Nevada City sees pushback over parking meters |

Nevada City sees pushback over parking meters

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What: Special Nevada City Chamber of Commerce board meeting

Where: City Hall, 317 Broad St., Nevada City

When: 2:30 p.m. Friday

In the wake of a controversial hike in parking meter rates in downtown Nevada City, business owners concerned over loss of traffic are urged to come to a special Nevada City Chamber of Commerce board meeting Friday.

“It’s open to everybody, anybody that has an idea or suggestion,” said chamber Executive Director Cathy Whittlesey. “We just feel like we need to think this out a little bit, to make it easier on the people who come to Nevada City.”

The meeting is set for 2:30 p.m. at City Hall, 317 Broad St. Whittlesey has asked to be put on the council agenda for July 23, when she will present suggestions for refining the process by which the rate hike is being implemented.

In June, the city council voted unanimously to quadruple the rates, from 25 cents to $1 an hour, in a move intended to free up some parking and generate more than $550,000 a year. Twenty percent of that will be earmarked for fire mitigation, such as a siren alert system and vegetation clearing.

Nevada City plans to install two solar-powered pay stations that can take credit cards at the Commercial Street and the upper/lower Spring Street lots and will discontinue its parking permit program. Both the Commercial Street lot and the Spring Street lot would be available for long-term paid parking and the Nevada Street lot will stay as free parking with a four-hour limit. In a second phase, Nevada City will add 34 additional paid parking spots on Broad, Main, Church, York and Spring streets.

“A lot of people are up in arms,” Whittlesey said. “What they’ve got planned is to have these meters that take coins only (at most of the spaces). It will take 12 quarters for three hours and the only place there is a change machine is at City Hall. It doesn’t make sense.”

The pay stations won’t be much better, she said, since they will require drivers to trek across the parking lot to pay and then back to their vehicle, no matter the weather.

The chamber wants the council to think about it a little more, Whittlesey said.

“We’re trying to keep it positive,” she said. ”We want to hear about how to make it happen better. … It is kind of a shock to (have it) go up so fast, and so much.”

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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