City rolls out parking reform

By Cameron Rasmusson
Reader Staff

Downtown parking is about to get a lot more flexible.

Starting Aug. 1, three parking lots—the ITD parking lot west of Fifth Avenue, the downtown city parking lot on Third Avenue between Church and Oak streets and the Sand Creek parking lot—will feature free 24-hour parking. The changes are the first phase of a parking plan approved by the Sandpoint City Council on July 6 designed to free up parking space for shoppers while providing more options for downtown employees.

The 2016 Parking Map of Sandpoint, highlighting changes to existing parking laws.

The 2016 Parking Map of Sandpoint, highlighting changes to existing parking laws.

“I think this addresses a lot of the concerns we heard from the public,” Mayor Shelby Rognstad told council members at the July 6 meeting.

The city also launched a 60-day amnesty period on Wednesday for individuals with outstanding parking tickets. Those who settle their accounts within the time period will receive a 50-percent reduction to their late fees. Otherwise, vehicle owners with six or more parking tickets older than 45 days risk having their car booted and impounded beginning in October.

In September, the parking reform roll-out continues with the addition of 15-minute loading zones and several three- and four-hour parking zones throughout the downtown core. Those with parking permits will also be entitled to expanded 24-hour parking throughout the downtown.

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