Downtown parking rules to change on Saturdays in Anchorage

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) Starting July 1 a two-hour parking limit will be enforced for curb-side parking in downtown Anchorage. It’s a pilot program from the Anchorage Community Development Authority aimed at increasing turnover.

“We’re remaining free at the meters, so there’s no need for the public on Saturday or Sunday as it exists today to feed the meter, just to encourage that turn over at the two hour limit,” said Parking Director Brian Borguno.

A “soft rollout” for July means only warning tickets will be issued, after that the penalty for exceeding the two-hour limit is a $20 parking ticket.

“When people come downtown on Saturdays and see every space taken up it can be discouraging and they don’t want to come downtown,” Borguno said.

The pilot program will run through September. The ACDA says there hasn’t been a decision to continue Saturday parking enforcement beyond then.

Downtown business owner Katie Sevigny called the plan a compromise and says limited parking on Saturdays is only a perception.

“I’m OK with the fact that this is not charging and parking downtown like right now, it’s not bad and during the day we don’t have that big an issue,” said Sevigny at her store Sevigny Studio.

Anchorage Assembly member Forrest Dunbar has drafted an ordinance to prohibit charging for on-street parking before noon on weekends and holidays to discourage bar-goers from driving impaired. The ordinance was written before plans for the pilot program were released but Dunbar says Saturday parking enforcement will still lead to drunk driving.

“It’s just common sense, you are giving people parking tickets for leaving their cars, they’re going to have more people attempt to drive their cars home on Friday and Saturday nights,” said Dunbar.

His ordinance will be introduced on June 13 with a work session the following Thursday at 1 p.m. on the first floor of City Hall.

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