Sacramento is now enforcing parking … in West Sac?

In exchange for its meter muscle, Sacramento takes a 50 percent cut of the proceeds

The city of Sacramento is expanding its meter muscle into neighboring territory.

With the Golden 1 Center opening in the fall and parking becoming more impacted on the grid, the city has agreed to enforce parking limitations in West Sacramento in exchange for 50 percent of collected fines and penalties, minus state-mandated surcharges as well as system and third party fees.

The expansion might not be primarily aimed at increasing revenue, at least according to City Hall.

West Sac residents and visitors will almost certainly see an increase in tickets. However, a Sacramento city staff report said the costs to expand its parking-protection reach could exceed its cut of the revenue.

The partnership comes amid complaints from central-city residents over lack of parking, and people parking for free at night in their neighborhoods. “The change is happening faster than, I think, the solutions we can come up with,” said Angela Tillotson, chairwoman of the Midtown Neighborhood Association.

In an emailed statement to SN&R, Matt Eierman, Sacramento’s parking manager, said city officials have spent the past two years meeting with neighborhood and business associations to discuss the possible influx of central-city visitors. “As Sacramento continues to evolve, the City needs to improve the current flow of traffic to accommodate the smart growth it desires,” he wrote.

The argument is that this will only get worse with the arena. Enter West Sacramento, where people can park and walk across the Tower Bridge to attend Kings games or frequent other businesses downtown.

Sacramento also has meter police to spare. The staff report notes that West Sacramento has three full-time parking enforcement officers, while Sacramento has more than 50.

Preservation Sacramento President William Burg expressed concern that the city’s parking strategy serves visitors more than it does residents. He’d like to see metered parking in commercial districts and resident-only parking in bordering neighborhoods.

Others say that the stepped-up enforcement is driving people and businesses out of downtown and is merely a backdoor attempt to help the city recoup the cost of the arena. “They went on and pushed the deal and now we’re expected to pay for it in this way,” Curtis Park resident Natalie Rios told SN&R in July 2015. “It’s absurd.”