City Council Approves Pilot Program Designed to Enhance the Parking Experience in the Central City

SPOTZone pilot project will be conducted on selected parking meters in Old Sacramento and in the Handle District

In an effort to ease traffic congestion and enhance the parking experience, the City of Sacramento will launch a pilot study called SPOTZone, or Special Parking Over Time. The pilot project, approved by City Council, offers drivers the option of extending a metered parking session beyond the posted limit.

The SPOTZone pilot will be conducted on selected metered areas in Old Sacramento, and in the Handle District at 18th and L streets. Highly visible signs will be posted at the meters in the pilot project area.

“The goal of the City’s parking division is to effectively manage the City’s parking supply, especially during a time of increased activity,” said Matt Eierman, City of Sacramento Parking Manager. “The results of the pilot study will be used as guidelines to determine if SPOTZone will provide a balance in the parking supply between the needs of businesses, residents, and visitors.”

Photo courtesy of Randall Benton via @SacBee

With SPOTZone, patrons have the choice of extending their time by paying remotely using the Parkmobile App or by simply paying at the meter. This means customers now have the flexibility of spending more time at meetings, shopping, or dining out with friends.

Pricing for additional time will be determined by a tiered-rate structure.

  • Tier 1 pricing will be the regular meter rate, up to the posted time limit; and
  • Tiers 2 and 3 pricing will consist of premium rates, should the driver choose to remain parked at that meter beyond the posted time.

The trial period will be up to 90days. If the pilot study is successful, implementation of the full SPOTZone program citywide will be progressive and will start within the downtown core. Expansion to other meters will depend on parking needs in other locations.

To help offset operating costs such as communication fees, and equipment maintenance costs, the City will also be increasing the parking meter rate from $1.25 an hour to $1.75 an hour.The price increase will take effect in 30 days. The City has not increased the parking meter rate since 2008. In the last decade, the City has installed more than 4,300 solar powered parking meters that accept multiple forms of payments, which is an enormous convenience to customers.

The City’s has been modernizing its parking program for the past three years. In 2012, City Council adopted the concept of “parking modernization,” including the implementation of technology, rate changes, and expansion to better manage supply and demand, promote turnover, and simply make parking more convenient. For more information on the City’s parking improvements visit

Learn more about downtown parking changes and tell us what you think!