Downtown Business Parking Pilot Program

Downtown Parking

Summary

The City is revamping its downtown parking permit system for businesses to be more equitable, efficient, and accountable. The City will launch a Pilot Program for these changes starting in December 2023. The pilot includes three phases, which will be launched in 2023 and in 2024. The details of each phase are included in this website page.

Apply for Business Parking Placards Here

As part of the pilot program, downtown businesses will need to renew their parking permits using our new online software.

Background

In 2020, the City hired a consultant, Fehr & Peers, to study our downtown parking. That year, the consultant worked with staff to conduct community outreach and data collection to understand Puyallup’s unique challenges associated with parking. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the data collection had to be modified to understand downtown parking trends accurately.

In June 2021, staff and the consultant presented their initial findings to City Council. In their initial findings, the consultant determined that while on-street and public lot parking were well-utilized, the data suggests that a parking spot is mostly available within a one to two-block walk of most destinations most times. This walking distance from a driver’s vehicle to their destination is similar to or shorter than walking from a busy large retail store parking lot to the store interior.

Based on the findings, the consultant recommended three approaches to managing parking downtown.

Approach One: Status Quo Management – This approach acknowledges that parking is generally available in the downtown area. Strategies under this approach would not focus on increasing parking restrictions or time limits. Instead, strategies would focus on monitoring parking conditions in addition to increasing visibility and awareness of available parking.

Approach Two: Increased Management – This approach acknowledges that parking can be hard to find in some locations of downtown at certain times. Strategies under this approach would focus on increasing parking turnover and availability in hot spots through increased management, such as increasing restrictions or shortening time limits.

Approach Three: Paid Parking – This approach would increase turnover and ensure parking availability. By implementing paid parking in conjunction with time limits and other restrictions, parking occupancy can be better regulated and enforced to ensure parking availability in areas of high demand. However, this approach would require high upfront investment costs to install and manage the system, including installing meters around downtown, maintaining them, and managing collections and regulations.

City Council directed staff to come back with a hybrid option of Approach One and Two. In February 2022, staff and the consultant returned to the Council with the updated strategies and to adopt the final Downtown Parking Study Report. Council approved the Report and directed staff to move ahead with implementing its strategies.

View the final adopted Downtown Parking Study Report here.

Contact

For questions and more information, please contact Dan Vessels Jr., at dvessels@puyallupwa.gov