Changes are Coming to Downtown Metered Parking 

As opening day of the Golden 1 Center inches closer, and the City of Sacramento continues to evolve into an 18-hour city, the Central City will have to improve the flow of traffic to accommodate its growth.

To ease traffic congestion and make the parking experience easier, the City of Sacramento is in the process of evaluating its on-street parking services. As part of this process, DSP joined the City of Sacramento’s Parking Services Department this week to host a meeting for downtown property and business owners to provide feedback on future parking policy changes. Learn about the changes being discussed and take this short parking survey before February 12 to give the City your input!

SPOTzone Program

To effectively manage parking turnover and decrease the frustration of parking citations, the City is proposing extending Special Parking Over Time (SPOT) Zones to meters across the Central City.  SPOTzones utilize the City’s modernized parking meters and a new mobile app to provide a new option for downtown visitors and patrons to extend their parking at on-street meters. That means no more skipping dessert to make it back to the meter before it expires!

How It Works

When parked in a SPOTzone, drivers will have the option of extending their meter beyond the posted time limit via mobile app at a premium rate determined by a tiered-rate structure.



In Dec. 2015, the City launched a three-month pilot program to test this new system: 10 meters Old Sacramento at 135 Front Street and 13 meters in Midtown at 18th & L Streets. The City is already finding drivers are using the system successfully to extend their parking times, a promising sign for future use.

Event Pricing Model

Events at Golden 1 Center will increase the demand for parking in downtown. To ensure short-term parking is available for customers of patronizing downtown businesses, the City is proposing a new pricing model during events.

How It Works

Rather than charging premium prices for extending parking at meters as in the SPOTzones, the City would establish escalating flat rates in the blocks (zones) closest to the Golden 1 Center. Similar to SPOTzones, parking for only the posted time limits will remain the standard meter rate ($1.75 per hour). That’s right, you can still find affordable parking – even during a Kings game!



Currently, the City hopes to establish three event zones spanning three city blocks. The closest three blocks immediately surrounding the event epicenter, Event Zone A, would have the highest flat-rate price, followed by a lower flat-rate price in the next three blocks (Zone B) and the lowest flat-rate price in the following three blocks (Zone C).

Extension of Enforced Parking

Currently, in the Central City most areas do not have restrictions on metered parking after 6 p.m., Sundays or Holidays. Understanding demand for on-street parking will increase as visitors enjoy downtown businesses and activities beyond the 9 – 5 workday, City staff are considering possibility of extending parking enforcement parameters.

Extending Time-Regulated Metered Parking

As downtown transforms into an 18-hour city, the demand for short-term parking spots in front of stores and restaurants for customers increases. To ensure on-street parking spaces are available for downtown customers, the City is reviewing options to extend enforced parking. Discussions with downtown property owners, businesses and residents have yielded a variety of suggested enforcement changes ranging from adding enforcement to as late as 2 a.m. and adding Sunday and Holiday enforcement.

Extending restricted hours on meters, time-regulated spaces and residential permit areas past 6 p.m. is not a new concept in Sacramento. Currently, in Old Sacramento, 247 meters are enforced up until 8 p.m. The streets surrounding the Wells Fargo Pavilion also have 12 meters and time zones enforced until 10 p.m. to support events in that area. In addition, there are various neighborhoods throughout the Central City, especially near hospitals, with 24-hour parking restrictions allowing only residential permit parking.

While the City has to make a formal recommendation, you have an opportunity to provide your feedback! Take this short parking survey before February 12.

Holiday Shopping Parking Program

As the City considers parking enforcement, elimination or modification of the downtown holiday shopping parking program could be considered. The program provides free on-street parking after 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and free parking all day on weekends starting the day after Thanksgiving through December 25 in downtown, midtown and Old Sacramento.

The City’s new generation of parking meters includes technology that allows it to change enforcement to accommodate events, this includes the ability to adjust meters to continue the Holiday Shopping Parking Program.

Is this program important to you? Take this short parking survey before February 12!

Parking enforcement will be considered by City Council in late March 2016. For more information, email Policy & Advocacy Manager Emilie Cameron.