Progressive Parking Policies

City Considers Changes to Downtown Parking

During the month of August 2009, the City of Santa Rosa had the opportunity to hear a presentation from Dr. Donald Shoup, UCLA professor and author of The High Cost of Free Parking, regarding his research and experience with progressive parking practices. Dr. Shoup has recommended that the City consider a number of changes to Downtown Parking in order to better manage its existing supply of parking spaces.


  • Pricing parking to achieve an 85% occupancy level
  • Adjusting meter hours to reflect the level of activity on the street
  • Having a variable price structure that considers that parking is plentiful during certain hours of the day and heavily impacted during others
  • Managing turnover through pricing rather than artificial time limits

Parking Surveys

As a first step in understanding the Downtown parking environment, volunteers working with City staff conducted parking surveys of on and off-street parking in Courthouse Square and Railroad Square. The surveys were done on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 and Friday, October 2, 2009 at set times between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. The results were summarized into maps showing the percentage of occupancy.


Focus Group Meetings

The Parking Division will be facilitating several focus group meetings to share Dr. Shoup's recommendations, present parking occupancy data, and provide interested parties the opportunity to understand, offer input and assist with developing parking policy recommendations for City Council consideration.

Meeting Minutes

View the Minutes From the February 3, 2010 Meeting | View the Dr. Shoup Video
View the Minutes From the February 24, 2010 Meeting