City officials consider bumping up parking costs in downtown Glendale
It may soon cost more to park on Brand Boulevard as city officials look to raise the cost of metered parking downtown — a strategy aimed at quickly freeing up spaces and attracting more visitors, according to a city official.
The fee hike would bump up the hourly parking price from $1 to $1.50, the first proposed increase on downtown Glendale’s main strip in eight years.
Metered parking on Brand generated $780,000 last year, said Roubik Golanian, the city’s public works director.
The goal, however, is not to boost revenue, but rather to get people to move their cars instead of refilling meters at a higher price, he said.
“We have been collecting data for a few years now that shows occupancy rates higher than those considered desirable by industry standards,” Golanian said.
Specifically, 98% of the meters are occupied on average throughout the day on Brand between Colorado and Milford streets, he added.
Another benefit of higher parking turnover would be to get visitors to drop their cars off in any of the three downtown parking structures, such as the Orange Street lot or the Exchange lot on Maryland Avenue, Golanian said.
But Erik Khojoyan, owner of Eden Burger Bar on Brand, said he doesn’t see that scenario playing out.
“All our guests are trying to park as close as they can get. I’m not close to any parking structures right now,” he said in a phone interview.
One solution would be to create more parking spaces, Khojoyan said.
Downtown Glendale, however, is mostly built out, and there are currently no plans for a new parking structure, Golanian said.
In addition to the meters, the three parking lots in downtown would also raise their daily maximum price from $6 to $9, according to staff reports.
Free parking for 90 minutes would continue to be offered in the structures, Golanian said.
Downtown meters off Brand would see their hourly price jump from 75 cents an hour to $1.
The higher parking fees are among 243 proposed fee increases and 53 new fees the City Council will consider sometime in the next two months.
The city has not forecast how much additional revenue the more expensive meter prices would generate, he added.
Rick Lemmo, president of the Downtown Glendale Assn., said he would like to see at least a third of that money reinvested into local parking.
“Downtown Glendale generates tremendous revenues for the city, and it only makes sense to reinvest in the district to make it even more welcoming and convenient for the merchants and people who are supporting the city,” he said in an email.
The revenue from the Brand meters is deposited into the city’s parking fund, which, in turn, takes care of services such as parking structure maintenance, Golanian said.
If council members approve the parking-fee increase, about $100,000 from the parking fund would go toward replacing faded street signs, Golanian said.
Once the council adopts any new fees or increases, they will go into effect on July 1.
Golanian also pointed out that Brand’s meter rates are lower than nine of the 10 cities they surveyed in the region.
Burbank, however, offers free street parking in its downtown, which Golanian called “unsustainable.”
Arin Mikailian, email@example.com