SPOKANE, Wash. — The City of Spokane asked for your thoughts on parking last spring.

Over the last year, consultants worked on a parking study of the downtown core and University district. They've now published a proposed final plan to the city.

The city of Spokane has 37,000 parking spaces in downtown. Eighty-five percent are off-street in a lot or structure, while 15 percent are on-street spaces.

The 2019 Downtown Parking Study Plan looks at updating the city's policies and parking management, reducing demand and making spots simple to find and use.

But adjustments to on-street regulations are what could affect drivers the most.

First off: existing regulations.

Right now, the plan recommends converting two hour spaces to four hour spaces. This includes between 2nd and 4th avenues, west of Monroe Street and south of Riverside Avenue.

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Then, all-day metered spaces could be converted to four-hour spaces.

And finally, add an extra hour to all existing three hour spaces, making them four-hour spots.

The plan also suggests setting a minimum and maximum parking rate and implementing a new on-street rate structure using "premium" and "value" zones.

Analysts also point out, existing citation rates are too low.

For example, an expired meter has a penalty of just $15. But all-day parking costs $13.20 at the two-hour meters.

So, there's not much incentive to actually pay the meter. They suggest increasing parking ticket penalties to $30.

To be clear, the final plan is only a proposal that still needs to be approved by the city council. There will be discussions leading up to the final decision.

Analysts will give a public presentation on the 2019 Downtown Parking Study Plan on Wednesday, February 27th at 2:30 p.m. in the Briefing Center (LL) at the Plan Commission Meeting.

In the meantime, you can view the plan on the city's website.

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