Parking meters on Garnet should be installed in late 2021
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 10/13/21 - 08:30 PM | 2245 views | 8 8 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A year-long pilot parking meter program approved by the City on a portion of Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach is on its way, but it will take some time to implement.

“Right now the meters are in the permitting process,” said Sunny Lee, executive director of Discover PB, the community’s business improvement district. “I would expect them installed by the end of the year.”

Lee said there will be multi-space meters placed within the business district adding: “I do not have a map to share, and do not know price information yet. Pricing is up to the City as well as hours. This has been discussed but not finalized yet. Discover PB has an active conversation going with the City to discuss the updates, and will play a bigger role in taking action on the proposed mobility projects once the meters are installed and funding is received.”

Katie Matchett, president of nonprofit community improvement group beautifulPB, said PB Parking District was next scheduled to meet on Oct. 12. That meeting she said “will include elections for folks who are being termed out of their seat on the board. We will know more about the roster afterward, although there may still be open positions depending on how much interest there is in running for that board.”

Approved unanimously by the City Council on July 20, the parking pilot has proposed putting 321 high-tech metered, two-hour-or-less-time-limited parking spaces on Garnet Avenue. The pilot plan would be limited to the densest part of Garnet’s commercial district.

The parking pilot will also create the Pacific Beach Community Parking District. It is now up to the district to collaborate with the City on determining what type of meters are used, what hours of operation will be employed, and the rates that should be charged for parking spaces in the new metered district.

The City Council action caps a years-long quest by some merchants, residents, and community planners who contend paid parking is a management solution and tool that will help solve traffic problems. Supporters claim paid parking will provide a continuing revenue stream for Pacific Beach that stays in the community. They maintain that the benefits of paid metered parking include reinvesting PB parking revenues to fund community improvement projects, increasing turnover for prime parking, increasing space availability, reducing traffic congestion, and enhancing pedestrian safety.

However, concerns remain among some community residents who fear the paid-parking pilot could displace parking for residents and negatively impact their quality of life.

“The big concern regarding parking meters on Garnet is the impact meters will have on the streets, parking, traffic, and pollution in the adjacent high-occupancy residential neighborhood,” said Gordon Froehlich, a member of PB’s Community Parking District and a longtime critic of the meter plan. “We already have the daily invasion by beach traffic and nightly parking for Garnet street bar patrons. It does not seem practical to add even more drivers to this already congested part of the community.”

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