- Kelsey Hawes
As the 2015 Christmas shopping season approached, Boise Weekly talked to several downtown Boise merchants about their livelihoods. Along with competition from Boise Towne Square and the Village at Meridian, every business owner we heard from pointed to a daily struggle with parking meters.
"As great an experience as we can make it inside, a ticket on the car outside is terrible," said Shannon Harris, co-owner of Bandana Running and Walking. "And it's less about the meters, it's more about how aggressive the city is in handing out those parking tickets. I'm not sure what the solution is, but street parking and the meters are quickly going to become the No. 1 reason some downtown retail won't be successful."
Now, the City of Boise is preparing to charge more at some sought-after parking spaces by introducing what it calls "demand-based" parking rates. Instead of charging $1 per hour at meters, the new range of fees could see rates as high as $3 per hour at some downtown meters and as low as 50 cents per hour at meters further away from the downtown core.
The Boise City Council is scheduled to vote on the new fee structure Tuesday, Jan. 27. Meanwhile, the Office of the City Clerk has secured a contract with Boise-based ad agency Oliver Russell to "develop a marketing/education campaign" for rolling out the new fee structure. City officials are quick to remind the public hourly parking meter rates haven't been raised for 15 years.