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New parking program in Pismo Beach looks to alleviate parking congestion downtown

Posted at 10:53 PM, Mar 24, 2023

A busy part of Downtown Pismo Beach has a new look, and it includes up to 25 extra parking spaces on Price Street.  

The center median on Price Street now has two rows of parking spaces instead of one, and on-street parking has been taken out entirely.  

“I think I’m a fan of it, one for just more spaces. I know that in the summertime, we really struggle for parking down here,” said Jeremy Hitchcock, who lives in Arroyo Grande.  

The City of Pismo Beach began re-striping parking spaces in the middle of Price Street on March 23rd.  That work is now almost complete.  

“What we’ll do is we’ll eliminate the parking that’s immediately adjacent to the sidewalks, focus all of the parking into the center of the street,” said Pismo Beach Assistant City Manager Jorge Garcia.  

More parking in the center median has pushed traffic closer to sidewalks and businesses.  
“Before, they were like 8 feet from the curb. Now, they’re inches away from the curb. It’s a little bit of a safety concern because my kid comes sometimes and visits me,” said Pismo Beach Barber Shop Owner Jared Vleming.  

Vleming says he’s willing to give the new design a shot but is concerned with vehicles closer to the sidewalk speeding and emergency vehicle access.  

“If an emergency vehicle like a firetruck or ambulance has to come through, there’s not going to be any room for the cars to move out of the way.”  

He adds that he welcomes the two dozen or so new parking spots especially in an area where parking is hard to come by.  

“There will be times when clients have to park 3,4,5 blocks away and there’s no parking available whatsoever.”  

City officials say that the pilot program will last through the summer.  

They’re gathering feedback from businesses and the public, and a final design will be presented to the city council in the fall.  

“Price Street is an important corridor to our businesses and to the community at large so, we want to incorporate beautification elements as well,” said Garcia.