Smart Park revised

Just as Riverside was about to roll out its new “Smart Park” parking plan for downtown, city officials decided to make some minor, yet significant changes, most of which were the result of complaints.

Smart Park
City of Riverside

Gone are the multiple rates and times of enforcement — they’re now uniform at all Smart Park locations ($1/hr, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., M-F). In addition, the city re-designated 50 spots around the downtown area as short-term, “convenience” parking, consisting of 10-, 20- and 30-minute limits. These spots will be located near the library, the post office, banks, coffee houses and similar entities.

Most of the contention — and confusion — over the original plan stemmed from the Main Library lot, which often fills with Mission Inn visitors. The original plan treated this lot — and some of the nearby streets — with higher rates. The library lot also had differing hours of enforcement. The rates and hours are now uniform. However, one other change to the library lot is the re-designation of half the spaces as free for library patrons for up to 3 hours.

The city wants to reemphasize that parking remains free after 5 p.m. weekdays and all-day on weekends/holidays. Also, the first 90-minutes is free w/ validation in any of the four city-owned garages (California Tower and the three Orange Street structures) during Smart Park enforcement hours (8 a.m. – 5 p.m., M-F).

We suspect there will likely be a few other refinements over time. One we’d like to see is bumping the free 90-minute validation limit in the garages to at least 2-hours. And although we still wished we didn’t have to pay anything to park, we’re glad to see the city make the rates and times uniform, thereby greatly reducing confusion. We’re also glad for the addition of the short-term spots, a huge convenience factor we somehow overlooked in our previous post.



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