DEL MAR — Visitors to downtown Del Mar now have a little more time to shop, dine and stroll the village after City Council agreed at the April 5 meeting to extend the two-hour timed parking zones in a few key areas.
On 15th Street, parking will be allowed for two hours on the south side from Ocean Avenue to the start of the 20-minute zone west of Stratford Court. The two-hour zone will also be extended on Camino del Mar between 13th and 11th streets on the west side and from 10th Street north to Del Mar Plaza on the east side. The 1300 block of Maiden Lane is now a two-hour zone as well. The changes were implemented April 12.
About five years ago, the Del Mar Village Association recommended changing downtown parking restrictions to promote revitalization and dissuade employees from using prime storefront spaces. One suggestion was to split long-term parking along Camino del Mar into 90- 120-minute zones and designate 15th Street as a 90-minute area.
At the time, council members opted to change the downtown timed-parking area to a 90-minute limit. But that plan ended about seven months later after the city received negative input from visitors and DMVA. The original plan to split the timed-parking zones was implemented. City staff and the DMVA monitored the impact of the changes and compiled feedback from business owners and their customers.
Although the split-zones experiment was supposed to have ended in October 2006, it continued until recently, when there was a growing demand for a return to the original two-hour time limit for all long-term downtown parking.
The changes are expected to extend the positive economic impact in the downtown area by allowing shoppers time to visit more than one business and diners time to enjoy a relaxing meal, according to the staff report.
Members of the DMVA have said scarce parking and citations drive away shoppers and give visitors a negative perception of the city. Business owners hope the extended parking limits will begin to attract more customers.
“Enforcing the timed parking limit has been shown to be an effective method of dissuading the employees from overusing prime parking,” the staff report states.
Visitors and employees can park for free all day at City Hall and for 50 cents an hour at L’Auberge.