The city of Spokane is installing more parking meters along the edges of downtown, forcing drivers to pay up or face a fine.
Streets near hospitals and clinics, Lewis and Clark High School and West Main Avenue are the target for the 225 new meters.
The city is expected to collect an extra $30,000 to $50,000 per year from the new meters along Sixth Avenue from Wall to Stevens streets; Howard Street from Fifth to Sixth avenues; Fifth Avenue from Howard to Stevens; and Pacific, Second and Third avenues from Bernard to Browne streets.
The next phase of new meters will center on and around Bernard Street south of Interstate 90.
New parking meters already have gone in near Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center on Ninth Avenue and Rockwood Boulevard; on Eighth Avenue and Bernard Street west of the medical center; and on Division Street and Main Avenue on the east side of Division.
Future installations are planned for the neighborhood west of the Spokane County Courthouse. Those meters are scheduled for installation in about six months.
City officials have reached out to business owners and residents living in the areas where new meters are being installed.
In a news release, the city stated, “After some initial confusion about the new meters, residents have since expressed appreciation that spaces are available where before, streets had usually been lined with cars.”
Julie Happy, a spokeswoman for the city, said students near Lewis and Clark High School were having trouble finding parking spaces, and installation of meters has freed up more spaces for short-term parking.
Residents living near the new meters are eligible to receive a city parking pass that will be free for the first year, Happy said.
After the new parking meters are re-evaluated a year from now, residents may be asked to pay $25 a month to park at city meters near their apartments and homes, she said.
Apartment and condominium dwellers living downtown have been able to purchase the $25 monthly passes in areas that already have meters.