Garage parking rates set to begin

Visitors to the Jackson Street Garage will start paying to park beginning Monday.

REI Real Estate Services, which manages the garage, has been offering free public parking for up to three hours and paid reserved parking in the Jackson Street Garage, but the changes to the garage eliminate most of those reserved spots and limit free parking to one hour.

Under the new configuration, the garage will offer permits for 33 spots that are always reserved and 75 spots that are always available but not reserved. The rest of the spots will be oversold, both to the public and people with permits, to create more availability.

New meter technology and signage is in place in preparation for gates at the garage to come down, said Gary Thompson, an REI vice president.

The gates on the garage will be down from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. each weekday. That will require the general public to take a ticket so the garage can track how long they park, and permit holders will scan their pass.

Thompson said putting the gates down is a move that’s intended to stop the shuffle of cars in the garage, give downtown visitors the option to pay to park in one spot without moving their vehicles and create additional permit and daily parking for the public.

REI employees will be in the main elevator lobby helping with the new pay-on-foot station and at the garage exit to assist motorists using the garage once the gates are down, he said.

Motorists should pick up the process once they have gone in and out of the garage a few times, but there is a learning curve, Thompson said. The REI employees and new signage should help in the educational process, he said.

Thompson said spots in the garage, other than the 33 reserved around the clock, will be part of a pooled number of spaces that can be used by the public and those with permits. To monitor the number of spaces, REI uses special software that keeps track of how many public spots the garage can sell at any given time and still leave spots available for those with monthly permits that guarantee them a spot, he said.

People who have purchased monthly permits should have received their passes within the past week, city redevelopment director Heather Pope said.

Permits are still available for those interested in purchasing one, Thompson said.

Thompson expects the number of permits to go up once the gates go down and people weigh the cost of paying for parking daily vs. monthly, he said.

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Public parking will vary in price depending on the length of time a person parks in a parking spot from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays.

  • Up to one hour: free
  • One to three hours: $1.
  • Three to five hours: $2.
  • Five to seven hours: $3.
  • Seven to nine hours: $4.
  • Nine to 14 hours: $5.

Public parking spots are free after 8 p.m. weekdays but only until 6 a.m. the next morning, unless it’s the weekend. Public parking spots are free on Saturdays and Sundays.

People with monthly permits will pay one of three fees based on whether they have a spot that is:

  • Always reserved: $80
  • Always available, but not reserved: $75
  • Available 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and not reserved: $65