CCDC's PARCS Revamp of Downtown Garages 'On Time and Below Budget'


Zach Miller mans the booth at CCDCs Eastman Garage. But the booth, and his job, will soon be replaced by automated kiosks. If hes lucky, Miller may become a roving ambassador inside the garage.
  • Patrick Sweeney
  • Zach Miller mans the booth at CCDC's Eastman Garage. But the booth, and his job, will soon be replaced by automated kiosks. If he's lucky, Miller may become a "roving ambassador" inside the garage.

Some Downtown Boise construction projects are more visible than others—not the least of which is the Eighth and Main Tower, which is set to open Saturday, Feb. 15.

Meanwhile, in a little-reported overhaul, the Capital City Development Corporation's Downtown Public Parking System is getting a significant $1.9 million revamp.

CCDC owns and administers a network of downtown garages with more than 2,500 stalls. In July 2013, Boise Weekly reported how CCDC was preparing to replace many of its traditional toll booths with ATM-like kiosks. The new system is creatively dubbed PARCS, for Parking Access Revenue Control System.

And to date, the revamp is on time and below budget.

On Monday, Feb. 10, the CCDC Board of Commissioners will be briefed on the project. And according to an internal memo, new equipment has been installed in the Eastman Garage, which is now butted against the Eighth and Main Tower.

Engineers are now turning to the city's Grove Street Garage, where they are expected to pour new concrete islands to accommodate new entry and exit columns. Work on the City Centre garage is expected to begin this coming week, with Capitol Terrace to follow.

Once the PARCS system is installed and operating, some men and women who currently work in toll booths will lose their jobs while others will become so-called "parking ambassadors," helping motorists throughout the garages. Staffing will likely drop from 35 full-time employees to approximately 15-20.

Once PARCS is installed, the garages will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Currently, much of the system doesn't open on Sundays. While many motorists choose free on-street parking, CCDC officials told BW that even those drivers who might want to choose a garage can't because they're unusable without an attendant in the booth.