Paso Robles' Downtown Parking Advisory Commission is having challenges collecting data on the city's senior parking program and were ultimately granted more time to gather information at the July 8 City Council meeting.
The senior parking program, which started as a pilot program in April 2020 and turned into an annual program in March 2021, sold 694 senior permits at a cost of $5 per year.
Paso Robles already provides two hours of parking to all users for free on daily basis, and, according to a staff report, current data shows a majority of parking sessions are completed in two hours or less.
Providing an entire year's worth of parking to qualifying seniors at a cost equivalent to only five paid hours of parking will impact the financial viability of the parking program, city staff said. A five-year projection of the senior parking program shows a net loss of $227,318 for the city if 20 percent of permit holders use their permits.
- IMAGE COURTESY OF THE CITY OF PASO ROBLES
- OCCUPIED Approximately 10 to 11 percent of 694 senior parking permit holders are utilizing Paso Robles’ senior parking program.
Julie Dickson, parking consultant of Dixon Resources Unlimited, presented the council with two months of data collection at the meeting. The information was collected in April and May at 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. daily—except for Thursday at noon—on parking permit locations near City Hall, on Spring, Railroad, and 12th streets, as well as near the Amtrak station. Dickson's team found that from April 11 to 24, 77 of the 694 permits were used, only 11 percent. From May 17 through the 23, about 10 percent, 73 of the 694 permits, were used.
Dickson said her team wasn't staffed enough to collect data in June, but she's currently looking to hire a downtown parking ambassador to help collect that information in the coming months.
The council moved to continue the senior parking program until March 31, 2022, when the permits are slated to expire. It also approved extending the data collection period for the parking commission to November in order to discuss future senior permit options.