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More parking meters are coming to downtown Pismo Beach 

Free weekend parking on Price Street could soon be a thing of the past with Pismo Beach's recent purchase of more than 200 new parking meters.

On Feb. 20, Pismo Beach City Council unanimously approved installing 210 new parking meters on the downtown street, although the city won't be charging every day just yet.

"Right now, the recommendation would be to start Friday from noon to 6 p.m., and then Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.," City Manager Jorge Garcia said during the meeting. "The police chief can adjust those hours to be consistent with our ordinance and our parking management plan."

PAYING THE PRICE Pismo Beach recently authorized adding 210 new parking meters and a center median to Price Street by spring 2024. - FILE PHOTO BY KASEY BUBNASH
  • File Photo By Kasey Bubnash
  • PAYING THE PRICE Pismo Beach recently authorized adding 210 new parking meters and a center median to Price Street by spring 2024.

Concerned over public outcry in other SLO County cities such as Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, Councilmember Stacy Inman said that parking fee times should remain a City Council decision and not left to the police chief's discretion.

"Mr. Garcia said that our police chief can change them based upon his discretion, and I just haven't been certain about that since there's been such a backlash in other cities in our county about parking, the length of parking, and the cost of parking," she said. "I would just prefer the discretion to be at the council, and if I'm outvoted then that's fine."

Adding parking meters to Price Street isn't a new Pismo Beach City Council discussion. First brought up during a June 15, 2021, council meeting, city staff said that Price Street was a prime piece of downtown parking for visitors. With no paid parking, city staff said, vehicles stay parked for hours, and the city can't turn over the parking spots.

Paid parking would increase the number of cars coming and going downtown and enable more foot traffic for local businesses, the June 2021 staff report states.

The plan was initially supposed to move forward in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic halted planning, and City Council voted to delay installing meters until 2024 to help businesses and residents recover from economic difficulties.

Garcia told New Times that parking meters will be primarily on Price Street and on the stub streets between Price Street and Highway 101 and should be ready for use later this year, after the city completes some infrastructure upgrades.

"The parking meters will be installed after the median is constructed and the roadway improvements are made, anticipated to be late spring," he said. "We will communicate to the public via social media, our website, and press release when the meters are activated."

According to the Feb. 20 staff report, the city will spend $286,646 to construct a new center median, new curbside parking spaces, and diagonal spaces.

Currently, Pismo Beach has paid meters and lots on Cypress Street that cost between $3 and $4 an hour and on Dolliver Street for $2 to $4 an hour.

The city hasn't said what the rates would be for the new parking meters. Δ


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