Paso Robles residents urged to provide feedback on downtown parking plans

Posted at 6:33 PM, Jul 31, 2018

Downtown Paso Robles business owners are meeting about the downtown parking crunch and they’re urging the public to weigh in, too. 

On some days, parking is the hottest commodity in downtown Paso Robles.

"If I need to park right on the park because I’m meeting clients or somebody for lunch, I’ll have to circle three, four, or five times and then a lot of times we’ll end up at least two blocks off," said Michelle Mitchell of Paso Robles.

Other days, it’s not so bad if you come at the right time.

"It can take quite a while," said Paso Robles resident Arlene Johnson. "I have actually found that only coming early in the morning is my option because I cannot parallel park."

To bring an end to these common parking woes, the city is teaming up with the Main Street Association to get some solutions rolling.

"We’re just trying to figure out a way to free up the parking for our customers rather than for our employees and make it where people are much more happy to come to Paso Robles," said John Roush, business owner and Main Street Association Board Member.
On Wednesday, business owners, employees, and residents can give their suggestions during two different downtown parking plan meetings.

Some ideas are already swirling.

"I think the town needs a parking structure or maybe develop more parking along Riverside," Mitchell said.

"I think there should be parking meters in the downtown area, maybe two to four hours max," Johnson added.

All of the ideas will be forwarded to a city-hired parking consultant who will then decide which ones get turned into reality. 

"You want at any point in time about 15 percent of the spots to be open and that way people can come downtown, find a parking spot and not have to drive around the block repeatedly until one opens up," said Paso Robles City Manager Tom Frutchey.

The soonest a parking kiosk could go up is six months if approved.

There are two meetings on Wednesday to discuss the potential parking options. The first is at 8 a.m. and the second is at 6 p.m., both at Park Cinemas on Pine Street.