when you come downtown, you don't just come for one store, you come to see everything,” Vogel said of the beefed up enforcement plan.
But the city says there's still plenty of street surface lots and parking garages for those wanting to stay downtown longer than two hours. And this plan will give everyone a chance to enjoy downtown Spokane.
This starts July 1 and until then the city is offering an amnesty period. They'll still monitor how long cars are parking at meters and if you're caught plugging