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Should Free Sunday Parking Return?

Two years after a major shift in how parking is regulated downtown, the City Council plans to re-evaluate its decision to charge for parking on Sundays.

When it comes to enforcing its parking meters on Sundays, should City Hall return to 2010?

That's the question that the Mill Valley City Council will take up over the next few months. Some councilmembers have called for making Sunday parking free, just as it was before the of its parking program: raising meter rates, expanding parking meter enforcement to include weekends and establishing a , whereby 94941 residents can pay for a sticker that allows a driver to park in a metered spot for two hours without feeding the meter.

The council has a number of factors to consider, including the sentiments of downtown business owners, that of local residents and the city's own revenue from meters and parking tickets given its stated goal of having a parking program that pays for itself.

So what do you think? Would free parking on Sundays make a difference to you? Has the RSVP program changed the debate?

Vote in our poll below and tell us why in the Comments.

Suzanne Irwin-Wells July 02, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Having to feed meters on Sunday hurts non-locals more than locals. Most visitors probably assume Sunday parking is free. They enjoy the day in town, shopping, movies, etc, to come back to their cars and find tickets. Makes Mill Valley seem more like a big city with rapacious meter maids. Bad for local businesses and bad for MV. Make Sunday parking free.
Lucy Mercer July 02, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Unfortunately when we have matinee performances - we have patrons who must run - sometimes mid-performance - out to feed their meters.
Larry Newhouse July 03, 2012 at 12:15 AM
If Mill Valley really wants to retain its small town character one positive move would be to go back to free Sunday parking. We aren't Sausalito with parking problems that require charging on Sundays so that there are more spaces open at any given hour. There was enough Sunday parking before the meters were turned on and it would be an incentive for residents to enjoy the downtown area without fear of getting ticketed. We shouldn't have to pay an annual fee to be able to go to a Sunday matinee at the Sequoia.
RD July 03, 2012 at 01:50 AM
I agree let's have Sunday be free. We can also slightly increase the amount charged, it seems pretty low now. Also, we need those meters that also take credit cards like in SF. Easier to pay. Easier to pay more also, one tends to add additional time when going on credit card (I have time!) as opposed to being limited by how many quarters one has.
Jonathan Lewis July 03, 2012 at 04:50 PM
I concur with the overwhelming opinion here!; Make Sunday parking free! Being a part of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church means that sometimes friends have to leave early to feed the meter or scrounge for change to go to church since our small parking lot is not big enough to accommodate our community.
Geoff Flint July 04, 2012 at 04:20 AM
Yes, Sunday parking should be FREE. It hurts merchants otherwise. In fact, Mill Valley should drop meters on ALL days and save $$ on meter enforcement. There is really no need to be charging for parking in a small town like Mill Valley. It would benefit all downtown merchants if parking was free on all days like it should be.
Toni July 04, 2012 at 05:40 AM
One of my happiest moments after moving to Marin, was the time a gentleman Told me parking meters were free on Sunday. I was so accustomed to the slot machine- quarter guzzling- meters on the City, the news made my day!
Scott July 04, 2012 at 01:41 PM
It would be extraordinary if, just once, our elected officials didn't make decisions in a vacuum and considered the entire problem. In this case they have a budget problem to which always the response is to raise taxes. Never is there a consideration of managing the expense side. Or would they consider posing the problem as a trade-off such as "we can either raise rates or cut service." It's always "we have a revenue shortfall and have no option but to raise rates." They even compartmentalize this by calling a shortfall in the "parking enforcement budget." The solution is to raise rates? How about cutting enforcement? Who'd really complain? How absurd is it to charge for parking so you can enforce parking meters? Even local politicians are drunk on their power to tax. Parking isn't a jobs program. Nor is it an economic stimulus. (I know, businesses want turnover but that assumes so many would park and camp out, not to mention they'd also appreciate customers who weren't running out of their stores to avoid tickets.)
Citizen July 04, 2012 at 02:32 PM
As the Chordettes sang, NEVER ON SUNDAY".
Jordan Koch July 06, 2012 at 08:17 PM
It's SUNDAY, give the meter maids the day off.
J. Wickham July 08, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Sunday parking was tied into the RSVP program which is now available to frequent visitors from Marin and is offered at a very affordable price. If business owners and city staff aren't concern about "parking turnover" and the revenue stream RSVP takes away from meter fee's, then return to free parking on Sundays and eliminate RSVP. On a side note, a recommendation that never was put into place was designating under utilized meter locations to 3 hour parking - This would help with church, movies, long lunches, etc. PS: In the 1960's meters were free downtown because none of the businesses were open! Everyone had Sunday off.
Beads of Marin July 08, 2012 at 08:59 PM
I like the idea of 3 hour meters for the noted reasons, but I also see a problem with that. Mill Valley is a destination for many people who are not here to shop or eat or visit local businesses, but to take a nice long bike ride in the area. By offering a 3 hour spot these visitors would take up valuable spots, but the local businesses would actually be hurt. I wish there was a way to designate a parking area for the bikers who would feel better about parking in the area and maybe hang around after their ride, and allowing businesses to have the turnover they need to conduct business. How about opening some of the school lots or other lots that are not in use during the weekend and taking the stress off of the streets?

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