Contact Information

(530) 757-5686
Office Address
1717 Fifth Street Davis, CA 95616
Office Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Downtown Parking Management Plan Implementation

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

2014 Downtown Parking Management Plan

In Fall 2012, the City Council established a Downtown Parking Task Force (DPTF) comprised of eleven Council-appointed members, who met monthly over the course of a year, with the objective to develop an action plan that would help improve vehicle parking downtown. The DPTF completed their work in October 2013, resulting in a package of 19 recommendations to improve downtown parking management and supply, which was unanimously supported by the members.

The Downtown Parking Management Plan (DPMP) represents the roadmap for improving parking conditions downtown based on the DPTF's 19 recommendations.  The document’s key sections include a Background Section on downtown parking history, parking management theories, and principles; Downtown Parking Supply; Parking Occupancy Rates; Parking Permits and Enforcement; Framework for Recommendations; Recommendations; and an Appendix with case studies. Despite the passage of five years, much of the DPMP remains relevant today.

Why am I starting to hear about paid parking and how does it relate to the DPMP?

Many of the DPMP recommendations have been completed or are in progress (scroll down to see table). One recommendation is establishing paid parking in the southeast quadrant, and was discussed extensively during the DPTF process. The DPTF concluded that given downtown parking conditions, paid parking is a necessary parking management tool to improve the parking availability for customers and increases the effectiveness of the other recommendations. The DPMP Full Report (see link above) explains how all of the recommendations fit together and the role paid parking will play in improving overall conditions downtown. However, the below FAQ's will help quickly bring up to speed those unfamiliar with paid parking. 


Paid Parking Frequently Asked Questions (DPMP Recommendation #1) 

Is there a change being made by the City to the parking downtown?

We are taking steps to improve downtown parking because demand for parking exceeds the supply available during our peak hours (lunch and evenings). As a result, cars circle around downtown trying to find a parking space. This creates traffic congestion, noise, air pollution, aggressive driving across intersections, and an uncomfortable environment for pedestrians. One action, increasing the amount of paid parking, will ensure one or two spaces will be available on each block face.  

On what advice are you creating a new plan?

A new plan isn’t being created, but rather the existing 2014 Downtown Parking Management Plan (DPMP) is being implemented. Establishing paid parking in the southeast quadrant (roughly First-Third, D-H Streets) was one of 19 recommendations from the Downtown Park Task Force (DPTF) process, which culminated in the DPMP. Many of the DPTF recommendations have been implemented and others are still in progress.  In November 2017, the Davis City Council directed staff to proceed with establishing additional paid parking as an important parking management tool to ensure parking availability for downtown customers.  

Planning for the expansion of paid parking has been in progress since February 2018 and is nearly complete.  We are working with consultants from Nelson/Nygaard, and Dixon Resources Unlimited to explore best practices from other cities and to create recommendations for next steps for implementation. 

Are you implementing paid parking next month?

No. The results from the paid parking implementation planning will come to City Council for final approval in March 2019. The City will notify the community well in advance of the anticipated City Council decision date.  If Council accepts the final approach to implement paid parking, other steps will need to occur before you will see parking meters on the ground. City staff anticipate late Summer/early Fall 2019 as the earliest meters would be installed. 

Will parking enforcement hours change as a result of paid parking?

Most likely. A DPTF recommendation was to shift parking enforcement hours from 8 am- 6pm to 10 am-8 pm, consistent with parking demand. This has not occurred yet and naturally coincides with paid parking implementation where existing time restrictions can be extended or eliminated entirely.   

How long will I be allowed to park?

Existing two-hour time limits will either be extended to three or four hours or eliminated entirely, while re-parking restrictions in the paid parking area will be eliminated because they won’t be needed. With paid parking, customers will have plenty of time to shop, enjoy a meal, and watch a movie without having to move their car, worry about a ticket, or leave downtown entirely 

Will all spaces downtown require payment?

No. Both on- and off-street parking in the southeast quadrant are proposed for paid parking, which experiences the greatest demand during the peaks. This represents approximately 690 total spaces of over 2,150, or 32% of all public spaces downtown.  Paid parking will not be prohibitively expensive, only enough to ensure one or two spaces on a block face remain available on average, or 80-85% occupancy overall. We anticipate fees in the $.50-$1.00 an hour range to start, depending on time of day. Whatever the lowest rate that is needed to achieve the performance objectives is where they will be set.

What will happen to the other downtown parking spaces? 

The boundary proposed for paid parking differs from the current boundary of two-hour parking spaces, which would leave some remnant two-hour parking block faces. These will be converted to 90-minute spaces. 

Where will downtown employees park?

The DPTF discussed this issue extensively throughout their process and they agreed that downtown employee parking needs are important, but secondary to customers’ needs.  

With paid parking, some employees will choose to arrive via a different mode of transportation such as bicycle, ridesharing, drop-off, or the bus. For those who need to drive and don’t currently purchase downtown employee X-permits, they will need to purchase a permit and walk farther to their place of employment. Relative to the cost of car ownership, fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs, X-permit parking is very affordable at $10/month and well below market rates. X-permit parking is located in the First & F garage, the Boy Scout lot at First & F, and the western & northern downtown peripheries. This supply is not typically fully occupied. However, the City continues to look for opportunities to provide more employee parking locations. For example, an additional 29 space parking lot at the NW corner of Richards Blvd and Olive Drive was recently constructed specifically for X-permit parking. Other efforts are in progress. On the occasions where employees must park in the paid parking zone, they may do so at the standard meter rate, but most will choose not to on a regular basis.

For those who need a guaranteed space, reserved parking is available in the privately owned Fourth & G garage at market rates.

Will paid parking drive customers away from businesses?

This is unlikely. If parking occupancy rates average between 80% - 85% and many parking spaces are freed up by downtown employees migrating to more appropriate parking or other modes (typically, anywhere from 15%-30% of parking is occupied by employees), an increase of downtown customers could result. Customers willing to pay for parking typically spend more than those who don’t and when implemented correctly economics can improve for downtown property owners and businesses. 65%-70% of downtown parking spaces will remain free of charge for price sensitive customers. Fortunately, paid parking has been piloted in the E Street Plaza parking lot since 2008 and is filled to capacity at peak times. That is, paid parking hasn’t driven business away. 

Isn’t paid parking just another tax on downtown visitors?

More accurately, it’s a fee for a scarce commodity; one currently being overused and causing undesirable side effects. Economic principles conclude the City can no longer provide highly valued parking in the southeast quadrant free of charge and expect conditions to improve. Market forces will determine the value of these parking spaces to achieve an 80%-85% occupancy rate, which will ensure downtown vitality. 

Why is the City charging for parking if there are concerns and opposition?

It’s natural to resist paying for something that was previously free. However, surveys from the DPTF process indicate widespread agreement that parking is a problem downtown. Paid parking is a necessary tool to ensure customer parking availability is prioritized. While anxieties about paid parking are real, data shows that when implemented properly, customers value parking availability more than they oppose paying for it, especially if they can stay longer. Since the DPTF concluded their work in 2014, the Davis Downtown Business Association has supported establishing downtown paid parking in some form. 

How will the paid parking revenue be used?

Some communities have taken a flawed approach with paid parking, applying it in struggling downtowns to generate revenue for citywide funding shortfalls. Fortunately, Davis’ purpose is strictly for parking management.

While paid parking will obviously generate revenue, much of that will be needed for additional operations, maintenance, and parking enforcement to implement paid parking itself. As currently done with the E Street Plaza, any additional revenue will be placed in a separate fund and used to improve the downtown customer experience, parking, and access.  

Why doesn’t the City just construct more parking?

Most people perceive the downtown parking problem as not being able to park on the street close to their destination. However, the City cannot meaningfully increase the on-street parking supply and a new parking garage is prohibitively expensive to construct, with an estimate of approximately $50,000 per space, and difficult to justify given the existing garage at Fourth & G street is underutilized. Paid parking is a cost-effective tool to most effectively use the existing parking supply. 

If the City can’t build more parking, what are you doing to make parking easier?

This Fall, a new interconnected electronic parking guidance system will be installed for all City-owned parking lots and the F Street garage. This will consist of electronic LED display signs visible to drivers from the street that indicate how many spaces are available at each lot. There will also be a monument sign at the Richards Blvd & First Street intersection indicating off-street parking availability. 

What about people with mobility challenges who have disabled placards?

Paid parking will require the city designate some on-street spaces for disabled parking. However, regulations for visitors with mobility challenges and who have placards will not change.  

How can I voice my comments?

You can send comments to: 

Brian Abbanat
Senior Transportation Planner
Public Works Department
City of Davis 

If you are a downtown business, you can also send your comments to the Davis Downtown Business Association at


DPMP Recommendations Table: Implementation Status

(as of February 2019)



City Council



Rec #1: Establish Paid Parking in Southeast Quadrant.



In Progress 

Rec #2: Increase Employee Parking Options.

  • Fourth & G Parking Garage
  • City-owned lot @ NW corner of Richards & Olive Drive


In Progress

  • Priority 1
  • Discussions with Fourth & G Garage owner on hold.
  • Richards/Olive Parking lot construction complete.

Rec #2: Increase Employee Parking Options.

  • Old East Davis
  • Old North Davis


In Progress

  • Discussions initiated with Old East Davis.

Rec #3: Increase Employee Permit Fees and Streamline Employee Parking to Single "X" Permit.



Rec #4: Convert Amtrak Lot to Paid Parking.


Not Started 

Priority 3. Deferred until completion of Priorities 1 and 2. Council-designated legislative priority due to existing constraints on past funding used for train depot improvements 20 years ago.

Rec #5: Restrict Delivery Vehicle Double-Parking During Lunch Peak.



Rec #6: Eliminate On-Street Green Waste in the Downtown.



Rec #7: Extend Enforcement to 8:00 p.m.


Not Started

Deferred until implementation of Recommendation #1.

Rec #8: Establish Tiered-Fine Citation System.


Not Started

City's current citation technology does not currently support this recommendation.

Rec #9: Upgrade Parking Enforcement Technology.



Rec #10: Invest in Electronic Information Systems.


In Progress

  • Priority 1
  • Downtown Parking Guidance system awarded, construction in Fall 2018 - Winter 2019.

Rec #11: Develop Transportation and Parking Alternatives Campaign.


On Hold pending additional resources.

  • Developed website. Public outreach campaign is beyond existing staff resources.

Rec #12: Collect Quarterly Parking Occupancy Data


In Progress

  • Most recent data collected in Spring 2016. Organizational bandwidth has prevented comprehensive data collection since.

Rec #13: Explore Voluntary Shared-Parking District.


On Hold.

  • Contacts have been made with both local and remote corporate property owners (e.g. banks) who have declined participation.  

Rec #14: Provide Van-Accessible Disabled Parking Upon Resurfacing and/or Metering


In Progress

  • Priority 1 
  • Accompanies Rec #1.

Rec #15: Streetscape Improvements

Focus on lighting and repairing downtown sidewalk tripping hazards.

Not Started

  • Priority 2
  • Downtown lighting needs being analyzed as part of Downtown Plan Update.

Rec #16: Expand Parking Supply


Not Started

  • Priority 3
  • Deferred until implementation of Priorities 1 and 2. 

Rec #17: Human Resources


In Progress

  • Parking enforcement resource needs are identified in the paid parking implementation plan and will accompany Council action on that item. (Recommendation #1)

Rec #18: Improve Transit Options


Not Started

  • Priority 3

Rec #19:  Re-Examine In-Lieu Fees and Procedures



  • In-lieu fee analysis complete. Action deferred until completion of the Downtown Plan Update. 





Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

Acrobat Reader Flash Player Windows Media Player Microsoft Silverlight Word Viewer Excel Viewer PowerPoint Viewer


  • Posted 2/25/19: March 5, 2019 City Council Meeting Recommendations 
    •  **NOTE: Full Staff Report will be posted on the Council meeting web page later this week**
      • Provide for approximately 690 paid public parking spaces in the southeast quadrant roughly bounded by First Street, Third Street, D Street, and H Street.  This represents approximately 32% of the public parking downtown.
      • Enforce paid parking requirements seven days a week.
      • Enforce paid parking requirements from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. everyday. 90-minute time-restricted parking will be enforced 10:00 a.m. to 8 p.m., everyday.
      • Cost to park per hour is suggested as:
        • Off-Peak: $.50/hr
          • 10:00 am to 11:30 am 
            1:30 pm to 5:00 pm
        • Peak: $1.00/hr
          • 11:30 am to 1:30 pm 
            5:00 pm to 10:00 pm
      • Paid spaces will have a five-hour time limit.
      • Remnant on-street two-hour time restricted parking outside the paid parking zone will be converted to 90-minute parking.
      • Meter Technology: single-space meters are recommended for on-street spaces with multi-space pay stations recommended for off-street parking areas.

      Paid Parking Map v10

  • February 2019:
  • February 2018: Council action:
    • Approve consultant services agreement with Nelson/Nygaard for downtown paid parking implementation planning, including:
      • Policy Recommendations
        • Peer review of 11/7/18 City Council paid parking action
        • Paid parking technology
        • Pricing structure
        • Administrative and enforcement staffing
        • Municipal Code revisions
        • Cost/revenue analysis
      • Project Design
        • Striping and compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act
        • Equipment Placement               
      • Community Outreach
        • Davis Downtown Parking Committee meetings
        • Community Outreach Plan
    • Staff Report

  • November 2017: Council action:
    • Approved recommendation to establish paid parking in the southeast quadrant.
    • Direct staff to return to City Council with ordinances, resolutions, and contracts implementing revisions.
    • Staff Report
  • December 2016: Council action:
    • Revised & approved staff-proposed reprioritization of remaining Phase 1 and Phase 2 recommendations into Priorities 1, 2, and 3.
      • Priority 1: FY 16/17
      • Priority 2: FY 17/18
      • Priority 3: Deferred until Phase 1 and 2 completion.
    • Approved future FY 16/17 budget adjustments to implement Priority 1 recommendations.
    • Staff Report

  • July 2016: Update to City Council on Downtown Parking Management Plan:   
    • Initiate Re-examine parking in-lieu fees and procedures (in progress)
    • Direct staff to return in Fall 2016 with strategy for remaining Phase 1 recommendations and options for Phase 2 recommendations.
    • Staff Report

  • March 2014-July 2016: Implementation of the following Phase 1 Recommendations:   
    • Rec #3: Increase employee permit fees and streamline employee parking to single “X” permit.
    • Rec #5: Restrict delivery vehicle double-parking during lunch peak.
    • Rec #6: Eliminate on-street green waste in the downtown.
    • Rec #9: Upgrade parking enforcement technology.
    • Rec #11: Develop transportation and parking alternatives campaign.
    • Rec #12: Collect quarterly parking occupancy data (ongoing)

  • March 25th 2014: Council Action splitting 19 recommendations into two phases, begin implementing Phase 1.
  • February, 2014: DDBA Brown Bag Guest Speaker: Mike King, Parking Technology & Infrastructure Manager, City of Sacramento.
  • December 3rd, 2013: Present to Downtown Parking Management Plan to City Council. No action taken at meeting.
  • September 25th 2013: DDBA Brown Bag Presentation on DPTF Recommendations.
  • Downtown Parking Task Force Meetings: December 2012 – October 2013.

    All meetings publicly noticed per Brown Act requirements.                    

  • October 30th, 2012: City Council appoints Downtown Parking Task Force.