Juneau goes ‘purposely low-tech’ in new parking system

(Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

(Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

The city has no current plans to replace downtown coin-operated parking boxes. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

(Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

(Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

(Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

The city has no current plans to replace downtown coin-operated parking boxes. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

(Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Juneau’s parking holiday is over, as the City and Borough switches to a temporary downtown parking system.

City manager Kim Kiefer says on-street parking will still be free for the first two hours. Beyond that, motorists will have to park in a coin-operated lot.

“The parking lot up by the Baranof will be a coin-pay only parking lot. There will be some spaces in the Marine Parking Garage that will be pay coin ops only, and then the lot that we refer to as Shoppers Lot – the corner of Egan and Main Street – will be pay by space.”

It will cost 75 cents an hour to park in each of the three coin-operated lots.  A number on each parking space corresponds to a slot in a pay box that takes coins or dollar bills.

Keifer calls the system “purposely low-tech.”  She says the coin pay stations are a temporary solution in the downtown parking zone.

“If you’re parking on Whittier Street, it doesn’t count. We’re talking about the area that basically is from the Downtown Library, up to 4th Street, over to Main, and then down to Marine Park.”

Motorists also have the option of buying weekly or monthly parking permits for the Marine Parking Garage. Permits for the Downtown Transportation Center have been sold out and enforcement there has already begun.

Kiefer says the city is planning an informational campaign about the new downtown parking system, including signs and advertisements, before police start to ticket.

“We’ll give people time to get used to the new system. We’ll do warnings.”

The city terminated the contract with Aparc Systems in December and initiated a lawsuit against the Nevada company, after it failed to respond to various complaints. The Assembly last month approved $110,000 for legal fees to outside counsel for the litigation.

Since 2010, the city has invested nearly half-a-million dollars in the problematic parking system.

The temporary pay boxes have so far cost $1,900, including shipping.