Within days, a new structure for paid parking will be introduced, first at City Hall and later at the three city-owned Downtown parking structures.
Historically, parking beneath City Hall has been free for as long as a driver wants to stay, days, or perhaps years.
Parking will remain free for people conducting business at City Hall, regardless of the length of visits.
All others are to be charged.
Pay-on-foot is the new plan, long in use at other facilities in and around Culver City.
Gaining a fresh stream of revenue was not the motivating factor, said City Manager John Nachbar.
“We just want to manage our assets better,” he said.
“When we were doing this, we thought that now is the time to include City Hall because, well, parking is a valuable asset.
“It is becoming more scarce.
“We kicked around the idea of having more control of the City Hall facility.”
Was the public abusing the free parking, pulling in at City Hall and going elsewhere Downtown?
“Well, you could park for free,” implying a yes answer. “But we will have validation stations for people doing business at City Hall.”
Mr. Nachbar said he has no idea how far new revenue will leap after the Cardiff, Watseka and Ince parking structures sequentially adopt the new parking technology.
“We began a review of our parking facilities about 18 months ago,” said the city manager. “Installing the latest parking technology was one priority. The technology reads your license plate when you enter. You insert your ticket in a pay station before you leave. This is very common on the Westside.”
Mr. Nachbar is confident the new system massively will shift the common form of payment from cash to credit cards. “This is a good thing,” he said.