The City of Puyallup may expand its parking permit system to free up more spaces in city-owned lots for employees of downtown businesses.
It may also change time limits for on-street parking.
City staff members are scheduled tonight to present several options to the City Council aimed at helping ease the parking congestion in downtown. The study session is 6 p.m. at City Hall, 333 S. Meridian.
No final action is expected to be taken.
Staffers have been working on a comprehensive parking plan for months, conducting surveys, holding meetings and reaching out to businesses. Merchants have said their customers typically can find places to park, but that employee parking is a different story.
People who work at the restaurants, shops and offices in downtown often must resort to “chain parking” in which they move from one timed spot to another, businesses leaders have said.
Arla Cuddie, president of the Puyallup Main Street Association board, said she thinks some of the options presented tonight will help if implemented.
Downtown parking been an issue for years, and “I think it’s time we take this next step forward and keep moving to the next project,” she said.
The options include:
— Converting a 36-stall city-owned parking lot at Second Street Southeast and East Meeker to business permit parking. Today, the lot — called the Hill lot — is open to the public with a 10-hour time limit.
— Converting 40 of the 98 stalls at a city-owned lot by the Puyallup Activity Center on West Pioneer to business and residential permit parking. The lot now is used solely by the police department, other city employees and the senior center.
— Use roughly half of the 13 stalls at a city-owned lot off East Main for permit parking; the other half would be three-hour public parking. There are no time or use restrictions now.
Staff also will present four options for on-street parking: retaining current limits and applying time limits to areas that now are unrestricted; applying a blanket two-hour time limit throughout downtown; using mostly two-hour time limits, with one-hour time limits in busier areas; and using mostly two-hour time limits, with one-hour, three-hour and business permit parking in specific areas.
The council also is expected to discuss the city-owned lot off of Second Street Southeast known as the Cornforth-Campbell lot. It has 118 spaces and is leased by Sound Transit for use by commuters headed to the Puyallup Station.
The council has talked about ending the lease as a way to free up more parking spaces and encourage commuters to use the new satellite lot across from the Puyallup Fair & Event Center’s Red Gate. That lot, which is about a half-mile from the Sounder station, has been slow to catch on since it opened to commuters after a $2.8 million upgrade last fall. The upgrades were paid for with a mix of state and federal grant dollars and Sound Transit funds.