Carmel-by-the-Sea Parking Challenges

Aug 30 - Covered very briefly at the Strategic Priorities half yearly review.

View this YouTube at time stamp 4:04 minute.  This was not discussed at any length - as it was postponed to the October City Council Meeting.  Chip recognized the Survey results provided from the Carmel Chamber here and the CRA Survey here, page 2 on this topic. 

Also see the full Aug CRA Survey Results - beginning on page 13 for Membership feedback on this topic.

Sept 12 City Council Meeting is the next planned project update based on community input and possible recommendations and timeline for Council directions. 

Paid Parking, once again, has made the City Council priority List in our Village (FY 2022/2023).  As of this writing, this project will include significant community input and new technologies in the possibilities.  (An expanded list of online articles from the past efforts are at the base of this webpage.)

Public Meetings were held in Early May - in Carpenter Hall, hosted by City Staff and Consultant Brian Uhler

Monday May 1 at 10AM and, Wednesday May 3 at 4PM and, Tuesday May 9 at 6PM and, Thursday May 11 at Noon.
These PACT (Parking and Congested Traffic) meetings are looking for public comment from businesses and residents. Please visit the city webpage HERE for more on this initiative. Below are images from the flyers received in all 93921 PO Boxes 4/15/2023.


Apr 5 2023 City Council - Brian Uhler spoke briefly in public comments announcing the beginning of the community outreach and the new city webpage HERE, and especially the subpage HERE for past reports, articles, studies, gatherings and timelines (many also provided below).  And here is a link to the Monterey Herald article published April 5th on this new initiative. 

Feb 6 2023 City Council - Council has approved B.Uhler's Consulting Agreement with public outreach to begin shortly.  Details on this approval are available HERE.

Oct 4 2022 City Council Initial Report & background information is available as follows.

    B. Uhler - Staff Summary Report HERE 
    Pine Cone Articles listing from prior paid parking efforts HERE
    2014 Walker Consultant Report HERE
    2019 Walker Consultant Parking Study Report HERE
The outcome of this topic, based on public and Council input, was to continue with the scoping and details of this proposal, with significant public input sessions critical in moving forward.  Expected next public update will be in the new year. 


Read on for the original coverage on this topic 


Carmel has had at least 2 prior attempts at a Paid Parking that were withdrawn largely due to community objections.  At least one of these initiatives, was likely to meet or exceed its goals, but for not.  Visit this page again, for future links to articles on those prior efforts. 


       From a prior/past Village Paid Parking Project        Challenges of Carmel Parking? (an online game)

There are many benefits of paid parking, revenue being a big one with the contributions it could make to our city income.  Another can/could be improved access to open parking space - especially given what new mobile technology can bring to the deployment. 

Stepping back, there is no question that parking can be a challenge in our town, especially during larger local events, and also routinely when visitors escape the heat to our cooler coastal climate. Is paid parking "the" answer?  It could be. 

As a part of educating our community on this new project, consider this YouTube and expert Book author on the "High Cost of Free Parking" Professor Shoup. Dr. Shoup clarifies the costs of cars hunting for spaces, the actual cost of the space and much more.

In-depth Dr. Shoup Interview YouTube here (Sept 2021)
Wikipedia on Professor Shoup here
Freakonomics Podcast here (Mar 2013)

On the other side and with much longer term planning considerations could be making our downtown "Car Free" or better said "Pedestrian Only".  This aligns with increasing quantities of European towns and this option could make a contribution to decreasing greenhouse gases.  There are many sources online that speak to the benefits of going Car Free.  Here are just a few.

Wikipedia on CarFree Cities here
CNN Video interview of Janette Sadik-Khan here (8/28/2022)
The Atlantic article (April 2021) here

Your additions, comments and suggestions are very welcome in the months to come. 

Online articles on Paid (Metered) Parking efforts over time in our Village, for more background.  

  • April 2021 - Monterey Herald - Carmel elected officials consider paid parking — again HERE
  • December 2014 - KSBW Camel parking meters up and running on Ocean Avenue HERE
  • December 2014 - Carmel Pine Cone - Cover "Metered Parking to go live Dec 1"  HERE
  • October 2014 -  CedarStreet Times - Carmel will hold a public workshop on Ocean Ave. pilot parking project.  HERE
  • November 2013 - Carmel-by-the-Sea Watchdog - Downtown Parking Analysis and Parking Recommendations – Draft HERE
  • January 2011 - Carmel-by-the-Sea Watchdog - BACKGROUND: Downtown Paid Parking Program (2000-2002) HERE

    ...and see the Oct 4th City Council Updated listing compiled from more Pine Cone Articles -  prior paid parking efforts HERE