Drivers in downtown Sacramento, your evening grace period is over.
As of Tuesday, city code enforcement officers will ticket drivers who do not feed meters after 6 p.m. downtown and in part of midtown. The new, extended meter hours coincide with the opening last month of the new Golden 1 Center, as tens of thousands of people come downtown several nights a week for events.
The city extended meter hours beyond 6 p.m. two months ago, but postponed issuing tickets at night during the first month that the arena was open.
Instead, code enforcement officers initially put educational fliers on windshields of people who failed to feed the meters, and, once the arena opened, began issuing warnings that looked like tickets.
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City parking officials said they wanted to avoid giving a nasty surprise to people who just had a good time at a concert or game during the first month of operations, some of whom may be visiting downtown for the first time in years. But officials say they think most people now are aware of the post-6 p.m. rules.
Meters are in operation until 10 p.m. throughout downtown, from Front Street in Old Sacramento to the west side of 16th Street, and from W Street to C Street and Railyards Boulevard.
Meters east of there in midtown close out at 6 p.m.
The city also plans to begin ticketing drivers who park too long during the evening in non-metered residential permit parking zones in the central city, south to Broadway and east to Alhambra Boulevard.
The city now allows parkers to add extra time beyond a meter’s posted limits. Drivers can do that at the meter, or can do it remotely by using the Parkmobile app. The extra hours, though, are more expensive than the regular $1.75 hourly price. At a two-hour meter, for instance, motorists can now add a third hour for $3. Pricing is shown on the meter display window.
The city recently launched an online system for residents in restricted residential zones to obtain temporary 24-hour parking permits for guests. Residents can obtain up to 10 permits a month.
City officials are counting on increased parking revenue over time to help pay off part of the city’s $255 million debt toward the downtown arena. Officials say they expect the Parkmobile app, though, to make it easier for drivers to avoid getting a ticket for expired meters.