Over the past few months, you've probably heard conversations about parking in Downtown Boise changing, but there is still a chance Saturdays will remain free.

The Boise City Council requested additional proposals for Downtown Boise parking on Saturdays, and today, there is a hearing for public comment on the different options.  They include:

  • Charging for metered spots between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at reduced rate on Saturdays.
  • Charge for parking but starting later in the day (10 a.m. for example).  This is designed to accommodate those who leave cars downtown after a night at the bar on Friday, and would help avoid tickets.
  • Offer free parking with a time limit (two hours).  This offers a challenge though since meters wouldn't be set to enforce .
  • Keep Saturday parking free as it is currently.

Some support has already been expressed for the concept of keeping Saturday parking free, but with the new time limits with some on the council and some local retailers noting that it would help to keep a flow of people coming (and theoretically patronizing businesses in) Downtown.

Other officials and patrons have noted that the free Saturday parking seems to be working as it is, and that Downtown Boise has been growing and shouldn't introduce any new policies that could slow or impact that growth.

The Idaho Statesman took a look at other similar cities like Salt Lake City, Spokane, Reno, and Albuquerque and found that all of those cities do charge for Saturday parking.  In fact, Boise is an outlier with our current free parking Saturdays.

If you have a preferred plan and want to help inform the decision of the City Council, there will be a public hearing at 6 p.m. tonight.  It will be on the third floor of City Hall.