The key to downtown parking: Know your options

Posted at 6:24 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 20:36:55-05

Boise city leaders are in the middle of implementing a new parking plan in their bustling downtown district.

In doing so, they hope to collect more in parking fees and less from people getting tickets.

The key for drivers is to know your options.

Of course, nearby residents choose to walk or ride a bike, while others rely on the bus to get around.

Still, there are plenty of us who arrive in our personal vehicles, which leaves the question of where to park.

With a new parking plan coming into play, the executive director of the Downtown Boise Association, Lynn Hightower, assures the public that a lot of thought went into setting the new parking rates.

"There's a science to making parking work for businesses, for employees and customers," Hightower says.

While the parking rates are and will continue to evolve, good news is there are several options to choose from including Ada County Highway District's new Ride Share Program.

If you don't have a bicycle, just look for the green and blue "bike share" stations.

For people who are running a quick errand under 20 minutes, street parking might be the way to go. Otherwise, it will cost more to park there.

If you want to hang out downtown awhile, garage parking could be the way to go.

Downtown employees are encouraged to check into monthly parking lot rates, with some as low at $15. Here is a link:

Either way, come spring the street meters will be modified with some rates going up and some going down.

The parking fee increase is already in effect at parking garages.

Good news is that the first hour of parking is free inside the garages. Plus, there is no charge for the first 20 minutes when you park on the street.

"We increasingly all have choices as to what is going to work for us," Hightower says. "And, I am confident that as our downtown grows and evolves, the number of options we have as far as transportation is going to continue to grow."