Back-Seat Driver

Sacramento airport adding ticketless parking option

Parking is a bit confusing at Sacramento International Airport this summer. The airport is making parking technology upgrades, and, at the moment, patrons can choose to use the old payment system or one of two new ones.
Parking is a bit confusing at Sacramento International Airport this summer. The airport is making parking technology upgrades, and, at the moment, patrons can choose to use the old payment system or one of two new ones. Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

Parking is a bit confusing at Sacramento International Airport this summer.

The airport is making parking technology upgrades, and, at the moment, patrons can choose to use the old payment system or one of two new ones. One option the airport is pushing is to go ticketless: You slide your credit card in the entry slot to get into the lot or garage and then slide it again at the exit booth when you leave.

The airport also has been adding walk-up pay stations. That involves getting a ticket from the dispenser at the lot entrance, then holding onto that ticket so you can pay at a station in the lot on your way back to your car later. You still have to stop your car at the exit booth and slide your validated ticket into the slot.

The changes will speed up the exiting process some, officials say, and save the airport money by reducing ticket fraud and cutting back on employee costs. Officials said they will rely on attrition, not layoffs. They say they have no plans at the moment to raise parking rates.

Parking for arena employees

Speaking of parking, when Golden 1 Center opens in 2016, Sacramento Kings players probably will get underground spots next to the arena. But what about the 600 to 900 arena employees who will work a variety of arena events throughout each year?

The Kings declined to talk about employee parking options. But city officials say they are working on getting access to 1,800 parking spots under the W/X freeway south of downtown for a variety of parking uses, including for Kings employees. The city says it has deals with Sutter and Mercy medical centers for employee parking there to relieve the parking crunch near those facilities. That would leave 900 under-freeway spots for arena employees, who would take shuttles to and from the arena.

Motorcycle lane-splitting: Three-foot rule?

Reader Pat Longest has a question: Since state law requires drivers to give bicyclists 3 feet of clearance when passing, shouldn’t the state require motorcyclists who lane-split between two cars to give those cars a 3-foot clearance?

It’s a timely question. This fall, some legislative staff members are expected to meet with the CHP to discuss how to write a law that restricts lane-splitting in some ways but will be enforceable in the real world. We hear those talks will include some discussion of how close is too close for lane-splitting.

Peeling license plates

We wrote last week about reflective coating peeling off of some license plates. Some readers contacted us to say it is happening to their plates, but oddly, it’s just the rear plate that’s peeling, not the front plate. I did a sample check of 16 cars in a Bee lot. Seven had peeling rear plates. None had peeling front plates.

The state Prison Industry Authority, which produces the plates, didn’t offer any clues when we asked them if rear plates might be more susceptible than front plates, and why. Are there any reflective coating or plate experts out there with thoughts on this?

By the way, if your plates are damaged, you can return them to DMV and get two new ones and tags for $20.

Editor’s note (Aug. 3): This story has been corrected to note that airport visitors using walk-up pay stations must slide their validated ticket into the exit booth slot, not a receipt.

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