If you live in an area where the street spaces are constantly filled by people not living in your neighborhood, working together with your neighbors, you will be able to get a parking permit and be able to use spaces reserved for residents. If you are visiting Flagstaff, or shopping in the downtown, you should have an easier time finding a parking space. If you own or work in a downtown business, you will be able to get a parking permit and be able to use reserved spaces.
It’s going to be a bit tight at first, as Flagstaff is short on parking spaces. Our parking behaviors are going to change. For some, this will mean parking a little further away than we’re used to – particularly for “free parking.” For others, the new convenience means you’ll need to pay for parking. While resident parking permits will be free, the employee parking permits will cost a small amount. In the commercial areas, parking in the street spaces will have a cost – depending on where and when you park.
All of the parking system will be based on license plates – residential parking permits, employee parking permits and pay-to-park kiosks. So, at the very least, we’re all going to need to learn our license plates!
You will be able to pay for parking at networked kiosks located throughout the commercial areas of downtown and Southside, but also on your computer or smartphone. You can peek at the mobile app – Woosh! – by downloading it (for free) from the iTunes Store. Permits will be sold at City Hall and, we hope, at other convenient locations downtown.
Unfortunately, more enforcement is a part of the comprehensive parking management program. No one likes it, but it has to be so. But, it is important to know that enforcement is not the goal and not the revenue generator. The kiosks can text and email parkers and tell them when their time is up. With the networked kiosks and mobile app, there’s no need to return to your car to add time – it can all be done while you’re finishing shopping or dinner.
The goal of managing our parking is to use what we have more efficiently and to build more parking. In the very short term, we anticipate managing several downtown parking lots in exchange for making them available to the public. And the revenue generated by paid parking will allow for leasing yet more parking lots. In the longer term, we will be able to build parking lots and/or garages.
This is a sensible, affordable and dedicated means to solve Flagstaff’s parking issues – issues downtown and in the surrounding neighborhoods. The Flagstaff City Council chose to approve a program that is a careful balance of the needs of all the stakeholders and one that has been supported by all of the affected districts and neighborhoods.
There will be more to come on parking. If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to city staff.
By Karl Eberhard