More metered parking could be coming to Pismo Beach and the plan would install new parking meters down Price Street, one of the most popular streets in town.
Jim Lewis, city manager for Pismo Beach, said, “Parking’s always an issue, as you know. And so as we become more popular as a destination, we try to balance the needs of the visitors with our residents.”
Pismo Beach City Council members last week voted to adopt a resolution that would add nearly 150 parking meters spanning price and the intersecting streets by January 2022.
The resolution was adopted 4 to 1.
Lewis said, “So the council did vote to move forward with paid parking on Price Street on weekends, so it would be paid on weekends but free during the week.”
He said they decided that parking would be free during the week so residents in Pismo don’t have to pay when it isn’t necessary.
“The point of paid parking is to make sure that 85 percent of our parking is taken, and 15 percent is always available," Lewis said, adding that the idea of paid parking is to create turnover to make sure there’s always enough spaces.
This plan could generate around a quarter of a million dollars in parking revenue annually, according to the staff report.
The City of Pismo Beach said money generated from parking goes back into the parking fund and the fees go to creating more parking like the spots proposed along Price Street.
Lewis put it this way, “They are going to pay for it with money, or they are going to pay for it with time as they search and look for a spot.”
The City of Pismo Beach plans to install smart meters along Price Street and what they called the intersecting stub streets beginning early next year.
The estimated costs would be about half a million dollars, according to a city staff report, with the revenue going to further alleviate the parking crunch in the city.
Lewis clarified, “We don’t have paid parking to make money for things. Every dollar raised in paid parking goes to buy more paid parking or free parking.”
Lewis told KSBY that more parking is needed in the downtown area. The City does plan to invest in another parking lot, but plans for a new parking structure have changed.
He said, “For now, the parking structure site is on hold and we’re looking at other options.”
Lewis added that the City does want a mix of free and paid parking.
“Eventually, if we take over Highway 1 from Caltrans, that’s in the cards, the council will be considering that in just a few months, we might turn that into paid parking because that’s in our paid parking area, but short of that, we want to have a mix of free parking and paid as well.”
When discussing the new meters, council members said they don’t think the addition of the new meters will block traffic.