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The City of Boulder recently granted parkers a five-minute grace period for on-street parking meters, according to a city press release. This change comes at a great time for downtown and University Hill holiday shoppers, but will not benefit students parking on campus.
The grace period comes in the wake of the 29th Street opening, which has free parking, and may encourage more shoppers to choose Pearl Street instead.
Donna Jobert, financial manager of parking services for downtown and University Hill management divisions, said one of the many reasons for the policy change is ticketed parkers complain they just missed the cut-off by a couple of minutes.
“We don’t want people to get tickets,” Jobert said.
Jobert said giving people more of an opportunity to get back to their cars on time might help keep more business downtown. She said the initiative carries the hope that drivers will be less disgruntled with parking enforcement and not be discouraged by possible fines.
Jobert said the grace period covers on-street meters on the Hill and throughout downtown. All campus meters are enforced separately through the university. She said in addition to the this change, parkers can now buy pre-paid parking keys to avoid having to carry change around at all times.
Casey Jones, director of parking and transportation services for CU, said there are no plans to implement this same grace period on campus.
Jones said the reason is because there are already three to four minutes of “stored-in time” included in the technology of campus meters. He said that although it is not publicized, it should give students less chance of being ticketed.
“We have to be strict in enforcing parking on campus because there is a scarce amount of parking supply to go along with a huge demand,” Jones said.
Jones said CU is always looking for new technologies to make parking more convenient for everyone.
One technology being considered would allow students to pay for parking with just a few keystrokes of a cell phone. The meter would then call the cell phone when time is almost up and students could add more time.