Later this month, residents and visitors parking on Main Street in Uptown will see something that has been in the works for a while — parking meters.
After approximately 18 months of work, the paid parking program is scheduled to begin on June 28. The tentative installation dates for the 13 pay stations are June 20 and 21.
Between June 20 and 27 the pay stations’ digital screens will be programmed with a “Free to Park Today, Enjoy Your Visit” message. In all there are around 100 parking spaces that will become paid.
“As most of you already know, the paid parking is being used as a tool to redistribute demand for the on-street parking to the lesser-utilized off-street lots,” Assistant City Manager Karen Osburn said when announcing the dates when the meters will go live.
In order to develop this program, she said the city has been working with and through the Uptown Paid Parking Implementation work group. This group includes merchants and property owners, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, the Uptown Rangers and representatives from the city.
“The group has worked together to select the system and features, develop the pricing structure, design new branded signage and has been responsible for identifying and pursuing many other improvements,” she said.
The pay stations selected by the work group are the T2 Luke II model and offer a variety of features including:
- Bright colorful screen with 1, 2, 3 instructions.
- Accept multiple payment options: Bills, coins, credit cards and a pay by phone app option.
- Pay by License Plate environment does not require a ticket or a return trip to the vehicle.
- Option to get a reminder text when time is close to expiration and option to extend meter time by phone — even without using the app.
- Customized red rock red colors and digital screen messages.
The Luke II pay stations work like an ATM. Patrons will type in their license plate and follow the stepby-step instructions on the screen. Or, the can pay by phone using the PassportParking app. The work group’s recommendations for the initial pricing structure included free parking for the first 15 minutes.
It will be $2 an hour for the first, second and third hours someone is parked. It will cost $4 for a fourth hour and $6 for a fifth hour. A driver who parks for the five full hours will pay $16 total.
In comparison, metered city parking in Phoenix is $1.50 per hour, according to the city of Phoenix website.
“The work group has also decided to extend the current time limit from three hours to five hours, to provide additional time for shopping, meals and other activities,” Osburn said.
Parking will be free from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. seven days a week. The rates will be based on demand, providing for higher rates in the peak season and lower rates in the slower months. The work group will be monitoring demand [on-street and off-street occupancy counts] and periodically assessing the need to change rates accordingly.
Additional Community Service Aides and Uptown Rangers will be out the week the meters launch on Main Street to provide customer assistance to the merchants and visitors. Osburn wanted to remind everyone that any revenue generated from the paid parking will be reinvested in Uptown.
A work group of Uptown merchants will be assembled to make recommendations to City Council regarding how to spend the new revenue. Examples of some of the ideas that have come up include additional or employee parking, beautification projects and restrooms at the municipal parking lot.
In addition, there are related improvements that are being done in conjunction with the implementation of the paid parking program. They include new branded signage for the paid parking program that ties to wayfinding signs and new entry signs for off-street free lots.
New wayfinding signs will be installed to help patrons locate free off-street lots if they prefer not to pay for the prime on-street spaces. Osburn said new Uptown parking maps are being developed that depict the locations of the on-street pay-to-park spaces as well as all of the eight free public parking lots.
They will be distributed throughout the various tourist-oriented activity centers such as the Visitor Center, information centers, hotels, service stations, retailers, as well as through the Uptown Rangers and CSA officers.
Sensors will be installed in each of the parking spaces on Main Street and occupancy counters in the Municipal Parking Lot. Eventually these occupancy counts will be fed to the wayfinding app in real time so that visitors will know exactly where there are vacant parking spaces, and can be directed there.
A new digital entry sign at the municipal parking lot will indicate how many parking spaces are available at any given time.