Early reactions to parking meter hike

Digital Now

COLORADO SPRINGS — 2020 brought major changes to Downtown Colorado Springs and Old Colorado City.

Beginning on January 1 parking meter rates and hours increased, and Sundays are no longer free.

Whether or not this increase affected businesses is still a toss-up.

Susan Edmondson the President and CEO of Downtown Partnership said, “we’ve certainly heard some businesses be very concerned, we’ve heard other businesses say their January tracked pretty much the same as last month.”

Carrie Baker Co-Owner of Terra Verda says their stores January numbers are up, and Katharyn Knop with Rocky Mountain Soap Market says her customers have noticed but they’re understanding of the change.

Other businesses like Colorado Refuge and Oskar Blues are noticing something else.

“It just seems a little bit slower now, seems like there is definitely more open spots where the meters are normally full,” said Aron Bowen Owner of Colorado Refuge.

Isaiah Fowler who works front of house at Oskar Blues said he’s seeing the night be affected more than the day, stating “a lot of people don’t want to come out here and pay after 6 now.”

Parking downtown now may require a bit of spare change now but funds all go back into the City’s parking enterprise.

“When you pay at a parking meter or pay at a parking garage that goes right back to the parking enterprise itself, to improve the structure and the safety of the garages, to add meters and especially what we’re excited about is adding new technology,” said Susan Edmondson
President and CEO of Downtown Partnership.

Almost two months into the new meter increase and whether or not this increase is negatively or positively affecting businesses is still a toss-up.


Downtown patrons don’t have to worry about heading back to the meters to pay for long term parking.

All on-street parking meters can now be paid for up to four hours at a time after 6 p.m. instead of only paying for a maximum of 2 hours on certain meters.

To clear up the confusion the city want’s you to know that this is effective on all parking meters despite what information may be displayed in the meter itself.

Beginning this March — City officials say new parking meters will be installed that have the ability to add time remotely by using a mobile app on your smartphone.

Parking FAQs

What are the hours of operation of meters in Colorado Springs?

Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 1-10 p.m.

Why were the hours changed?

Extending hours into the evening reduces the number of employees and hotel guests using on-street parking for extended periods of time, encouraging them to use garages for long-term stays. This change creates turnover and more availability for patrons coming downtown to visit shops and restaurants.

What if I want to stay longer?

Patrons, employees, and hotel guests with longer-term parking needs are strongly encouraged to use the city-owned garages, which cost less than meters during weekdays, and are only $1 total after hours and on weekends.

What is parking meter money used for?

Changes to the meter hours and rates are expected to generate approximately $1M per year for the Parking Enterprise. Revenue earned through the Parking Enterprise will be used to address approximately $10M in deferred maintenance to include cracking concrete, waterproofing, and technology improvements. This deficit will be addressed with top priority needs funded first. As an Enterprise of the City, funds generated by the Parking Enterprise are used to maintain current parking structures (downtown), improve surface parking lots (Old Colorado City), improve customer service with better technology, and invest in new parking structures to meet the growing needs of our community. Note: Revenue from parking meters goes to the Parking Enterprise, while revenue from parking tickets goes to the General Fund.

What are the parking meter rates?

Meters closest to the city center charge $1.25 per hour, meters further out charge $1 per hour, and meters on the periphery charge $0.75 per hour. See https://coloradosprings.gov/parking-system-enterprise for more details.

City-operated garages and surface lots

The city-operated garages in Downtown are altering rates both for daily use and monthly pass holders. 

New Monday through Friday hourly rates:

  • 0 to 30 minutes – $0.50
  • 31 minutes to 1 hour – $1
  • After first hour – $1 per hour or fraction thereof
  • Daily maximum – $9

>> For more click here.

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