The Pacific Beach Parking Advisory Committee has proposed a one‐year pilot program for paid street parking in the densest, prime‐parking area of the Garnet Avenue commercial district.
PB Parking Advisory Committee’s roster is drawn from PB Planning Group, PB Town Council, beautifulPB, and at-large community members.
“Councilmember Jen Campbell’s (District 2) office came to us late last year and asked us what was going on with parking meters in PB, and we said it’s been an ongoing battle,” said Sara Berns, executive director of Discover PB, the community’s business improvement district. “They suggested a pilot program. We took that back to the Parking Advisory Committee, and they came up with a one-year pilot program for only the western portion of Garnet from the ocean to Fanuel.”
According to the plan, the advisory committee would measure the effects of paid parking and re-evaluate results monthly. The pilot program would be limited to commercial parking zones with two-hour and fewer time limits. Pricing could be flexed to accommodate higher and lower demand. But the price would not exceed the City’s $2.50 per-hour cap.
The pilot program would involve a total of 352 on-street, two-hour parking spaces, and six 15-minute spaces.
“Our theory is that paid metered parking would provide more of an incentive for people to park in private paid parking lots,” said Berns. “And that properly priced paid parking will create (space) turnover, achieving the goal of allowing people always to find a (parking) spot on the block they want, so they’re not always driving around looking for spaces.”
Added Berns: “A lot of our private parking lots are actually underutilized. It’s more of a supply-and-demand thing. We’ve found though there is no consistency in pricing for paid private parking. There needs to be more consistency.”
The proposed PB parking pilot project was endorsed by one local merchant’s representative.
“It is my professional opinion that limited paid parking will be a great addition and be a help, not only for local businesses but to the community at large,” said Chris Cox, COO of OMG Hospitality Group, which includes Waterbar, Backyard Kitchen & Tap, Pacific Beach Alehouse, Fish Shop and Sandbar Sports Bar & Grill in Mission and Pacific beaches. “It will increase the turnover rate on the major thoroughfare in front of local businesses. This will, in turn, offer more people the opportunity to support our businesses on an increased frequency.”
Added Cox: “It also will help deter the campers who park their vehicles for hours and days at a time. I know change is difficult, but paid hourly street parking in Pacific Beach will help the local community quite dramatically.”
Funds from the metered parking pilot are proposed to be distributed back to the community via the Parking Advisory Board. A total of 20% of funds would go to the City’s administrative cost for maintenance and operations. The remaining 80% would then be split with 45% going to the Community Parking District and 55% going to the City, which may allocate all, or a portion of management‐related revenues, to the CPD on a case‐by‐case basis.
CPD-funded pilot program monies could be used to improve and/or increase availability, supply, and effectiveness of parking for residents, visitors, and businesses within one-quarter mile of the metered parking zone. Examples include: funding a shuttle to decrease congestion in residential neighborhoods; increasing pedestrian and cyclist safety through Vision Zero; funding commercial district landscaping (barriers separating pedestrians and moving traffic); calming traffic; and boosting mobility wayfinding.
Concerning revenues that could be derived from a pilot metered parking program, Berns said, “We’ve been told, with the cost of installing meters having to be paid for in the first year, that we’re looking at $300,000 to $400,000 the first year coming back as PB’s portion.”
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
The PB Community Parking District is holding a Zoom informational meeting on the pilot paid parking program on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 9:30 a.m. Email [email protected] to register.