I agree that the new meters are the best solution for upgrading and simplifying the complex city street parking system. But if you want to get people downtown to enjoy the shops, restaurants and spend money, Fort Worth, Texas, is the model to emulate.
Downtown Fort Worth was experiencing the same type of urban decline that threatens Spokane. Through cooperation of the city, Chamber of Commerce and parking lot owners, they came up with a win-win for all parties by making universal free parking at certain times throughout the week. That includes the private parking lots like the ones that Diamond and other companies own here in Spokane.
As a result, downtown Fort Worth has experienced a renaissance. Local businesses are starting up and thriving, streets are well-maintained, crime and graffiti aren’t evident to outsiders and people go downtown by choice. As a visitor there, I really wished our city could do the same.
If you don’t believe it, see for yourself at: www.dfwi.org/ transportation/parking.