22 Metered Spaces Shifted to Cheaper, Longer Term Parking

Early Wednesday morning on January 11, twenty two blue-top parking meters ($1/hour, 3-hour time limit) will be replaced with brown-top meters ($0.40/hour, 10-hour time limit) in the southern end of Burlington’s downtown. This change will allow commuters and other long-term visitors the opportunity to find cheaper and longer duration parking options proximate to the construction of Champlain College’s Eagles Landing project.

Champlain College acquired the City’s Browns Court Parking Lot – a municipal surface lot with 40 brown-top metered spaces – to construct a mixed-use project that will, once completed, include significant public parking (25 spaces on weekdays and 65 spaces on nights and weekends). The on-street meter adjustment aims to assist parkers in finding other parking after the closure of the Browns Court lot and before the new public parking at Eagles Landing is opened in approximately 18 months.

City planning documents including the Downtown Parking & Transportation Plan call for the redevelopment of surface parking lots into mixed use developments that bring more housing, jobs and street activity to our downtown. To compensate for the loss of these surface lots, the City is working with partners to better manage the 8,000 spaces in the downtown public and private parking system and to promote transportation options. Efforts include opening up more private lots to public parking, offering more options in our garages such as nighttime leases, and improving wayfinding to assist drivers in finding available parking.

The Downtown Parking & Transportation Plan, accepted by the City Council in December 2015, called for a data-driven approach where rates and hours for on-street spaces should be adjusted in order to achieve an optimal 85% occupancy. The report stated that on-street parking should be well-utilized but also have enough turnover so as to provide ample available spaces throughout the day. Occupancy rates at blue-top meters south of downtown regularly show occupancy levels below 85%. As a result, the report recommends reducing price to increase utilization. This 22 meter pilot is consistent with the plan’s direction. Increasing the utilization of these meters will help offset the loss in revenue to the Traffic Fund due to the cheaper rates, so the overall financial impact to the City is expected to be minimal.

“We are lowering the rates and extending the time limits at these 22 metered spaces for two reasons: the spots have been underutilized, and we understand parkers are seeking alternatives to the Browns Court lot prior to the public parking opening at Eagles Landing,” said Department of Public Works Director Chapin Spencer.

For those seeking off-street parking, the City has available monthly leases in the College and Lakeview garages for $80 – $96 per month. Contact Parking Foreman Brad Cummings at 802-316-6027 for more information.

Feedback on Meter Pilot Welcome:
The new brown-top meters will replace blue-top meters in the following locations:
12 meters on King Street
7 meters on St. Paul Street
2 meters on Maple Street
1 meter on lower Church Street
See the attached map for more detail.

The meter change is being launched as a pilot. The Public Works Commission will be reviewing staff’s recommendation and initial public input at its January 18 meeting and determining whether to keep the new configuration. Public input should be sent to Billy Burns, wburns@burlingtonvt.gov.

Meter Colors Explained:

  • Yellow-top meters: Short term parking ($1/hr, 15 or 30 minute maximum)
  • Blue-top meters: Medium term parking ($1/hr, 3 hour maximum)
  • Brown-top meters: Long term parking ($0.40/hr, 10 hour maximum)
  • Grey-top meters: High demand parking in downtown core ($1.50/hr, no time limit)