On Monday, San Mateo City Council held another study session on changes to downtown parking (staff report here). San Mateo has a very lively downtown with thriving restaurant scene and move theater. Topics being considered include increasing meter prices, changing meter hours, improving machine usability, using existing space more efficiently, making garages more attractive and providing users more information about where to find a space, and reaching out to existing property owners to gain access to under-utilized parking. A final program will be presented to Council for approval at an upcoming meeting.
- For new developments, enable unbundled commercial parking, so tenants can buy what they need, there is an accounting of unused space, and blocks of unused space can be provided back to the public pool without later renegotiation
- To encourage locals to get downtown without a car, consider extending transit pass discounts to neighborhoods, along the lines of the program that Boulder has and Palo Alto may be starting to consider. This will take persuasion with the local transit agencies, but is a modest extension of existing transit pass programs
- Just as the movie theater provides parking validation, offering a parking discount to customers, it would be helpful to provide a “Clipper rebate” to customers who arrive via transit (and leave a parking space free for another customer). This would be very difficult with the current Clipper program, but MTC is starting to work on the next generation of Clipper this year. Cities that want to incent people to get downtown without driving may want to give input for the next generation of Clipper