With new parking restrictions set to kick in in downtown Palo Alto next month, the city will host a community meeting tonight to update residents and visitors about the long-awaited changes.
The meeting will focus on downtown's new Residential Preferential Parking program, which will impose time restrictions for parking in residential neighborhoods outside the district's commercial core. Downtown residents and employees will be able to purchase parking permits that will allow them to park throughout the day.
The program was approved by the City Council last December after years of complaints from downtown residents about their neighborhoods getting inundated by commuters' vehicles on the weekdays. The city worked with a stakeholder group of employers and residents to hash out the details of the new parking-permit program, which is set to launch on Sept. 15.
In the first phase of the program, which is focused on gathering data and is set to stretch for six months, residents will be able to get up to four permits for free, with an option of purchasing additional visitor permits for $25 each. For employees, the permit costs will be either $233 or $50, depending on their income level. Cars that don't have permits will be subject to two-hour time limits.
In the second phase, the city will limit the number of permits sold to employees and will begin charging residents $50 each for the permits. Employees in the second phase will also have their permits restricted to particular areas within the downtown district with the aim of dispersing vehicles.
Residents outside the downtown area now also have the option of signing a petition to establish a similar parking program in their area.
The meeting on the new program will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight, Aug. 4, in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave.