San Carlos to Consider Downtown Parking Meters (again…)

February 17, 2010

A Love/Hate Relationship.

In what is becoming the latest chapter in an ongoing saga regarding downtown parking meters, the City of San Carlos is now actively looking to hire a consultant to determine whether it makes financial sense to install parking meters downtown — this according to an article by David DeBolt in this morning's Daily Post.  (I would have included a link to this article but the Post does not have an online edition, so I will paraphrase the key points. )

This is certainly a turnabout to the most recent sentiment on parking meters within the San Carlos City Council, which has largely been opposed to installing meters downtown.   But according to the article, Public Works Director Robert Weil is prepared to spend $10,000-$20,000 on a study that will investigate whether the installation of meters will bring in enough revenue to justify the cost, if there will be any negative impact on downtown businesses, and what technologies are available today in the world of parking meters.

Just a Study…For Now.

In the Post's article, Robert Weil was careful to stress that the City is NOT endorsing the installation of parking meters just yet.  But they do want to investigate the revenue potential to help offset our budget deficit.   An earlier study conducted back in 1999 determined that paid parking could generate about $480,000 each year.  With the huge growth of the Laurel Street shopping district, one would think that this number could be much higher?

What do you think?

Should San Carlos join the likes of Redwood City and other neighboring communities who already have parking meters in their downtown shopping districts?   Let us know by voting on the poll below, or by leaving a comment.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

(Editorial credit to David DeBolt of the Daily Post for the details cited in this article.)

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  1. Frank on February 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Can we be a little different from other cities and just consider a fair parcel tax with strict oversight on the funds disbursement so that we don’t have to nickel and dime people? I just see a lack of credibility in City Hall.

  2. Tara on February 19, 2010 at 4:26 am

    This is just another tacky way of nickle and diming people. Some San Carlans have no shame!

  3. J on February 20, 2010 at 2:59 am

    The city may control the on-street parking downtown but they don’t have control of the 4 story parking garage at the SamTrans building that is free, open for public use and is basically empty on weekends unless there is a big event/festival downtown. If meters are installed, a residential parking permit program will also be needed to deter folks from filling up the residential streets surrounding downtown. Add in the cost of administrartion and enforcement and you have to ask yourself, is it really worth the hassle of nickel and diming everyone? Can the city really afford to spend $10-20K on a consultant plus the additional staff time further pursuing what on the surface just doesn’t seem like a good idea? I wonder if the free parking that is currently available downtown is a factor in the decision many people make to patronize a restuarant in San Carlos vs…say Redwood City? I just don’t see the 3 blocks of downtwon San Carlos, while pleasant, a stong enough regional draw to justify a parking fee that would be high enough to offset both the direct costs and indirect consequences.

  4. Giuseppe on February 20, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    As others have suggested; just sell Crestview Park !

  5. C on February 21, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Has there been a movement to sell Crestview Park? In the past, there has been opposition to sell land owned by the City that might be used for a park in the future.

    The other consideration here is that the City’s structural budget problem is currently $3.6 million per year – not a one-time $3.6 million problem. Selling a park – or any other piece of City property – would be a one-time revenue, not an annual one. Unless there was a way to generate an annual revenue stream from such a property.

  6. Donald on December 2, 2015 at 12:25 am

    How long before the “City of Good Living” ceases to be? Why is it necessary for parking to be an added expense? Why not use the land along El Camino Real adjacent to the railroad for parking?

    I have a hard time believing someone didn’t see this coming with all the building and increases in density. It has taken me up to 15 minutes to get from Melendy and Alameda to Industrial and Brittan; 1.5 miles. A bit off topic but not unrelated…

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