Come next month, visitors to the North Embarcadero and Ruocco Park areas will have to bring a little extra change to park in the metered lots by the waterfront.
On Tuesday, the Port of San Diego Board of Commissioners gave the green light to the expansion of the Tidelands Public Parking Meter Pilot Program, which will now include changes to the rates and hours of meters in North Embarcadero and Ruocco Park, in addition to Tuna Harbor.
The program will be implemented beginning Sept. 12 and will last at least six months. After that, the Port will review their data and determine whether or not they’ll keep the program in place.
Port of San Diego Public Information Officer Tanya Castaneda told NBC 7 the rate and hour changes will be made to existing meters. New meters will not be added to the areas.
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Currently, the rate to park at North Embarcadero or Ruocco Park is $1.25 per hour. That rate will now go up to $1.75 per hour, Castaneda confirmed.
Parking meter enforcement hours will also shift to 10 a.m. through 8 p.m. every day, including Sundays. Previously, meters were enforced from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and were free on Sundays.
Castaneda said this parking program has already gone into effect in the Tuna Harbor lots and will help the Port make better use of the prime spaces along San Diego’s waterfront.
“The spaces are a public asset and must be managed right,” she said. “Our goal is to gather data through this pilot program that will help us make a decision about long-term parking rates and enforcement.”
With the lower rates, Castaneda said the Port found people were parking in spots all day, feeding the meters every few hours. This set limits on how many visitors could park in the area throughout the day.
Now, with higher rates and different hours, Castaneda said the goal is to increase turnover in parking at the waterfront and allow for more visitors to drop in for an hour or two.
“Now everybody has a chance to visit and get a parking spot,” she said.
Castaneda said the metered lots at Tuna Harbor, Ruocco Park and North Embarcadero give visitors access to many attractions. This includes the new Waterfront Park and The Headquarters at Seaport District.
The lots are also near San Diego’s new open-air seafood market located on the pier between Tuna Harbor and Seaport Village. The market is open every Saturday at 8 a.m. For early birds, this means free parking in the area until meter enforcement kicks in at 10 a.m.